Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apost. Church of America and Canada
H.E. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
Prelate, Easter Prelacy and Canada
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
December 27, 2012
HAPPY NEW YEAR
As we welcome 2013, we wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year
filled with the peace and harmony of our Lord and Savior whose birth
we will celebrate next week.
On New Year’s Day Armenian families are prepared to entertain
impromptu guests with a table filled with an assortment of sweets,
nuts, and dried and fresh fruit. The exchange of gifts takes place
during the New Year. Homes are decorated and Santa Claus, known as
Gaghant Baba, makes the rounds on New Year’s Eve distributing gifts to
On this occasion, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, extends heartfelt
good wishes to all for a New Year filled with the Light of our Lord
bringing love, peace, and harmony to all Mankind, and asks you to
remember those in need, especially our Syrian Armenian community who
need the peace of our Lord and the comfort of our charity.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN
COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE
THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.
DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.
TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE () AND
SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian
Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic
Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief
Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
FIRST OFFICER HOVAG KORTMOUSIAN
We regret to announce the death of First Officer Hovag Kortmousian,
who was killed while serving as an officer of the Syrian National
Army. He was the brother of Very Rev. Fr. Varant Kortmousian, a member
of the Brotherhood of the Holy See of Cilicia.
Funeral services took place last Friday, December 23, at Sourp
Asdvadzadzin Church in Kessab. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan has
instructed all Prelacy churches to offer a Requiem Service for the
soul of the Hovag Kortmousian this Sunday, December 30.
With deep sadness we announce the passing of Armen Babamian, who
served the Armenian Church for more than 60 years. Mr. Babamian died
on December 24, at age 97. Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, will officiate
at funeral services tomorrow morning at 10:30 at Sts. Vartanantz
Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Interment will
follow at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, New Jersey.
Mr. Babamian’s beautiful mellow voice was perfect for the Armenian
Church’s exquisite hymns and Liturgy. He served as the choir director
at St. Illuminator Cathedral, New York, for 25 years, and choir
director of Sts. Vartanantz Church, New Jersey, for 35 years. He was a
well-known soloist and began his career in 1949 with the Armenian
National Chorus of New York. In 1999 he was awarded the Mesrob
Mashdots insignia by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See
of Cilicia, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the
Mr. Babamian is survived by his wife of 71 years, Rita, his daughter
Carole Abbatiello and her husband Joseph, and his son Armen and his
wife Amelia, as well as five grandchildren and ten
We regret to announce the passing of Elizabeth Kazigian Amirian who
died last Thursday, December 20. Funeral services took place on
Saturday, December 22, at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New
Jersey. Mrs. Amirian was an active member of the Armenian Relief
Society and served several years as a member of the ARS/NGO team of
representatives to the United Nations.
She is survived by her husband, Vahe, who served as a member of the
Prelacy’s Executive Council for several years and as a member of the
Prelacy’s Building committee. She is also survived by her children
Neiri and Armen, grandson Garen, and sister Anna.
MAY THEY REST IN ETERNAL PEACE
PRELATE AND VICAR ATTEND REQUIEM SERVICE
Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan attended a requiem service
in memory of Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, at
the Antiochian Church’s St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn on Sunday,
December 16. The late Patriarch was a champion of ecumenical and
inter-religious dialogue and was a respected leader in the Middle
Left to right, Bishop Anoushavan, Archbishop Oshagan, Mr. Antoine
Chedid, the Ambassador of Lebanon to the United States, and Bishop
Gregory Mansour of the Maronite Church, at the requiem service.
Bible readings for Sunday, December 30, Sixth Sunday of Advent, are:
Isaiah 51:15-52L3; Hebrews 13:18-25; Luke 22:24-30.
Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring g
to act honorably in all things. I urge you all the more to do this, so
that I may be restored to you very soon.
Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord
Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal
covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his
will, working among us that which is preaching in his sight, through
Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of
exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. I want you to know
that our brother Timothy has been set free; and if he comes in time,
he will be with me when I see you. Greet all your leaders and all the
saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of
you. (Hebrews 13:18-25)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here
HOLY APOSTLES JAMES AND JOHN
This Saturday, December 29, the Armenian Church commemorates the
apostles James and John (Mark 10:35-41), called the Sons of Thunder by
Jesus because of their passionate and quick-natured character. James
was a Galilean fisherman, who was called along with his brother John
to be two of the twelve apostles. They, together with Peter, formed
the inner core among the twelve who were present at the raising of the
daughter of Jarius, the Transfiguration, and the agony of Gethsemane.
