Commemoration of the Feast of St. Stephen the Protodeacon and Protomartyr in Prelacy Churches

On Sunday, December 22, 2019, the feast of St. Stephen the proto-deacon and first martyr, which this year coincided with December 24, was commemorated in Prelacy Churches.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan.

Given that the feast is a celebration of deacons, prior to the sermon, as the choir sang the hymn dedicated to the feast, deacons ascended the altar candles in hand and received the blessings of the Prelate, who then delivered his sermon.

His Eminence blessed and commended the deacons and all altar servers, urging them to pray and serve with humility and faithfulness in the example of St. Stephen. The Prelate then expounded on the day’s Gospel reading of the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, stressing the importance of sincerity and repentance in prayer and fulfilling God’s commandments with humility and meekness. Speaking on the legacy of St. Stephen, the Prelate stated that he not only possessed an eagerness to serve, he was “full of faith and power” (Acts 6:8) and until the moment of his martyrdom lived and served for the development and advancement of the newly established Christian Church.

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