St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral


Wait With Me

From palms and branches, as we pass from divine Feast to divine Feast, let us believers make haste together to the solemn and saving celebration of the Sufferings of Christ. Let us look upon Him as He undergoes voluntary suffering for our sake and let us raise a fitting hymn of thanksgiving to Him crying out, ‘Source of compassion and harbour of salvation, O Lord, glory to Thee!’

(from the apostikha at Vespers on the Leave-taking of the Feast of Palms)

This verse marks the transition in our journey from the celebration of Palm Sunday to the gathering darkness of Holy Week. The Great Fast came to an end on Friday. On Saturday, we recalled our Lord Jesus Christ weeping at the tomb of Lazarus, how He raised Lazarus from the dead. Today we have joined the children of the Hebrews in their joy, acclaiming Him as He enters Jerusalem. We held high our palms and pussywillows: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! And yet this feast is ephemeral, this celebration lasts but a day. Some terrible darkness descends. The Lord is abandoned, condemned and vilified. In the course of this week, things move inexorably to betrayal, abuse, crucifixion.

For Orthodox Christians, Holy Week is an extraordinary time. We can hardly bear to be at work or at school. We want to be in the church following the Gospel accounts and the hymns and prayers that provide the teaching and commentary we need to hear. In our homes, we try to create a certain quiet, a reverence and respect. Holy Week is the Big Thing and all else is distraction. It is something we participate in. It is as if we enter into Holy Week, stepping out of time as we usually experience it, and are ourselves caught up in the sacred drama.

Of course, it can be difficult to make the time to attend to Holy Week with the full attention it calls for. Each person will do his or her best to participate in the mystery of the week and honor this most special time of the year.

On Holy Thursday, we hear the Lord say to His disciples in the garden at Gethsemane, “Wait with me.” Is it so much to ask?
On the one hand, it seems we do a lot of waiting in life. On the other, we are always in a hurry. And so waiting infuriates us, for we are busy people, we are at the center of our own little universe.

The disciples could not wait and watch with the Lord, and they were not even in a rush. They just fell asleep. Perhaps they were exhausted. Perhaps they thought that they needed to give themselves some 'me-time'. But was it so much for the Lord to ask them to wait with Him on this night?

When someone we love is dying, everything seems to be in a rush - this appointment, that appointment, these things to be picked up, those things to be scheduled - but then - then there is the waiting. And when we have done everything, there really is nothing left to do but wait. Death comes on its own time-table. Our beloved says to us: please, will you stay with me? Of course we will! How could we do otherwise? Or?

To wait, to keep vigil, is not easy. It is hard. We are so busy, we have so much to do.... But why is it that the slumber of the disciples - their inability to wait with the distressed and suffering Lord, even though He asks them repeatedly, pointedly - why do we find this moment in the garden so sad, so charged with emotion? Why do we want to shake them and even shame them - can't you even watch with Him for a little while? Is it our conscience that recognizes something of ourselves in them?
Can't we spare some time from our busy lives on this of all weeks to be with Him?

- Fr. Andrew


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.

All services are held at the Cathedral unless otherwise noted.

Please watch the Messenger and website for places/times of other services.

Schedule of Services
Holy Monday
, April 14
10:45 AM Confessions @ Cathedral
11:45 AM Presanctified Liturgy @ Cathedral

4-7:00 PM Reshetar Visitation @ Kozlak Radulovich NE Chapel
5:30 PM Reshetar Parastas @ Kozlak Radulovich

6:00 PM Confessions @ Cathedral
7:00 PM Bridegroom Matins @ Cathedral

Holy Tuesday
, April 15
9:00 AM Reshetar Visitation @ Cathedral
10:00 AM Reshetar Funeral @ Cathedral
10:45 AM Confessions
11:45 AM Presanctified Liturgy
6:00 PM Confessions
7:00 PM Bridegroom Matins

Holy Wednesday
, April 16
10:45 AM Confessions
11:45 AM Presanctified Liturgy
5:00 PM Last opportunity for Confessions before Pascha
6:00 PM Matins of Holy Thursday
7:00 PM Anointing Service

Holy Thursday, April 17
10:00 AM Vesperal Divine Liturgy
7:00 PM Matins of Holy Friday (12 Passion Gospel Readings)

Holy Friday, April 18
Strict Fast
8:00 AM Royal Hours
2:00 PM Vespers (Burial of Christ)
Reading of Psalms
7:00 PM Matins & Lamentations

Note: The Cathedral will be open from the 2:00 PM Vespers Service of Holy Friday until the Nocturne Service on Holy Saturday for the reading of scripture and veneration of the Plaschanitsa (burial shroud of Christ).

Saturday, April 19
11:00 AM Vesperal Divine Liturgy
Reading the Acts of the Apostles

11:30 PM Nocturnes

, April 20 PASCHA
12:00 AM Cathedral Procession
Paschal Matins (Blessing of baskets)
Paschal Liturgy (Blessing of baskets)

10:00 AM Cathedral Paschal Liturgy (Blessing of Baskets)

3:30 PM Paschal Vespers with Procession @ Cathedral

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

This Week's Events
Holy Monday, April 14
Church Office Closed

Holy Tuesday, April 15
Choir rehearsal follows Bridegroom Matins

Holy Wednesday, April 16
9:00 AM Wednesday Crew

Holy Thursday, April 17
Potluck Luncheon following Vesperal Liturgy

Holy Friday, April 18
Church Office Closed
NO Perohi Sales

Sunday, April 20
Agape Meal following Paschal Liturgy
No Church School


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