St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
1317 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach Florida 33406

Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. Mary Orthodox Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship, ministery and education opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come join with us in prayer. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

files/Bulletin-March-26-2023.pdf (20505kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have passed the half-way point of our Lenten journey to the Light of the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, however the journey doesn't get easier, but becomes more difficult because the evil one places more obstacles in our path trying to dissuade us from completing our journey.  In the Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (Mark 9:17-21), we hear of a father who was desperate for his son to be healed from the "dumb spirit" that possessed him from childhood. Even Jesus’ disciples could not cure the son. After Christ granted healing to the son, the disciples questioned Christ as to "why we were not able to cast it out?" Our Lord's answer "this can only be done by prayer and fasting" is important to us if we are to overcome temptations of the evil one during Lent.

The Fourth Sunday of Great commemorates Saint John of Climacus, the author of  the book "The Ladder (of Divine Ascent)." Saint John Climacus reminds us that going to heaven is not as easy as getting into an elevator and pressing a button. On the contrary, it is a long and hazardous climb which is impossible to scale fully unless we ask God for assistance. If we are to complete our Lenten journey we can not do it alone. 

May God grant us strength on our climb to heaven and the enjoyment of the eternal Pascha.



  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. This coming weekend the Church celebrates the Feast Annunciation of the Theotokos in which the Archangel Gabriel proclaims the coming of joy into the world. Please note the following services and activities surrounding this feast:

            *Friday, March 24th: Great Vespers with the 4th Stasis of the Akathist (Madayah) Hymn at 6:30 PM.


            *Saturday, March 25th - The Feast of the Annunciation: Matins at 9:00 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.


            *Sunday, March 26th - Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.


Our Ladies Society will host the traditional 'Annunciation Luncheon' on Sunday, March 26th, at 11:30 AM, featuring 'Bud's Fish & Chips.' Donation is $15.00 per person with ALL PROCEEDS going towards the Syria/Turkey Earthquake Relief Project of the Antiochian Women of our Archdiocese.

  1. Donations are still being accepted to help defray the cost preparing the church for, and the celebration of Holy Week and Pascha. Please see Sam Pasley or Fr. Peter to donate.
  2. Join us in prayer during the Fifth Week of Great Lent:

           *Monday, March 27th: Great Compline Service at 5:30 PM.


           *Wednesday, March 29th: Presanctified Liturgy with the Penitential Stichera at 6:30 PM.


           *Thursday, March 30th: Little Compline Service with the Reading of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt at 6:30 PM. 


           *Friday, March 31st: The 5th Akathist (Madayah) Service at 6:30 PM.


“An angel fell from Heaven without any other passion except pride, and so we may ask whether it is possible to ascend to Heaven by humility alone, without any other of the virtues.”                   

 + St. John Climacus, 'Ladder of Divine Ascent,' Step 23.12


Faithfully in Christ,


Fr. Peter


Sunday, March 19, 2023

files/Bulletin-March-19-2023.pdf (19763kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    As we approach the Third Sunday of Great Lent in which the Church commemorates the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, I offer to you the following reflection on the significance of the Cross by +Saint Theodore the Studite.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  “How precious the gift of the Cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the Cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree Adam tasted in Paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of Paradise, but opens the way for our return.                                                                                                        

  This was the Tree on which Christ destroyed the devil, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the Tree upon which the Lord, wounded in hands, feet, and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a Tree brings life. Meditate on these, if you are eager to learn. Was it not the wood of a tree that enabled Noah, at God’s command, to escape the destruction of the flood…? And surely the rod of Moses prefigured the Cross and divided the sea at one stroke and then restored the waters to their normal course, drowning the enemy and saving God’s own people?  By the Cross death was slain and Adam was restored to life. The Cross is the glory of all the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the sanctification of the saints. By the Cross we put on Christ and cast aside our former self. By the Cross we, the sheep of Christ, have been gathered into one flock, destined for the sheepfolds of heaven.”


   1.  Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

   2.  Join with us in prayer this coming week:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Sunday, March 19th (3rd Sunday of Great Lent):                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Matins at 8:50 AM, Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • 9 Day Trisagion (Memorial) Service for the repose of Archdeacon Joseph Harb and  *9 Year Trisagion (Memorial) Service for Metropolitan Philip of thrice blessed memory.                                                      
  • The Procession of the Cross with the priest, altar servers and children will take place following Holy Communion.                                                                                                                            
  • Monday, March 20th:  Great Compline at 5:30 PM                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Wednesday, March 22st:  Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 PM                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Friday, March 24th:  Great Vespers for the Feast of the Annunciation and the 4th Akathist (Madayah) Stasis at 6:30 PM.                                                                                                                   
  • Saturday, March 25th: Feast of the Annunciation Matins at 9:00 AM; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

In Christ,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Fr. Peter

Sunday, March 5, 2023

files/Bulletin-March-5-2023.pdf (19725kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For the Orthodox Faith, icons are an integral part of the tradition of our Church from its establishment until today. During the first years that Christianity was spread, the depictions of saints, of their stories, of Jesus and of the Theotokos came into existence. The figures and the scenes portrayed in the icons or the wall paintings, were based on oral information passed from mouth to mouth among the faithful, with the first icon being attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist depicting the Theotokos. Icons became a subject of theological and political unrest in the Byzantine Empire in the 8th and 9th centuries.  Those in favor of the use of icons (Iconphiles) in churches, public places and homes were at odds with those who wanted icons removed (Iconoclasts). The dispute between the two groups ended in 842 with the actions taken by Theodora, Byzantine Empress, spouse of Theophilos, who restored icons in churches and monasteries and brought a final end to Iconoclasm, of which the Church celebrates this Sunday –

The first Sunday of Great Lent, also known as “Sunday of Orthodox.”

