Orthodox Church of the Mother of God website - Home page
Welcome to the official website of the
Orthodox Church of the Mother of God,
Joy of all the Sorrowful
We are a growing parish in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
We are in historic Mays Landing, New Jersey, easily reachable near where Route 40 meets Route 50 in Atlantic County.
115 Hudson St.
Mays Landing, New Jersey 08330
Turnersville, NJ 08012
- Category: Worship
In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent - the day on which, at Vespers, Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated - is called Forgiveness Sunday. On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear the words of Christ:
"If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses..." (Matthew 6:14-15)
Then after Vespers, after hearing the announcement of Lent in the Great Prokeimenon: "Turn not away Thy face from Thy child for I am afflicted! Hear me speedily! Draw near unto my soul and deliver it!", after making our entrance into Lenten worship, with its special memories, with the prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, with its prostrations, we ask forgiveness from each other, we perform the rite of forgiveness and reconciliation. And as we approach each other with words of reconciliation, the choir intones the Paschal hymns, filling the church with the anticipation of Paschal joy.
What is the meaning of this rite? Why is it that the Church wants us to begin Lenten season with forgiveness and reconciliation?
- Category: Coming events
The Sisterhood is sponsoring two pre-Lenten luncheons for Meatfare Sunday, February 23rd and Cheesefare Sunday, March 1st. The cost of each luncheon is $5.00 per adult, payable on the day of the luncheon. Children 12 and under are free. Anyone wishing to contribute a dish for the luncheons should use the sign-up sheets in the community room.
- Category: Coming events
The annual Paschal basket raffle will be held on April 5th. Tickets for the raffle are $1.00 each and can be obtained from Maribeth Romanofsky. Each parishioner is asked to sell ten tickets. If you'd like to contribute an item for the basket, there is a sign-up sheet on the community bulletin board.
Two Paschal baskets for children will be raffled off on April 12th. Children can earn tickets for this raffle by attedence at church and Sunday School durning Lent.
- Category: Worship
from The Orthodox Faith by Fr. Thomas Hopko
The paschal season of the Church is preceded by the season of Great Lent, which is itself preceded by its own liturgical preparation. The first sign of the approach of Great Lent comes five Sundays before its beginning. On this Sunday the Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man and how his life was greatly changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was” (Lk 19:3). The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through lent towards Easter. It is the first movement of salvation.
- Category: Saints and Icons
(the Icon of the Mother of God "the Joy of All the Sorrowful" is Commemorated on July 23, October 24, and November 19)
About the Patron of our Parish
By Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos
Deep within the heart of the Church, in the place where sorrow and joy meet and where our bitter tears are kissed away by a mother's love, we encounter the Most Holy Mother of God. The Church in its devotion to the Ever-Virgin Mary has always known that she is a mystery and a gift given to us by God. The Theotokos is a mystery that can be experienced and encountered, and yet never explained or described in words of logic and science, and she is a gift that brings radiant joy and comfort in the midst of darkness and need. Through the centuries the Church has expressed its love for her through countless hymns, has praised her in its most exquisite poetry and song, and has portrayed her in its most beautiful and beloved icons. No other saint is the subject of so much devotion, and no other saint has so many miracles attributed him or her.
As the local community of the Church of the Mother of God, this parish, exists for the purpose of worshiping God according to the Holy Scriptures and Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, to encourage union with God among the members of the parish, to seek out the lost, the searching, and the un-churched and to strive to bring them into union with the Church, to provide religious education to its members and potential members, provide charitable aid, and to defend, promote, and witness to theOrthodox Christian Faith in southern New Jersey.
This website is a tool to help in this purpose. Primarily to publicize our existence in southern New Jersey, and hopefully, encourage people to "come and see".
The many pages on this website contain information we hope is helpful.
Our Church Building
Our church building, and the services celebrated within it, are from the tradition of the Church, from the vision of St John the Apostle, as well as the Old Testament Temple. The interior of the Orthodox Church buildings are particularly styled to give the experience of the unity of all things in God. They are not constructed to reproduce the upper room of the Last Supper, nor to be simply a meeting hall for people whose life exists solely within the bounds of this earth. The church building itself, is an image of the world.