Weekly News – February 8, 2013

SAVE HORIZON

Earlier this month, the management of Horizon Armenian Television was notified by Charter Communications that the channel that has been serving the Armenian community for more than two decades would be pulled from the Charter lineup effective February 19, despite the fact that Horizon signed and delivered a contract for 2013.

There is an online petition demanding that Charter overturn its decision and allow Horizon Armenian Television to continue its broadcasts and service to the community. We urge our community to sign the petition in support of saving Horizon.  (Click here to sign the petition)

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PRELATE TO PRESIDE OVER DIVINE LITURGY AT HOLY CROSS CATHEDRAL ON THE EVE OF GREAT LENT

Sunday, February 10, 2013 is the Eve of Great Lent, or “Poon Paregentan”.  Paregentan translates into “Good Living”.  In the liturgical calendar there are ten occasions for observing Paregentan.  Poon Paregentan (Main or Prime Paregentan), signals the start of the seven-week period of Great Lent.  Indicating the start of long and frequently occurring periods of abstinence, the days of any Paregentan, and especially Poon Paregentan, serve for joyous celebration and merriment as a counterbalance to the following weeks of abstinence.

On this day, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, will preside over Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello.

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GREAT LENT SUNRISE AND VIGIL SERVICES

Great Lent begins on Monday, February 11 and continues until Saturday, March 30, Easter Eve.

The forty-day period of Lent offers an opportunity for faithful to experience spiritual renewal; to cleanse themselves spiritually and come closer to God through prayer, abstinence or self-denial, and performing good deeds for the less fortunate.  It is a time to prepare oneself spiritually to accept the good news of Christ’s Resurrection.

During the Lenten period, the Armenian Church has soulful services of prayer which typically take place on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Beginning on Wednesday, February 13, Sunrise and Vigil services will take place in Prelacy churches on Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings respectively.

Per tradition, on Wednesday, February 13 the Prelate will preside over the first Sunrise service of Lent at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino and will deliver his message to the faithful and to Ferrahian School students who will be in attendance.  The service begins at 10:00 a.m.

Following the service, the Prelate will attend the annual Great Lent luncheon organized by the local ARS “Anahid” Chapter at “Dikranian” Hall, during which His Eminence will convey his message focusing on the virtues and roles of Armenian mothers given that His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has proclaimed 2013 the “Year of the Armenian Mother”.

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EVENING SERVICES AND TRADITIONAL BONFIRE ON THE EVE OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD TO THE TEMPLE

– ANNUAL MEETING WITH HOMENETMEN SCOUTS

Thursday, February 14, is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord to the Temple, “Dyarnentarach”.

This feast is regarded as scriptural confirmation of Jesus’ Revelation as God.  According to Jewish canons, it was custom for a woman who had borne a child to go to the temple and present the child on the 40th day.  It was in conformance with this practice that Mary took the infant Jesus to the temple, during which Simeon miraculously sensed God’s presence.   In the Armenian Church, on this day mothers take their children to Church where they present them to the altar for dedication.  Another tradition is to light a bonfire in the Church courtyard after the service.  Traditionally all present at the bonfire took a light from it with a candle and took it home so that the Light and Wisdom would prevail and misfortune would be banished from their homes.

On Wednesday, February 13, Eve of the Feast services will be held in Prelacy Churches, followed by the lighting of the traditional bonfire.

The Prelate will preside over services and deliver his message at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale.  The service begins at 6:30 p.m.

In keeping with tradition, Homenetmen scouts and representatives will be in attendance and will be hosted to dinner with the Prelate at “Armenak Der Bedrossian” Hall at the conclusion of the services.

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CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF STS. VARTANANTS

On Thursday, February 7, 2013, the Armenian Church and nation observed the Feast of St. Vartanants, the first recorded battle in defense of our Christian faith.  The battle which was fought on the plains of Avarayr in 451 AD was a spiritual victory for the Armenian nation, granting them freedom to worship our Christian faith.  Through their martyrdom, St. Vartan and his 1036 soldiers became symbols of courage, sacrifice, patriotism, and undying faith.

The legacy of the Vartanants saints was commemorated within the Prelacy on Thursday with a special evening service of prayers, hymns, and nationalistic and patriotic songs held at the North Hollywood Parish.  H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the service, in which clergy members participated.

