Thursday August 27, 2009

Washington - Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the
Armenian Church of America (Eastern), visited St. Mary Armenian Church
in Washington on the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God,
Sunday, August 16. The day also marked the church's name day.

Archbishop Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and performed the
Blessing of Grapes ceremony. The Primate also blessed and consecrated
the church's new baptismal font, dedicated this year in memory of
Yerchanik Bolat and Philipe and Oghda O'Gulian.

The font, completed and installed at the church last month, is a
project years in the making. Money for the font had been donated
by the O'Gulians in their lifetime. This year, Yerchanik Bolat's
family contributed the additional funds needed to bring the project
to completion.

A name day luncheon followed in the church hall, where guests were
invited to partake of madagh, donated and prepared by Mrs. Verjin
Bolat and her children.

During the luncheon, Archbishop Barsamian presented the Primate's
Award to Ghazaros Ghazarian in appreciation of his devoted service
to the Armenian Church.

"Ghazaros has dedicated his energy and enthusiasm to numerous
activities, becoming a familiar and beloved presence in the community,"
the certificate said. "With his wife Hasmig, he has been an example
to others, inspiring them to embrace the treasures of the Armenian
heritage, and the sweetness of God's love."

Mr. Ghazarian has been an active member and supporter of the St. Mary
Church for more than two decades. He currently serves as head usher
during services.

"Ghazaros has been involved with the church for decades now, since
he came to this country from Jerusalem," said the Rev. Fr. Hovsep
Karapetyan, pastor of St. Mary. "He is very dedicated and very humble."

Mr. Ghazarian said he was surprised by the recognition extended to
him by the community.

"The extent of Der Hayr's and Srpazan's appreciation really amazed me,"
he said. "That made me very proud."

Musical selections were performed by Ervand Kristosturyan and Vivian
Shakarian. Dr. Hratch Semerjian served as master of ceremonies.