Feast of Sts. Ghevontiants and Vartanants Within the Western Prelacy

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, on the occasion of the Feast of Sts. Ghevontiants and Vartanants. The clergy members served on the altar. In his message, the Prelate highlighted the significance of the feast, with the following explanation:

1. Sts. Ghevontiants affirms that the Armenian clergyman is the representative of God on earth and in the life of our people. It also occupies a special place in the Armenian Church as a significant occasion for the renewal of the Armenian clergyman’s faith and the rebirth of his service. “Armenian clergy are the representatives of the Lord in the Armenian life, and as His Holiness Aram I. Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia says, the Armenian clergyman is God’s ambassador.” He added, “As clergy, it is our duty to provide spiritual nourishment to our people, to be among the people – with the people and for the people. A mission that has been entrusted to us since the days of the Ghevontiants priests. Dear brothers, each one of us is called to be a fruitful olive tree in the life of his people. In winter or in the scorching summer, we are invited to serve the children of our nation and to share with them the fruits of our being.”

2. Sts. Vartanants which has become a celebration of faith and national identity over the centuries. The war of Vartanants in 451, is considered one of the most important events in the existence of our homeland and nation. A feast in which we convey the historical “no” which our people stood in opposition to assimilation put forth by Hazgerd II, and at the cost of martyrdom remained in their Christian faith.

Viewing Sts. Vartanants from our viewpoint – 1570 years later – and placing its significance as a spiritual and national tradition in our present day, the Prelate reminded everyone that the spirit of unity in the name of Armenia is a priority in the life of our people, emphasizing that powers come and go, but what remains is Armenia, our sacred homeland and the Armenian Church.
Following the Divine Liturgy, hymns dedicated to the feast were sung – manifesting itself as a bridge between Los Angeles and Armenia – led by the Prelate, with the participation of the clergy and gifted young artists from the Western Prelacy; Berj Kirazian, Yervant Keshishian, Suren Hazarian and Hovhannes Balyan.

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