January 21, 2016
His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, has declared 2016 as the “Year of Service.” In his Pontifical Message, which will be read in most of our parishes this Sunday, January 24, the Catholicos writes about the vital role of service and describes service as the “Essence of the Christian Faith.”  He goes on to show the depiction of service in the Bible and in the writings of the Church Fathers, as well as the role of service as an obligation and duty of all Christians. His Holiness writes, “By declaring the current year The Year of Service, we want to remind our people that it is necessary to participate with great dedication in our nation’s noble work, with the brave knowledge that God will bless our service, and history will remember and honor not what we had, but that which we gave, not our beautiful words, but our good deeds.”

Read the Pontifical Message in English or Armenian.

St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, will celebrate its name day this Sunday, January 24. On this occasion Archbishop Oshagan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and preside over the special reception that will follow the services. This Saturday, January 23, the Armenian Church commemorates the life of St. Sarkis the Warrior (described below).

The 90th anniversary of St. Stephen Church of Hartford and New Britain (Connecticut) was celebrated in grand fashion. Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon on Sunday, November 15. St. Stephen Church is one of the oldest Armenian churches in the United States and the second oldest within the Eastern Prelacy.
Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, presided over the anniversary banquet that followed the Liturgy at the Farmington Club with a large number of parishioners and friends in attendance. During the program a Proclamation issued by the Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Patrick Malloy was read as well as a citation from State Senator Terry Gerratana, representing the Sixth District.

St. Stephen Church was dedicated in 1926, however during the Great Depression it fell into foreclosure. Four individuals stepped forward and pledged their personal assets to save the church. To honor the dedicated service of these individuals, Archbishop Oshagan presented awards to their descendants who were in attendance. The four who were remembered and honored were Mr. Karekin Kevorkian, Mr. Avedis Atashian, Mr. Amrah Bayram, and Mr. Harry Parparian.  Susan Kochunas, daughter of Mr. Kevorkian, and Lucy Horenian, daughter of Mr. Atashian, were present and accepted the awards.

The children of the parish presented a gift of $1,000 to the Pastor, Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian, for the Summer Camp for children in the Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship Program. Der Aram is the director of the annual summer camp.

The following article was written by a long-time parishioner, Peruse Khachoyan, who after an absence attended the anniversary celebration. 
A Vision of Contrast…A Promise of Continuity
By Peruse Khachoyan

I recently attended the 90th anniversary celebration of St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church in New Britain where my father served as member, deacon, and arch-deacon for forty years.

The Armenian Church is an ancient church, predating even the Church of Rome. Bearded and attired in heavy black clerical garb, Armenian priests are easily recognizable. Women clergy? Let's just say Roman Catholics are wildly liberal by comparison. And although many priests offer at least a version of their Sunday sermons in English, worship itself, the Divine Liturgy, is still celebrated in Armenian.

The church of my ancestors remains very much the church of my ancestors.

Which is not a bad thing because the church was, and in important ways remains, a vital anchor for our ethnic community, connecting us to each other and reminding us that our faith in God and God's unflinching faithfulness to us is how we survived as a people through persecutions, genocide, and dispersion in a global diaspora.

"Faith of our fathers, holy faith, we will be true to thee..."

On this particular day of celebration, an extra glimmer of grace shone through the festivities that caused me to exclaim an unintended, exuberant, "Yes!" and unspoken, "Yea, God!" when our honored keynote speaker, the Archbishop of the Prelacy of the Eastern United States read Scripture to illustrate his message—from his smart phone!

In that amazing juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modern day reality, I felt God smiling upon us as we listened to the sacred, nourishing words of Scripture affirming God's presence, purpose, and love for His people, every word strengthening and cheering on this community for the next phase of the journey.

As we at ACC embark on the next phase of our journey, may we still our hearts from fears and anxieties as we watch and listen for the ways God will be reaching out to us in unexpected, magnificent ways, both simple and stunning.

For God is always God, and we will always be His beloved people.

"I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."
Some scenes from the 90th anniversary celebration of St. Stephen Church.
Bible readings for Sunday, January 24, Second Sunday after Nativity (Sunday of the Catechumens) are: Isaiah 63:7-18; 2 Timothy 3:1-12; John 6:22-38.

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
(John 6:22-38)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here
On the fifth day of the fast of the Catechumens, which is tomorrow, Friday, January 22, the Armenian Church commemorates the Prophet Jonah (Hovnan), one of the twelve Minor Prophets. The Minor Prophets are not considered less important that those called Major Prophets, but their books in the Bible are shorter. All of the Minor Prophets were servants of God who proclaimed His will to people in need of repentance.

