Skip to main content
Current NewsHome Page News

Three-Day Visit To The Armenian Community Of Orange County – The Prelate Of The Western Prelacy Celebrates Inaugural Divine Liturgy At Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church Of Orange County

By June 27, 2024No Comments

“They, endowed with the wisdom and strength of our Lord, contributed to the strengthening of the throne of St. Gregory through their translations”
(Holy Translators hymn)

Over the previous weekend, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the United States, conducted his inaugural pastoral visit to the Armenian community of Orange County. In the morning of Sunday, June 23, 2024, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered a sermon at Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church of Orange County. Present at the Divine Liturgy were parishioners, students, parents, friends, benefactors, and guests.

Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, Pastor of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretsian, deacons, scribes, and the church choir served the altar.

In his sermon, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian highlighted three significant feasts: the feast of St. Sahag and St. Mesrob, the feast of St. Dertad the King and St. Ashkhen the Queen, and the feast of discovery of the box of the Mother of God. H.E. Archbishop Khacherian elaborated on the importance of these feasts, noting that our nation adopted Christianity as its religion almost a century ago, and Catholicos St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Mashdots the translator and priest played crucial roles in connecting Armenia to global communities, further solidifying the foundations of the Holy Catholicosate established by St. Gregory the Illuminator. The Prelate shared that the establishment of Christianity in Armenia was attributed to King Dertad III, who also reintroduced the revered image of the Mother of God into the Armenian faith, alongside the commemoration of the discovery of the box containing the personal belongings of the Holy Mother of God. H.E. Archbishop Khacherian emphasized the enduring significance of these feasts within the Armenian Church, stating “despite the passage of centuries, the observance of these feasts keeps them alive in our lives.”

After the completion of the Divine Liturgy, a luncheon was organized at Gugasian Hall of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church in honor of H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian’s inaugural visit to the Orange County Armenian community. At the luncheon, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian was presented with a cake in celebration of his 43rd ordination anniversary as celibate priest (June 21, 1981), and on this occasion, he expressed his sincere blessings to all those present.
On Friday, June 21, 2024, upon his arrival at the church, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian received a warm welcome, including the traditional blessing of bread and salt, before entering Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church accompanied by hymns. The Prelate was greeted by Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, Pastor of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, as well as members of the Board of Trustees, the Ladies Auxiliary, and students participating in the summer Bible camp held from June 17 to June 21. After Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian’s welcoming address, yeretsgin Sevan Bedourian, the director of the Bible camp, presented the annual summer camp program, expressed gratitude to all teachers and volunteers, and invited the students to showcase their program.

The annual summer Bible camp, now in its ninth consecutive year, saw an attendance of 65 students this year. The students of the summer camp presented to H.E. Archbishop Khacherian and the attendees prayers, psalms, and hymns they had learned. At the conclusion of the program, as a token of recognition, each student was awarded a certificate of participation by H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian, while the teachers and volunteers were honored with certificates of appreciation.

H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian commended the presentations of the summer Bible camp students, emphasizing the significance of this summer program as a cornerstone of the Armenian Church for developing successive generations and preserving our community’s national identity. The Prelate expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to begin his inaugural pastoral visit to the Orange County Armenian community with a program presented by the students of the summer bible camp. H.E. Archbishop Khacherian also thanked the teachers, staff, parents, grandparents, and administrators of the summer bible camp for their dedication and support.

Following the presentations, the students of the summer Bible camp engaged in water games and age-appropriate activities for the remainder of the day. After a closing prayer led by the Prelate, the students departed with new knowledge, spiritual experiences, and cherished memories. Through this enriching summer camp program, the teachings of the Christian faith and the values of the Armenian Church were further instilled in the hearts, souls, and minds of each child.

• Additionally, on Saturday, June 22, 2024, H.E. Archbishop Kegham Khacherian, presided over a productive meeting with the Board of Trustees and Ladies Auxiliary of Forty Martyr Armenian Apostolic Church. During the meeting, H.E. Archbishop Khacherian familiarized himself with various programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing community life, offering valuable feedback and suggestions.


Close Menu