November 13, 2014

The Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Church began on Tuesday and concluded today. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, presided over the meeting. Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, and Bishop Anoushavan, Vicer, participated.

Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and the bishops from around the world, paid a visit to Dzidzernagapert, the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, where the Catholicoi led prayers at the eternal flame and laid flowers in memory of the 1.5 million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. One of the major agenda items of the Synod is the canonization of the victims of the Genocide.
Catholicos Karekin II and Catholicos Aram I with bishops from around the world at the Dzidzernagapert memorial.

Yesterday afternoon the Azerbaijan military shot down an unarmed helicopter on a military training exercise over Nagorno Karabakh, killing all three people on board. This attack is the latest in the escalation of incitement and aggression by Azerbaijan.

The Armenian National Committee of America is urging everyone to call and/or email their senators and representatives and urge them to take action to condemn Azerbaijan’s shooting down of this unarmed helicopter.

The National Centennial Committee has announced events that will take place from May 7-9, 2015, in Washington, DC. His Holiness Karekin I and His Holiness Aram I will preside over the events that are organized under the patronage of the Diocese and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Archbishop Oshagan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon, and consecrated the newly installed Khatchkar, at Soorp Khatch Church in Bethesda, Maryland, last Sunday. Following the Services His Eminence presided over the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the parish.

Clergy attending included Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian and Yeretzgin Berjouhi; Rev. Father Sarkis Aktavookian and Yeretzgin Maggie. Der Khoren is emeritus pastor of Soorp Khatch and Der Sarkis is the current pastor. Other guests included the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Armenian Embassy, Mr. Tashchian and Mrs. Tashchian; Mr. Robert Avetissian, representing the Washington office of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Dr. Dertad and Mrs. Seta Manguikian were honored guests.

During the anniversary banquet the parish’s Lifetime Award was presented to Mr. Levon Palian and Der Hayr’s Award was presented to Mrs. Nora Kasparian. Guest performers included Arpi Tavil Shatelyan (violin) and Vahagn Hovents (Bass-Baritone). Mrs. Maggie Simonian served as the MC.

The Khatchkar that was consecrated was a replica of one of hundreds of khatchkars in an Armenian cemetery in Julfa/Nachichevan that were blatantly destroyed a few years ago by Azerbaijan. The replication was possible by photographs that were taken by Bishop Nishan Topouzian of blessed memory.

A special commemorative 50th anniversary booklet was produced under the leadership of Dr. Zareh and Mrs. Emma Soghomonian.

See the Liturgy and Khatchkar consecration here.

Photos below were captured by Arsineh Khachikian and Dr. Teny Abrahamian.
Archbishop Oshagan during the Liturgy with Archpriest Fr. Khoren Habeshian (left) and Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian.
The Prelate consecrates the new Khatchkar.
Levon Palian receives the Lifetime Award.
Honored guests, Dr. Dertad and Mrs. Seta Manguikian, cut the anniversary cake.
To view additional photos from the event, click here.

Last Sunday the Holy Seraphim Choir of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Granite City hosted a concert featuring members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The concert was sponsored by the Thomas Kooyumjian Family Foundation and was free to the public; the Holy Seraphim Choir collected canned food goods to donate to a local charity.  The St. Louis Symphony partnered with ten St.  Louis area houses of worship in 2014 through the “Where You Worship” program.  The String Quartet performed pieces by Bach and Mozart as well as more contemporary composers such as Leroy Anderson and George Gershwin.  The concert concluded with the Quartet performing Magar Yegmalian’s Hayr Mer, as arranged by Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian.
The String Quartet performed classical pieces, works of contemporary pieces, and Yegmalian’s  Hayr Mer.
The audience at St. Gregory Church enjoys the concert. The parish’s recently assigned priest, Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian is at the right in the first pew.
Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, opens the parish’s annual bazaar with a prayer.
Three generations of Yeretzgins help prepare for the popular bazaar. From left, Yn. Shogher Chorbajian, Yn. Arpineh Baljian, and Yn. Zevart Hagopian.

Last Sunday Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, presided at the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Illuminator's Cathedral. After the services His Grace delivered a lecture in John Pashalian Hall, about "The Holy Translators and the Survival of St. Ephrem's Prayerbook."

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of the Cathedral, welcomed Bishop Anoushavan and the attendees to the annual Book Fair organized by the Cathedral and Hamazkayin. His Grace's bilingual lecture focused on the important work of the Holy Translators and presentation of the newly published prayer book, “St. Ephrem the Syrian Prayers,” in Armenian and English. Following the presentation, parishioners of the Cathedral enjoyed browsing through the many books and souvenirs that were on display.
Bishop Anoushavan autographs the prayer book.

The second of a special lecture series jointly sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Holy Martyrs Church of Bayside took place yesterday evening. The first lecture took place at Holy Martyrs Church last week. Two young scholars from Armenia, Dr. Aghasi Tadevosyan, senior researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, and Mr. Mikayel Malkhasyan, Ph.D. candidate at Yerevan State University, spoke on Armenian migration in Armenian and English. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, welcomed everyone and acknowledged the presence of Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan, pastor of Holy Martyrs Church, Dr. Artur Martirosyan, board member and co-organizer of the series, and introduced the speakers.

