St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral


Prayer and Fasting

The Protection of the Mother of God (Oct 1)

St. Mary's Cathedral has as its proper name 'The Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God' or 'The Cathedral of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God'. Since this is perhaps a mouth-full, and not immediately understood in America, this was popularly shortened to 'St Mary's'. Nonetheless, our altar feast is the feast on October 1, commemorating a miraculous vision of the Mother of God over Constantinople, the besieged capital of the Christian Empire. The vision heartened the faithful and led them to overcome their enemies.

Bishop Paul will be with us on Friday evening for the Vigil of the feast, and Liturgy on Saturday, which will also have an ordination (to the priesthood of Deacon Herman Klarr currently serving in Northfield) and ecclesiastical awards to Fr. William Neumann, Fr. Benjamin Tucci, and Fr. Christopher Maciolek. A special gramota to St. Mary's Cathedral Choir will also be presented to Deacon Gregory, as director and Jim Varian, as choir president.

There are many things to be said about the theme of the Protection of the Mother of God. Among them we might consider how the experience of her protection by believers is anticipated in the story of Exodus - the escape of the Hebrews from Egypt, as they passed over the Red Sea and sojourned in the wilderness. We read that "The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people" (Exodus 13: 21 -22). The cloud protected and led the Hebrews, it comforted them, was a sign of God's presence among them. "Throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel" (Exodus 40:38). In the Book of Numbers we read: "They have heard that Thou, O LORD, are in the midst of this people, for Thou, O LORD, are seen eye to eye, while Thy cloud stands over them; and Thou goest before them in a pillar of cloud" (Numbers 14:14).

The Psalmist looked back at this cloud and wrote about God's faithfulness and power: "He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night" (Psalm 105:39). So too the Prophet Isaiah draws upon the memory of the cloud as he anticipates a new mighty act of God: "then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy" (Isaiah 4:5.) The Apostle notes how the Lord preserved the Hebrews in their great affliction: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea" (1 Corinthians 10:1).

The Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, like the cloud, is for us a great consolation, a sense of security and hope. It testifies to the Lord's providential care for us discovered in the experience of the Mother God's deep maternal care and compassion for the faithful. As one of the earliest Christian hymns prayerfully expresses it: Beneath thy compassion we take refuge Virgin Theotokos. Despise not our prayers in our necessities; but deliver us from harm, O only pure, only blessed one. Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

- Fr. Andrew


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 Monday, September 26
8:00 AM Baptism
11:00 AM Denning Funeral @ Cemetery Chapel

, September 28
6:15 PM Great Vespers

Thursday, September 29
St. Cyriacus the Hermit
8:00 AM Divine Liturgy

Friday, September 30
6:15 PM Vigil

Saturday, October 1
Protection of the Theotokos
9:00 AM Hierarchical Liturgy
4:30 PM Jesus Prayer
5:00 PM Great Vespers

Sunday, October 2
15th Sunday after Pentecost
Blessed Andrew, Fool for Christ
7:45 AM Matins @ Cathedral
9:00 AM Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral

9:00 AM Slavonic Hierarchical Liturgy @ Cemetery Chapel

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

This Week's EventsMonday, September 26
Church Office Closed

Tuesday, September 27
6:00 PM Stretchercise
7:30 PM Balalaika Rehearsal

Wednesday, September 28
5:30 PM Slovak Class I
6:30 PM Slovak Class II
7:00 PM Choir Rehearsal
7:30 PM Slovak Class III

Thursday, September 29
7:30 PM Deanery Meeting

Friday, September 30
11-3:00 PM Perohi Sales

Sunday, October 2
11:00 AM Church School @ Parish Center
11:50 AM Carpathian Dance Practice @ PreK Room
12:00 PM Choir Banquet @ Jax Café

7:00 PM Icon Workshop @ Parish Center


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