The story of Jonah and the whale is one of the better-known stories in the Old Testament. Jonah’s feast falls on the last day of the Fast of the Catechumens. Just as the people of Nineveh fasted and repented from their wicked ways, so too do the people of God during this preliminary fast before Great Lent (Medz Bahk), the most penitential season of the year.
This Saturday, January 23, the Armenian Church commemorates the life of St. Sarkis the Warrior, his son Mardiros, and 14 faithful soldiers. This is a moveable feast that can occur between January 11 and February 15. It follows the Fast of the Catechumens. Although the fast is not connected to the feast of St. Sarkis, it has come to be associated with this saint, even often incorrectly referred to as the “Fast of St. Sarkis.”

Sarkis lived during the fourth century in Cappadocia. He rose through the military ranks because of his valiant campaign on behalf of the Emperor Constantine. With the accession of Emperor Julian, Sarkis took refuge in Armenia with his son. Later they joined the Persian army to fight Julian. Father and son fought with exceptional bravery. The Persian leader, Shapur II, tried to convince them to abandon their Christian faith and embrace Zoroastrianism. Both refused, and they were martyred. Fourteen loyal Christian soldiers who went to claim the bodies were also martyred. Eventually, other Christians successfully retrieved the remains and sent them to Assyria, where they remained until the fifth century when Mesrob Mashdots had the remains transferred to the city of Karpi in Vaspurakan, Armenia. A monastery was built over the site of the graves.

The armies of Armenian soldiers were led by Adom Knooni and Manajihr Rshdooni in the fifth century, before the battle of Avarayr. They were ordered by their Persian commanders to leave Armenia and proceed to one of the most distant outposts of the empire for the purpose of keeping the Armenian soldiers far away from Armenia and thus prevent them from defending the Armenians. The commanders recognized the Persian plot and returned to Armenia with their armies. They were pursued, captured and martyred by the Persian forces. The Holy Sookiasians were members of the Royal Court who were converted and baptized by the Voskyan priests. They lived in isolation at Mount Sougaved. When they refused to return to court and worship the pagan gods, they were martyred. This year Sts. Adom and his soldiers are remembered on Monday, January 25, and the Sts. Sookias and Martyrs are remembered on Tuesday, January 26.

The Lenten Lecture Program Series will begin on Wednesday, February 10, and continue on five consecutive Wednesdays. The program is sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. All of the lectures will focus on  the 2016 “Year of Service,” proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

The six lectures will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, with a church service at 7 pm, followed by the lecture and Q/A, and conclude with a table fellowship. For information contact the Prelacy office at 212-689-7810 (arec@armenianprelacy.org); or the cathedral office at 212-689-5880 (office@stilluminators.org).

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), traveled to England on an invitation from the Armenian Studies chair of the University of Oxford to participate in a three-day workshop, “Western Armenian in the 21st Century,” to be held at Pembroke College with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

The program includes 25 participants from Great Britain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Lebanon, Turkey, and Armenia. The workshop will begin this evening  with a public lecture, and continue tomorrow and Saturday (January 22 & 23) with six sessions, where the participants (Armenian Studies scholars, writers, editors, and publishers) will discuss the current situation of Western Armenian, thinking and creating in Western Armenian in a diasporan situation, means and structures to develop Western Armenian, publishing, and the press. A concluding session will take place on Saturday, January 23 in late afternoon. For more information, please visit http://westernarmenian21s.wix.com/oxford

