Weekly News – August 10, 2012

EPISCOPAL DIVINE LITURGY AND BLESSING OF GRAPES AT
ST. MARY’S CHURCH ON THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

Sunday, August 12, 2012, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, one of five great feasts in the Armenian Church.  This feast commemorates how St. Mary was carried up into heaven, body and soul, or “assumed” into heave.  This was performed by our Lord Jesus Christ many years after His Ascension as a loving tribute to the mother who bore and raised him.  On this feast, the Blessing of Grapes takes place following Divine Liturgy.  The service is rich in symbolism and emphasizes the important role of the Virgin Mary in the revelation of God.  The blessing of the grapes became part of this celebration due to their association to Jesus Christ in numerous biblical references and in thanksgiving to God as the first fruit of the harvest.

The Feast of the Assumption will be ceremoniously celebrated in all Prelacy Churches with Divine Liturgy and the blessing of grapes.

The feast is also the name day of St. Mary’s Church in Glendale.  Thus, on this occasion, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, will celebrate Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Mary’s Church.  Following Divine Liturgy, the Prelate will conduct the blessing of madagh and grapes.

On Saturday, August 11, eve of the Feast service will take place at St. Mary’s Church and the church will remain open late into the night so faithful can light candles and offer their prayers.

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PRAYERS FOR THE SYRIAN PEOPLE AND NATION
TO BE OFFERED IN PRELACY CHURCHES

By the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, on Sunday, August 12, 2012, during Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, “Der Voghormya” prayers will be offered in all Prelacy Churches for the safety and tranquility of the Syrian people and nation.

In past weeks, the conflict in Syria has been escalating, especially in Aleppo and Damascus, causing a humanitarian and financial crisis for the Syrian people, including the large Armenian communities in both cities.  In the coming days there will be relief efforts, of which we will keep our faithful informed.

We invite our faithful to express their support to the Syrian people by joining us on Sunday to pray for Almighty God to safeguard the innocent people of Syria caught in the middle of this conflict, and for peace to prevail in the country.

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DIVINE LITURGY AND BLESSING OF GRAPES AT
ARARAT HOME IN CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

On Thursday, August 9, the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God was celebrated at Ararat Home in Mission Hills with Divine Liturgy and the blessing grapes.

The celebration began with the blessing of grapes in the nursing facility, led by the Prelate and with the participation of clergy members.

Divine Liturgy was then celebrated at the Chapel by Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian, who also delivered the sermon.

At both the nursing facility and the Chapel, the Prelate conveyed his blessings and well wishes to the administration, staff, and residents.

Following the services, the administration hosted the Prelate and clergy members to a luncheon with directors, staff, and residents.

BLESSING OF GRAPES AT GLENDALE ADVENTIST

For the past twenty years, each year prior to the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, pastors of St. Mary’s Church visit Glendale Adventist Hospital where they hold a prayer service in the Chapel, bless grapes, meet with the directors, and visit patients to offer prayers and blessed grapes.

This year’s visit took place on the morning of Wednesday, August 8.

The day began with  the introduction and welcoming remarks, delivered by Business Data Analyst Amanda Newton and President of Healthcare Foundatino Dro Abrahamian respectively.  The invocation was delivered by Chaplai Elias Molina, after which the pastors blessed the grapes.  Closing remarks were offered by Vice-President of Medical Affairs Quality Dr. Arby Nahapetian.

After the ceremony, the pastors visited patient rooms and blessed the patients.

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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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SEMINARY DEAN ARCHBISHOP NAREG ALEMEZIAN LECTURES ON
THE MISSION OF THE SEMINARY

By the ordinance and under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, on Sunday, August 5, 2012, Catholicosate of Cilicia Ecumenical Officer and Seminary Dean H.E. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian lectured on the mission of the Seminary.  The event will be held at “Armenak Der Bedrossian” Hall of St. Mary’s Church in Glendale.

Clergy members, Seminary alumni, deacons, altar servers, and faithful parishioners were in attendance to hear the important message of Archbishop Nareg, who is currently in the U.S. on a brief visit.

Following welcoming remarks by Rev. Fr. Vazken Atmajian, the attendees sang the Seminary anthem, after which His Eminence was invited to the podium to present his lecture.

Archbishop Nareg presented an overview of the Seminary’s history and its vast endeavors.  He reported that in the upcoming school year there will be a new class for 20-25 year olds from throughout the world.  It is worthy to note that two young adults from our Prelacy have already applied to join this program.  His Eminence also emphasized the fact that the Seminary not only prepares clergymen, but also lay persons who go on to become community leaders, principals, educators, and serve in our church and national life.  Archbishop Nareg concluded his lecture by calling on the faithful to seriously consider sending their children and grandchildren to the Seminary where they will receive the education to become our spiritual and community leaders.

Fr. Vazken then invited the Prelate to deliver the closing remarks.  His Eminence thanked Archbishop Nareg for his enlightening lecture.  He noted that the Seminary is an institution that is dear to our hearts, and the Prelacy and community continually support and encourage the Seminary through the Seminary Alumni Committee and will continue to do so always.  In conclusion, the Prelate appealed to all to encourage our youth interested in higher education and spiritual nourishment to attend the Seminary and benefit from the high-quality and specialized education offered.

The event concluded with the collective singing of the Cilician anthem.

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