Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God Ceremoniously Celebrated Within the Western Prelacy – Name Day of St. Mary’s Church in Glendale

On Sunday, August 15, 2021, the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God was ceremoniously celebrated in all Western Prelacy Churches. H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale, and H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino.

“Today is the feast of the Assumption of the Queen of Heaven, of St. Mary the Mother of God, and we, having the blessed presence of the Mother of God in our lives, have come to St. Mary’s Church in Glendale to express our reverence to the woman whose pure character, mind, spirit, and body made her worthy to be chosen by God as the immaculate vessel to bear His only Son, our Heavenly King, Jesus Christ. Today, we have tasted salvation through the blood that Jesus Christ shed for us. All of us walk the same path of salvation, but some stumble and falter in their steps at times and give in to sin,” stated the Prelate, adding that even the most Christian believer who has tasted salvation has, at some point in the course of life, taken a sinful path. “As Christians, we hold St. Mary in high esteem because we see St. Mary as the conscience of our church and of our Christian faith,” noted the Prelate, and highlighted the place and role of the Virgin Mary in God’s redemptive plan for sinful mankind, asserting that more than ever, every person today needs the loving care and intercession of the Holy Mother of God for the remission of sins.

The Prelate subsequently spoke about the meaning and significance of the blessing of grapes and conveyed his heartfelt wish for all who consume the blessed grapes to experience good health, inner peace, and feel God in their souls, minds, and lives.

“The Holy Mother of God teaches us about endearment, teaches us to love one another, forgive one another, and especially to pray for one another. Truly we all have a need for prayer, and we will indeed pray for one another. Instead of seeing faults and weaknesses in others, let us see blessings and light,” stressed the Prelate, and urged the faithful to show compassion to their spouses, family members, and friends and inspire strength, success, hope, and light instead of focusing on their vulnerabilities, pain, and suffering especially in these challenging times when we all need the help, comfort, and divine blessings of the Holy Mother of God.

Continuing his sermon, the Prelate encouraged the faithful to approach the Holy Altar with faith and beseech remission for their sins as they receive communion, noting that this is the way to remove sin, tormenting worries and fear from our lives. “Goodness increases in our lives when we increase our faith, and God opens new doors in our lives and fills our days with blessings,” stated the Prelate.

Finally, speaking on the dire conditions plaguing the Armenian community of Lebanon, the Prelate asked the faithful to pray for Lebanon and the people of Lebanon, and expressed hope that a collective helping hand will assist our brothers and sisters in securing their basic needs such as medicine, food, gas, electricity, and more. The Prelate congratulated the St. Mary’s Church family on their name day celebration and awarded that the parish’s youngest pastor, Rev. Fr. Movses Shannakian, the privilege of bearing a pectoral cross by the permission of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I.

Earlier in the week, the Prelate presided over a number of special services at St. Mary’s Church dedicated to the feast of the Assumption, including an evening service which took place on Wednesday, August 11, a spiritual concert which took place on Friday, August 13, and eve of the feast service and salt blessing which took place on Saturday, August 14.

The special events commemorating the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God and the name day of St. Mary’s Church were carried our successfully owing to the collective effort, support, and presence of the parish pastors and Board of Trustees, altar servers and choir, volunteers, and a large number of faithful.

By the ordinance of the Prelate, all proceeds from the collection plate on the feast of the Assumption will be allocated to the Armenian community in Lebanon as a gracious and tangible gesture of the motto “my hand in your hand, Lebanese-Armenian brother.”

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