On the weekend of February 11, 2017, St. Sarkis Church of Pasadena celebrated the Feast of St. Sarkis, which also marks the parish name-day. The festivities began on Friday with the blessing of salt and the preparation of the madagh, followed by eve of the feast service on Saturday evening, and culminated with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and the blessing of madagh on Sunday morning by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate.
Following morning service, as the choir sang “Hrashapar” the Prelate entered the sanctuary with a procession of deacons to begin the service. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan assisted at the altar. Choirmaster Deacon Yervant Keshishian conducted the choir. A large number of faithful had gathered for the celebration, including Executive Council members Mr. Avo Kechichian and Mrs. Therese Kemanjian, and church benefactor Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis and Suzan Kitsinian and family members.
Prior to the sermon, the Prelate greeted the parish family, the honored guests, and faithful, and conveyed his blessings, congratulations, and commendation to the Parish Pastor, Board of Trustees, Delegates, Ladies Guild, Choirmaster, deacons, altar servers, choir members, and faithful. His Eminence expounded on the day’s Gospel reading from John 6:22-38, the main message of which is Jesus as the bread of life and spoke on the life and legacy of St. Sarkis the Commander, his son Mardiros, and their fourteen soldiers, all of whom were martyred for our faith, for the Living Bread. St. Sarkis trusted fully in the Lord alone, for he believed that only He, the Bread of Life, can truly quell our hunger, quench our thirst, and lead us to salvation. The Prelate exhorted the faithful to take inspiration from the life, faith, and courage of St. Sarkis and to seek his intercession for the fulfillment of our prayers and wishes and the mitigation of our troubles, to renew ourselves in our faith, in heart and soul, let go of any and all things that diminish our faith, and commit to serving for the glory of God and the progress of our church in the spirit of St. Sarkis.
At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy requiem prayers were offered for the souls of the first parish pastor, Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Antreassian, Board of Trustees members, Delegates, Ladies Guild members, the benefactor’s parents, Sis Compatriotic Union members, and all departed church servants, followed by the blessing of Madagh for the souls of the departed and for blessing and healing for the faithful.
A celebratory luncheon followed at “Andon Andonian” Hall organized by the parish Ladies Guild and with the participation of the Prelate, Mrs. Therese Kemanjian, pastor, board members, delegates, benefactors, sponsors, and guests. The Prelate once again congratulated and commended the parish family and encouraged them to continue on their path of service with renewed drive. Mr. Sarkis Kitsinian delivered congratulatory remarks. The luncheon also featured a cultural program presented by choirmaster Yervant Keshishian and Kitsinian grandchildren. The luncheon came to a close with the benediction and Prelate’s blessings.