Untitled DocumentPress Release
Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.armenianprelacy.org

FEBRUARY 28, 2008

The Midwest regional meeting with pastors, boards of trustees, NRA
delegates and the Executive Council that was to take place last Saturday in
Chicago was postponed because of the severe weather. A new date will be
announced for the meeting.
The New England regional meeting will take place on Saturday, March 8,
hosted by St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts.

Archbishop Oshagan will be in Montreal next week to continue the Bible
translation project. The Prelate is leading the effort to complete the
translation of the Old Testament. The New Testament was completed some years
ago and has already been published in several printings. More than a dozen
books of the Old Testament have already been translated. The team is
currently doing a final editing on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 2 Samuel,
Proverbs and Song of Songs.
This project started in the early 1980s by Archbishop Oshagan and the
late Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian, with the help and support of the Bible
Society and the blessings of the Catholicos of Cilicia. The translations
(into modern Armenian) are done utilizing the texts from the original
language, i.e., Greek for the New Testament and Hebrew for the Old
Testament. The Septuagint and the Classical Armenian texts are also

The Eastern Prelacy's National Representative Assembly will be hosted by
St. Stephen's Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, May 8-10. Information for
delegates, including hotel reservations, meal plans, and airport shuttle
service are on the Prelacy web page. Additional information will be posted
on a regular basis, so check the site often. In addition to the NRA, the
National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG) will be meeting and celebrating
its 25th anniversary; and a conference of Yeretzgeens will take place. To
get to the NRA site click http://www.armenianprelacy.org/nra0800.html.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, has
designated the year 2008 as the "Year of Christian Education."
To read His Holiness' message in Armenian click
http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/v04/do c/Pontifical%20Messages/messages
To read His Holiness' message in English click
http://www.armenianprelacy.org/2008Encyclica l.pdf.

The fourth of the six-part Prelacy Lenten program took place last night
at St. Illuminator's Cathedral in New York City. After the Husgoom Service
(Peace-Compline), Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator's
Cathedral in New York City, spoke about "Saints and Christian Education."
The saints are a living reality in the life of the Armenian Church and
our people, said Der Hayr. They are present in our literature, art and
history; we commemorate them and ask for their intercession in our
liturgical celebrations through hymns, odes and prayers; Saints are our
heroes of faith, who bore witness to Christ; as such they are
living examples for us to emulate as we struggle to be better disciples of
Christ. Der Hayr brought two significant books to the attention of the
participants:Vark Surpots (Lives of Saints) and Soorpereh Yev Menk (The
Saints and Us). The latter book was published by the Eastern Prelacy.
At the end, Bishop Anoushavan added that in April of this year, a meeting
will take place in Holy Etchmiadzin, at which the Catholicosate of the Great
House of Cilicia will participate, to further discuss the whole canonization
process of new martyrs of the Armenian Church. The last person to be
canonized in the Armenian Church was St. Gregory of Datev in the fourteenth
After the lecture, the more than 60 participants enjoyed nice table
fellowship with Lenten delicacies of Anjar.
Next Wednesday, March 5, Deacon Shant Kazanjian, director of the Armenian
Religious Education Council, will speak on "Prayer and Christian Formation."
The Lenten program is sponsored by the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), the St.
Illuminator's Ladies Guild, and the Prelacy's Armenian Religious Education
Council (AREC).
For more information about the forthcoming lectures click

The 25th Musical Armenia concert will take place this Sunday, March 2, at
Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York. Featured artists are
Aleksandr Nazaryan, violist; and Karen Tchougourian, pianist. Tickets are
$30 and may be purchased from the Carnegie Box Office, 212-247-7800, or the
Prelacy office, 212-689-7810. For information about the concert click
http://www.armenianprelacy.org/musicalarmeni a.

Deacon Shant Kazanjian, director of the Prelacy's Armenian Religious
Education Council, will lecture on "Great Lent: Living our Baptismal Call"
following church services and mid-lent luncheon at St. Sarkis Church in
Douglaston, NY, this Sunday, March 2.

Photographs and press release of the ordination of Rev. Fr. Stephan
Baljian, which took place two weeks ago in Watertown, Massachusetts, are on
the web page. Click http://www.armenianprelacy.org/022808a.htm.