James is sometimes referred to as `James the Greater’ to differentiate
from the younger apostle also named James. James was the first of the
apostles to be martyred by order of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2). He is
considered to be the patron saint of Spain and according to tradition
his body was brought from Jerusalem to Spain to Santiago de Compostela
that became, and remains, a popular destination for pilgrims.
John is also called `The Divine.’ It was to John that Jesus on the
cross entrusted the care of his mother. Paul names Peter, John, and
James as the `pillars’ of the church (Galatians 2:9).
PAREGENTAN OF THE FAST OF THE NATIVITY
This Saturday, December 29, is the Paregentan of the Fast of the
Nativity, the third and final fasting period during Advent begins
leading us to the celebration of the birth and baptism of our Lord and
Savior on Sunday, January 6.
LITURGICAL CALENDAR POSTER
A colorful 2013 Liturgical Calendar Poster of the Armenian Apostolic
Church is available at the Prelacy. At a glance, one can see the cycle
of feasts and fasts and seasons of the Armenian Church year, which
begin s on January 6, 2013, and ends on January 5, 2014. This 27×27
inch poster belongs in every classroom as well as on Church bulletin
boards ($5.00 plus shipping and handling). To order, please contact
the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or at [email protected]
ST. STEPHEN COMMEMORATION OBSERVED
All of the parishes of the Eastern Prelacy observed St. Stephen’s
feast day last Sunday with colorful ceremonies. St. Stephen was the
first deacon and proto-martyr and his feast day is a day to honor
deacons serving the Armenian Church. On this special day, the deacons
are permitted to wear crowns.
We are happy to present some photos that have been sent to us by our
Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey: Archbishop Oshagan and
Rev Fr. Hovnan Bozoian with the deacons and choir members.
St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York: Bishop Anoushavan and
Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian with the deacons and choir members.
St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin: Rev. Fr. Daron Stepanian with
deacons and altar servers.
St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts: Archpriest
Fr. Antranig Baljian with the deacons and choir members. It was a
double celebration for the Watertown parish because it was also its
BARNABAS FOUNDATION MEETS WITH HIS HOLINESS
The executive staff of the Barnabas Foundation, accompanied by the
former General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches,
Dr. Riad Jarjour, met with His Holiness Aram I and Bishop Shahan
Sarkissian, prelate of the Peria (Syria) Diocese. Following a
discussion of the problems of the region, Catholicos Aram spoke about
the challenges facing the region’s Christians, asked the visitors to
assist the Armenian community’s humanitarian, social, and educational
HIS HOLINESS VISITS PATRIARCH OF GREEK CHURCH OF ANTIOCH
His Holiness Aram I visited the new Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox
Church of Antioch, Yohanna X, at the Balamand Monastery on December
19. After congratulating the new leader, the Catholicos spoke of the
long relationship between the two churches and expressed the wish to
strengthen that relationship, especially in view of the current
difficulties for Christians in the Middle East. The Patriarch thanked
Catholicos Aram and confirmed his commitment to work together with all
the churches in the region to strengthen the Christian presence and
witness in the region.
Soviet Russia’s Decree on Turkish Armenia (December 29, 1917)
The Russian October Revolution (October 25/November 7, 1917)
introduced sweeping changes in the situation of Armenia. At that
moment, Russian troops occupied part of Western Armenia, mostly
emptied of its Armenian population due to the genocide.
However, Vladimir Lenin, the head of the Bolshevik (Communist) party
which had initiated the October Revolution, was against the
imperialist process that had marked the `long nineteenth century.’ He
had already demanded the withdrawal of Russian armies from Western
Armenia. The reason behind this demand was
self-determination. However, if such a demand had been executed, it
meant that Ottoman Turks would be allowed to re-enter the area and
continue their genocidal campaign. Lenin’s hope that `an independent
Armenian republic’ would be established, as enunciated at the first
All-Russian Congress of Soviets (22 June 1917), was equally illusory,
given the menace of a powerful Turkish army against such a
After the revolution, Communist policy was consistent with Lenin’s
views. A decree, `On Turkish Armenia,’ was issued on December 29 and
published two days later in Pravda: it declared that Russia `defended
the right of the Armenian people to free self-determination in
Russian-occupied Turkish Armenia, including even total independence.’