Mr. Malkhasyan first presented an overview of the historical routes and roots of migration waves from Armenia from antiquity to the twentieth century. Then Dr. Tadevosyan gave figures about emigration during the past 25 years, and discussed analytically its features and characteristics, emphasizing the socio-economic and political dangers that it represents for the Republic of Armenia. An interesting question and answer followed, and the speakers also signed copies of their latest publications during the reception. 
Rev. Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian with Dr. Aghasi Tadevosyan, Dr. Artur Martirosyan, and Mikayel Malkhasyan.

Bible readings for Sunday, November 16, Tenth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Eve of the Fast of Advent, are: Isaiah 25:9-26:7; Philippians 1:1-11; Luke 9:44-50.

While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”

John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

This Sunday, November 16, is the Eve (Paregentan) of the Fast of Advent (Hisnag). This is a week-long fast (Monday to Friday) leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, which is next Sunday, November 23.

Advent is the period that guides us up to the birth and baptism of Christ. It begins fifty days before January 6. Advent is intended to be a solemn and quiet time for prayer, reflection, and meditation in preparation for the mystery of the incarnation.

Traditionally the entire fifty-day period of Advent was a period of fasting. Now there are three week-long fasts during Advent (along with the regular fasting days of Wednesday and Friday). The three week-long fasts are known as: The Fast of Advent (Hisnagats Bahk); The Fast of St. James (Sourp Hagopah Bahk); and the Fast of the Nativity (Dznuntyan Bahk).


This Saturday, November 15, we remember the Holy Apostles Andrew and Philip. Andrew was a Galilean fisherman and the first-called of the followers of Christ, along with his brother Simon, who was later called Peter. Philip was from Bethsaida, and after he had been called to be an apostle he brought in Nathanael (later called Bartholomew).

The word apostle is associated with the special inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, chosen by Jesus to accompany him during His ministry, to learn from Him and follow His instructions to continue His work.
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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Mikael Nalbandian
(November 14, 1829)

Francis Scott Key is just remembered as the author of the lyrics of the U.S. national anthem. It is not the same in the case of Mikael Nalbandian, who was an influential intellectual of the nineteenth century and is an important name in the history of Armenian culture, besides being the author of the lyrics of the Armenian anthem.

Nalbandian was born on November 14, 1829, in Nor Nakhichevan, the town close to Rostov-on-Don founded in the late eighteenth century by Armenian emigrants from Crimea, in the family of a craftsman. He studied in his hometown at the school of Gabriel Patkanian, and for a while he was classmate of his son, the future poet Rafael Patkanian (Kamar Katipa). He worked as a secretary in the Armenian diocese of Nor Nakhichevan and Besarabia from 1848-1853. Then he left his post and went to Moscow, where he taught Armenian language at the Lazarian College for a short while, and took classes at the Medicine School of Moscow University as an auditor (1854-1858).

Similar to Khachatur Abovian, Nalbandian championed the introduction of Modern Armenian (ashkharhapar) instead of Classical Armenian (krapar), and confronted the opposition of ecclesiastics and conservatives. He translated poems of Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Heinrich Heine, and others. Among his own poetry, three poems became favorites of the public: “The Song of the Italian Girl” (Idalatsi aghchga yerke), “Freedom” (Azadutiun), and “Days of Childhood” (Mangootian orer). The first, better known as Mer Hairenik (“Our Fatherland”), would become the anthem of the first Republic of Armenia in 1918, and was adopted again after the new independence of 1991.

A statue of Nalbandian located on the street named after the author in central Yerevan.
Nalbandian published the journal Hiusisapayl (Aurora Borealis) with another influential intellectual, Stepanos Nazarian (1812-1879), in Moscow. During its five years of existence (1859-1864), the journal became a leading name in the cultural awakening of Eastern Armenians. Nalbandian had already made a name for himself since the 1850s due to his progressive and liberal views, as well as his outspoken and ironic style. Reform and renewal were his main ideas, as he espoused them in his writings on different issues. He published various political tracts, of which the most important was Agriculture as the Right Way (1862), where he criticized the peasant reform of 1861 in Russia.

The writer made two trips to Europe (1859 and 1860-1862), and he also visited India. In London he became friends with various famous Russian revolutionaries, such as Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin. After his return in 1862, he was arrested by the Russian secret police and spent three years in prison in St. Petersburg. He was accused of inciting anti-government sentiments and exiled to the fortress of Kamyshin, in the province of Saratov. He passed away at the age of 37, victim of tuberculosis, on April 12, 1866. He was buried in the Armenian monastery of Holy Cross, in Nakhichevan-on-Don. An important street in central Yerevan and a statue remember him.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (
Noor (Pomegranate) Pendant, 
handmade with one ruby, copper.
$60.00 plus shipping & handling
Silver Pendant, map of Armenia
1.5”, white gem marks Yerevan, 
blue enamel marks Lake Sevan.
$15.00 plus shipping & handling
Silver Noor (Pomegranate) pendant 
with red seeds, ½”.
$15.00 plus shipping & handling
Lord’s Prayer Pendant Book 
Book opens. Front cover: Armenian Church in 
silver and dark blue enamel; 
back cover: Armenian cross in 
red and white enamel, size: ½”
$10.00 plus shipping & handling
Also available in all silver, $10.00 plus shipping & handling

