Western Prelacy News – 04/18/2014

April 18, 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:

PRELATE TO CELEBRATE EASTER DIVINE LITURGY
AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH IN GLENDALE

On Sunday, April 20, 2014, the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of
our Lord Jesus Christ will be celebrated in all Prelacy churches and
parishes.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, will celebrate
Divine Liturgy and deliver his Easter message at St. Mary’s Church in
Glendale.
By the ordinance of His Eminence, Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian will
celebrate Easter Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Holy Martyrs
Church in Encino, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian at the Colorado parish,
and Rev. Fr. Khoren Babochian at the Corona, Riverside County parish.

***

EASTER MEMORIAL DAY

On Monday, April 21, Easter Memorial Day requiem services will be
held at Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn “Hall of Liberty” and Glendale Forest
Lawn “Church of the Recessional”, presided over by the Prelate and with the
participation of Prelacy clergy. The service begins at 10:00 a.m.

***

JOINT DIVINE LITURGY AND REQUIEM IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 99TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

In commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,
on Wednesday, April 23rd, joint Divine Liturgy and requiem service will be
held with the participation of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and
Evangelical Churches. The service will take place at St. Mary’s Church in
Glendale beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by H.E. Archbishop Hovnan
Derderian, Primate, the message will be delivered by H.E. Archbishop
Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and remarks will be delivered by H.G. Bishop
Mikael Mouradian, Eparch of the Catholic Church, and Rev. Hendrik
Shanazarian.
Requiem service will follow at the memorial cross-stone in the
church courtyard, and the commemoration will conclude with the laying of
wreaths.
We invite our faithful to join us in honoring the memory of our
beloved martyrs

***

MAUNDY THURSDAY VIGIL SERVICE AT ST. SARKIS CHURCH

On the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 17, 2014, the solemn Vigil
service commemorating the betrayal, arrest, trial, and persecution of our
Lord Jesus Christ was held in Prelacy Churches.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the
emotionally and spiritually moving service at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena.
The service began with twelve candles being lit on the altar, representing
Christ and His disciples, and one black candle signifying Judas. The
candles were extinguished throughout the evening as seven Gospel passages
were read, from the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, to His arrest, denial by
Peter, trial, and suffering. In the end, one candle remained lit,
symbolizing our Lord Jesus Christ as the one and only light of our lives.
In the darkness of the church, illuminated by the sole candle, the
Prelate delivered his message on the soul-stirring service recalling the
supreme sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, and called on the faithful to
reflect on and comprehend the immensity of His sacrifice for the repentance
of our sins, and thus to obey His commandments and His will and love and
faithfulness.

***

“YEAR OF THE ELDER” COMMEMORATED DURING
MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE

Maundy Thursday is among the most poignant days of Holy Week,
commemorating the final days of the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus
Christ with various services rich in symbolism.
On the morning of Thursday, April 17, 2014, Divine Liturgy was
celebrated in Prelacy Churches commemorating the sacrament of the Eucharist
instituted by Jesus at The Last Supper. The Prelate joined the parish
community of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood on this occasion.
In the afternoon the Washing of the Feet ceremony was held, in the
example of our Lord Jesus Christ washing the feet of His disciples at The
Last Supper. This year’s service was unique in that withing Prelacy
Churches, the feet of twelve elders were washed first in honor of the “Year
of the Elder” proclamation of His Holiness Aram I, followed by the washing
of the children’s feet.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate conducted the
ceremony at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino where he washed the feet of twelve
church elders, among them former Executive Council members, Delegates, Board
of Trustees members, sponsors, and parishioners, and then the feet of the
children, Sunday School students and children of faithful parishioners.
His Eminence addressed the faithful, highlighting the supreme
message and value of love and humility conveyed by Jesus through the act of
washing the feet of His disciples, and stressing the importance of these
virtues in our daily lives and in our service to others. In conclusion, the
Prelate blessed and commended the elders, and reminded them that they are to
be influences upon the younger generations through their example of love and
humility.