It also called for the withdrawal of Russian troops, the establishment
of a local Armenian militia, and the return of refugees. However, it
did not take into account the menace posed by the Ottoman Empire.
It is important to mention that the decree had been drafted by poet
Vahan Terian (1885-1920), who worked at the Commissariat for Armenian
Issues. His draft included a temporary stay of Russian troops, which
was actually left out of the final text because of the opposition of
Joseph Stalin, Commissar for Nationalities and Terian’s superior.
Stalin published an article in the same issue of Pravda where he
scorned `the voracious diplomatic appetites of the West and the bloody
administrative exercises of the East,’ whose outcome had been
=80=9Cpogroms and massacres of Armenians, on the one hand, and the
hypocritical `intercession’ of the diplomats of all countries as a
screen for fresh massacres,’ and `a blood-soaked, deceived, and
enslaved Armenia as a result.’ He assessed that `the old path of
diplomatic scheming is not the path to the liberation of Armenia.’
That path, Stalin assured, `lies through the workers’ revolution
that was started in Russia in October,’ which `has broken the chains
of national oppression.’ He concluded by writing that the decree was
`particularly necessary today, when the German and Turkish
authorities, true to their imperialist nature, make no secret of their
desire forcibly to retain the occupied regions under their sway. Let
the peoples of Russia know that the striving for conquest is alien to
the Russian revolution and its government. Let everyone know that the
Council of People’s Commissars counters the imperialist policy of
national oppression by the policy of complete liberation of the
Of course, this was just rhetoric: there was no mention of any
practical means to counter `the imperialist policy of national
oppression’ that the Turks would soon unleash again over Western and
Eastern Armenia. The call for Russian troops to withdraw from the
Caucasus had already been issued. Less than three months later, on
March 3, 1918, when Ottoman forces had already advanced and mostly
overrun the Armenian resistance in Western Armenia, Soviet Russia
would be forced to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and cede, on
behalf of the nationalities she no longer dominated, Batum, Kars, and
Ardahan to Turkey. The theoretical `self-determination’ of Western
Armenia had been left on a piece of paper.
HURRY TO GET ATLAS AT SPECIAL PRE-PUBLICATION OFFER
The long-awaited revised edition of the popular Historical Atlas of
Armenia will be available shortly after the New Year. The special
pre-publication price has been extended to January 18, 2013. So, don’t
delay; secure your copies now at a good saving, plus free
shipping. The Atlas comes with a companion CD that includes all of the
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
December 31-All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, New Years Eve
celebration organized by the Board of Trustees, 7:30 pm at
Shahnasarian Hall, Glenview.
December 31-New Years Eve Dinner Dance, Sts. Vartanantz Church Large
Hall, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, starting at 8
pm. BYOB. Donation: Adults $65; Children under twelve $30.
January 27-St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts,
Anniversary Dinner and Program following the Divine Liturgy.
January 29-31-Annual Ghevontianz Joint Clergy Conference hosted by
St. Gregory Church, San Francisco, California.
February 17-St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, Annual
Membership Meeting and Luncheon following the Divine Liturgy.
February 23-Annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for pastors,
boards of trustees, and NRA delegates, hosted by St. Gregory Church,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania beginning at 10 am and concluding at 4 pm.
March 16-Annual New England Regional Conference for pastors, boards of
trustees, and NRA delegates, hosted by St. Gregory Church, North
Andover, Massachusetts, beginning at 10 am and concluding at 4 pm.
May 16, 17, 18-National Representative Assembly hosted by Soorp Khatch
Church, Bethesda, Maryland.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web
To ensure the timely arrival of Crossroads in your electronic mailbox,
add [email protected] to your address book.
Items in Crossroads can be reproduced without permission. Please
credit Crossroads as the source.
Parishes of the Eastern Prelacy are invited to send information about
their major events to be included in the calendar. Send to:
From: A. Papazian