Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apost. Church of America
H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States
6252 Honolulu Avenue
La Crescenta, 91214
Tel: 818-248-7737/8
Fax: 818-248-7745
E-mail: [email protected]

April 21, 2011

Sunday, April 24 is Easter.
Christendoms greatest holy day.

Christ is risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.

Prelates Easter Message
(To read the message in Armenian click here (

Who Will Roll the Stone?

Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?
(Mark 16:3)

It was the third day of the burial. In accordance with the Hebrew
tradition, it was necessary to anoint the body of the deceased with
sweet-smelling oils. Early in the morning three women went to the tomb
that was dug in a rock with a large and heavy stone placed at the
entrance. The weak women had been asking one another, Who will roll
away the stone placed at the entrance of the tomb?
Just as Jesus birth was a series of miraculous events, so also
was his death and resurrection, which was victory over death. Christs
resurrection is the basis of our Christian faith, the power of our
Christian life, and the hope of being with Christ enjoying the kingdom
of God. Without that our preaching is in vain, (1 Corinthians 15:14),
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through
Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died (1 Thessalonians
4:14), as affirmed by St. Paul. The life of a Christian is not a
series of days starting and ending in this world. But it is a divine
grace and gift which starts in this world by faithfulness to Jesus
Christ through the implementation of Gospel messages and Biblical
principlesa good journey which finds its complete meaning when we
depart from this world and unite with Christ. This kind of hope and
faith is the assurance given to humankind by Christs resurrectionthe
guarantee of a new l!
ife, everlasting life, in unity with our Lord Jesus Christ which this
worlds faithlessness, doubt and stone-heartedness toward each other
never understand. Evidently there is no one to roll away the stone
from humankinds stone-heartedness, and human beings remain blind and
indifferent toward their fellow humans and remain heartless,
deceitful, and greedy.
Look around and you will see the domination of power and
materialism and the thirst for money for which humans utilize every
kind of evil and fraud. They become blind in their eyes as well as in
their souls and minds. They place their own personal profit above all
else. They agree with and exploit the lies in political and social
life; they are devoid of moral values and empathy and they neglect the
rights of the people. Tens of thousands of pages from Wikileaks are
testimony to the deceit, intrigue, and greed of the leaders of
countries and the lack of moral values in friendships. Countries in
this situation, including our own countrythe United States of
Americaare frantic and angry that the lies have become exposed, and
they condemn the exposer in the name of national security. Human
beings who were created in the image of God should condemn all, repent
their sins, and welcome a world of righteousness and justice for
all. Evil prefers darkness and flees !
from light. Jesus very plainly and truthfully proclaimed, For all who
do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their
deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the
light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done
in God (John 3:20-21).
In a world dominated by secularism and technology we have
become doubtful of the power that rolls the stone and performs
miracles. We have become deaf to the truth of the Gospel that turns
stone-hearts into tender hearts. The only miracle and power is Christ
himself. Nations and individuals who emulate his words and life have
been illuminated and by surviving enjoy a resurrected life. Have we
not been educated throughout the history of the Armenian people with
the truth of the Gospel? Did we not become strengthened by the
Gospel? Did we not withstand perils and catastrophes? Were we not
resurrected by national martyrdom after the Genocide? (This year what
a coincidence that Martyrs Day and Easter coincide!). We believed that
our Savior would roll the stone at the entrance of our nations tomb,
and we would come to light. That light became the source of our truth,
faith, and hopes that kept St. Gregorys lantern lit, kept the
Mesrobian language alive, and bec!
ame the music and melody of our hymns and prayers. Our nations true
riches and treasures have been our religion and language, our faith
and culture. Our nations joy and pride, and especially survival, were
secured on that foundation that is unshakeable and indestructible.
During the year of 2011 we are going to joyously celebrate the
20th anniversary of the re-independence of Armenia. Twenty years ago
on a happy and fortunate day, Armenia regained her independence, and
heroic Artsakh earned her independence, giving the children of our
nation everywhere new lifethe prospect of a resurrected life. For 70
years we remained in a state of national and spiritual devastation, in
bondage for rights, always waiting for the re-appearance of the person
who would roll away the stone placed at the entrance of our tomb; that
person is none other than our own strong will, and faith in our
spiritual and national values. Our consistent effort proved that those
who believed in pursuing our national rights and religious freedom
were not mistaken. The native land had again found its master. The
land recognizes its master, Moushegh Kalshoyan would write.
The celebration of the 20th anniversary must remind all of
usleaders and populacethat the owners of the land have the
responsibility to govern their native land, where there is the blood
of martyrs and heroes, where there is toil and sweat, church and
prayer, culture and literature. Our resurrected homeland is in need of
strengthening; it longs for sacrifices for prosperity and development
that calls for martyrdom when necessary for a united homeland. There
is a large stone which must be rolled away in order to reach that good
resurrection that girds us to our faith, and calls us to be the
forerunners in the growth of our national and spiritual life.
Christ is risen from the dead.
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan


This year, for the first time since 1915, April 24th, the 96th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, falls on Easter Sunday.

