St. Mary e-Newsletter for Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Transfiguration of Our Lord


Every Sunday Orthros is at 8:45am, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am. Members of St. Mary’s laity may attend Sunday services in rotation, with appropriate physical distancing throughout the nave.  The list of voting members is now divided in thirds, and each segment will receive an invitation on a Tuesday afternoon, by telephone or by email, to attend on the following Sunday;  your response is requested by noon the following Friday.
The virtual Sunday Coffee Hour sponsored by the Young Adults has been discontinued.
Monday–Saturday you can join Morning Prayers on Zoom with James & Brooke Wilcox, who write: “Morning Prayer has now become part of our daily routine, where we are joyfully able to participate with others in the St Mary’s community. Along the way, Brooke and I have learned to include liturgical material which honors the saints for each day, in addition to incorporating festal hymns proper to each liturgical season. We’ve even come to adopt Patron Saints for our newly formed house chapel – Sts. Antony and Anastasia. And thanks to the power of the internet, and the influence of other participants, we now have people joining us each morning from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York City and other portions of Massachusetts as well. And we are always happy to add more!”
   We run morning prayers for 15 minutes each morning, Mon – Sat, beginning at 8:45am:
password: 28052020

Thursday evenings at 7:00pm there is an Adult Education program (“Orthodoxy 102”) with Subdeacon James:
Password: 0611

Also, you can pray the liturgical services at home any time - The Archdiocese has published online instructions for reader services (services without a priest present). You can find them at the Online Liturgical Guide. Look at the list of services on the right side of the page and click on the ones marked ‘Reader Service’.

Dormition Fast
Our Patronal Feast Day is the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, on August 15. The church prepares for this every year with a Dormition Fast, which began Saturday, August 1 and continues through Friday, August 14.

There will be a Paraclesis for the Dormition at 6:30pm on Friday, August 7, and another on Wednesday, August 12.
Eventbrite link for Friday 8/7:  
Eventbrite link for Wednesday 8/12:
Join us finally for the Vigil for the Dormition on Friday, August 14, the eve of the Feast, with Vespers at 4:15 pm; Orthros at 5:30pm;  and Festal Divine Liturgy at 7:00 pm.


New  Mask Procedure
From now on masks are to be worn throughout the service, including while seated in the pew. The mask must not have a valve (which may make breathing a little easier, but also makes exchange of germs easier).
People Helping People
A number of parishioners have made known their desire to help people who need assistance. The church office is keeping a list of volunteers. Call the office if you would like your name added to the list of volunteers. There can’t be too many.
   If you know of anyone who needs any sort of help call the church office (617) 547-1234 to make the connection.  Remember, many people are ashamed/afraid to ask for help. Keep your eyes and ears open and ask about needs with kind concern.


According to Orthodox teaching, the promise about seeing the Son of Man coming in his kingdom [Mt 16:28] must be understood as fulfilled in what transpired in the transfiguration. … [T]he transfiguration is a tremendously important event: it shows who Christ is, what he will achieve in salvation, what he will be like when he appears and what his people will ultimately become. … [O]n Mount Tabor divine glory shone through Christ’s humanity. His humanity, without ceasing to be humanity, was transformed by and suffused with divine glory: Christ’s humanity was deified. This showed forth his deity as the Son of God incarnate, in confirmation of St. Peter’s confession a few days earlier (Mt. 16:16). However, the glory manifested was not simply the glory he had from eternity as the Son of God; rather, as the last Adam, he had so acquired likeness to God  that divine light shone forth through his humanity itself.
   - James R. Payton, Jr., Light from the Christian East

Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.
   - Leo Tolstoy
...there is one kind of faith, the dogmatic, involving an assent of the soul on some particular point...But there is a second kind of faith which is bestowed by Christ as a gift of grace...The faith then which is given of grace from the Spirit is not merely doctrinal, but also works things above man's power.
   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem
God's purpose in urging us to pray without growing weary is that prayer progressively brings about an essential day-to-day change in us. Prayer must be made with constant zeal in order that we should be changed into something higher than our nature.
   - Father Matthew the Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way