The Docufilm Husher (Memories), by Avedis Ohanian, will be screened at
the New York International Independent Film Festival next week. Husher will
be shown on Tuesday, March 4, at 3:45 pm at The Imaginasian Theater, 239 E.
59th Street, New York City. The docufilm is about the Armenian Genocide by
the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Tickets can be purchased at
the door, or online at www.ticketweb.com (keyword: Husher). All ticket
holders are invited to attend a reception after the screening. For more
information go to [email protected]

The Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia announced that His Holiness
Catholicos Aram I will consecrate the Holy Muron (Holy Oil) on June 7, 2008.
The Holy Muron, symbol of the grace of the Holy Spirit, is traditionally
blessed every seven years. Only the Catholicos can consecrate the oil which
is then distributed to the various dioceses for distribution to the
parishes. The oil consists of 48 different herbs, flowers, and oils which
are combined in a special vessel and mixed with some of the old Muron, thus
creating an unbroken chain with the past. The preparation of the Holy Muron
is a long process and each stage is accompanied with special prayers. Prior
to its blessing, the Muron remains for forty days on the altar of the
Cathedral. The Muron Blessing is expected to attract a large number of
pilgrims from various parts of the world.
During this same period the World General Assembly of the Catholicosate
of the Great House of Cilicia will convene in Antelias beginning on June 3
through to June 5.
The Prelacy is organizing a pilgrimage to Antelias for the Muron
blessing. For details click
http://www.armenianprelacy.org/Muronorhnek08 .pdf.

An international gathering of youth is being organized by the Holy See of
Cilicia. His Holiness Aram I is inviting the youth, 18 years and older, to
attend this gathering from August 13 to 20, 2008, coinciding with the annual
pilgrimage during the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.
Plans are underway for the Catholicosate, the Prelacy, and our Parishes
to facilitate the travel of the young adults to the gathering by assisting
with a portion of the travel expenses. For information contact your local

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,
congratulated the newly elected president of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias.
In his letter the Catholicos said: "Cyprus has a special place not only in
the history of the Armenian people and church, but also in the heart of
Armenians. In fact, the common experiences of our two peoples and churches,
our common values and traditions, as well as our common struggle for justice
and human rights have deepened our friendship developing in the course of
time affinities in many spheres of our life. The world of today, with its
multitude of problems, challenges our two nations to work together on issues
of common concern. We want to assure you that the Armenian community of
Cyprus, as an integral part of the Cypriot society, will continue under your
wise leadership to bring its active participation in all efforts aimed at
the progress and prosperity of Cyprus. We are confident that you will put
your rich experience at the service of the people of Cyprus. May God bless
you and lead you in your new responsibility."

This Saturday, March 1, the Armenian Church remembers the Forty Martyrs
of Sebastia. Although the backgrounds and identities of the forty young
soldiers are not certain, it is believed that they came from Lesser Armenia
and served in the Roman army. According to St. Basil of Caesarea, forty
Christian soldiers refused to worship the Roman emperor while stationed in
Sebastia in Armenia in 320. They remained faithful to their Christian faith.
The young soldiers were tried and condemned to death by stoning.
Miraculously, when the sentence was being carried out, the stones would not
reach the intended targets, but rather came back striking those throwing the
stones. The condemned soldiers were then thrown into a frozen lake and
forced to say there, with the admonition that if they would renounce their
faith they would be allowed to come out of the cold water and into a warm
bath. Of the forty, one chose to accept this offer, but he died
nevertheless. As one by one the youths died, halos came down upon them.
Seeing this, one of the pagan guards threw himself into the lake and joined
the thirty-nine bringing the number to forty again.
Subsequently, some of our great church fathers like Basil, Gregory of
Nyssa, Ephraim the Assyrian, and Sisian of Sebastia, wrote panegyrics about
the forty martyrs. Their memory is commemorated each year during Lent on the
Saturday following the Median day of Lent (Meechink), which was yesterday.
The Armenians have built and named churches in memory of the forty martyrs
of Sebastia in various parts of the world.

Our journey through Great Lent continues. This Sunday, March 2, the fifth
Sunday of Lent, is the "Sunday of the Judge" (Datavori Kiraki). The Gospel
reading on this day describes the parable told by Jesus about a widow and a
judge (Luke 18:1-8). The judge in this parable is seen as hard-hearted
without principles, fear of God, or regard for people. A widow of the same
town has been ill-treated and she has come to the judge for justice.
Although her cause is just, he does not pay attention to her case. However,
she persists in coming with the same appeal until at last the judge decides
to see that she gets justice. He does this not because he cares for justice,
but in order to get rid of this widow. The message of this parable is that
in life one must persevere and pursue righteousness and justice relentlessly
with confidence that perseverance (especially in prayer) will eventually be

Bible reading for today, February 28, is: 1 Corinthians 8:5-9:23
Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-as
in fact there are many gods and many lords-yet for us there is one God, the
Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus
Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not
everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so
accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food
offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. "Food will
not bring us close to God.." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no
better off it we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not
somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who
possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since
their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food
sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom
Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of our
family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so
that I may not cause one of them to fall.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are
you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am
to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my
defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food
and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife,
as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it
only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?
Who at any time pays the expenses for doing military service? Who plants a
vineyard and does not eat any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does
not get any of its milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law
also say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not
muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is
concerned? Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was indeed written
for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes
should thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good
among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share
this rightful claim on you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not
made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle
in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you know that those who are employed
in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at
the altar share in what is sacrificed on the altar? In the same way, the
Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by
the gospel. But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing
this so that they may be applied in my case. Indeed, I would rather die than
that-no one will deprive me of my ground for boasting! If I proclaim the
gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on
me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my
own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a
commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may
make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in
the gospel. For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a
slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a
Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the
law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under
the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I
am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win
those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the
weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save
some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its
blessings. 1 Corinthians 8:5-9:23
For listing of the week's Bible readings click
http://www.armenianprelacy.org/dbr2008-2.pdf .


