Feast of the Ascension Celebration

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated within the Western Prelacy with Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale followed by the traditional luncheon organized by the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy, which was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian who also delivered the sermon. Clergy members participated in the service. Fr. Ashod spoke on Jesus’ ministry in the forty days following His Resurrection and highlighted the significance of the Ascension by stating, “Through His Ascension, Jesus established a bridge between heaven and earth and opened the doors of salvation.”

The luncheon was held at Brandview Ballroom in Glendale. The Prelate was joined by H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, and Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian. This year’s main host was Mrs. Katherine Bedrosian, along with Mrs. Linda Kay Abdulian, Mrs. Jane Elizabeth Asmar, and Mrs. Stephanie Peters-Bedrosian. Among the guests in attendance were Executive Council member Mrs. Elo Boyajian, members of parishes’ Ladies Guilds, ARS Regional Executive and local chapters, sister organizations, sponsors, and friends.

Chairlady Mrs. Dzovig Zetlian welcomed the guests on behalf of the Ladies Auxiliary and noted the importance of such events in celebrating and keeping alive our rich, beautiful, and ancient heritage and traditions. She thanked the guests for their continued support and encouragement of the Ladies Auxiliary’s events and expressed special thanks to the hosts for their generosity.

The clergy led the singing of the Lord’s Prayer, sang the hymn dedicated to the feast of Ascension, and conducted the blessing of tables, after which the Prelate delivered his message. His Eminence once again congratulated the Vicar General on his Episcopal ordination and commended the diligent efforts of the Ladies Auxiliary throughout the year. He thanked all for their support and expressed gratitude to the main host in particular, Mrs. Katherine Bedrosian, for her enduring generosity, encouragement, and friendship. His Eminence briefly explained the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ as described in the Gospels, and spoke of its implications in our lives today. He stated that the Ascension of Jesus was not the end rather the continuation of His work as our Lord and Savior through the Holy Spirit, that it signifies Jesus’ enthronement as King at the right hand of God from where He is our mediator and advocate and is working in our lives at all times and in all places, and from where He is preparing the way for our homecoming with the Father. Today, as we rejoice in this festive celebration of the Ascension of our Lord, let us rejoice in the truth that our Lord Jesus Christ reigns as king and is working in our lives each and every day. Let us live boldly and confidently as His servants and rejoice in the hope of a glorious future when He will return as judge and king to set up His kingdom on earth as in heaven, said the Prelate.

Ladies Auxiliary member Mrs. Maral Keledjian briefly explained the food and traditions associated with the feast of the Ascension in the Armenian Church, including the drawing of lots which comes from the apostles casting lots to find Judas’ replacement.

Thereafter, the Prelate awarded Mrs. Bedrosian a plaque of appreciation for hosting the luncheon with a $10,000 donation and for her many years of generous support to the Prelacy, Holy Trinity Church of Fresno, and the Armenian-American community, while the Ladies Auxiliary presented bouquets to the co-hosts. Mrs. Bedrosian stated that it was a pleasure and an honor to participate in the luncheon. She expressed her appreciation to the Prelate for his devoted service, asserted her wholehearted support of the Prelacy for all the good work it does, and applauded the Ladies auxiliary for a great luncheon and their hard work.

Throughout the afternoon guests enjoyed musical entertainment, participated in the traditional drawing of lots, and expressed their appreciation through gracious donations. The Prelate joyfully announced that enthused by the festive atmosphere, Mrs. Arsine Phillips expressed her wish to host next year’s luncheon in memory of her father Hovaguim Bedrossian, while Mrs. Alice Navasargian will be hosting this year’s New Year and Christmas Luncheon and Boutique and Mrs. Kohar Sulahian the 2019 New Year and Christmas Luncheon and Boutique.

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