Prelate Celebrates Divine Liturgy at Crescenta Valley Parish

 

On Sunday, December 15, 2013, by the invitation of the Pastor and Board of Trustees of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at the parish, which holds its services at the Prelacy Hall.  Executive Council members Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian and Mr. Vahan Bezdikian were among the faithful in attendance.

As the choir sang the “Hrashapar” hymn the Prelate entered the hall to begin the service.  Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian assisted at the altar.

Prior to his sermon His Eminence greeted the parish community, giving thanks to God for having granted another year and opportunity to join the parish for what has become a tradition to celebrate Divine Liturgy on the eve of the new year and Christmas.

The Prelate then began his sermon on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 17:1-10 in which the apostles ask the Lord to “increase our faith” to which He responds “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you”.  Speaking on the passage’s message of faith and forgiveness, the Prelate called on the faithful to not only have faith but to act on their faith, to follow in Christ’s example of forgiveness by forgiving those who do wrong to us if they confess, and to not lead others into sin.  Given that the day before the Armenian Church celebrated the Feast of St. James of Nisibis, the Prelate tied in the day’s reading with the virtuous life of St. James who was staunch in his faith, obedient to God’s commandments, loving, and forgiving.  The Prelate also spoke of traditions and miracles associated with the saint, such as his courage and determination to climb Mt. Ararat to find remains of Noah’s Ark and how during his journey an angel appeared to him on the mountain and brought him a piece of wood from the Ark.  The Prelate concluded by echoing the words of the hymn dedicated to St. James, “We beseech you, o merciful father and good shepherd, implore our Lord to keep our Apostolic church unshakable.”

Prior to the “Lord have mercy” prayer, on behalf of the parish family Fr. Ghevont expressed gratitude to the Prelate for encouraging the community in their faith with his inspiring sermon, and called on the faithful to pray for God to bless His Eminence with health and wellbeing so that he may continue to lead the Prelacy for years to come.

At the conclusion of the service the choir sang the Cilician anthem, and with the “Rejoice O Holy Church” hymn the Prelate was led in a procession to the building’s main entrance where he congratulated those bearing the name Hagop and delivered the benediction.

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