On this sacred day, for the first time since the Armenian Genocide, we
will join together as Christians to celebrate the Resurrection of
Christ after His death on the cross, and also, as heirs of an ancient
people that arose nearly a century ago from the ashes of genocide, to
mark our own rebirth.
We will recall with thanksgiving to the Almighty, our resurrection as
a people from the fires of hatred that nearly consumed us in 1915. As
a people who believe in the power of faith and forgiveness, we seek a
true and enduring redemption for the Republic of Turkey, the direct
descendants of the Ottoman Empire, through repentance and
restitution. For, just as Scripture tells us that the truth will set
us free, so too will justice set us all upon the path to peace. The
difficult path to true forgiveness must pass through confession and
As Armenians and children of the first nation to adopt Christianity,
we approach this holiest of days with a call to all of our Christian
brothers and sisters worldwide, and to all Muslims, Jews, believers of
all denominations and faiths, to join with us in offering a prayer for
the Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac, Pontian, Greek, and other
victims of the Ottoman Empire's World War I-era genocide. Let us raise
our voices in unison for peace and justice to prevail throughout the

Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
Bishop Manuel Batakian
Reverend Joseph D. Matossian

On Monday, April 25, which is one of five Memorial Days in the
Armenian Liturgical Calendar, the 96th anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide will be commemorated with a Divine Liturgy, Requiem Service,
and Madagh, at St. Illuminators Cathedral, 221 E. 27th Street, New
York City. Archbishop Oshagan will preside; the Liturgy will be
celebrated by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church,
Douglaston, New York. Madagh will be offered immediately after the
services in the Cathedrals Pashalian Hall. All are welcome to attend.
In a rare occurrence, this year Easter and Martyrs Day
coincide. The last time Easter fell on April 24 was in 1859one hundred
fifty-two years ago, and of course well before April 24 sadly became a
significant day in Armenian history. Easter is celebrated on the
Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon, which can vary as
much as two days from the date of the actual full moon. As a result,
the dates for Easter can range from March 22 through April 25.

Palm Sunday is always a joyful day in the Armenian Church, especially
for the children, who dress in their finest clothes and parade around
the church carrying decorated candles. This year colorful balloons
were added to the festivities. The multi-colored balloons were
inscribed in Armenian and English noting that 2011 is the year of the
Armenian child, and the Biblical verse, Let the little children come
to me
Archbishop Oshagan with the children in front of St. Stephens Church
in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Bishop Anoushavan is surrounded by the children at St. Sarkis Church
in Dearborn, Michigan.
The balloons are released upward at St. Gregory Church in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Balloons being distributed at St. Gregory Church, North Andover,

Last September Dn. Sebouh Kevorkian was ordained to the married
priesthood and renamed Hrant in honor of Archbishop Hrant
Khatchadourian, the first Prelate of the Prelacy. Der Hrant and
Yeretzgin Tamar arrived in the United States yesterday to begin their
service within the Eastern Prelacy. They are in the New York-New
Jersey area until next week when they will go to Watertown where Der
Hrant will receive training under the supervision of Archpriest
Fr. Antranig Baljian at St. Stephen Church for a time before being
assigned to a parish.
On Easter Sunday Der Hrant will celebrate the Divine Liturgy
and deliver the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New
We warmly welcome Der Hrant and Yeretzgin Tamar.

The 25th annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Christian
Studies Program, for youth ages 13-18, will take place at the St. Mary
of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 3-10,
2011. By popular demand, the Institute this year will again extend the
week-long program with a three-day retreat (optional) from June
30-July 3.
The summer program is sponsored by the Armenian Religious
Education Council (AREC). For information and registration, contact
the AREC office by telephone at 212-689-7810, by email at
[email protected] (mailto:[email protected]), or click
here (

Bible readings for Sunday, April 24, Easter Sunday are: Acts 1:15-26;
MRK 16:2-8. Evening Gospels: Luke 24:13-36; John 20:1-18; John
5:24-30; John 19:31-37; John 20:19-25.
And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had
risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, Who
will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb? When
they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had
already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young
man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were
alarmed. But he said to them, Do not be alarmed; you are looking for
Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not
here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his
disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there
you will see him, just as he told you. So they went out and fled from
the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said
nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

