Prelate Conducts Blessing of Water at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino – Pontifical Message from Sis Catholicosate Read in all Prelacy Churches


Over the past few weeks, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, has been visiting Prelacy parishes to conduct the blessing of water with the new Holy Muron blessed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, on July 18, 2015, at St. Mary Monastery in Bikfaya, Lebanon. On Sunday, August 30, the Prelate presided over Divine Liturgy, delivered his message, and conducted the blessing of water at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by parish pastor, Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian.

As widely reported in various media outlets, on Saturday, August 22nd, a delegation of Brotherhood members representing His Holiness Aram I visited the site of the Catholicosate of Sis in Historic Cilicia, where they conducted requiem service for the blessed souls of Catholicoi who lived and served at the Sis Catholicosate from 1293-1915, and read the Pontifical message of His Holiness addressed to the Armenian people. It was the first time in one hundred years that a Pontifical message was delivered from the site of the Catholicosate. On Sunday, August 30, the Pontifical message of His Holiness was read during Divine Liturgy in all Prelacy Churches.

Prior to conducting the blessing of water at Holy Martyrs Church, the Prelate delivered his message to the hundreds of faithful in attendance. His Eminence wished that those who receive the blessed water undergo spiritual renewal and become reinforced in their faith and in their pledge to carry on the legacy of our forefathers. The Prelate reiterated the Pontifical message delivered on the occasion of the blessing of Muron, in which His Holiness urged to always remember the holy martyrs of our nation, to remind the world, to collectively demand and reclaim that which is rightfully ours. The Prelate then read the Pontifical message of His Holiness delivered in Sis, in which our Pontiff demanded that our historic Catholicosate be returned to its rightful owner, the Catholicosate of Cilicia, and reaffirmed the commitment of the Armenian Church to the sacred legacy of our holy martyrs.

At the conclusion of the message, His Eminence once again addressed the congregation, tying in the essence of the Holy Muron with the day’s Gospel reading from Mark 4:35-41 of Jesus calming the sea, in which our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked His disciples for their fear and lack of faith. “As we bless this water, let us witness the Lord’s presence and peace in each drop of the Holy Muron. Let us proclaim that we are not afraid, for we have inherited the unwavering faith of our forefathers.” In conclusion, the Prelate prayed for the Christ’s presence in the Holy Muron to bring peace to our individual lives, to our collective life, to our brethren in the Middle East, and to the souls of our deceased.

The blessing of water followed. Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian carried the dove-shaped Muron vessel up the altar and presented it to the Prelate, who conducted the ceremony as the choir accompanied with hymns. At the conclusion of the ceremony faithful were offered Holy Communion and received the blessed water. Requiem service followed.

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