Lord’s Prayer Pendant Book 
Book opens. Front cover: Armenian Church; 
back cover: Armenian cross in silver and dark blue enamel, 
or dark blue, red and white enamel. Size: ¾”.
$12.00 plus shipping & handling
Also available in all silver, $12.00 plus shipping & handling
Gold Cross, 14k, 1” length
$120, plus shipping & handling

Gold Chain, 14k, 16”
$110.00 plus shipping & handling

Silver Chain, about 18” suitable for above pendants
$7.00 plus shipping & handling

To place order or for information contact the Armenian Prelacy Bookstore by email ( or by phone (212-689-7810).
November 14—Lecture by Hagop Balian, “Boghos Snabian (1927-2014), Armenian Center, Woodside, New York, 8 pm. Organized by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Hamazkayin of New York.

November 14-15—Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, Annual Fall Fest. Friday, 4 to 8 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Shish, chicken, losh kebab and kheyma dinners. Home made pastries and special desserts. For information: 508-852-2414.

November 15 &16—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Armenian Fest 2014 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island.  Largest indoor festival in Rhode Island. Delicious shish and losh kebob, chicken and kufta dinners and Armenian pastry available all day.  Live dance music. The Mourad Armenian School and Providence Hamazkayin dance groups will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Hourly raffles, silent auction, country store, gift baskets, flea-market, arts and crafts. Main raffle prizes worth total $2,700.  Fun for all ages. Free admission, parking and valet. For information: 401-831-6399 or

November 20—“Reflections,” CD release concert, music by Karen Hakobyan, at Louis K. Meisel Gallery, 141 Prince Street, New York City; Wine & Refreshments 7 pm to 8 pm; music and wine, 8 pm to 9:30 pm. For information and tickets contact

November 21, 22, 23—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual Bazaar, Food Festival, and Hantes. Mezze and Kebab dinners (chicken, shish, luleh); dessert table and trays of home-made delicacies; Boutique Booths; Chinese Auction; Supervised Game Room for children; Pre-packaged Monte, Sou Buereg, Kufteh, and Lehmejun; Take-out available; Live Music for dancing and listening. Traditional Kavourma dinner on Sunday served immediately after church service. For information: 201-943-2950.

November 23—Thanksgiving Luncheon, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, John Pashalian Hall, Featuring St. Illuminator’s Huyser Music Ensemble. Admission: $30. Reservations: email ( or phone (212-689-5880).

December 6—Armenian Winter Dessert Festival, Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland.

December 6—Lowell Gomideh anniversary celebration, 6 pm, at St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Dinner, entertainment, program, speaker: David Boyajian, “The Survival of Armenia: Dangers and Opportunities. Admission: $20 adults; $10 students. For information: or 978-373-1654.

December 6—St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Annual Bazaar at Christian Reform Church, Whitinsville, 10 am to 5 pm.

December 7—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut, will host a Wine Tasting Party at noon in the church hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain. A wine talk, tasting, and Armenian food pairing will be provided by Taylor Brooke Winery, Woodstock, Connecticut, owned by Linda Varjabedian Auger. For information: 860-229-8322.

December 7—8th Annual ANC Eastern Region Banquet, Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, NY. Freedom Award Honoree: former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family; Vahan Cardashian Award Honoree: ANCA activist Alice Movsesian.  Tickets are $250.  For reservations and information, please visit or 917.428.1918.

December 12—Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) 11th Annual Holiday Gala, Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City. Cocktails and Silent Auction, 7 pm; Dinner & Program, 8 pm; Dancing & After Party, 10 pm. For tickets and information or 212-994-8234.

December 13—St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “A 2014 Christmas Celebration” at 7pm in the Sanctuary. Usher in the Christmas season with family and friends. Featuring master organist, Ara Eloian, group caroling in Armenian and English. Reception following in Terhanian Hall. Admission is Free. RSVP to church office 215-482-9200.

February 9-11, 2015—Ghevontiantz gathering of clergy serving the Eastern Prelacy.

March 13-15, 2015—“Responsibility 2015,” International conference for Armenian Genocide’s centennial at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, featuring prominent historians, policymakers, authors, and artists. Organized by the ARF Eastern US Centennial Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region. for information.

March 20, 2015—Musical Armenia, presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, Carnegie Hall, New York City.

May 7, 8, 9, 2015—National Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in Washington, DC, organized under the patronage of the Diocese and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Presided by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia.

May 10 to June 4, 2015—Pontifical Visit of His Holiness Aram I to the Eastern Prelacy.

July 18, 2015—Blessing of the Holy Muron (Oil) by His Holiness Aram I, at the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon.

October 5-9, 2015—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.

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Parishes of the Eastern Prelacy are invited to send information about their major events to be included in the calendar. Send to:
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