Vespers: 7:00 PM
Liturgy: 9:30 AM
It all began in Maynard in 1915, at the home of Julian Chutoransky. A small group of Orthodox Christians from Russia, Austria-Hungary and Poland assembled to celebrate the Divine Liturgy together with Fr Jacob Grigorieff, a priest from the Russian Orthodox Church. At many "house-church" gatherings like this, the idea of Holy Annunciation Church took root and grew.
In 1916 the dream became a reality with the beautiful church on Prospect St, incorporating the best of rural Russian Church architecture. Today, this church still stands firm--a steadfast witness to the Faith of our Fathers with their hope, determination, and love.
Holy Annunciation Church began as a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in America. The language used in the Church was Slavonic, and the Church provided fulfillment for the spiritual lives of the immigrant Russian Orthodox Christians living in Maynard and the surrounding communities. Unfortunately, the Church held no attraction for its English-speaking neighbors. Others also regarded it merely as an expression of ethnic beauty or as an exotic curiosity.
English was first introduced into the Services in 1938. In 1944, a new generation entered into active service in the parish with Nadia Hurachko and Mary Bobritsky serving as Dues Collectors. In 1946 Zennia Chutoransky (now Dejevsky) became the first American-born member of the Parish Committee when she was elected Secretary. In 1954, the entire Divine Liturgy was celebrated in English rather than Slavonic for the first time. The beautiful melodies and harmonies of chant developed over the centuries in Russia and can still be heard today in their translations from Slavonic to English.
In 1968 Fr Thomas Edwards became pastor of Holy Annunciation Church. He was the first pastor to be an American-born convert to the Orthodox Faith. Because his native tongue was English and his Slavonic limited, Fr Thomas celebrated the Divine Liturgy completely in English. From this time on, English became the dominant language of the parish, although occasional Slavonic is still used.
In 1970, the Russian Orthodox Church in America received its autocephaly (right to self-government) from the Mother Church in Russia. Thus, in accordance with the Canons and ecclesiastical practices of the Orthodox Church around the world, the Russian Orthodox Church in America became the "Orthodox Church in America." As a member parish of the Orthodox Church in America, Holy Annunciation Church is now dedicated solely to the inhabitants of this continent, with no restrictions to particular ethnic groups or nationalities.
The parish is currently undergoing a metamorphosis. A shift in parish demographics to a younger population forced us to consider, and then act, to enlarge and renovate the church building. This exciting and challenging project has surely begun a new chapter in the life of this parish.
As Holy Annunciation Church looks forward to the future in our new building, we rededicate ourselves to two primary tasks: to continually renew ourselves in the Christian life by the grace of God; and to daringly spread the Good News of Christ to all, inviting them to unite with the Holy Orthodox Church in order to truly know Christ and His Truth.