Western Prelacy News – 02/14/2014

February 14, 2014
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]
Website:

EPISCOPAL DIVINE LITURGY ON THE FEAST OF ST. SARKIS

Saturday, February 15, 2014 is the Feast of St. Sarkis and his son
Mardiros. St. Sarkis the Commander was a devout and faithful Christian who
alongside his son Mardiros and his fourteen soldiers was martyred in the
fourth century for declaring his Christian faith. The feast of St. Sarkis
is the name day of St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena.
Thus, on this occasion, on Sunday, February 16, H.E. Archbishop
Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, will celebrate Divine Liturgy, deliver the
sermon, and conduct the blessing of madagh at St. Sarkis Church. His
Eminence will also preside over requiem service during which prayers will be
offered for the souls of the church’s first parish pastor Archpriest Fr.
Sarkis Antreassian, Board of Trustees members, Delegates, and church and
community servants.
By the invitation of the Prelate, former Prelate of Aleppo, H.E.
Archbishop Souren Kataroyan, will deliver the sermon at St. Garabed Church
in Hollywood.
On Saturday, February 14, at 7:00 p.m., the eve of the feast will be
commemorated with an evening service conducted by parish pastor Rev. Fr.
Boghos Baltayan.

***

“YEAR OF THE ELDER” PONTIFICAL MESSAGE READ
IN PRELACY CHURCHES

By the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate,
on Sunday, February 9, 2014, the Pontifical message of His Holiness Aram I
proclaiming 2014 the “Year of the Elder” was read in Prelacy Churches.
The Prelate presided over Divine Liturgy at Holy Martyrs Church in
Encino, where he read the Pontiff’s message.
His Eminence thanked God for his safe return from Lebanon earlier in
the week after participating in meetings of the Central Religious,
Executive, and Canonization Committees at the Catholicosate in Antelias. He
noted that strong emphasis was given to the situation of the Armenian
community in Syria and all participants reaffirmed their support to
alleviating the plight of our brothers and sisters in Syria.
The Prelate expressed joy for being with the Holy Martyrs parish
family on the first Sunday after his return and greeted the parishioners in
attendance, among them members of the local chapter of the Armenian American
Council on Aging, and Ferrahian School 5th grade students.
His Eminence then read the Pontifical message, which focused on the
elderly in the Bible, in the life of our Church, and honoring and caring for
our elderly. His Holiness notes that in both the Old and New Testaments,
the elderly had important roles in the scope of the divine revelation, that
they were considered to be synonymous with prudence, wisdom, experience, and
objectivity, and were therefore entrusted with leadership roles. His
Holiness also notes the important place Church Fathers gave to the elderly
in their writings, including the special role of the elderly in Christian
witness and administering church affairs. Thus, our Pontiff calls on us all
to protect, respect, listen to, and care for our elderly.
Reiterating the value of our elders in our history and society, the
Prelate affirmed that the Prelacy and its parishes will appropriately
celebrate our older generation throughout the year, just as it did last year
for the Year of the Armenian Mother.

***

CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD SERVICE AT ST. MARY’S
CHURCH IN GLENDALE

– TRADITIONAL GATHERING OF HOMENETMEN SCOUTS

On Thursday, February 13, 2013, the Feast of the Presentation of our
Lord to the Temple (Dyarnentarach) was celebrated in Prelacy Churches with
eve of the feast service, the blessing of the four corners of the world
(Antasdan), and lighting of the bonfire.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the
service at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale. Former Prelate of the Aleppo
Prelacy, H.E. Archbishop Souren Kataroyan, who is visiting the Prelacy,
delivered the sermon. Rev. Fathers Vazken Atmajian, Gomidas Torossian,
Ardak Demirjian, Nareg Pehlivanian, Khoren Babochian, and Ghevont Kirazian.
participated in the service. Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian
and Vice-Chair Mr. George Chorbajian were in attendance, as were Homenetmen
Regional Executive members, Scouting Council members, and scouts.
The ceremony began with evening service, followed by Dyarnentarach
eve service during which the Prelate was led in a procession around the
church blessing the faithful and specifically infants and children.
Reciting the following words of Simeon the elder, “Lord, now You are
letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes
have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:9-30), Archbishop Kataroyan conveyed the
message of the feast, that our Lord Jesus Christ was taken to the temple for
presentation as the eternal light Who would illuminate our spirits and as
Christ Who would pave the path of light for sinners.
After the sermon the Prelate presided over the blessing of the four
corners of the world service (Antasdan), after which His Eminence brought
forth a lit candle from the altar, symbolizing Christ as our Light, from
which faithful lit their candles to take home and spread the Light of Christ
within their surroundings. During this moment parents brought forth their
children to present them to the altar in the example of Mary presenting
Christ to the Temple.
At the conclusion of the service the Prelate and participating
clergy headed to the courtyard for the lighting of the traditional bonfire
during which nationalistic and traditional songs were sung.
It is a long-standing tradition for Homenetmen members to join the
Prelate for a reception at Armenak Der Bedrossian Hall following
Dyarnentarach services.
During the dinner Homenetmen scouts presented the Prelate with a
hand-made gift of the knot of Solomon as a token of gratitude. His Eminence
presented prayer cards to all the guests.
Remarks were delivered by Homenetmen Regional Executive Chair Mr.
Garnik Abrahamian, Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian and scouting
representatives.
The evening came to a close with the Prelate’s message. His
Eminence blessed and commended Homenetmen members for their devoted service,
expressed appreciation for the continuation of tradition, and called on the
scouts, the heirs of the faith of our forefathers, to radiate the light of
Christ through their continued service to our church and nation. The
reception concluded with the benediction by the Prelate.

