Church Telephone: (781) 585-8907 (Note: telephone messages are checked on Saturday evenings only; for a quicker response, please use our email address)
Church Address: 261 Main Street, Kingston, MA 02364
Church Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations: PayPal or Credit Card
Administrator and Dean: Archpriest Vasily Lickwar
Priests: Archpriest John T. Bacon and Priest Kevin Kalish
Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 AM (Third Hour begins at 9:30 AM)
Great Vespers & Confession: 5:00 PM on the 1st Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted)
St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Church is blessed with a small, but actively participating congregation. We are a warm, family-oriented body of faithful believers and our members are of all age groups, and we embrace many cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The parish conducts a regular and traditional cycle of Orthodox liturgical worship throughout the course of the year and participates regularly in several community charitable ministries such as on-going charities to aid local shelters, grocery collections for our on-going food pantry, and visiting the ill and shut-ins in our community. All these initiatives are supported by the free-will offerings and volunteer assistance of the parishioners.
Sunday & Weekly Liturgical Calendar
Sunday, June 4 - Holy Pentecost, Feast of the Holy Trinity
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM; third hour at 9:30 AM; fellowship hour following services
Church School following the prayers of thanksgiving (last day of church school is on Sunday, June 11)
Coffee Hour Host: Subdeacon Gregory & Elaine Arnold
Church Cleaner for June: Jennifer Paulin
We thank the following people who volunteered their time to help make the Yard Sale such a great success. We greatly appreciate their help with set up & clean up, staying and working at the yard sale for the entire day, helping to pack up all the items and bring them to local charities. Firstly, thank you to George and Nancy Haddad for running the yard sale, thank you to Elaine Arnold, Dan Bacon, Cookie Bakas, Katie Buehlmann, Peter and Catherine Condrick, Thomas Flaherty, George and Tanya Joukov, Ilia Koulikov, Jan Pecevich, Joe Pecevich, Jennifer Paulin and Mina Paulin.
Thank you to everyone who supported the yard sale by donating items.
Many years and Happy Name's Day to Father Kevin (St. Kevin of Glendalough).
Many years and Happy Birthday to Subdeacon Peter (Tuesday, May 30).
Thank you to our coffee hour hosts for always making our fellowship hour so special.
An Invitation from Father Theophan Whitfield, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Boston: I am writing with an invitation to join us at Holy Trinity for the Pentecost Vigil on Saturday, June 3. Given the improved public health situation, we gladly open our doors widely to everyone, and hope that you can join us for the celebration of our altar feast. Please extend the invitation to all attached clergy, your servers, singers and your faithful. All singers are kindly asked to attend rehearsal at 3:50 PM. Clergy and servers are invited to join us in the altar. The Vigil begins at 5:00 PM and a small reception follows.
Monday, May 29: Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Tyre; Blessed John, the Fool for Christ
Tuesday, May 30: Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople
Wednesday, May 31: Apostle Hermes of the 70; Martyr Hermias
Thursday, June 1: Martyr Justin the Philosopher and his companions
Friday, June 2: Leavetaking of the Ascension; St. Nicephorus the Confessor
Saturday, June 3: Memorial Saturday; St. Kevin of Glendalough, Wonderworker (Ireland); Martyr Lucillian and his companions
Sunday, June 4: Holy Pentecost, Feast of the Holy Trinity; Righteous Martha and Mary of Bethany
For today's scripture readings, click on the following link: https://www.oca.org/readings
Remember in Your Prayers: Randy, Edward, George, Matushka Barbara, Mary Anne, Helen, Katherine, Daniel H., James, Ramon, Maria, Marya, Paul, Simon, Alban Frank Ryles, Matushka Eleanor, Priest Antony, Matushka Beverly, Alexandra, Conor, Peter, Alexandra, Aurea; Catechumens: Judith, Ryan, Rebecca, Ari, Selah, Robert, David, Thomas, Christopher; the kidnapped Hierarchs Metropolitan Paul (Boulos Yazigi) & Archbishop John (Yohanna Ibrahim); deployed: Andrew, George, Nicholas; for the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine; for those who perished and those who are suffering in Turkey and Syria.
Holy Pentecost, Feast of the Holy Trinity
(Commemorated on June 4)
In the Church’s annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is “the last and great day.” It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end—the achievement and fulfillment—of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the “birthday” of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness. This double meaning and double joy is revealed to us, first of all, in the very name of the feast. Pentecost in Greek means fifty, and in the sacred biblical symbolism of numbers, the number fifty symbolizes both the fulness of time and that which is beyond time: the Kingdom of God itself. It symbolizes the fulness of time by its first component: 49, which is the fulness of seven (7 x 7): the number of time. And it symbolizes that which is beyond time by its second component: 49 + 1, this one being the new day, the “day without evening” of God’s eternal Kingdom. With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that which we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.
