St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral


Holy Unmercenary Healers

Conception of the Mother of God (December 9)

On December 9, the Church commemorates the conception of the Virgin Mary. This is another story that is nowhere recorded in the Old or New Testaments, but it was known to the early Christians, and it is also to be found in the Gospel of James.

Mary’s mother, Anna, was barren, but God heard her prayer and gave her a daughter in the person of Mary, whom Anna vowed to dedicate completely to God. The birth of significant people by barren women is a miracle we encounter several times in the Scriptures. Isaac, the son of Abraham, was conceived by the barren Sarah (Gen. 18; 20); the Prophet Samuel was conceived by the barren Hannah (1 Kg. [1 Sam.]), and John the Baptist was conceived by the barren Elizabeth (Luke 1).

This serves as a reminder of our own spiritual barrenness and, notwithstanding this sterility in virtue, the possibility of yielding the fruits of repentance, however late it is. The barren women of the Bible put their trust in God and prayed fervently with faith and hope. So too should we not despair of our own lack of spiritual fruit, but rather pray all the more ardently that God may help us nurture the seed of repentance. Just as the holiest of men and women came forth from barren wombs, so can the greatest fruit of repentance spring forth from a single mustard seed (Matt. 13:32).

With but one talent of grace, we can increase in virtue and holiness, if we turn to God in faith and repentance. The barren Sarah became the mother of many nations; the barren Anna became the mother of the woman who would give birth to the salvation of the human race; and all who lack virtue can become holy. Even the greatest sinner can become the greatest saint.

-Fr Vassilios Papavassiliou


Service cancellation policy:

  • No one should travel to church for services if the road conditions are dangerous.
  • No services will be cancelled.
  • Those who cannot get to services should instead stay home, give thanks to God, be happy that at least a priest and a chanter are singing the services and praying for them.
  • Good church etiquiette also suggests staying home if you are sick or feel like you are coming down with an illness.

All services are held at the Cathedral unless otherwise noted.
Please watch the Messenger and website for places/times of other services.

Schedule of ServicesWednesday, December 12
6:15 p.m. Vespers

Thursday, December 13
St. Herman of Alaska
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

Saturday, December 15
5:00 p.m. Vigil

Sunday, December 16
29th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers + Parastas Sunday

7:45 a.m. Matins @ Cathedral
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral
Parastas Memorial Service: Marie Larson, Roy Anderson, Marie Grinva, Nina & Joseph, Nepsha; Subdeacon George & Helen Nepsha, Alexandar Boris, Mary Boris, Daniel Boris, Marlene Rocknem, Michael & Helen Russinik @ Cathedral Chapel (St. Andrew's Chapel)

11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral



NOTE: Elevators available at both the Cathedral and the Parish Center.

This Week's EventsMonday, December 10
Church Office Closed
NO Perohi
7:00 p.m. Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 11
NO Perohi
7:00 p.m. Icon Study Group

Wednesday, December 12
6:00 p.m. Slovak Class
7:00 p.m. Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, December 13
7:00 p.m. Theology on Thursday

Friday, December 14
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Perohi Sales
6:00 p.m. St. Mary’s Christmas Choir Concert @ The Museum of Russian Art

Sunday, December 16
11:00 a.m. Church School 2 Parish Center
11:50 a.m. Carpathian Dance Practice @ PreK Room
7:30 p.m. Floor Hockey @ Parish Center Gym


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