Prelate Presides over Divine Liturgy and Unveiling of Donor Wall at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino on the Eve of Great Lent

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, the eve of Great Lent, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian celebrated Divine Liturgy. H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian participated in the service. Sunday School teachers and students and a large number of faithful were in attendance.

The Prelate delivered his sermon at the end of Divine Liturgy. His Eminence explained that the eve of Great Lent, Paregentan, commemorates the good life of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, when they lived happily in God’s presence until they disobeyed Him and were deprived of His presence. Through His boundless love and mercy, God sent His Son to reconcile mankind with Him; Great Lent is the time to seek His presence in our lives through introspection and renewal, which comes by prayer, fasting, and goodwill toward others, stated the Prelate, adding that prayer nourishes the soul, while fasting disciplines our bodies, and works of charity enrich our hearts and souls.

Next, His Eminence reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew 6:1-21 which gives instruction and guidance on how to pray, fast, and do good deeds, the foremost message being that whatever we do must be for the glory of God alone and not for the eyes of our fellow man. Through sincere prayer we must seek God’s help and guidance, His will and forgiveness, look to Him to provide for our needs, for willpower from temptation, and more, as Jesus instructed through the teaching of the Lord’s Prayer. The Prelate added that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17), for as the prophet Isaiah cautioned, what good is all of that if we continue to live in sin and unrighteousness. Thus, alongside the three pillars of Lent, His Eminence stressed the importance of striving to be good and faithful servants of our Lord and to enrich our hearts and souls with goodness and those of our fellow man so that we are prepared to welcome the triumphant resurrection of our Lord on Easter and triumph in our faith and over iniquity.

Requiem service followed, during which by the request of Hamazkayin Western Region and the Hamazkayin Djemaran Committee, prayers were offered for national servant Hagop Yapoujian on the seventh day of his passing. The Prelate expressed condolences to all those mourning the loss of loved ones and paid tribute to Hagop Yapoujian as a true, faithful, and humble servant of our nation through various organizations.

Afterward, in a procession led by deacons, choir members, and Sunday School students, the Prelate headed to “Yeghia Sarafian” Hall for the blessing of the Donor Wall. His Eminence first blessed all the sponsors, and then conducted the blessing of the wall, followed by the unveiling along with Fr. Razmig and Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Levon Arabian. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Fr. Razmig expressed gratitude to the Prelate for presiding over the ceremony and thanked all of the sponsors for their support. The ceremony concluded with “Cilicia.”

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