Name Day Celebration of Holy Cross Cathedral of Montebello

On the occasion of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the name day of Holy Cross Cathedral of Montebello, on Sunday, September 16, 2018, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, conducted the ordination of a deacon, delivered the sermon, and conducted the blessing of basil and madagh at Holy Cross Cathedral. Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian and Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian assisted in the day’s services. Among the faithful in attendance were members of the parish, ARF “Tro” Gomideh, Mesrobian School, and sister organizations, including Mesrobian Principal Mr. David Ghoogasian who also served on the altar, as well as Sunday School teachers and students.

During the service, the Prelate ordained the Cathedral’s choirmaster, Norayr Tertsagian, as a deacon, assisted by Fr. Muron, after which he delivered the sermon. His Eminence greeted and congratulated the parish family, the Dean, Pastor, board, delegates, Ladies Aid, all servants and faithful, praying for the power of the Holy Cross to safeguard and strengthen them all. He congratulated newly ordained Deacon Norayr and once again prayed for God to bestow His grace and wisdom upon him and guide him in his service. The Prelate encouraged Deacon Norayr to continue to grow in the grace of our Lord and serve with humility and devotion. As the feast day traditionally marks the start of Sunday Schools, His Eminence greeted and blessed the Sunday School students, directors, and teachers.

After a brief introduction on the historical event relating to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Prelate spoke on the significance of the Cross as a pillar of the Gospel. Christ’s physical death on the Cross marked the end of His earthly life here on this world but was the start of a new and eternal life in heaven for mankind, for on the Cross Jesus paved the path to reconciliation, redemption, and salvation, stated the Prelate. Jesus carried His own Cross to Golgotha but throughout His earthly life He also carried another cross, sacrificing self-will, denying Himself, and choosing to do God’s will instead of His own. And He invites us to become His disciples and follow Him on the same path; in His own words, to “deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him,” said the Prelate. His Eminence noted that although the path of the Cross has not been an easy one for us, over the centuries the Cross has remained a symbol of love, sacrifice, and salvation, and a refuge for the Armenian people, and today more than ever we need to live according to the message of the Holy Cross with love, devotion, and sacrifice, for the promise of salvation. The Cross, elevated and carried over our lands, brought consolation, strength, and renewal of faith for our people. Let us take inspiration from our forefathers and look to the Cross alone for strength, guidance, and hope, for more than ever we need its power in our individual and collective lives, stressed the Prelate, and concluded by urging for all to carry their own individual cross and together elevate our churches, our schools, and our community organizations toward a brighter future, for the continuance of our faith journey and national endurance.

The Prelate conducted the blessing of basil at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, after which he conducted the blessing of madagh at “Bagramian” Hall. The madagh blessing concluded with the singing of Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem. A luncheon hosted by the parish Ladies Aid followed. Welcoming remarks were delivered Mr. Perch Papikyan on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Sunday School director Mrs. Dzovig Kelleyan welcomed the Prelate and guests and introduced the Sunday School students and youth group members who during lunch presented the meaning of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. At the conclusion of the luncheon, Fr. Muron thanked the Prelate for leading the day’s special services and the faithful for their participation. His Eminence once again congratulated and commended the parish community and conveyed his blessings and well wishes to all.

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