Glendale News Press, CA
Jan 3 2015

Hospitals to mark traditional Armenian Christmas

Archbishops will join in facilities' celebration of the baptism of
Jesus Christ.

By Arin Mikailian, [email protected]
January 2, 2015 | 6:53 p.m.

Two Glendale hospitals will be celebrating the traditions of Armenian
Christmas on Monday, the eve of the holiday that's also known as the
Epiphany, or the baptism of Jesus.

Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Dignity Health Glendale Memorial
Hospital will each hold midday events for their staff, patients and
their families.

At Glendale Adventist, where the event is entering its seventh year,
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, who leads the Western Diocese Armenian
Church, will be joined by holiday revelers at noon in the hospital's
West Tower Lobby.

Derderian will be blessing water along with hundreds of helpings of
the Armenian pastry called gata.

The blessing of the water symbolizes Jesus' baptism by John the
Baptist in the Jordan River.

The gata bread symbolizes the gifts from God, Derderian said.

Ramella Markarian, the medical center's vice president of business
development, said about 100 people usually attend the event and those
who do are typically hospital employees and patients who won't be able
to observe Armenian Christmas at home.

"We have a lot of Armenian patients who can't be at home celebrating
with their friends and family," she said.

After the blessing, the water and gata will be distributed to staff,
and nurses will deliver to patient rooms and family members keeping
them company, Markarian said.

"It's a very heartwarming tradition," she said.

At Glendale Memorial, as part of an ongoing annual tradition,
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian of the Armenian Apostolic Church will
be blessing water that will be distributed as well.

The holiday event at Glendale Memorial will be held at 11:30 a.m. in
the hospital's main lobby, 1420 S. Central Ave.

Also, next week, the Orthodox Christmas will be held on Wednesday.,0,4213615.story