Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Bestowing of Stoles at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino on the Feast of Transfiguration


On Sunday, July 3, 2016, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated in Prelacy Churches. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, during which he bestowed the privilege of wearing a stole to acolytes Sarkis Najarian, Nareg Khatchadourian, and Avedis Patatian. Parish pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian and deacons assisted in the service.

The ceremony was held prior to the sermon. With hymns, prayers, and Gospel readings, the three acolytes ascended the altar and knelt before the Prelate. His Eminence prayed for our beneficent and merciful Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit upon His servants so that they remain faithful in their calling, serve His Holy Church with humility and goodness, and become worthy of the rank of deacon. He then placed the stoles on their shoulders and blessed them, after which he delivered the sermon.

The Prelate congratulated the new stole-bearers, commended their faithful service over the years and encouraged them to continue to serve with further devotion and drive, and wished that they will become worthy of attaining the rank of deacon in due time. Prior to speaking on the meaning and message of the Feast of the Transfiguration, His Eminence noted the added significance of the day for him, as it was 40 years ago on the day of the Feast of the Transfiguration that he celebrated his first Divine Liturgy and delivered his first sermon as a newly ordained celibate priest. As the ordaining bishop prayed for the grace of God to be upon him at his ordination, the Prelate prayed for the grace of God to be upon the new stole-bearers and upon the congregation.

The Prelate then reflected on the Feast of Transfiguration as a day of spiritual cleansing, transformation, and enlightenment. He stated that the disciples became worthy of witnessing His Light and hearing the voice of God for they gave themselves fully to the Lord in sincere and honest prayer, with a pure and open heart. We too can experience what the disciples experienced, said the Prelate, but we must first transform ourselves; we must rise above our daily struggles and draw near to Him, open our hearts and souls and unite our spirit to Him, and pray for Him to illuminate us with His Light. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the Light of our lives, and the Light of our very being; may His Light, hope, and love radiate from within us to our surroundings, concluded the Prelate.

Later in the service, Fr. Razmig conveyed gratitude to the Prelate, congratulated him on the anniversary of his first Divine Liturgy, and wished him good health and many more years of service and leadership. He congratulated also the stole-bearers and their families, and urged them to continue to serve faithfully for the advancement of the parish.

A reception hosted by the parish Ladies Guild followed at the “Yeghia Sarafian” reception room, during which Fr. Razmig and Board of Trustees Chairman Levon Arabian once again conveyed their well wishes to the Prelate.

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