Western Prelacy News – 12/20/2013

December 20, 2013
Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate
6252 Honolulu Avenue
La Crescenta, CA 91214
Tel: (818) 248-7737
Fax: (818) 248-7745
E-mail: [email protected]


On Tuesday, December 24, the Armenian Apostolic Church will observe
the Feast of St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr. Given that St. Stephen was also
the first deacon, this feast is a celebration of deacons and altar servers.
Thus, on this occasion, by the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian, Prelate, on Sunday, December 22nd, sermons in Prelacy Churches
will reflect on the life of St. Stephen.
The Prelate will preside over Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon
at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino.
Each year during this season, Sunday Schools organize Christmas
programs in celebration of the New Year and Christmas. The Christmas
program of Holy Martyrs Church will be held this Sunday, followed by a
luncheon hosted by the Board of Trustees. The Prelate will attend and will
also present certificates to students who have successfully completed the
Sunday School course.


On Monday, January 6, 2014, Christmas Day, the Prelacy family of
clergy, councils, and parishes, joined by representatives of sister
organizations and sponsors, will gather at Bagramian Hall in Montebello to
collectively celebrate the New Year and Christmas at the traditional
“Prelate’s New Year and Christmas Dinner”.
The annual dinner, initiated by the Religious and Executive Councils
and organized by the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary, begins at 6:30 p.m.
Please contact the Prelacy for more information.


In celebration of the “Year of the Armenian Mother” proclaimed by
His Holiness Aram I, throughout the year various events were held in the
Prelacy and its parishes honoring the virtues and contributions of mothers
to society.
We are pleased to announce that on this occasion, the Prelacy
recently published a book titled “Student Prayers and Good Wishes”, a
compilation of prayers written by Prelacy Sunday School and Day School
students for their mothers.
During his visits with students throughout the year, the Prelate
would encourage them to express their feelings for their mothers in writing.
It is those writings that are encompassed in this book.
The book begins with the prologue by the Prelate in which he exalts
the invaluable role of mothers in our individual and community life.
Copies of the book, which is dedicated to the memory of Anahid
Bartoumian, will be provided to our students.
Please contact the Prelacy to order your copy.


On Sunday, December 15, 2013, by the invitation of the Pastor and
Board of Trustees of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley, H.E.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and
delivered the sermon at the parish, which holds its services at the Prelacy
Hall. Executive Council members Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian and Mr. Vahan
Bezdikian were among the faithful in attendance.
As the choir sang the “Hrashapar” hymn the Prelate entered the hall
to begin the service. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian assisted at
the altar.
Prior to his sermon His Eminence greeted the parish community,
giving thanks to God for having granted another year and opportunity to join
the parish for what has become a tradition to celebrate Divine Liturgy on
the eve of the new year and Christmas.

The Prelate then began his sermon on the day’s Gospel reading from
Luke 17:1-10 in which the apostles ask the Lord to “increase our faith” to
which He responds “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this
mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it
would obey you”. Speaking on the passage’s message of faith and
forgiveness, the Prelate called on the faithful to not only have faith but
to act on their faith, to follow in Christ’s example of forgiveness by
forgiving those who do wrong to us if they confess, and to not lead others
into sin. Given that the day before the Armenian Church celebrated the
Feast of St. James of Nisibis, the Prelate tied in the day’s reading with
the virtuous life of St. James who was staunch in his faith, obedient to
God’s commandments, loving, and forgiving. The Prelate also spoke of
traditions and miracles associated with the saint, such as his courage and
determination to climb Mt. Ararat to find remains of Noah’s Ark and how
during his journey an angel appeared to him on the mountain and brought him
a piece of wood from the Ark. The Prelate concluded by echoing the words of
the hymn dedicated to St. James, “We beseech you, o merciful father and good
shepherd, implore our Lord to keep our Apostolic church unshakable.”
Prior to the “Lord have mercy” prayer, on behalf of the parish
family Fr. Ghevont expressed gratitude to the Prelate for encouraging the
community in their faith with his inspiring sermon, and called on the
faithful to pray for God to bless His Eminence with health and wellbeing so
that he may continue to lead the Prelacy for years to come.
At the conclusion of the service the choir sang the Cilician anthem,
and with the “Rejoice O Holy Church” hymn the Prelate was led in a
procession to the building’s main entrance where he congratulated those
bearing the name Hagop and delivered the benediction.


On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirosian,
Prelate, received the visit of legendary singer Harout Pamboukjian, who had
come to personally request for His Eminence to preside over the funeral
service for his wife Rouzanna who had just recently passed away.
The Prelate once again expressed his condolences, praying for her
soul to be in peace and for the Holy Spirit to bring comfort to him and his
On this occasion the Prelate also presented Mr. Pamboukjian with the
Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Aram I bestowing him the “St. Mesrob
Mashdots” medal for his contribution to Armenian culture. His Holiness had
personally awarded the medal at the Seminary 81st anniversary banquet held
during the Pontifical Visit in October of 2011. Mr. Pamboukjian thanked the
Prelate and asked him to convey his gratitude to His Holiness.

From: A. Papazian


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