St. Mary e-Newsletter for Thursday, August 13, 2020
PRAYER AND WORSHIP
Dormition Fast & Feast - 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 throughFriday, August 14.
Join us for the Vigil for the Dormition on Friday, August 14, the eve of the Feast: Vespers with Artoclasia at 4:15 pm; Orthros with Lamentations at 5:30pm; and Festal Divine Liturgy at 7:00 pm. Someone will be available to let people into the church from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
Eventbrite link for the Friday 8/14 services: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/parish-feast-day-dormition-of-the-theotokos-tickets-114557211704
The password for all Eventbrite tickets is still 0815.
The services will also be live streamed on our website, Facebook, and YouTube.
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. New: The list of voting members is now divided into four parts, to comply with the governor’s latest directive (which limits the number of persons in an indoor gathering to 25). Each segment of members 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.
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:
Thursday evenings at 7:00pm there is an Adult Education program (“Orthodoxy 102”) with Subdeacon James: https://zoom.us/j/92020118216
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’.
The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group – Enquirers’ Class will begin meeting virtually on Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm, over the church’s Zoom account. Enrollment will be open until October 26. The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please get in touch with Bob: phone 617-889-3436 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.
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.
He who truly loves God is devoted to His holy will; and no matter what might befall him, he accepts everything, as from the hand of God, with the firm faith that all this serves to his spiritual benefit. For the soul that is devoted to God, the misfortunes that befall it in this life serve as steps leading it up to perfection.
- St. John Climacus
The whole warfare of the demons against us is waged with the one purpose of alienating those who obey them from the glory of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit. But, as I see it, we have already deprived ourselves of such a gift before they even attack us, because we have forsaken the commandments of God and have not been eager to seek Him with all our soul. Had we sought Him we should not have lived so idly and carelessly! Had we been concerned for the things of heaven we should not have shown such great eagerness for the things of earth. Had our thoughts been on things incorruptible we should not have gaped greedily after the things that are transitory and corruptible. Had we striven for things eternal we should not thus have pursued things temporal. Had we loved God we should not thus have turned away from those who guide us to Him. Had we sought to acquire virtues we would not have abhorred the teachers of virtues. Had we gladly embraced fasting we should not have complained of the lack of food and drink. Had we fought to gain control over our passions we should not have given ourselves unrestrainedly to pleasures. Had we a right and firm faith we should not have performed the works of faithlessness. ... Had we been found worthy to attain true love we should have known God.
- St. Simeon the New Theologian, The Discourses
Theosis means so relying on divine grace that we live in God and he in us. Orthodoxy affirms the indwelling of the triune Godhead within Christians in an intensely realistic fashion: in the divine energies, God himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-17, 23) – dwells and works within humans, enabling them to become increasingly like him. This indwelling occupies the entire person, body and soul. As God created humans to participate in both realms, and as he made them his image-bearers in both body and soul, so he intended that his likeness pervade both the immaterial and the material components of human beings.
- James R. Payton, Jr., Light from the Christian East