Joint Divine Liturgy and Requiem in Commemoration of the 99th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

 

On the evening of Wednesday, April 23, 2014, clergy and faithful from the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches gathered at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale to honor the memory of our martyrs at the annual joint Divine Liturgy and Requiem conducted by the leaders of the three churches.

Divine Liturgy was celebrated by H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the April 24 message was delivered by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and remarks were delivered by H.G. Bishop Mikael Mouradian, Eparch of the Catholic Church, and Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian of Holy Trinity Evangelical Church.

Among the guests in attendance were Consul General Sergey Sarkisov, Executive Council members, and representatives of political parties and community organizations.

During the service, the Prelate welcomed clergy members, honored guests, and faithful, and invited the spiritual leaders to deliver their remarks, all of whom paid tribute to the memory of our martyrs and highlighted that the reality of the Resurrection of Christ emboldens us to continue our pursuit of recognition and reparation; that Christ speaks to each and every one of us, encouraging us to not be afraid and to place our trust in Him, He who conquered death, and we will also be triumphant.

The Prelate then delivered his message, stressing the promise and hope of the Resurrection which has sustained us throughout history.  His Eminence emphasized the resilience and will of the Armenian people, stating that the Turks sought to annihilate the Armenian people, and though they massacred one and a half million of our ancestors, they failed in their ultimate mission, “for here we are today, and here we will always be”.  Even the most harrowing of times, our ancestors maintained their will to live because of their strong faith and because of the hope promised by the Resurrection, a hope that helped us to rebuild and gave us the strength to fight for our rights.  No matter the circumstance, death could not defeat our spirit of survival, stated the Prelate.

His Eminence noted that the genocidal ambitions of the turks continue today, with the latest example the attack on Kessab, stating that though they caused destruction, desecrated churches, and looted homes, again we did not fall.

Ninety-nine years have passed, but the injustice done to our people and the memory of our martyrs lives on, fresh in our minds, reminding us to never falter in our duty and promise to them by continuing the pursuit of our just cause, said the Prelate.  His Eminence reiterated the message His Holiness Aram I, that the Armenian Cause is the cause of each and every Armenian and so it is the responsibility of all of us to fight for the attainment of our rights, and that the motto of our pursuit must be to Remember, Remind, and Demand.

For ninety-nine years we have remembered our martyrs with tears, candles, and prayers, and we continually remind the world of our cause.  Here the Prelate thanked the nations and states that have recognized the Genocide and stated that it is high time that the United States government do the same. Now we must go further, stressed the Prelate, from recognition to reparations, demanding our ancestral lands, our properties, compensation for the price our martyrs paid with their blood, and to keep demanding until we obtain that which is rightfully ours.

The Prelate concluded by inviting the faithful to join in prayer for the souls of our martyrs, for God’s protection to be upon our homeland and our people, and for peace in the world, especially in Syria, so that our compatriots can resume their lives and begin the process of rebuilding and restoring our historic lands to glory.

Requiem service was then conducted at the memorial cross-stone in the church courtyard, followed by the laying of wreaths.  The commemoration came to a close with “Cilicia”, “Etchmiadzin”, and the Armenian national anthem.

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