Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Madagh on the Name-Day of Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, the Feast of the Forty Martyrs and the name-day of Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County was celebrated with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and the blessing of madagh by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, Parish Pastor, assisted at the altar.

In the first portion of his sermon, the Prelate highlighted the extraordinary faith, courage, conviction, and ultimate martyrdom of the forty martyrs, how they managed to stay strong and unshaken in their faith and prayers from the battlefields to their imprisonment, torture, and until the moment of their death in the freezing lake. His Eminence stressed that the young soldiers were first and foremost soldiers of God who placed their fate and faith in the hands of God and trusted in His will and promise of everlasting life, and expressed hope that we all become strengthened in our faith by their example.

Next, the Prelate turned to the analogous message of the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Unjust Judge, which also highlights the power of faith and prayer through the Parable of the Persistent Widow. His Eminence emphasized the importance of faith and prayer for the mind, body, and soul, stating, “if we are to learn anything from today’s commemoration of the forty martyrs and from the day’s Gospel reading, it is that we must not become despondent no matter what the circumstances; rather, we must persevere in our faith and prayers; in the words of the Apostle Paul we must “pray without ceasing,” trusting that the Lord will provide according to His will and in His timing.”

The Prelate congratulated the parish on its name-day celebration and encouraged the leadership and members to carry on their service for the glory of God and for the advancement of the parish community with faith, prayer, brotherly love, goodwill, and humility.

During the service, Fr. Karekin expressed gratitude to the Prelate on behalf of the parish family and thanked all those who contributed to the day’s commemoration.

At the conclusion of requiem service, the Prelate was led in a procession to “Gugasian” Hall to bless the madagh, which this year was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Bedig and Maro Fermanian. The madagh blessing ceremony concluded with Cilicia and the Armenian national anthem.

Afterward, the parish family enjoyed a luncheon together. Fr. Karekin once again thanked the Prelate for conducting and presiding over the day’s special services, and thanked the members of the Ladies Guild and altar servers for their devoted service. On this occasion, the Pastor and Board of Trustees had appealed to the Prelate to honor three long-serving deacons, Vartkes Dishoian, Zareh Sarkissian, and Avedis Dishoian. His Eminence, joined by Fr. Karekin and Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Herair Jermakian, presented plaques of commendation to the three honorees, commending their many years of devoted service to the Armenian Apostolic Church and in particular to Forty Martyrs Church, and commended also all of the volunteers who serve in different capacities for the advancement of the parish community.

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