Spiritual Concert Dedicated to Gomidas Vartabed’s 150th Anniversary

On Friday, May 31, 2019, the 150th anniversary of Gomidas Vartabed’s birth was fittingly commemorated with a beautiful spiritual concert held at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena under the auspices of and with the presence of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. The concert was organized by the Parish Pastor and Board of Trustees and featured the Church choir, led by Choirmaster Deacon Yervant Keshishian.

In attendance were clergy members, benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis and Suzan Kitsinian, members of the parish family, representatives of community organizations, and a large gathering of faithful.

The program began with the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan delivered welcoming remarks on behalf of the parish family, gave a brief overview of Gomidas Vartabed’s life and undying legacy, and concluded by commending the Choirmaster and choir members for their diligent preparation over the past few months.

The choir beautifully presented a collection of Gomidas Vartabed’s most well-known religious and traditional compositions, in between which members of the choir read passages from Barouyr Sevag’s “The Ever-Ringing Belfry.”

At the conclusion of the performance the Prelate delivered his message, which he began by stating, “Tonight is an evening of commemoration-recollection. In the presence of the Lord, we invited and evoked the immortal spirit of the immortal Gomidas Vartabed, an ever-ringing belfry of our spiritual and national music.” He commended the Parish Pastor and Board of Trustees, and blessed and commended in particular Deacon Yervant Keshishan and all the members of the choir.

His Eminence cited testimonies from world-renowned composers praising the music and Divine Liturgy composed by Gomidas Vartabed, adding, “thank God that He blessed us with a genius like Gomidas Vartabed, a giant who immortalized our music, and thank God for blessing us with this spiritual joy and fulfillment this evening as we invited Gomidas Vartabed’s soul into our souls and honored his great talent, “St. Gregory the Illuminator was the enlightener of souls, Nerses the Great of hearts, Mesrob Mashdots, Sahag Bartev, and the Holy Translators of minds, and Gomidas Vartabed became and remains the enlightener of Armenian music, stated the Prelate, and concluded by wishing for the atmosphere of spiritual fulfillment and joy to pervade our religious and national life.

The evening came to a close with the benediction and singing of Cilicia.

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