A Traditional St. Illuminator’s Thanksgiving at the Cathedral

Der Mesrob, Yn. Ojeen Lakissian and their daughter Taleen

NEW YORK, NYFollowing the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, November 21, parishioners, guests and a spirit of merriment once again filled Pashalian Hall marking the welcome return of St. Illuminator’s traditional Thanksgiving luncheon, for the first time since 2019. 

As in years past, the luncheon was hosted, prepared and served by the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s and was attended this year by nearly 80 people.

Anais Tcholakian, chairlady of the Ladies Guild, welcomed the attendees and thanked the community for its support. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian offered the opening prayer.

A highlight of the luncheon was a short program of Armenian songs, beautifully performed by choirmaster Anahit Zakaryan and accompanied on the piano by Vagharshak Ohanyan. Ohanyan closed the artistic program with a stirring performance of Komitas Vartabed’s Groonk, which he dedicated to Der Mesrob on the 16th anniversary of Der Mesrob’s ordination to the holy order of the priesthood.

Tcholakian also joined in congratulating Der Mesrob on his ordination and expressed particular gratitude for his tireless work at St. Illuminator’s beginning from the days of the Cathedral’s renovation and all the years since.

In his remarks, Armen Morian, chairman of the Board of Trustees, paid tribute to Der Mesrob, Yn. Ojeen, their daughter Taleen and his sister Tamar for their dedicated service to St. Illuminator’s and wished Der Mesrob many more fruitful years of ministry, especially as the hoviv (shepherd) of St. Illuminator’s. Morian also expressed particular appreciation to Zakaryan and Ohanyan for making Armenian song echo again within the hallowed halls of St. Illuminator’s as it so often did in years past, a cultural tradition Armen stressed the importance of reinstituting.

The luncheon program also featured a raffle for prizes ranging from a handwoven rug to jewelry to elegant housewares, all donated by friends of the Cathedral.

In his closing remarks, Der Mesrob thanked the Ladies Guild and everyone who volunteers to serve at St. Illuminator’s and wished all a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving.