Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Water in Celebration of the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord

On Sunday, January 6, 2019, the Birth and Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated within the Western Prelacy through Divine Liturgy and the blessing of water. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered his Christmas message, and conducted the blessing of water ceremony at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, where hundreds of faithful had gathered for the occasion. Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and deacons assisted at the altar. Among the faithful in attendance were Executive Council member Mr. Rafi Kuyumjian, members of the parish family, representatives of community organizations, and sponsors.

The Prelate first expressed his well wishes to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on the occasion of the New Year and Christmas, wishing him longevity and a lengthy pontificate. His Eminence offered a prayer for the Lord to guide the leadership of Armenia and Artsakh on their promising new path to lead in the spirit of love, harmony, and peace, for a stronger and more prosperous nation. Finally, he greeted the Western Prelacy clergy, Executive Council, Holy Martyrs parish family, community organizations, and faithful, wishing all a bright and prosperous New Year.

Next, the Prelate delivered his sermon on the message of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord, stating that the Birth of Jesus was the revelation of God’s faithfulness, Who sent His Only-begotten Son to this earth to save mankind. The shepherds, and later the magi, traveled to Bethlehem to see with their own eyes what God had revealed to them, and indeed they saw the glory and Light of God through the Christ Child, and they praised and worshiped Him.

“The Birth of Jesus Christ occurred one time in history, however, Jesus is reborn in our hearts and spirits over again if only we truly comprehend His revelation and follow His path. God reveals Himself to us and shines His light upon us not only as we celebrate His Nativity and Theophany but every day that we recreate the manger’s atmosphere of peace and sanctity in our hearts and souls,” stated the Prelate, praying and wishing for the Light of God to illuminate our inner beings and grant us the peace and serenity of the manger which we can attain when we accept God’s power and authority as our shield. “Where the newborn King is, that which is against God’s will falls to pieces and in its place reigns His peace, His love becomes the rule of law, and His kingdom becomes the joy of our lives,” said the Prelate. His Eminence wished for the Light of Christ to illuminate our individual and collective lives, and especially that of our national leaders so that they may serve with love as the law, peace as the message, and the welfare of the people as God’s will, and for the Lord to dwell within us all as our guide, light, and sun of righteousness.

The blessing of water was conducted later in the service, with Raffi Sarian serving as Godfather of the Cross. Afterward, the Prelate delivered a brief message, stating, “Jesus made His way to the River Jordan to be baptized to embark on His mission, to take the path to the Cross, ready to shed His blood for our sins. As we placed the Cross in the water and prayed, we pray once again for our sins to be buried so that we may embark toward the path of righteousness renewed and faithful to His love and commandments. And as we drink of the holy water, may it bring healing of body and mind to all,” stated the Prelate, and concluded by blessing the Godfather and his family, all the faithful and youth in particular, praying for the power of the Cross to be their protector and for them to grow with God’s grace.

On Monday, January 7, in observance of Merelots, the Prelate and clergy members gathered at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills “Hall of Liberty” and Forest Lawn Glendale “Church of the Recessional” for requiem service in memory of all departed loved ones, followed by the Blessing of the Four Corners of the World (Antasdan) service.

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