Prelate Presides over Divine Liturgy at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County – Requiem Service in Memory of Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan – Ari Guiragos Minassian School Dedication Ceremony

On March 17, 2019, the third Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Prodigal Son, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County.

By the ordinance of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, requiem service was conducted at St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral in Antelias and in all Holy See of Cilicia Prelacies for the soul of Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan, Patriarch of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Pontiff’s condolence message was also read.

At Forty Martyrs Church, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian.

The Prelate began his sermon with an overview of the parables in the day’s Gospel reading, that of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and of the Prodigal Son, all of which give the message of joy for the repentant and are symbolic of God’s boundless love, mercy, and restoration for the truly penitent. His Eminence invited the faithful to strive for renewal during Great Lent, to grow closer to God and strengthen their relationship with Him through prayer, atonement, and good deeds, expressing gratitude for His love, and compassion, and most of all for the gift of His Son for our salvation.

During requiem service, prayers were offered for the soul of Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan and the Prelate read the Pontiff’s condolence message in which His Holiness expressed sorrow for the untimely passing of an eminent clergyman who skillfully served our church and nation in trying circumstances. Having been acquainted with the Patriarch personally, His Holiness lauded his merit as a religious leader and scholar, an advocate of stronger collaboration between the hierarchical Sees, and a good shepherd for his flock, all of which earned him the love and respect of the people.

Following the service, the dedication ceremony of a new classroom and faculty office at Ari Guiragos Minassian School took place. In attendance were representatives of Forty Martyrs Church, Board of Regents, and the School Board, teachers, parents, and students. His Eminence and Fr. Karekin conducted the blessing of the classroom and office. Remarks were delivered by School Board Chair Nora Sardarian and Principal Sanan Shirinian, who presented plaques of appreciation to the Pastor and Board of Trustees, volunteers who assisted during the construction project, and the Basmadjian, Meghrouni, and Shahverdian sponsor families. The Prelate delivered the closing message commending the endeavors of the Principal and School family as well as the support and care of the Church and community toward the School.

As the School’s open house was held on the same day, the Prelate visited classrooms and conveyed his blessings to the teachers, parents, and students.

By the initiative of the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, on Saturday, March 16, requiem service and a commemorative program was held at St. Peter Church in memory of the late Patriarch. Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian participated in the service and read the Prelate’s condolence message. His Eminence eulogized the late Patriarch as a bold spiritual leader who defended the rights of our church and nation, who in difficult circumstances protected the unity of his flock against external pressures and rightly earned the love and respect of the people, especially of the youth, drawing them closer to the church and instructing them with our religious and national values.

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