400 TURN OUT AS WASHINGTON’S ST. MARY CHURCH UNVEILS MEMORIAL
Published: Thursday May 24, 2012
Parishioners gather for the blessing of the new khatchkar at St. Mary
Washington – Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of
the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited St. Mary Church
of Washington, D.C., on May 13, where he ordained altar servers and
blessed the church’s new khatchkar.
During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the Primate ordained
Alexander Calikyan as a sub-deacon. Armen Chubukian, Haik Hakobyan,
Virab Khachatryan, Aras Mermer, Ruben Turner, and Edwin Tilimian
were ordained acolytes. Parish pastor the Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan
assisted the Primate during the ordinations.
Also during the service, Andre Alexandrian, Ashot Hovhannisyan,
Jirair Kalayjian, Ruben Karapetyan, and Hovsep Seferian received
special blessings from Archbishop Barsamian.
At the conclusion of badarak, Archbishop Barsamian presented the “St.
Sahag and St. Mesrob” medal and pontifical encyclical to parishioner
Arsen Sayan, founder and conductor of the church’s Ani Armenian
Choral Group. The group sang the hymns of the Divine Liturgy that day,
and later took part in the afternoon program.
Archbishop Barsamian led a procession to the newly-installed khatchkar
on church grounds. The khatchkar was carved and donated by Armenian
artist Ruben Nalbandian. It is dedicated to the memory of the deceased
parishioners of the community.
Costs involved in transporting the khatchkar to St. Mary Church were
covered by donations made in memory of the late Vartkess Balian,
a longtime parishioner and benefactor of the church.
“Our new khatchkar is a witness to our heritage and faith,” said Fr.
Karapetyan. “Having this beautiful memorial in our nation’s capital
makes us very proud.”
The artist, who is on a visit to St. Mary Church, received a
certificate of appreciation from Archbishop Barsamian on this occasion.
An afternoon reception concluded the day’s program. Some 400 people
took part in the events, including Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the
Diocese’s Ecumenical Director; the Rev. Fr. Vertanes Kalayjian, the
parish’s former pastor; Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative
of Nagorno-Karabagh to the United States; Colonel Mesrop Nazarian,
Armenia’s Defense Attache in Washington; and other embassy officials.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress