Requiem for Homenetmen Members on Prelacy Churches – Community-Wide Celebration of Homenetmen’s Centennial

By the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and the request of Homenetmen Western Region Executive, on Sunday, October 28, 2018, requiem prayers for departed Homenetmen members were offered in all Prelacy Churches. The Prelate presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan celebrated Divine Liturgy. Among the faithful in attendance were Homenetmen Western Regional Chair Manuel Marselian and members, and Pasadena “Azadamard” chapter scouts. Homenetmen scouts also attended Divine Liturgy at their local churches.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate greeted and commended the members of the Homenetmen Regional Executive, of the “Azadamard” chapter, and the scouts, wishing them continued success in their worthy mission and praying for the memory of departed servants. His Eminence announced that later in the service “Der Voghormya” prayers would be offered for the victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, inviting the faithful to pray for peace in the world and for faith and love to guide mankind.

The Prelate began his sermon on the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross by noting that, for centuries, the Cross has been a symbol of protection, mercy, peace, and salvation, and the discovery of the True Cross by St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, awakened new faith, new hope, and new love in the life of the people. “Throughout our history, the Armenian people have looked to the Cross for peace, guidance, strength, hope, justice, and salvation. St. Helena’s life purpose was to find the True Cross; she never lost hope and eventually she was rewarded for her persistence. Thus, this feast day is an invitation to awaken our faith, cleanse our hearts and souls, to keep our hope alive in the example of St. Helena and to place our utmost trust in the Cross as the one true and righteous path to triumph, salvation, and justice,” stated the Prelate.

At the conclusion of the service, a memorial reception was held at Andonian Hall for departed Homenetmen members.

In the evening, a community-wide celebration of Homenetmen’s centennial took place at John Wayne Performing Arts Center of Glendale High School. The Prelate attended and conveyed his blessings. He was accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian. Executive Council members Mr. Avo Kechichian and Mr. George Chorbajian were in attendance.

The program began with the national anthems presented by the Homenetmen regional marching band. Opening remarks were delivered by the MC, Sossi Matti.

Prior to delivering his message, the Prelate conducted a requiem prayer for departed Homenetmen members and victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, noting that earlier in the day similar prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches.

His Eminence began his message by stating that the day’s celebration is a fitting expression of the centennial’s motto of “a triumphant future built upon an honorable past,” adding that the vision and initiative of Shavarsh Krissian and his peers did not end with their martyrdom, rather year after year and decade after decade Homenemen expanded and created a praiseworthy legacy over the past one hundred years. On this occasion, once again he congratulated the Central and Regional Executives, local chapters, scouts and all volunteers, and highly commended their devoted service to our church, youth, nation, and homeland. The Prelate noted that the establishment of Homenetmem, at the time that the Genocide was still in progress and coinciding with Armenia taking its first steps toward independence, contributed to complemented the rebirth of our nation. “Homenetmen was born out of a great need. There are still needs today, and we are certain that Homenetmen will continue beyond the centennial and embark on this new era of service with the same spirit and determination toward a triumphant future and new achievements for our nation and homeland,” said the Prelate.

A proclamation was presented by L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, followed by a gymnastic performance by athletes and scouts from various chapters, and remarks by Mr. Armand Kilijian on behalf of the Regional Executive. Mr. Varooj Mirzaians received a special award for his longtime service. The history of Homenetmen was presented by scouts from various chapters, which was followed by a video presentation. The keynote speaker was Mr. Hagop Khajirian, ARF Bureau member and dedicated Homenetmen member. Afterward, a number of longtime Homenetmen members were honored with service medals for their devoted service. The program included patriotic songs by Krisdapor Arabian and the Hosharian Ensemble. The celebration closed with the Homenetmen centennial anthem performed by Mr. Varant Avanesian.

Following the celebration, an appreciation dinner was held at “Kevork Andonian” Hall. The Prelate attended, accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian and Executive Council member Mr. George Chorbajian. During the dinner, plaques of gratitude were presented to the Prelate and Executive Council representative for their support of Homenetmen’s endeavors and mission.

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