St. Mary e-Newsletter for Friday, October 9, 2020


    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. Complying with the Governor’s order, we are permitted 46 people per service (including altar servers, ushers, and chanters), based on square footage and depending on household size. The list of voting members is subdivided into three or four parts, and members in each part will receive an invitation on a Tuesday afternoon, by telephone or by email, to attend on the following Sunday.   When you receive an invitation your response is requested by noon the following Friday.
     Please visit our church webpage under “News,” “COVID-19 Safety
Directives and Policies” (  to review the procedures for attendance.
     You will notice that we do not take up a collection, either during the service or via collection trays at the Bengarri. This is in compliance with a directive from the
Archdiocese, intended to limit contact and the touching of surfaces. To make a donation to the church you can mail a check (St. Mary Orthodox Church, 8 Inman St,
Cambridge MA 02139)  or donate through eGive:
     All the Divine Services held in St. Mary’s Church can also be seen live-streamed at   or    or
     Monday–Saturday you can join Morning Prayers on Zoom with James & Brooke Wilcox. They 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, including Fr. Antony who has recently come alongside to lead us each morning. And thanks to the power of the internet, and the influence of other participants, we now have people joining us each morning from Chile, Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York City and other portions of Massachusetts as well. We are always happy to add more!”
     We run morning prayers for 15 minutes each morning, Monday through Saturday, beginning at 8:45am:   password: 28052020


Young Adult Ministry
     Come see the leaves turn from the top of Mt Monadnock on Saturday, October 10! Young adults will meet at Mt Monadnock HQ at 11 AM to begin the hike. It is a moderately difficult hike that takes approximately 4 hours and requires scrambling over rocks. If you are driving, you must register for parking ahead of time here: Parking is limited so reserve early! Make sure you are registering for parking at Monadnock HQ. Please sign up on the google form here:  to let us know you will be coming and whether you need or can provide a ride.
     For 4 weeks we will be holding a space for a book club/discussion group. Please fill out the second part of the survey: so we can get some input about which book you would like to talk about.
Choir News
     Attention Church Musicians!  The Department of Sacred Music is offering weekly on-line classes this Fall from 8pm-10pm on a variety of topics.  Here’s the schedule for the remainder of October:
·         Tuesday, October 13:  What to Sing and Chant while Singing and Chanting
Orthros pt. 1: Blessed is Our God - Psalm 50 (Live – Fr John El-Massih, Greg Abdalah)
·         Tuesday, October 20:  Pitching from the Priest (VSMI Recording with live chat – Kh. Nancy Hanna Long)
·         Tuesday, October 27:  What to Sing and Chant while Singing and Chanting
Orthros pt. 2: Troparia after Psalm 50 - The Great Doxology (Live – Fr John El-Massih, Greg Abdalah)
To register, go to
Church School
     Please email Deno at if you would like to register your child for church school. It’s not too late! Children who were registered last year have their registration rolled over to this year. We have a full staff who have already begun work. We are grateful to God and the parish for providing just what we need.
Enquirers Class
     The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group – Enquirers’ Class  began 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  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.
Orthodoxy 102
     Orthodoxy 102 is an adult education class designed for Christians who have spent many years in the Orthodox church, but have never had any formal teaching on the theology and liturgical structure of Eastern Christianity. This is the second year the class is being offered. It will meet weekly to journey through the structure of the Divine Liturgy, while taking an in-depth look at Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils, our iconography, and the meaning and application of Orthodox theology. If you would like more information or want to join, please email The class begins at 7:00pm on Zoom.
Parish Council Elections
     If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony by November 1.  To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.
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.

In Eastern Christian practice, from antiquity to the present, meditation and contemplation are the paths to knowledge of God. Divine revelation offers a foundation for all such meditation and contemplation, of course, but the Orthodox emphasis falls not on speech about but on silence before God and his revelation. The person who would know God must drink deeply of, and not just analyze, what God has made known about himself and his ways toward humankind; one must by saturated with it through wonder rather than seek to connect its elements in curiosity
   - James R. Payton Jr, Light from the Christian East
Allow the Spirit of God to dwell within you; then in His love He will come and make a habitation with you; He will reside in you and live in you. If your heart is pure you will see Him and He will sow in you the good seed of reflection upon His actions and wonder at His majesty. This will happen if you take the trouble to weed out from your soul the undergrowth of desires, along with the thorns and tares of bad habits.
   - Evagrius of Pontus
Basically, humility is the attitude of one who stands constantly under the judgment of God. It is the attitude of one who is like the soil. Humility comes from the Latin word “humus,” fertile ground. The fertile ground is there, unnoticed, taken for granted, always there to be trodden upon. It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always ready to receive any seed, ready to give it substance and life. The more lowly, the more fruitful, because it becomes really fertile when it accepts all the refuse of the earth. It is so low that nothing can soil it, abase it, humiliate it; it has accepted the last place and cannot go any lower. In that position, nothing can shatter the soul’s serenity, its peace and joy.
   - Metropolitan Anthony Bloom,  Living Prayer