October 2, 2014

By the Grace of God and in accordance with the sacred canons and rites of the Armenian Church, Archbishop Oshagan will ordain and consecrate two candidates to the holy order of the priesthood this weekend at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island.

Deacon Harold Nazarian, a member of Sts. Vartanantz Church (Providence) and Deacon Diran Der Khosrofian, a member of St. Asvadzadzin Church (Whitinsville), will be ordained in the presence of family and friends in services that will take place over a two-day period, Friday and Saturday, October 3 and 4. Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Prelacy, is the sponsoring priest and presenter of the two candidates. Godfathers are Dr. Andre Markarian and Mr. Ara Getzoyan. In addition to the Prelate and Vicar, ten clergymen serving the Eastern Prelacy will participate.

For more than two years both candidates followed a special program of study developed by Archbishop Oshagan and the Religious Council. In addition, they received regular individual instruction by Bishop Anoushavan and other clergy and lay specialists. Early this year they traveled to Lebanon where for a period of three months they received further instruction and preparation.

The attendance and prayers of the faithful are welcomed on this joyous occasion.

Click on the image below to listen to an interview with the two candidates as part of this week’s podcast by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York.

His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan and the Religious and Executive Councils of the Eastern Prelacy are pleased to announce that His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, will visit the Eastern Prelacy in May 2015.

Originally planned to take place in October 2012, but postponed due to the civil strife in Syria, His Holiness, who will be traveling to the United States in May for the joint commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Washington, DC, will extend his stay to fulfill the pontifical visit that had been scheduled more than two years ago.
The visit will begin on May 15, 2015 and end on June 4, when His Holiness will open the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly (NRA) in Watertown, Massachusetts, before returning to the Holy See in Antelias.

Jack Mardoian, Esq., a member of All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois, and a former chairman of the Executive Council, is serving as chairman of the National Steering Committee. Under the presidency of Archbishop Oshagan, the executive members of the steering committee are: His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, John Daghlian, Vazken Ghougassian, Tamar Harutunian, Jack Mardoian, Iris Papazian, and Kristen Santerian. The steering committee will oversee the visit and will guide the work of a number of sub-committees that have been formed, especially at a local parish level. Read more about the pontifical visit here.


His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, recently announced that the Catholicosate will take legal action to claim ownership of the historic headquarters of the Catholicosate of Sis, the seat of the Catholicos since 1293, in the capital city of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. The last Catholicos to occupy the throne in the city of Sis was Catholicos Sahag II Khabayan, who was exiled in 1921 along with his people in the aftermath of the Genocide. After a period of uncertainty and peregrination, Catholicos Sahag settled in Antelias, Lebanon, the site of a Near East Relief orphanage.

In his announcement about the legal action at the recent Armenia-Diaspora Conference, His Holiness said, “We cannot remain indifferent towards the abuse of the rights of the Armenian nation. Indifference amounts to the betrayal of the nation.”

His Holiness said that the Catholicosate has been working with a legal team for two years to take the case to Turkey’s Constitutional Court, and is also prepared to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. “This certainly does not mean that efforts on the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide will be abandoned, but recognition should provide for compensation,” His Holiness said.

His Holiness expressed the confidence that the Armenian people will support this legal initiative that will require significant commitment and funding.

Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, this Sunday, October 5. Following the Liturgy, Bishop Anoushavan will make a presentation about St. Ephrem the Syrian. The Vicar recently published two books devoted to the Prayer of St. Ephrem, in separate Armenian and English versions. Copies of the two books will be available for purchase.

Ephrem was a 4th century Syriac deacon and prolific hymnographer and theologian. Many Christian denominations, including the Armenian Church, venerate him as a saint. He wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons, as well as biblical exegesis. Although many of his works survived, some were lost, and some exist only in other languages, especially in Armenian.


Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts and Holy Cross Church, Troy, New York, will speak on the current Middle East Crisis and Its Affect on Middle East Christians, on Wednesday, October 8 at 7 pm, at Delmar Presbyterian Church, 585 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, New York. The event is sponsored by St. George Orthodox Christian Church (Albany), Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church (Troy), and Delmar Presbyterian Church. A native of Aleppo, Syria, with family members still living there, Der Bedros will speak about the current situation and also share personal experiences as an Armenian Christian who grew up in Aleppo.


The Musical Armenia committee is accepting applications from young Armenian musicians who would like to be featured in a concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Those interested in applying should visit the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org) or click here.

The Prelacy inaugurated the Musical Armenia series in 1982 in order to promote the careers of talented young Armenian musicians from all over the world. Since then, the annual concerts have remained faithful to the objectives of the series. The 2015 concert will take place on Friday, March 20. Applications should be sent no later than October 30, 2014.


Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Education Committee, traveled to Armenia, where he will participate in the workshop organized by the Society of Armenian Studies (SAS) to mark the 40th anniversary of its founding on October 3-5, with the participation of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. The workshop will bring together twenty scholars from abroad and twenty from Armenia.

Dr. Matiossian will also participate in the 13th general conference of the International Association for Armenian Studies (AIEA) that will take place at the Matenadaran from October 9-11. He will present a paper entitled “’Haiko’: The Last Unknown Participant in Talaat Pasha's Liquidation.”

Bible readings for Sunday, October 5, Fourth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are, Isaiah 17:7-14; 2 Corinthians 13:5-13; Mark 11:27-33.

Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” (Mark 11:27-33)

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

Today, Thursday, October 2, the Armenian Church commemorates the lives of the brothers Sahag and Hamazasp Ardzroonik, who together with other Armenian nobles revolted against Arab rule of Armenia in 786. When captured they were given the choice of renouncing the Christian religion or death. They refused and were tortured and put to death.


This Saturday, October 5, the Armenian Church commemorates the 72 Holy Disciples of Christ. The reference comes from the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 10, Verse 1): “After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.” (Note: Some sources say 72 disciples; others say 70). These disciples remained true to the Lord and their calling, and spread the Gospel. They were not random choices, but rather true disciples whose labors carried the message of the Lord throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. All of the saints are remembered individually in the liturgical calendar of the church, but this day is set aside to remember them collectively.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church by Karekin Sarkissian was written in 1959 as a thesis for the degree of B. Litt from the University of Oxford. Since its original publication by S.P.C.K. in England, it has been reprinted a number of times. This paperback edition was published by the Prelacy in 1975. The most recent reprint is Volume 7 in the “Karekin I Series”—a long-term project of publishing all of the major writings of His Holiness. The series is currently up to Volume 15, with several more volumes to come.
Opening of the Council of Chalcedon (October 8, 451)

The fourth ecumenical council that convened in Chalcedon became a turning point in the history of the Armenian Church, even though the Armenian Church was not represented at Chalcedon.

The first ecumenical council at Nicea (325) determined that Jesus Christ was God, “consubstantial” with the Father. This meant that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are “of one being” in that the Son is “born” or “begotten” “before all ages” or “eternally of the Father’s own being, from which the Spirit also eternally “proceeds.” The confession of Nicea, recited in every Holy Mass of the Armenian Church, states: “We believe (...) in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father (...) who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, took body, became man, was born perfectly of the holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. By whom he took body, soul and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.”

This was reaffirmed at the first council of Constantinople (381) and the council of Ephesus (431). One of the fathers of the Church, Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) taught that “There is only one nature (physis), since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word,” which was held as orthodoxy.

In 446, an aged monk from Constantinople named Eutyches started teaching a subtle variation of this doctrine. His teachings were considered heretical, but he was rehabilitated in a council marred with scandal, held again at Ephesus (449) and supported by Byzantine emperor Theodosius II (408-450) where he publicly professed that while Christ had two natures before the incarnation, the two natures had merged to form a single nature after the incarnation. Pope Leo I denounced the council as a “synod of robbers” and refused to accept its decisions.

The threat of a schism led the new Byzantine emperor, Marcian (450-457), to hold a new council at Chalcedon (451) from October 8 – November 1, 451, which condemned the work of the council of 449 and professed the doctrine of the incarnation presented in Leo’s Tome, a document prepared by the Pope, which confessed that Christ had two natures, and was not of or from two natures. A special committee appointed by the Council decided unanimously in favor of the orthodoxy of Leo’s Tome, and determined that it was compatible with the teachings of Cyril of Alexandria. The confession of Chalcedon stated: “We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess (...) one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably.”

The formula on the nature of Christ adopted by the Council of Chalcedon was severely criticized by various Oriental sees. Many local councils rejected that doctrine. Resistance reached the point that Byzantine emperor Zeno I (474-491) issued a document called Henotikon in 482, which considered the doctrinal resolutions of the first three councils (Nicea, Constantinople, and Ephesus), while the Council of Chalcedon and Leo’s Tome were not mentioned at all.

At the time of the Council of Chalcedon, Armenia was in crisis. A few months before, in May 451, the battle of Avarair had been fought, and the Armenian Church was in no position to have its say on the issue. The situation changed after the Treaty of Nvarsak (484), when the situation stabilized with Persian Armenia under the government of Vahan Mamikonian. The Armenian Church adopted the doctrine of the Henotikon, and this position was officially confirmed by the Council of Dvin (506).