The Vigil of Pentecost
The all-night Vigil service begins with a solemn invitation:
“Let us celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit,
The appointed day of promise, and the fulfillment of hope,
The mystery which is as great as it is precious.”
In the coming of the Spirit, the very essence of the Church is revealed:
“The Holy Spirit provides all,
Overflows with prophecy, fulfills the priesthood,
Has taught wisdom to illiterates, has revealed fishermen as theologians,
He brings together the whole council of the Church.”
In the three readings of the Old Testament (Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29; Joel 2:23-32; Ezekiel 36:24-28) we hear the prophecies concerning the Holy Spirit. We are taught that the entire history of mankind was directed towards the day on which God “would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.” This day has come! All hope, all promises, all expectations have been fulfilled. At the end of the Aposticha hymns, for the first time since Easter, we sing the hymn: “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth...,” the one with which we inaugurate all our services, all prayers, which is, as it were, the life-breath of the Church, and whose coming to us, whose “descent” upon us in this festal Vigil, is indeed the very experience of the Holy Spirit “coming and abiding in us.”
Having reached its climax, the Vigil continues as an explosion of joy and light for “verily the light of the Comforter has come and illumined the world.” In the Gospel reading (John 20:19-23) the feast is interpreted to us as the feast of the Church, of her divine nature, power and authority. The Lord sends His disciples into the world, as He Himself was sent by His Father. Later, in the antiphons of the Liturgy, we proclaim the universality of the apostles’ preaching, the cosmical significance of the feast, the sanctification of the whole world, the true manifestation of God’s Kingdom.
The Vespers of Pentecost
The liturgical peculiarity of Pentecost is a very special Vespers of the day itself. Usually, this service follows immediately the Divine Liturgy, is “added” to it as its own fulfillment. The service begins as a solemn “summing up” of the entire celebration, as its liturgical synthesis. We hold flowers in our hands symbolizing the joy of the eternal spring, inaugurated by the coming of the Holy Spirit. After the festal Entrance, this joy reaches its climax in the singing of the Great Prokeimenon:
“Who is so great a God as our God?”
Then, having reached this climax, we are invited to kneel. This is our first kneeling since Easter. It signifies that after these fifty days of Paschal joy and fulness, of experiencing the Kingdom of God, the Church now is about to begin her pilgrimage through time and history. It is evening again, and the night approaches, during which temptations and failures await us, when, more than anything else, we need Divine help, that presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who has already revealed to us the joyful End, who now will help us in our effort towards fulfillment and salvation. All this is revealed in the three prayers which the celebrant reads now as we all kneel and listen to him. In the first prayer, we bring to God our repentance, our increased appeal for forgiveness of sins, the first condition for entering into the Kingdom of God.
In the second prayer, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, to teach us to pray and to follow the true path in the dark and difficult night of our earthly existence. Finally, in the third prayer, we remember all those who have achieved their earthly journey, but who are united with us in the eternal God of Love. The joy of Easter has been completed and we again have to wait for the dawn of the Eternal Day. Yet, knowing our weakness, humbling ourselves by kneeling, we also know the joy and the power of the Holy Spirit who has come. We know that God is with us, that in Him is our victory. Thus is completed the feast of Pentecost and we enter “the ordinary time” of the year. Yet, every Sunday now will be called “after Pentecost”—and this means that it is from the power and light of these fifty days that we shall receive our own power, the Divine help in our daily struggle. At Pentecost we decorate our churches with flowers and green branches—for the Church “never grows old but is always young.” It is an evergreen, ever-living Tree of grace and life, of joy and comfort. For the Holy Spirit—“the Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life—comes and abides in us, and cleanses us from all impurity,” and fills our life with meaning, love, faith and hope.
Father Alexander Schmemann (1974)
Righteous Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus
(Commemorated on June 4)
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10: 38-42)
Teachings from Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos
If you make your good acts known and are proud of them, they are crossed off. You have labored in vain and will fall into sin.
If people lived simply, in accordance with the Gospel and close to Christ, they would be sweetened spiritually by Him and not be stifled by worldly stress. Then, they wouldn't be embittered by taking pills for the nerves and feeling like vegetables.
The desert is a great help in erasing the passions of the soul, because weeds don't thrive in the arid wilderness, while in a fen they grow like reeds.
Peaceful, night-time prayer is of great assistance with its calmness and is also more efficacious for our spiritual development, just as the silent, night-time rain is of great benefit to growing plants.
Sleep after sunset is of great benefit to the body. But keeping vigil, through devout prayer, after sunset also greatly helps the soul.
The assiduous person, whether a monk or a layman, will spiritually prosper because he will labor with philotimo. While the person who doesn't cultivate the philotimo that God has given him, will be good for nothing in both secular and monastic life.
If each one of us doesn't improve himself so that there will be more goodness in the world, how will goodness ever prevail in a good way?