Prelate Presides Over Divine Liturgy and Consecrates a Sacred Painting at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County

On Sunday, August 5, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County. During the service, the Prelate also consecrated a sacred painting of St. James.

Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian and deacons assisted at the altar.

Addressing the faithful, Fr. Hrant welcomed and thanked the Prelate for being with the Forty Martyrs parish community, and invited His Eminence to consecrate the sacred painting of St. James.

With the singing of the “Oorakh Ler” hymn, the Prelate was led to the altar in a procession to consecrate the painting. Prior to conducting the consecration ceremony, the Prelate noted that it was the eve of the Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, and invited the faithful to prepare spiritually, through prayer, to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God the following Sunday. For all mothers, especially Armenian mothers, noted the Prelate, the Feast of Assumption is an opportunity and an invitation to follow in the ideal example of the Virgin Mary as a virtuous and faithful mother.

The Prelate then consecrated the painting, which was sponsored by Mrs. Sirvart Deirmenjian and her sons, Dr. and Mrs. John and Hasmig Deirmenjian and Drs. Barouir and Sandra Deirmenjian, in memory of their late husband and father Hagop, who was a devoted Board member during the construction of Forty Martyrs Church. Following the ceremony, the Prelate explained the sentiments of faithful for sacred paintings, noting that the love of the Armenian Church towards sacred icons of saints is not worship of the painting, it is reverence for the saints and their intercessions.

The Prelate then spoke of the day’s Gospel reading, which told of Jesus healing the paralytic man, and the underlying message of faith. He lauded the resolute faith and conviction of the paralytic man’s friends toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Having been unable to take their friend directly to Jesus, and having utmost confidence that Jesus would heal their friend, they removed the roof of the room Jesus was in and lowered their friend in to be healed. And seeing the faith of the man and his friends, Jesus healed the paralytic. The Prelate spoke of how important it is to have faith, and to be resolute in your faith, because with faith anything is possible, and through faith you receive the Lord’s mercy and redemption. The Prelate also stated that it is important to surround oneself with good and faithful people who are filled with God’s love, like the paralytic’s friends were, for when you fall on hard times you know they will be there for you.

In conclusion, the Prelate paid tribute to the late Hagop Deirmenjian, recalling his life-long love and service to the Armenian Apostolic Church, and thanked his widow and children for their ongoing support and encouragement of our Church.

Later in the service, by the ordinance of the Prelate “Der Voghormya” prayers were offered for the safety of the Syrian people and for peace and stability to return to the nation.

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