St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral



Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

In this period before the beginning of the Great Fast, from today on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, we sing Psalm 136: By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion....

Some of us will remember the poignant reggae version of this psalm sung by The Melodians (and also Bob Marley) - Rivers Of Babylon - the pain of exile and lamentation ride the wave of longing for a homeland and justice.

Text and music are amazingly joined in this expression of pain and longing in many of the liturgical settings we use, too, albeit in perhaps a more reserved and compunctionate form. In the church, we chant or sing the psalm verses, alternating with the response 'Alleluia'. It is such a beautiful and moving hymn! Touching our heart, it points us towards the approaching lent. Hearing it for the first time today is like meeting an old and familiar, much loved friend.

The psalm itself speaks in the voice of the Jews held in captivity in Babylon. Jerusalem had been laid waste, the temple destroyed. There seemed no possibility of return. They wept, remembering Zion....

Given this powerful, painful experience, it is not surprising that scripture and tradition use Babylon as the symbol of the fallen world. It is the very opposite of Jerusalem. No holy city, no city of God, no city of peace, Babylon stands for the fallen world, marked by the unholy trinity of worldliness: perversions of sex, wealth and power. Babylon is cruel, unjust, arrogant. It is, for the believer, experienced as a place of crushing captivity and exile.

Actually, it is a lot like that far country of today's parable - even more like the pigsty - that the prodigal son found himself in. The Jews remembered Zion, the holy city. The prodigal remembered his Father's house. What is that the Church encourages us to remember in this season of COVID?

~ Fr Andrew


Service cancellation policy:

  • No one should travel to church for services if the road conditions are dangerous.
  • No services will be cancelled. Most services will be live streamed (links below).
  • Those who cannot get to services should instead stay home, watch the live stream of the service if possible, and be happy in the knowledge that a priest and a chanter are singing the services and praying for them.
  • Cancellation of services and activities will be posted below.

At this time we are closed for public worship at the Cathedral and the Annunciation chapel. A limited number of parishioners are able to reserve space for Sunday morning services using our reservation platform. Weekday services and Saturday Vespers do not require a reservation.

Activities at the parish center are canceled until further notice, and the parish center is closed. 

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  (Galatians 6:2)

Schedule of ServicesAll services listed below will be closed but will be live streamed at

Tuesday, March 2
10:00 am Kocur (Quigley) Visitation @ Cathedral (masks required)
11:00 am Kocur (Quigley) Funeral @ Cathedral (masks required)

, March 3
6:15 pm Vespers

Thursday, March 4
Venerable Gerasimus of the Jordan
9:00 am Divine Liturgy

Saturday, March 6
5:00 pm Vigil

Sunday, March 7
39th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday of the Last Judgment + Meatfare Sunday
8:00 am* Divine Liturgy @ Cemetery Chapel
9:00 am Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral

12:00 pm Vollbrecht/Tishchenko Wedding (masks required)

* Note time change back to 8:00 am
* Note change back to Church School

If you missed any of the live streaming services you can go to the playlist to replay them by clicking here


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

This Week's EventsMonday, March 1
Church Office Closed
Parish Center Closed

, March 2
Parish Center Closed

Wednesday, March 3
Parish Center Closed

Thursday, March 4
Parish Center Closed

Friday, March 5
Church Office Closeds
Parish Center Closed
NO Perohi Sales

Saturday, March 6
Parish Center Closed

Sunday, March 7
10:30 am Church School - (2-5 Graders) @ gym (Click here for details).


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