On Sunday, April 16, 2017, the glorious and triumphant Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was ceremoniously celebrated in Prelacy Churches. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Easter Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, assisted at the altar by Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and deacons. H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian participated in the service, and among the standing-room-only crowd of faithful were Counsellor of the Consulate General of Armenia Mr. Razmik Stepanyan and Executive Council Chair Vahe Hovaguimian.
The Prelate began his sermon by giving thanks and praise to God for the blessing of once again collectively celebrating the glorious Resurrection of Christ and greeting one another with victorious and joyful chants of “Christ is risen from the dead,” and added his hope and wish that Great Lent and the soulful Holy Week services prepared the heart of each faithful for the day’s celebration of Christ’s triumph over death.
The core of the Prelate’s sermon was the verse “The Lord rose from the dead, and His enemies dispersed” from the Easter Divine Liturgy. Speaking on the state of the disciples following His burial, the Prelate noted that we read they were fearful and confused, they had grown weaker in their faith and their hope faded, but their love for Him was strong and unwavering and soon they were renewed, reinforced, and became new beings when they heard the good news of His Resurrection. His Eminence also touched upon the day’s Gospel reading from Mark 16:2-8, noting that the oil-bearing women were initially bewildered and astonished at the sight of the empty tomb, but their despair, fear, and despondency were also lifted and replaced with reinforced faith, hope, and spiritual exultation at the sight of the Risen Christ.
The Prelate noted that Christ encountered many enemies, deceit, and wickedness in His three-year earthly ministry; however, He defeated all who fruitlessly attempted to extinguish His Light. “There will always be evil in the world. The spirit of Easter invites us to adopt the path of righteousness and justice, adopt the path of Light and goodness – the bright new path that Christ opened for us -, and to bury any and all threats to our faith. There will always be those who try to evade truth and justice, but in the end, these virtues will prevail. Throughout our history, many have tried unsuccessfully to veer us from the path of righteousness, but we prevailed. Let us continue to disperse the enemies of our faith and any weaknesses in our faith, reassured that as followers of Christ we are fortified and armed with the power and spirit of His Resurrection, he concluded.
On behalf of the parish family and community, Fr. Razmig wished the Prelate a happy Easter and continued leadership and service to our church. The Easter celebration concluded with the offering of Holy Communion.
On Monday, April 17, the Prelate and clergy gathered at Forest Lawn cemeteries in Hollywood Hills and Glendale for Easter Memorial Day service. Requiem prayers were offered, followed by the Blessing of the Four Corners of the Earth service (Antasdan).