PRELATE’S FIRST DIVINE LITURGY IN ENCINO

CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF NATIVITY AND THEOPHANY
AT HOLY MARTYR’S CHURCH

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the Feast of Nativity and Theophany was celebrated throughout all the churches of the Western Prelacy and live streamed on the church social sites. H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and Blessing of the water at Holy Martyr’s Church in Encino, with the presence of clergy and representatives of community organizations.

In his message, the Prelate reflected upon the painful events that took place in the lives of the faithful throughout the world in 2020, and especially the Armenian nation, and then – as the only way out of all the stresses and difficulties – urged the faithful to look forward with hope, adding; “the Feast of Nativity and Theophany has a message to each of us today, we should put aside our worries and look with hope towards today’s feast. Today, the voices of angels must be heard by every human being, every Armenian.”

Speaking on the occasion of the Nativity and Theophany of Jesus Christ, the Prelate emphasized that “Jesus was born into this world because God loved man so much, that He did not want them to be lost and immersed in the mire of sin and polluted in their spirit, life or work.” He added; “On that day, January 6, God appeared in His glory, the invisible, incommensurable God was seen by man. God, who is greater than the universe lay in the manger. It was a truly joyous moment.”

The angels rejoiced and sang. The wise men rejoiced, who came as magi to worship Him and offered gifts to Jesus Christ. One of the magi brought gold to symbolize that Jesus was King. The other brought incense, which symbolized that the Savior was born, and the third brought myrrh, which symbolized that He would rise from the dead. In the nativity scene we also see the presence of the wise poor who felt a power in their lives, at that moment they saw the Star, rejoiced and went with their gifts and worshiped the Child Christ.”

Addressing the faithful, the Prelate asked, “What do we offer our Lord Jesus Christ? How wise are we today in the offerings we give to God? It is not permissible for us to express any grievances, but only to give thanks and praise to God. Let us sing praises, that God may be glorified by men, as He is glorified by angels. Today we pray that there will be peace on earth, but in order for there to be peace on earth, first everyone must have peace in their heart, every man must be at peace with himself, he who is not at peace with himself cannot be at peace with others and God. Therefore, today is the day of reconciliation, which a person seals with himself, then with his fellow man, with his family, with his brother, with his friend, through Jesus Christ. Today is the day for us to be reconciled to the Creator, to God, to be able to open our hearts to Him and say, ‘Lord, I want You to come and work in my life.”’

Continuing, the Prelate also greeted His Holiness Aram I., Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, His Holiness Karekin II, with filial love. He wished the Catholicos a healthy and long life. Then, the Prelate greeted H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian and H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian for their presence and participation during the Divine Liturgy. Adding; “When conducting our First Divine Liturgy as Prelate of the Western Prelacy at the Holy Martyr’s Church in Encino, we greet the pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, members of the Board of Trustees, Ladies guild, National Representatives, Deacons, Choir and school, whom all experience the blessing of the Church. We greet the members of all Armenian community associations, organizations and institutions in the region, wishing them many years full of service, so that we can all become instruments in God’s hands, so that God will be glorified through our deeds.”

The Divine Liturgy was followed by the Blessing of Water ceremony, with the participation of the “Godfather of the Cross,” Suren Alexander Kruzeski, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Nairi Simonian-Kruzeski. The ceremony concluded by the singing of “Cilicia”, and the procession towards the “Dikranian” hall, where the Prelate received the warm congratulations of those present.

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