The 33rd Musical Armenia concert will take place on Friday, March 11, 8 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This year’s concert will present Sofya Melikian on the piano; and NUR, featuring Rosy Anoush Svazlian and Andrea Manzoni, soprano and piano. The event is sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy and the Prelacy Ladies Guild.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Ivan Galamian (January 23, 1903)
Musicians would not develop their innate talents without their teachers. In the second half of the twentieth century, Ivan Galamian was a world-known violin teacher who taught many of the best-known violinists at the time, such as Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman.
Ivan Alexander Galamian was born of Armenian parents in the city of Tabriz (Iran) on January 23, 1903. Soon after his birth, his family migrated to Moscow. He studied violin at the School of the Philharmonic Society of Moscow with Konstantin Mostras until he graduated in 1919. Still a teenager, the newly installed Bolshevik government threw him in jail. The opera manager at the Bolshoi Theater rescued Galamian; he argued that he was a necessary part of the opera orchestra, and the government allowed him to go free. Soon thereafter, he moved to Paris, where he studied with Lucien Capet in 1922-1923. He debuted in the French capital in 1924. After performing throughout Europe as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras, he eventually gave up the stage in order to teach full-time, due to a combination of nerves, health, and a fondness for teaching. Cellist Leonard Rose, later his colleague at the Juilliard School in New York, noted: “He told me that he had all the ambitions to be a great concert artist, but his nerves would bother him so much he would have backaches for weeks after concerts. So he said the hell with it.”
He became a faculty member of the Conservatoire Rachmaninoff, where he taught from 1925-1937. He moved to the United States in 1937, where he married Judith Johnson in 1941, and became a citizen in 1944. In this period of time, his teaching abilities made him known everywhere. He was appointed to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1944, and became the head of the violin department at the Juilliard School in 1946. He was also director of the Meadowmount Summer School of Music in Westport, N.Y., which he founded in 1944 and continues to be in operation today. He wrote two violin method books, Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching (1962) and Contemporary Violin Technique (1962). Almost anyone who wanted to be a violinist knew there was time to be spent under his tutelage. Parents would fly to New York with their would-be prodigies, and teachers from all over the world sent him their most gifted students.
Galamian incorporated aspects of both the Russian and French schools of violin technique in his approach, which was described in the New Grove Dictionary of Music as “'analytical and rational, with minute attention to every technical detail.” “However,” the dictionary continues, “he rejects the enforcement of rigid rules and develops the individuality of each student. Mental control over physical movement is, in his opinion, the key to technical mastery.”

The teacher for generations of world-class violinists passed away on April 14, 1981. As Judith Karp wrote in The New York Times, “It was not entirely unexpected; at 78, the legendary Armenian pedagogue had been in less than perfect health for some time. But there was always a burning force in Mr. Galamian that almost made one believe he could defy nature's rules; it was the force of his own wry conviction that ‘I cannot die as long as there are students around who want to learn to play the violin.’”

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
There Are Two Ways to Finish
You are playing a chess game. Suddenly, a breakthrough happens and in a couple of movements, you checkmate your opponent! You let people around you know:

“I finished /ended the game.”


“The game is finished /ended.”

In any case, you use the same verb “finish,” either in active (you finished/ended) or in passive (is finished/ended) voice. However, as we have seen once and again, what works for English does not necessarily work in the same way for Armenian.

When Armenian verbs go from active to passive voice, the verb itself changes. We say, for instance, “He broke the glass” (An abageen godrets –Ան ապակին կոտրեց), but when the cause is unclear, we  may say “The glass was broken” (Abageen godrvetsav – Ապակին կոտրուեցաւ). We have two verbs, godrel (կոտրել) and godrveel (կոտրուիլ).

The same happens with “to finish.” If I finished the game, it is:

Yes khaghe verchatsootsi (Ես խաղը վերջացուցի).

If the game was finished, then it is:

Khaghe verchatsav (Խաղը վերջացաւ).

You can never say Yes khaghe verchatsa (Ես խաղը վերջացայ). That would mean “The game is... that you are finished!”   

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)

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Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.


Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)

This week’s podcast features:
• Why do we care about Pop culture
• St. Sarkis Name Day
• Interview with architectural model maker, Richard Dikran Tenguerian.
And more.

Click on the image above to link to the Podcast.
SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

January 31—46th Anniversary of St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts. Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and ordain acolytes and preside over the anniversary celebration. For tickets to the anniversary celebration contact Melanie Tokatlian (melanie.tokatlian@comcast.net) or Sossy Jeknavorian (sossyj@comcast.net).

February 1-3—Annual Ghevontiantz Clergy Gathering, hosted by St. Asdvadtzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts at Courtyard Boston Milford.

February 10—Prelacy Lenten Program, “The notion of service in the Old Testament,” by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

February 17—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Jesus as the Servant of God,” by Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

February 24—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Service in patristic thought,” by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 2—Prelacy Lenten Program, “We were all pledged at baptism to serve God,” by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 9—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Qualities of the servants of the Lord,” by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 16—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Service is the obligation of the community and government structures.” (Lecturer to be announced). St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 11—33rd Musical Armenia, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, with Sofya Melikian, piano; and NUR featuring Rosy Anoush Svazlian and Andrea Manzoni, soprano and piano. Tickets: $25. Box office: 212-247-7800; Prelacy: 212-689-7810; email@armenianprelacy.org.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.

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Items in Crossroads can be reproduced without permission. Please credit Crossroads as the source.

Parishes of the Eastern Prelacy are invited to send information about their major events to be included in the calendar. Send to: info@armenianprelacy.org
138 East 39th Street | New York, NY 10016 US
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