In his inspiring message to the faithful, the Prelate exalted the virtues of the Vartanants saints and advised as to how we, today, must follow in their ideal example and path.  “Through their struggle and martyrdom, St. Vartan and his combatants proclaimed that no matter what difficulties or crises the Armenian people are faced with, we will always recognize the Bible as our father and the Armenian Apostolic Church as our mother; and as long as we, as a people, defend against any and all obstacles that come to destroy our faith, national identity, and moral values, then we are worthy of being called their heirs.  On the eve of the battle, St. Vartan and his companions, and the cleric Ghevont and his fellow clergymen celebrated Liturgy and received Holy Communion as a pledge that they were ready to shed their blood and become martyrs for their faith in Jesus Christ, for the glory of God, and for the preservation of our national identity, so that we would remain always Armenian Christians. Today, we renew our spirits by the legacy of their faith and courage, and we rejoice in the legacy of Vartan Mamigonian as the glory of the Armenian nation and the crown of the Armenian Church.  Vartan Mamigonian has been described as exceptional in his courage, virtues, and faith, wise in his thoughts and messages, compelling in his words, and adept in his works.
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  As the heirs of St. Vartan and St. Ghevont, and as clergy and community leaders dedicated to serving our church and nation, more than ever we need courage, wisdom, and strong-will in our service for the glory of God  and for the progress of our church and nation.  We too must proclaim that we accept the Bible as our father and the Armenian Apostolic Church as our mother, and that we will always remain faithful to the Bible and its teachings, to our religious heritage, and to the canons of our church; this is our responsibility as religious and national leaders.

In his address to his soldiers, St. Vartan had one request of them, and that was to keep away from iniquity.  Today the same is required of us.  In their ideal example, we are to cleanse any treachery and deceit from our hearts, souls, and thoughts so that we do not mislead our flock from the righteous path.
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  Let us then, with renewed spirits, bow in reverence to the memory of our Sts. Vartanants, and as their worthy heirs pledge to continue to lead our flock on the path of righteousness with faith, integrity, courage, and wisdom, for the glory of God and the splendor of our nation”, concluded the Prelate.

The faithful then joined clergy in the spiritually uplifting and moving singing of beloved traditional songs dedicated specifically to this feast. The service came to a close with the Cilician, Pontifical, and Armenian national anthems and the Prelate’s blessing.

 Clergy and faithful were then hosted to a reception organized by the parish Ladies Guild.

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CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF GHEVONTIANTS AT CHAMLIAN SCHOOL

On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Armenian Church celebrated the Feast of Ghevontiants.  The Feast honors the indestructible faith and sacrifices of a multitude of heroes who gave their lives in the name of their faith and nation in the first half of the fifth century.

Each year on the occasion of this Feast day, Armenian clergy join together to reflect on the life and virtues of the Ghevontiants Saints and renew their vows and commitment as clergy.  The feast is commemorated within the Prelacy with an annual clergy conference and Divine Liturgy.

On this occasion, on Tuesday morning Divine Liturgy was celebrated at Vahan and Anoush Chamlian School, presided over by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate and with the participation of clergy members.  The celebrant was Pastor of Holy Martyrs Church of Encino Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian.

In attendance were Executive Council Vice-Chair Mr. George Chorbajian, Principal Mr. Vazken Madenlian, Vice-Principal Mrs. Rita Kaprielian, administrators, teachers, students, and school support committee members.

At the conclusion of the service, seventh grade student Alina Lahian presented a brief history of the Battle of Vartanants.

Addressing the students, the Prelate stated that this year’s Ghevontiants service was especially inspiring and moving because the Liturgy was being celebrated at Chamlian School for the first time with their participation.  Speaking on the history of the Battle of Vartanants, His Eminence noted that our heroes and martyrs celebrated Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion prior to their venture onto the battlefield to defend our Christian faith and our religious and national identity.  The Prelate concluded his message by stressing that Vartan Mamigonian and the Ghevontiants priests were victorious in their mission and became the champions of our faith, and we, as the heirs of that faith, nation, language, and culture, must stay true to the ideal for which they gave their lives.  In conclusion, the Prelate blessed and commended all those present, including the school principal and staff, Executive Council Vice-Chair Mr. George Chorbajian, and clergy members.

The service concluded with national songs dedicated to the feast, and the Cilician and Armenian national anthems, sung by clergy members and students.

The Prelate and clergy were then hosted to a luncheon by the administration, in which students joined.

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“FRIENDS OF NEW JULFA” TRADITIONAL COSTUME FESTIVAL

The “Friends of New Julfa” Committee annual “Paregentan” festivities, the traditional costume festival, will be held under the auspices of the Prelate on Saturday, February 9, at Ambrosia hall in Glendale.

Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian will represent the Prelate.

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