Prelate Celebrates Christmas Divine Liturgy and Conducts Blessing of Water at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino

On Saturday, January 6, 2018, the feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated throughout Prelacy Churches with Divine Liturgy and the blessing of water ceremony symbolizing the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, conducted Christmas service at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. He was assisted by Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and deacons. Executive Council Chairman Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian was among the hundreds of faithful in attendance. Joey Titizian served as Godfather of the Cross during the blessing of water ceremony.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate gave thanks to God for granting all the gift of another year and the opportunity to once again collectively celebrate Christmas, to pray for peace in the world and love and goodwill among man. He conveyed his New Year and Christmas well wishes to Prelacy clergy, councils, delegates, all parishes, and the Holy Martyrs Church family, and then began his sermon with the following verse from the Christmas hymn “Great and Marvelous Mystery;” “A new King is born in the city of Bethlehem; O you people, bless Him, for He became flesh for our sake.”

“Today we praise God, for through this celebration the Prince of peace and love is reborn within us, and we pray for His peace to rule in our hearts and His love to guide our lives. We praise God for the Sun of Righteousness, Who came to illuminate the world and today once again illuminates and warms our lives. We praise He Who came to cleanse mankind of sin, He Who came as a bearer of goodness to enrich us with the Holy Spirit. Let us rejoice at the good tidings of His Birth. Jesus became incarnate to draw us closer to Him and to transform us into His image. The Feast of the Nativity and Theophany is first and foremost an invitation to dedicate ourselves to Him, for only then will we be worthy to receive His grace and blessings. The feast is an invitation for renewal, and renewal begins with knowing and loving God,” said the Prelate, and emphasized that Christmas invites us to know and love God, to know and love our church by emulating the faith and example of our forefathers, to love our families and invite God to reside within our homes, and to love our fellow man as God loves us. Thus, His Eminence prayed for the Lord’s peace and love to renew us internally, to transform our souls into humble mangers for the baby Jesus to reside in, and to renew us in our service and community life as well. Finally, noting that 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia, the Prelate called for the faith, courage, and sacrifice of our forefathers to renew in us our spirit of patriotism and nationalism.

Later in the service, on behalf of the parish family Fr. Razmig conveyed gratitude and well wishes to the Prelate.

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, the blessing of water ceremony was conducted with traditional Christmas hymns and prayers. The Prelate blessed the water with Holy Muron, blessed the Godfather and through him all the children, and once again wished all a peaceful and prosperous year.

On Sunday, January 7, Memorial Day, departed loves ones were remembered with requiem service at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills and Glendale. The Prelate presided over the service Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills “Hall of Liberty.”

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