Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Water on the Occasion of Sts. Dertad and Ashkhen

On Sunday, July 17, 2022, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, accompanied by clergy members and the church choir, conducted a special prayer and sang hymns inside the Sts. Dertad and Ashkhen chapel, then the Prelate was led to the “Dikran and Zarouhi Der Ghazarian” Hall, where Bishop Donoyan celebrated the Divine Liturgy. In attendance were Executive Council members, representatives of parish and community organizations, benefactors, and the faithful.

During the Liturgy, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, brought forth the Holy Muron which was blessed by H.H. Aram I., Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, on July 1, 2022, from which Bishop Donoyan blessed the water.

In his sermon, the Prelate spoke about living a worthy life, in order to inherit Heaven. “A person’s life is like grass, says King David, today it is here, tomorrow it is not, today it is green, tomorrow it turns yellow, the next day it returns to the earth. But if a person has Christ in its life, that person would never become like grass, that person becomes a complete and full-valued person.” The Prelate stated that people’s lives are full of anxieties, but sometimes also with those challenges people also gain the joys of success. Perhaps the difficulties of the past years also caused hopelessness to some, but as Christians, we are not allowed to lose hope in life because we have Christ in our lives,” emphasized the Bishop.

“My soul is filled with immense joy today when I, as a humble servant of the Armenian Church, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, perform the first Water Blessing within the Prelacy, fervently believing that the Holy Light radiating from the Holy Muron will grant a new beginning to our lives. If we didn’t believe in this good news, we wouldn’t be here. For all of us, this moment serves to draw spiritual strength. It is with this dedication that I hope, pray and wish that goodness will ray down on us and cover us with spiritual strength.”

At the end of his message, Bishop Donoyan announced that His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia performed the Blessing of Holy Oil (Muronorhnek) at St. Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral in Antilias, Lebanon, in the presence of many bishops. The godfather was the Co-Chair of the Executive Council Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian and his sons. The ceremony inspired the hope of a new life to all the children of the Armenian nation. The Prelate also noted the presence of Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, Chairman of the Executive Council and Council members, Mr. Peklar Pilavjian and his wife, the son of the late benefactor Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian, the Religious Council, Clergy, delegates, Board and Choir members and a large number of the faithful who were in attendance, conveying H.H. Aram I.’s blessings. At the same time His Grace highly commended the faithful of the Western Prelacy, who in every sense became a great force during the Blessing of Muron and always continue to support the endeavors of the Western Prelacy.

The Divine Liturgy concluded by Bishop Donoyan conducting the Blessings of Madagh, singing of the Lord’s prayer and “Giligia.”

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the faithful departed filled with joy and renewed faith, taking with them the blessed water with the Holy Muron and madagh renewing their dedication to serve in the Apostolic Church.

It should be noted that during the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Donoyan read a special pontifical letter from H.H. Aram I., in which the Pontiff highly commended recently deceased Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian’s charity and dedication shown towards the Armenian Church and the Armenian nation. The letter was handed to Mr. Peklar Pilavjian.

On this occasion a Requiem service was held and prayers were offered for the soul of Prelacy chapel benefactor Mrs. Ashkhen, husband Alexan & son Vahrij Pilavjian.

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