Consecration of stones, lives

Pasadena Star-News, CA
April 26 2004

Consecration of stones, lives
Armenian church officials bless sanctuary foundation

By Emanuel Parker , Staff Writer

PASADENA — Sixteen foundation stones were blessed Sunday in
preparation for their inclusion in the new sanctuary at St. Gregory
the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 2215 E. Colorado Blvd.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Pastor Zaven Arzoumanian presided
over the 30-minute ceremony, which featured singing and chanting as
each stone was consecrated.

The $2.2 million sanctuary is scheduled for completion in November,
said Nicholas Lambajian, sanctuary building chairman. It will be the
largest Armenian church in Southern California and, at 85 feet, the
tallest church on E. Colorado Boulevard, Lambajian said.

“It will be in traditional Armenia style, covered with traditional
Armenian materials imported from Armenia, and built by Armenia
craftsmen,’ he said.

Besides the sanctuary seating 550, the building will house meeting
rooms and a full commercial kitchen. If the building is finished by
November, its consecration will coincide with the 40th anniversary of
the church at the E. Colorado Boulevard location, Lambajian said.

“The consecration of the cornerstones for the new church is also the
consecration of our spiritual lives … a rebirth in our spiritual
lives,’ Derderian said. “We were strengthened once again in our
commitment, in our calling to serve God, our community and this
beloved country, America, which has blessed us in many ways.’

Arzoumanian said the church is the foundation upon which Armenians
base their faith “and our foundation is the indestructible armor
against all kinds of enemies.’

Shoghig Giragosian, parish council vice chair, said the Armenian
Church is 1,700 years old and has survived several periods of

“The rebuilding of this church shows that at this day and age not
only has our nation and people survived, but so has our church and it
came back stronger and better.’