***

OPENING CEREMONY AND BLESSING OF
ARARAT HOME “AVAKIAN” WING

On Saturday, February 8, 2014, the official opening and blessing of
the new “Avakian” wing of Ararat Home in Mission Hills took place conducted
by leaders of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, participated in the
ceremony. His Eminence was accompanied by Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Rev.
Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and Rev. Fr. Razmig
Khatchadourian.
The ceremony began with the blessing of salt and bread and continued
in the reception room with the home blessing prayer. The blessing concluded
with the benediction by the Prelate.
Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Joseph Kanimian, Esq. welcomed the
guests and conveyed his gratitude to the clergy for the spiritual
nourishment they provide to the residents throughout the year.
The Prelate congratulated the administration on the successful
completion of the expansion project, a project he deemed as vital to meet
the needs of the growing elderly population. His Eminence cited a passage
from the “Year of the Elder” Pontifical message of His Holiness Aram I in
which the Pontiff extols the virtues of our elders as “the lifeline of
society, the foundation of the family, and one of the strong footholds of
any organization” and how we must “show a high level of care, love,
attention, and respect for our elders,” emphasizing “the necessity of
building and supporting existing old age homes and retirement residences.”
“No doubt we all share these sentiments towards our elders, who we
regard as beloved and integral members of society. And so, we are grateful
and fortunate to have this facility in our community, a safe haven to where
we can entrust our elderly; a place where we know they will be treated like
family, with utmost care, love, attention, and respect”, stated the Prelate.
In conclusion, His Eminence commended the Ararat Home family on the quality
care and compassion they provide, thanked and commended the sponsors for
their support, and prayed for God to bless and sanctify Ararat Home.
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Fox 11 News Anchor Araksya
Karapetyan, acknowledged the government officials and representatives in
attendance, and invited them to present congratulatory proclamations. The
official program concluded with a tour of the new wing.
The Jubilee Banquet followed. The evening began with the American
and Armenians national blessings, followed by blessing of tables by clergy
members. The Prelate officially read the letter of blessing of His Holiness
Aram I highly commending the humanitarian service of the Board of Trustees
and staff, which he then presented to Mr. Kanimian. Guests then viewed a
video presentation on the day in the life of Ararat Home, which was followed
by remarks from the Co-Chairs of the New Wing Celebration Committee Berj
Shahbazian and Ron Nazely, Board Chair Mr. Kanimian’s message and
presentations, and closing remarks by former Governor of California the
Honorable George Deukmejian.

***

PRELATE ATTENDS SARF LECTURE ON
THE SYRIAN ARMENIAN CRISIS

On the evening of Monday, February 10, 2014, H.E. Archbishop
Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, attended a lecture on “The Syrian Armenian
Crisis” at Kalaydjian Hall in Burbank organized by the Syrian Armenian
Relief Fund (SARF). Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian accompanied His Eminence.
Executive Council and SARF member Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian was also in
attendance.
The keynote speakers were H.G. Bishop Armash Nalbandian from
Damascus and Dr. Krikor Adanalian from Aleppo. Mrs. Sona Madarian served as
the Master of Ceremonies.
The evening began with a heartrending slideshow on the destruction
in Aleppo.
The MC then invited the evening’s first speaker. Dr. Adanalian
presented an analytical evaluation of the history of the ancient Armenian
community in Syria and also the role of internal Middle East politics in the
current situation. He lauded the unity, perseverance, and resilience of the
Aleppo Armenian community under the capable and bold leadership of the
Prelate, H.E. Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian. Dr. Adanalian concluded his
message with optimism for the future.
Bishop Armash Nalbandian gave a general overview of the current
situation and the medical, educational, and financial assistance being
provided by Armenian churches, political parties, and humanitarian
organizations. His Grace also reported on the number of Armenian
casualties, injuries, and damage to churches and national institutions.
Attendees then had the opportunity to address questions to the Bishop.
In his address, SARF Chair Mr. Zaven Khanjian called on the Armenian
people to collectively continue their assistance and aid to Syria.
The Prelate was then invited to address the gathering. His Eminence
first thanked SARF for organizing this important lecture, and commended the
keynote speakers. Recalling his recent return from Lebanon after
participating in meetings at the Catholicosate presided over by His Holiness
Aram I, the Prelate noted that great emphasis was given to the crisis in
Syria and that meeting participants directly communicated with H.E.
Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian, Prelate of Aleppo, to receive first hand
information on the situation. The Prelate stated that after hearing the
reports of the evening’s speakers, and witnessing the Syrian-Armenian
community’s spirit of determination and strong faith, “we leave here hopeful
and renewed in our commitment to continue our ongoing support”.

***

FORMER ASSEMBLYMEMBER ANTHONY PORTANTINO
VISITS THE PRELACY

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, former California State
Assemblymember Anthony Portantino paid a courtesy visit to the Prelacy where
he had a cordial meeting with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian,
Prelate. His Eminence was joined by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, Archpriest
Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and Executive Council members Dr. Navasart Kazazian
and Mr. Toros Kejejian.
Mr. Portantino, who is on the board of the Pasadena Armenian
Genocide Memorial Committee, updated the Prelate on the progress of the
project, reporting that the design was unanimously approved by the Pasadena
City Council, that the final architectural renderings will be completed in a
few weeks, and also that the Committee has planned a ground blessing
ceremony for the morning of April 24.
Speaking on Genocide commemorations and memorials, the Prelate
emphasized the importance of united efforts within the community, such as
the work of the United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the
Armenian Genocide.
Mr. Portantino thanked the Prelate and the Armenian community for
always being so welcoming. His Eminence thanked the honored guest for his
visit, wished him success in his future endeavors, and presented him with a
memento.

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