Washing of the Feet Ceremony at Ararat Home in Honor of the “Year of the Elder”

 

In honor of the “Year of the Elder” proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, this year a special Easter celebration was held for the residents of Ararat Home in Mission Hills.

On Holy Wednesday, April 16, 2014, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, accompanied by clergy and deacons, visited the facility where he conducted the Washing of the Feet ceremony for the residents for the first time, in observance of the Pontiff’s proclamation.

The day began at the nursing facility, where the Prelate conducted the Blessing of the Home service, blessing salt, bread, and water, and conveyed his Easter well wishes.  His Eminence wished the residents good health, stressing that our elders have a special place in our hearts and lives and deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for their lifetime of service, and commended the board, administration, and staff, for their dedicated service.  The Prelate also reflected on next week’s Genocide commemorations and preparation for next year’s 100th anniversary commemoration.  At that moment, in a touching coincidence, His Eminence was introduced 100 year old Genocide survivor Yevnige Salibian, whom he blessed.  Communal confession followed, after which residents received Holy Communion and were presented with prayer cards.  Board Chairman Mr. Joseph Kanimian thanked the Prelate and clergy for their regular visits and continuous care.  The service came to a close with the “Cilicia” anthem.

The celebration continued at the Chapel with the Washing of the Feet ceremony.  Twelve residents, wearing church robes and seated in front of the altar, followed the service which was conducted by the Prelate, at the conclusion of which His Eminence washed their feet and blessed them.

The already moving ceremony became even more poignant when resident Antranig Ardzrounian, while having his feet washed, suddenly gave praise to God, attesting that he had a vision of that very moment in a dream fifteen days prior.  The remarkable testimony was received admirably by all.  The Prelate referred to the declaration as inspiring hope that the Lord hears our prayers, gave thanks to God for granting that blessed occasion, and concluded by praying that we all become worthy of the blessings and promise of the Resurrection of Christ.

The visit continued at the assisted living facility, where the Prelate conducted the Blessing of the Home service, after which clergy members were hosted to a luncheon and spent quality time with the residents, participating in Easter egg games and exchanging well wishes to one another.

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