      For Orthodox Christians, the icon becomes the means, the bridge between the faithful and the Divine. Orthodox Christians do not worship the icon, as worship is due to God alone. According to Saint John of Damascus an icon educates us, it leads us to paths of knowledge and “narrates” church’s “life” through its portrayals of faces or scenes.

     This coming Sunday (March 5th), Sunday of Orthodoxy Lenten Vespers will be held at Saint Mark Greek Orthodox Church (2100 Yamato Rd., Boca Raton), beginning at 5:00 PM. You are invited to join with your fellow Orthodox Christians of South Florida to celebrate the 'Triumph of Orthodoxy.' 


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin.       
  2. Join with us in prayer this coming week:                   
  • Sunday, March 5th (1st Sunday of Great Lent / Sunday of Orthodoxy): 
  • Matins begin at 8:50AM, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Peter’s Children Sermon will be offered just prior to the Procession of Icons.
  • In celebration of Sunday of Orthodox, a Procession of Icons will take place at the end of the Divine Liturgy.   
  • Monday, March 6th: Great Compline at 5:30PM  
  • Wednesday, March 8th: Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30PM
  • Friday, March 10th:  Little Compline and the 2nd Akathist (Madayah) Hymn at 6:30 PM

"Beware of limiting the good of fasting to mere abstinence from meat. Real fasting is alienation from evil. ‘Loose the bands of wickedness.’ Forgive your neighbor for the mischief he has done to you. Forgive him his trespasses against you. Do not ‘fast for strife and debate.’ You do not devour flesh, but you devour your brother. You abstain from wine, but you indulge in outrages. You wait for evening before you take food, but you spend the day in the law courts. Woe to those who are ‘drunken, but not with wine.’ Anger is the intoxication of the soul, and makes it out of its wits like wine."      + Saint Basil the Great

In Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, February 26, 2023

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files/February-26th.pdf (17790kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                                                                                                                                                                                                 

   It is with the words Axios! He is Worthy! Mustahiq! that I convey to you that the Holy Synod of Antioch has elected His Eminence, Metropolitan Saba (Esber) as the new Metropolitan and Archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, during its extraordinary session on Feb. 23, 2023, in Balamand, Lebanon. His Eminence will now lead and oversee the Archdiocese's parishes, missions, departments, institutions and organizations in the United States and Canada.  Metropolitan Saba was born in Latakia, Syria in 1959. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Tishreen in Latakia, and a bachelor's degree in theology from the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand. Prior to his election, Metropolitan Saba served as Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran and Jabal Al-Arab in Syria. Metropolitan Saba is fluent in Arabic and English and has served as instructor of Pastoral Care and Introduction to the Old Testament at the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand, and also has translated a number of titles from English to Arabic, including works by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev and Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko.                                                                     

May God grant him strength and many years in leading our Archdiocese!


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin and the Lenten Service Schedule at Saint Mary’s. Please take a few minutes to read through it.

  2. Join with us in prayer this coming week:

  • **Sunday, February 26th (Forgiveness Sunday):                        
  •  Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM                                                                                                                                         
  • Memorial Service for the newly departed servants of God Samaan & Olga Sara, offered by Dr. Alan & Carol Sara and family. The family will receive condolences and offer Coffee Hour in the hall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Forgiveness Vespers at 6:30 PM    

         **Monday, February 27th (1st Day of Great Lent / ‘Clean Monday’)                                                                                                                                                   

  • Great Compline at 5:30PM    

         **Wednesday, March 1st:                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  •    Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 PM  

          **Friday, March 3rd:                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  •     Little Compline and the 1st Akathist (Madayah) Hymn at 6:30 PM

“Just commence prayer and fasting and the enemy will immediately depart, then wait on the side for an opportunity to return. And he truly will return as soon as prayer and fasting are abandoned.” 

+St. Theophan the Recluse

In Christ,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Fr. Peter


Organizations, Ministries and Education

Our parish organizations, which include Amen, the ladies Society, Teen SOYO, young Adult Ministry, Sunday School, and the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, we welcome your participation

Our Mission
The mission of St. Mary Orthodox Church of West Palm Beach is to live out and proclaim the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ through worship, witness, fellowship and service.

Father Peter Shportun, Priest/Pastor


Sunday Morning Services:


    Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

    Matins at 8:45 AM

    Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

    Wednesday Service:

       Vespers at 6:30PM


Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.


Schedule of Services
8:30am - Sunday Morning Service

Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Matins at 8:50 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.<

6:30pm - Wednesday Vesper Service:
  - Feast Day Services

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.