For a listing of the coming weeks Bible readings click here (
The popular Mothers Day luncheon presented each year by the Prelacy
Ladies Guild (PLG) will take place on Monday, May 2, at The New York
Palace, 455 Madison Avenue (between 50th and 51st Streets).
Lucy Ishkanian will be honored by the Prelacy as The Woman of
the Year. Ms. Ishkanian, a familiar presence in the Armenian American
community, is an internationally recognized artist who has performed
extensively throughout the world, and has received critical acclaim
from critics, artists, and the music-loving public. Throughout her
career she has encouraged and nurtured the careers of young talented
musicians. She dedicated her 25th anniversary concert in 1997 to
benefit the Komitas Conservatory and the Juilliard School. She
considers one of her greatest accomplishments to be the foundation of
the Juilliard-Komitas friendship program established in 1992. The
program offers gifted students from the Komitas Conservatory in
Yerevan, who have been admitted to The Juilliard School in New
York,the invaluable opportunity to continue their musical
development. She has worked
tirelessly in this endeavor, and has presented benefit concerts for
the Armenian Scholarship Fund at Juilliard. Without this financial
support these students would not be able to study at Juilliard.
The Dean of the Juilliard School acknowledged the pivotal role
she has played in the nurturing of young talent. In a letter following
her 25th anniversary concert he expressed thanks for her generosity
and advocacy. These talented Armenian students, he wrote, would not be
able to attend without your efforts on their behalf. For those you
have helped and for all those who will benefit in the future from the
Armenian Scholarship Fund, I extend profound thanks.
She has brought the same advocacy and generosity to the
Prelacys Musical Armenia Concert Committee. Her dedication and
expertise have played an important part in the continued success of
this concert series.


April 25Divine Liturgy and Requiem Service in commemoration of the
96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, at St. Illuminators
Cathedral, New York City, presided by His Eminence Archbishop
Oshagan. The Divine Liturgy and Requiem Service will be celebrated by
Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New
York, with participation of metro area clergy. Madagh will be offered
following the Liturgy and Requiem Service.

May 1Armenian Genocide commemoration at the crossroads of the world,
Times Square, New York City, beginning at 2 pm. Sponsored by the
Knights and Daughters of Vartan; co-sponsored by AGBU, Armenian
Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee of America,
ADL-Ramgavars, and Armenian Council of America; with the participation
of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Armenian Missionary Association
of America, Armenian Catholic Eparchy for United States and Canada,
Mid-Atlantic ACYOA, AYF, Armenian Youth Organizations, and University
Armenian Clubs. For up to date information go to (

May 2Prelacy Ladies Guild Mothers Day Luncheon, honoring Lucy
Ishkanian as Woman of the Year, at The New York Palace, 455 Madison
Avenue, New York City; reception at noon, luncheon at 1 pm.

May 4St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, Mothers Day Luncheon,
honoring all mothers, sponsored by St. Sarkis Senior Citizens Group,
12 noon. Live Armenian and Middle Eastern music featuring Jacque
Hagopian. Limited seating. Reservations by April 25. Donation $25
advance; $35 at door. Reservations: 516-587-0727 or 718-224-2275.

May 7St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, Fourth Annual
Celebration of International Cuisine, Simply the Best Party, 8
pm. Enjoy a special evening of tasting gourmet cooking and dancing to
the tunes of DJ Allen. Reservations a must; donation $50 in advance;
$60 at door; children under twelve, $25. Reservations: church office,

May 11-14National Representative Assembly of Eastern Prelacy, hosted
by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

May 21An event not to be missed, A Benefit Dinner Dance Extravaganza,
sponsored by the Ladies Guild of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence,
Rhode Island, at the West Valley Inn, 4 Blossum Street, West Warwick,
Rhode Island. Twenty-seven musicians from New England area are
generously donating their talent and time. Dinner at 6 pm; adults $35,
children (under 16) $25. Dance only $20. Dinner tickets by advance
sale only. Contact Joyce Bagdasarian, 401-434-4467.

May 22Celebration of the 95th anniversary of St. Illuminators
Cathedral, New York City, will take place at the Terrace on the Park,
Flushing Meadow Park, under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Oshagan
Choloyan. Cocktails 5 pm; Dinner 6 pm.

June 11St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, presents
Armenian Food Festival, 11 am to 7 pm. Buffet served all day; take-out
available. Pastries, handmade jewelry, Armenian gifts, raffles, and
much more. For information contact church office, 978-685-5038.

October 23Student Festival in celebration of the Year of the Armenian
Child. Details will follow.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacys web

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Parishes of the Eastern Prelacy are invited to send information about
their major events to be included in the calendar. Send to:
[email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

From: A. Papazian