Weekly News – January 4, 2013

PRELACY FREEWAY AND STREET SIGNS INSTALLED

We are pleased to announce that thanks to the efforts of the H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Executive Council, and Prelacy Real Property Committee, in late December of 2012 freeway and surface street signs were installed directing faithful to the Prelacy building.

Signs have been posted on the 210 Freeway East and West at the Lowell and La Tuna Canyon exits, and also near the intersections of Honolulu and Lowell and Honolulu and La Tuna Canyon.

The Prelate, Councils, and Committee members express their appreciation to Assemblymember Charles Calderon and L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich for their assistance in this endeavor.  “We convey our thanks and gratitude to Assemblymember Calderon and Supervisor Antonovich for their support in facilitating the installment of the signs directing our faithful to our headquarters.  We treasure their genuine friendship and continued support of our endeavors and mission, and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the New Year and in the years to come”, stated the Prelate.

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PRELATE TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS DIVINE LITURGY AT HOLY MARTYRS CHURCH IN ENCINO

On Sunday, January 6th, the Glorious Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ will be ceremoniously celebrated with Divine Liturgy and the blessing of water symbolizing the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River.

The Prelate will celebrate Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and conduct the blessing of water at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino.

Catholicosate Seminary Dean H.E. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, who will be in Los Angeles during this time, will celebrate Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale.

On Saturday, January 5th, Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in Prelacy Churches, followed by the lighting of the candles service (Jrakalooyots).

The Prelate will celebrate Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena.

On the morning of Monday, January 7, Christmas memorial day services will be held at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills “Hall of Liberty” and Forest Lawn Glendale “Church of the Recessional”, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The Prelate will preside over the service at Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn.

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CHRISTMAS PRAYER SERVICE AND BLESSING OF WATER AT GLENDALE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

In celebration of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, on Friday, January 4, 2013, morning service was held and the blessing of water ceremony was conducted at Glendale Memorial Hospital.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, led the prayer service, conducted the blessing of water, and conveyed his New Year and Christmas blessings and well wishes.  St. Mary’s Church Pastors assisted in the service.

Upon their arrival, the Prelate and St. Mary’s Church Pastors were greeted by Mr. Jack Ivie, President of Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, and led to the auditorium for the service.

Among the guests in attendance were Glendale City officials, hospital Board of Directors members, including Mr. Sarkis Ourfalian, Armenian and non-Armenians members of the administration, staff, and volunteers.  Executive Council member Dr. Dikran Babikian was also present.

During the service, the Prelate explained the meaning of the blessing of water, which symbolizes the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River.  His Eminence also explained that in the Armenian Church Holy Chrism is used to bless the water.  Guests listened intently as the Prelate interestingly gave a history of the Holy Chrism explaining that every time a new batch is prepared, the remaining portion of the previous oil is poured in with the new, a procedure which has been followed for generations, thus the holy oil always contains small amounts from the original oil blessed over 1700 years ago by St. Gregory the Illuminator.

Mr. Jack Ivie thanked the Prelate for this annual service and also for his explanation of the ceremony, stating that he has attended Armenian Christmas service in the past but was not aware of the history behind the traditions.

The Prelate and Pastors distributed the blessed water to the guests, after which they were hosted to a reception by the Board and administration.

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CHRISTMAS SERVICE AT ARARAT HOME

It has become a beautiful tradition within the Western Prelacy for clergy to visit Ararat Home at the start of each New Year to convey their New Year blessings and spread Christmas joy and tidings to the administration and residents.

Continuing this tradition, on the morning of Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013, Christmas service was held at Ararat Home in Mission Hills led by the Prelate, and with the participation of clergy members.

The service began at 10:00 a.m. at the nursing facility dining room with the Prelate conveying his blessings and wishes for a happy New Year to the residents.  Following the singing of hymns dedicated to the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prelate conducted the blessing of water, bread, and salt.  Residents were then offered Holy Communion.

Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Sheen Chapel beginning at 10:30 a.m.  St. Mary’s Church Pastor Rev. Gomidas Torossian celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. Holy Communion was offered to the faithful, after which the Prelate presided over the blessing of water.

The Prelate and clergy were then hosted to a luncheon by the administration.

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PRELATE CONVEYS NEW YEAR AND CHRISTMAS WELL WISHES

In mid-December, the Prelate sent congratulatory letters to His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Diocesan Archbishops, leaders of Armenian Catholic and Evangelical Churches, Oriental Orthodox and Maronite Churches, Consul Generals of Armenia and Lebanon, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan, Pastors and Boards of Trustees, conveying his blessings and well wishes on the threshold of the New Year and Feast of the Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 In his letter the Prelate noted, “Today in this ever-increasing chaotic and unstable world filled with economic crises and conflicts, mankind is more than ever in need of the good tidings of love, hope, peace, and harmony revealed centuries ago in that humble manger in Bethlehem.  The Birth of our Savior heralded that at the heart of the world is One Who has boundless love and compassion for all who suffer, and as faithful Christians, we will draw strength from the promise of peace in the message of the angels and continue to be messengers of those good tidings and strive for a world that is just and peaceful.  With these sentiments and with the promise to embody the message of the Birth of our Lord in our lives, we welcome a New Year and celebrate the “Great and Marvelous Mystery” of the Nativity as we join the angels of that first Christmas and proclaim in unison, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

The Prelate also received letters of good wishes from Clergy and dignitaries.

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PRELATE ATTENDS CHRISTMAS RECEPTIONS

At the start of the New Year, a number of our sister organizations are hosting Christmas gatherings to celebrate the upcoming Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord.

On Wednesday, January 2nd, the Prelate, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Ardak Demirjian, attended a reception hosted by the Armenian Relief Society-Western Region Executive and conveyed his New Year and Christmas blessings and well wishes.  On this occasion, the Prelate presented the ARS member with newly published color illustrated copies of the Lords’ Prayer.

On Thursday, January 3rd, the Prelate, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Gomidas Torossian, attended a reception organized by Homenetmen Western Region Executive at their center in Glendale and conveyed his blessings and well wishes.  The Prelate also presented Homenetmen members with copies of the Lords’ Prayer.

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