***

WASHING OF THE FEET CEREMONY AT ARARAT HOME
IN HONOR OF THE “YEAR OF THE ELDER”

In honor of the “Year of the Elder” proclaimed by His Holiness Aram
I, this year a special Easter celebration was held for the residents of
Ararat Home in Mission Hills.
On Holy Wednesday, April 16, 2014, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian, Prelate, accompanied by clergy and deacons, visited the
facility where he conducted the Washing of the Feet ceremony for the
residents for the first time, in observance of the Pontiff’s proclamation.
The day began at the nursing facility, where the Prelate conducted
the Blessing of the Home service, blessing salt, bread, and water, and
conveyed his Easter well wishes. His Eminence wished the residents good
health, stressing that our elders have a special place in our hearts and
lives and deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for their lifetime of
service, and commended the board, administration, and staff, for their
dedicated service. The Prelate also reflected on next week’s Genocide
commemorations and preparation for next year’s 100th anniversary
commemoration. At that moment, in a touching coincidence, His Eminence was
introduced 100 year old Genocide survivor Yevnige Salibian, whom he blessed.
Communal confession followed, after which residents received Holy Communion
and were presented with prayer cards. Board Chairman Mr. Joseph Kanimian
thanked the Prelate and clergy for their regular visits and continuous care.
The service came to a close with the “Cilicia” anthem.
The celebration continued at the Chapel with the Washing of the Feet
ceremony. Twelve residents, wearing church robes and seated in front of the
altar, followed the service which was conducted by the Prelate, at the
conclusion of which His Eminence washed their feet and blessed them.
The already moving ceremony became even more poignant when resident
Antranig Ardzrounian, while having his feet washed, suddenly gave praise to
God, attesting that he had a vision of that very moment in a dream fifteen
days prior. The remarkable testimony was received admirably by all. The
Prelate referred to the declaration as inspiring hope that the Lord hears
our prayers, gave thanks to God for granting that blessed occasion, and
concluded by praying that we all become worthy of the blessings and promise
of the Resurrection of Christ.
The visit continued at the assisted living facility, where the
Prelate conducted the Blessing of the Home service, after which clergy
members were hosted to a luncheon and spent quality time with the residents,
participating in Easter egg games and exchanging well wishes to one another.

***

HOLY TUESDAY COMMEMORATION AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Holy Tuesday, the Parable of the Ten
Maidens was commemorated in Prelacy Churches. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Holy Tuesday service at St. Mary’s
Church in Glendale and delivered his message on this occasion. Parish
Pastors, deacons, and acolytes participated in the service. Ten Sunday
School students, lamps in hand, represented the Ten Maidens of the parable.
Homenetmen scouts were also in attendance.
The Gospel reading from Matthew narrating the Parable of the Ten
Maidens was read by the Prelate, during which five of the Sunday School
students put out their lamps, representing the five foolish maidens who did
not take extra oil with them and were thus unable to greet the bridegroom.
After the Gospel reading, His Eminence called on the five students
to relight their lamps and commended their participation, stating that they
are all wise maidens. “O Lord, grant us alertness and illuminate our
spirits,” beseeched the Prelate, and noted that the day’s hymns and Gospel
readings on the Parable of the Ten Maidens should serve as a daily reminder
and a lesson to heed God’s commandments so that our hearts and souls are
ready and prepared at any moment to welcome the Second Coming of Christ.
The Prelate concluded his sermon with a message for the Sunday
School students to always be prepared to follow Christ’s commandments, and
for the glow of their faith and faithfulness to illuminate their
surroundings.