Namagner Tikran Medzin (Letters to Tikran the Great)
This is a children's book written in Armenian by Aline Bezdikian-Shirajian
and nicely illustrated by Tavit Garmiryan. It is comprised of a series of
letters supposedly written by a young boy named Narek to Tikran the Great,
king of Armenia $12.00 plus shipping and handling.

Orphan in the Sands by Virginia Haroutunian
Orphan in the Sands, written more than ten years ago, is an
autobiography/memoir by Virginia Haroutunian, the daughter of a survivor of
the Genocide. Virginia knew little about the harrowing experiences of her
mother, until a visit to the re-opened Ellis Island gave her the courage to
reveal her old and tragic memories. $15.00 plus shipping and handling.

EMAIL ([email protected]) OR BY TELEPHONE (212-689-7810)

Tomorrow is February 29-leap day of the leap year of 2008. A leap year is a
year in which one extra day is added at the end of February in order to keep
our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun. In
the Gregorian calendar (used by most countries), every year that is
divisible by four is a leap year; if, however, it can be divided by 100, it
is not a leap year; if it is divisible by 400, it is a leap year. If we did
not have leap years, the calendar would not conform with the seasons, and
eventually Easter would coincide with Christmas. However, a leap year every
four years is too much, hence the more complicated formula stated above.
We learned this little verse in grammar school to help remember the number
of days in the months:
Thirty days hath September
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone:
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.


March 2-Musical Armenia, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City,
featuring Aleksandr Nazaryan, violist, and Karen Tchougourian, pianist.

March 2-Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey,
annual membership meeting following church services.

March 2-Mid-Lent traditional luncheon at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New
York, prepared and served by St. Sarkis Church Ladies Guild. Deacon Shant
Kazanjian, director of the Armenian Religious Education Council will lecture
on "Great Lent: Living our Baptismal Call" following lunch. For details

March 8-New England Regional Conference with Board of Trustees and NRA
delegates hosted by St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts.

March 30-Second lecture of a series presented by St. Sarkis Church,
Douglaston, New York, 1:15 pm. With participation of Samvel Jeshmaridian,
PhD and Elize Kiregian, M.A. Information: church office 718-224-2275 or Dr.
Arthur H. Kubikian 718-786-3842.

April 11-Photo Art Exhibit featuring the work of Levon Berberian. Opening
reception, 7 to 11 pm, at the Prelacy offices, New York City. Jointly
sponsored by the Prelacy and the New York Mayr Chapter of the Armenian
Relief Society. Proceeds will benefit the ARS Centennial Fund. The
exhibition will also be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, April 12
and 13, from 1 pm to 5 pm.

April 20-Third lecture of a series presented by St. Sarkis Church,
Douglaston, New York, 1:15 pm. With participation of Samvel Jeshmaridian,
PhD and Elize Kiregian, M.A. Information: church office 718-224-2275 or Dr.
Arthur H. Kubikian 718-786-3842.

May 5-Mothers' Day Luncheon, sponsored by the Prelacy Ladies Guild, St.
Regis, New York City. Reception at 11:30 followed by luncheon.

May 8-10-National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by
St. Stephen's Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.

May 8 and 9-National Association of Ladies Guild (NALG) conference in
conjunction with the National Representative Assembly, celebrating the 25th
anniversary of the NALG, will take place at St. Stephen Church, Watertown,

June 3-5-World General Assembly of the Catholicosate of the Great House of
Cilicia will convene in Antelias, Lebanon.

June 7-Blessing of Holy Muron in Antelias, Lebanon.

June 27 to July 6-St. Gregory of Datev Institute, Summer Christian Studies
Program for youth ages 13-18 at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson,
Pennsylvania, organized by the Armenian Religious Education Council. For
more information click http://www.armenianprelacy.org/datev.htm.

July 19-"A Hye Summer Night 3," dance hosted by Ladies' Guild of Sts.
Vartanantz Church and ARS Ani Chapter, Providence, Rhode Island. For details

August 15-17-International Gathering of Youth and Pilgrimage to Der Zor,
organized by the Catholicosate of Cilicia. Details will follow.

October 25-Gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Prelacy of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of America under the jurisdiction of the Great
House of Cilicia and the 110th anniversary of the establishment of the
Armenian Church of America. Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey.
Details to follow.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress