Portlan Press Herald
Saturday, January 1, 2005


Portland: Orthodox Armenians plan Christmas Mass on Jan. 8

PORTLAND - The city's Orthodox Armenian community will gather at the
Anglican Cathedral of St. Paul on Jan. 8 to celebrate Christmas Mass for its
traditional holiday, which is celebrated in the Orthodox and Apostolic
Armenian Church according to the Eastern Church calendar on Jan. 6.

The Mass, in Armenian and English, will be celebrated by Father Vartan
Kassabian of St. Gregory's Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover, Mass.
This is the second Christmas Mass held in Portland. Hundreds from all over
the state attended last year.

The effort to organize the Mass reflects a renewed interest in Portland's
Armenian heritage.

Last year, the community dedicated a memorial to the Armenians who had
settled in Portland's Bayside neighborhood. Last April, St. Paul's Cathedral
hosted a special service marking the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923, when more than 1.5 million
Armenians died. Portland's Armenian community dates back to the late 19th