Episcopal Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena on the Feast of Transfiguration – Special Prayers in Memory of Lisbon 5 Martyrs


On Sunday, July 27, 2014, the Armenian nation celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as Vartavar, one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

On this occasion, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. His Eminence was assisted at the altar by Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan and deacons.

July 27 was also the 31st anniversary of the martyrdom of the Lisbon 5. Thus, special prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches in memory of the Lisbon 5. Prior to delivering his sermon, the Prelate first reflected on the somber anniversary, on the courage of Simon, Vatche, Sako, Setrak, and Ara, who knowingly sacrificed their lives in the example of other heroes in our nation’s history. His Eminence prayed for the souls of the martyrs and also called for prayers for peace for the world, for the innocent citizens caught in crossfires especially in the Middle East and specifically in Syria and Iraq, and even on commercial planes. The Prelate announced that since requiem service does not take place on major feast days, “Der Voghormya” prayers would be offered later in the service for the souls of the Lisbon 5 and also for peace in the world.

The Prelate then spoke of the meaning and message of the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, stating that individually and collectively we are in need of spiritual nourishment and spiritual transfiguration. His Eminence urged for adherence to our faith, to our national heritage, and to God’s commandments to undergo spiritual transformation, and to steer clear of any and all things that serve to undermine our principles. The Prelate also noted that the Feast of Transfiguration is of even further significance in his pastoral life because it was on this feast that he celebrated his first Divine Liturgy as a celibate priest 38 years ago and as a Bishop 17 years ago.

The service came to a close with the benediction and the Cilician and Armenian national anthems.

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