***

PRELATE CELEBRATES PALM SUNDAY
AT HOLY MARTYRS CHURCH

On Sunday, April 13, 2014, the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus
Christ into Jerusalem was celebrated in Prelacy Churches with Divine
Liturgy, the Children’s Procession, and the Opening of the Portals service.
Church entrances and altars were beautifully decorated with palm branches,
and multitudes of faithful were in attendance to partake in the celebration,
among them a large number of children, with olive branches and decorated
candles in hand.
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, having just returned from
Lebanon after participating in the Catholicosate Brotherhood General
Assembly and a number of other meetings in Antelias, celebrated Palm Sunday
with the Holy Martyrs Church family in Encino.
As the choir sang the hymn “Hrashapar”, the Prelate entered
“Avedissian” Hall, where the service was held to accommodate the large
gathering, and began the celebration of Divine Liturgy, assisted at the
altar by Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and with the participation of
deacons and choir members led by Gomidas Keshishian.
Prior to delivering the sermon His Eminence first expressed
gratitude for his safe return from Lebanon, and offered prayers for peace
and stability in the world, especially in Syria, and for the safe return
home of Kessab’s residents. The Prelate spoke of the numerous meetings held
in Antelias under the presidency of His Holiness Aram I, through which he
stated Brotherhood members renewed their oath to serve God, our Church, and
the Holy See of Cilicia, in honor of the memory of our martyrs renewed their
pledge to our just cause, and reaffirmed their commitment and solidarity to
our brothers and sisters in Syria.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly
and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9); the Prelate began his sermon with
those words of Zechariah foretelling the triumphant entry of our Lord into
Jerusalem, stating that those words revealed by God and spoken by the
prophet became reality six centuries later when the King rode into
Jerusalem, lowly and on a donkey, to restore His kingdom of peace and
humility upon the people and in their souls. His Eminence reflected on the
joyous atmosphere of that day, as a great multitude had gathered for
Passover waving palm branches and spreading their clothes on the road as a
sign of obedience as they awaited the Messiah chanting “Blessed is He who
comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” But this King did
not come riding on a horse with an army of soldiers to wage war; this was
the Savior King, the King of humility and peace, who came on a donkey, with
an army of innocent children and faithful.
On that day there were two groups of people; the innocent and
faithful, symbolized by the children, and the treacherous, symbolized by the
Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadduccess who were seeking a Messiah to grant them
liberty and freedom from the Roman empire so that they could establish their
own earthly kingdom and exert their rule over the people. Today, there are
still these two groups of people, said the Prelate. His Eminence emphasized
that Palm Sunday is not one day in history, rather an enduring message which
we relive every time we celebrate Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion
when our hearts become the New Jerusalem (City of Peace) and our Lord dwells
within us. And so, let us pray that we remain in the group of innocent
children through our meekness and by inviting our Lord into our hearts and
having His peace, love, and humility reigns within us always, said the
Prelate.
On the eve of Holy Week, the Prelate called on the faithful to expel
any and all negative forces which seek to disturb the peace or our families
and communities, and during the Opening of the Portals service urged them to
pray for the Lord to open the doors of His mercy so that we may receive His
kingdom, to open the hearts of world leaders so that peace is restored to
the world, in Syria and particularly to the people of Kessab who are being
uprooted from their ancestral lands for the third time in the last century,
and for peace, justice, recognition and reparation as we approach the 100th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the canonization of our martyrs.
Prior to “Lord have mercy” prayers, on behalf of the parish
community, Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian welcomed the Prelate, expressed
gratitude for being with the community on the special day, and wished him
strength during the many Holy Week services.
The Children’s Procession took place at the conclusion of Divine
Liturgy. Guided by deacons and choir members, the Prelate made his way
throughout the courtyard, bestowing blessings upon the faithful and in
particular on the children. Sunday School students and Homenetmen scouts
participated in the procession.
His Eminence then returned to the altar to conduct the Opening of
the Portals ceremony. Given that His Holiness has proclaimed 2014 the “Year
of the Elder”, by the decision of the Prelate and the Religious Council, the
Godfather of the service, usually children, were this year elders. At Holy
Martyrs Church, the Godfather was Mr. Kevork Atmajian, long-time parishioner
and sponsor. His Eminence conducted the service, symbolizing the Second
Coming of Christ, during which the Godfather opened the altar curtain,
representing the opening of the door of salvation.
At the conclusion of the service, the Prelate addressed the
faithful, once again inviting them to confession and repentance so that they
are cleansed of sin and the door is opened to them, and for them to open the
doors of their hearts and souls for Christ to dwell in. His Eminence
blessed Mr. and Mrs. Atmajian, and through them all elders, wishing them
good health and for their wisdom and good example to be a model for all.
The day’s festivities came to a close with the benediction by the
Prelate and the “Cilicia” anthem.

***

L.A. COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
GENOCIDE COMMEMORATION

On Tuesday, April 15, by the initiative of Supervisor Michael
Antonovich, a special presentation took place at the L.A. County Board of
Supervisors weekly meeting proclaiming April 24 as a “Day of Remembrance for
the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923”.
Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian represented the Prelate. He was
accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian, Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmajian,
and Deacon Manuk Chulyan. .
Remarks were delivered by Supervisor Antonovich, Consul General
Sergey Sarkisov, clergy, and representatives of community organizations.
On behalf of the Prelate, Fr. Muron thanked the Board of Supervisors
for devoting this time each year to the remembrance of the Armenian
Genocide, which he pointed out is continuing with the attack on Kessab.

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