The followers of the Council of Chalcedon have frequently accused the Armenian Church of monophysitism, but this is not true: the Armenian Church follows the doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria established at the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431) that reaffirmed the decisions of the Councils of Nicea and Ephesus.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
The crises in Syria, including the recent upheaval in Kessab, require our financial assistance. 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: Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief

Thank you for your help
The Prelacy Bookstore has an extensive collection of books (in Armenian and English) about the Genocide, including histories, historical novels, memoirs, eye witness testimonies, essays, and poetry. From now through next April we will feature one or two books each week from the Bookstore’s collection.
The Tragedy of Bitlis
By Grace H. Knapp

The Tragedy of Bitlis (originally published in 1919) is one of the few English language primary accounts of the Armenian Genocide in Bitlis. This is another disturbing account of the systematic murder. It is relatively unknown and deserves more attention.

Soft cover, $20.00 plus shipping & handling
From Istanbul to Aghtamar:
An Armenian Pilgrimage
By Hagop Nersoyan

This travelogue is a well-written account of a trip that took the author from Istanbul to the island of Aghtamar in a time when such a trip was not common. It is filled with insights and valuable information about the history of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul and the Armenians of Turkey, particularly in the 20th century.

Soft cover, $10.00 plus shipping & handling

To order these or other books contact the Prelacy Bookstore by phone (212-689-7810) or email (books@armenianprelacy.org).
October 2—St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, Avak Luncheon at noon at Jaffarian Hall. Presentation by Charlie Larkin (mother is Goshgarian), who will discuss the growing number of young professionals and how they are building our Armenian communities throughout the world. Owner of Johnny Appleseed Models, a startup firm manufacturing products for scale modelers, and teacher of driver’s education.

October 3—St. Sarkis Armenian Church, Douglaston, New York, Saturday School Dinner Dance Gala.

October 3 & 4—Ordination to the Priesthood of Deacon Diran Der Khosrofian and Deacon Harold Nazarian, at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan. Banquet to immediately follow at the Providence Marriott Hotel. Please contact the Church Office at 401-831-6399 for reservations/information.

October 11—Armenian Friends of America presents Kef 5, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Tickets $50; students 21 and under, $40. Proceeds will benefit Armenian churches of Merrimack Valley. Individually served mezza platters and pastries; musicians, Mal Barsamian (clarinet), John Berberian (oud), Bob Raphaelian (violin), Bruce Jigarjian (guitar), Jason Naroian (dumbeg & vocals). Advance ticket sales only. John Arzigian, 603-560-3826; Lucy Sirmaian, 978-683-9121; Peter Gulezian, 978-375-1616, Sandy Boroyan, 978-251-8687.

October 12-15—Prelacy Clergy Gathering for Reflection and Renewal at St. Mary of Providence Retreat Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania.

October 18—Annual Armenian Bazaar, St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, 10 am to 7 pm. Favorite Armenian dinners including shish, losh, and chicken kebab and rice pilaf; stuffed grape leaves, cheese and spinach pie, pickled vegetables; traditional Armenian and American baked goods; raffle. Take-out available. For information: (413) 543-4763.

October 19—St. Stephen’s Church, New Britain, Connecticut, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan will ordain Ara Stepanian as Deacon during the Divine Liturgy and preside over the parish’s 89th  Annual Banquet.

October 26—Celebration of 80th anniversary of Armenian Weekly and 115th anniversary of Hairenik, at home of Carmen and Avo Barmakian, 58 Matthew Lane, Waltham, Massachusetts. Keynote speaker, Professor Richard G. Hovannisian, professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History at UCLA. Reservations by October 18, Heather Krafian, 617-932-1965.

November 2—All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, 71st Anniversary under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, following the Divine Liturgy, at Shahnasarian Hall, 1701 N. Greenwood, Glenview, Illinois.

November 7-8-9—Rouben Mamoulian Film Festival, 7 pm, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. Sponsored by the Anthropology Museum of the People of New York, the Armenian Cultural Educational Resource Center Gallery at Queens College, and The Museum of the Moving Image. Opening night and reception will feature Love Me Tonight, the 1932 musical comedy film produced and directed by Mamoulian, with music by Rodgers and Hart, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. For tickets and information: anthroarmen@aol.com or 718-428-5650.

November 7 & 8—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 58th Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts. Meals served from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm (take out is available). Enjoy delicious meals, Armenian pastries, gourmet items, arts and crafts, books, raffles, attic treasures. For information: 617-924-7562. 

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 www.stsvartanantzchurch.org.

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.

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

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 and tasting will be provided by Taylor Brooke Winery, Woodstock, Connecticut, owned by Linda Varjabedian Auger.

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 www.anca.org/erbanquet 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 www.coafkids.org or 212-994-8234.

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

March 1, 2015—“One Nation—One Culture,” cultural evening of song and dance dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,  Felician College, 262 S. Main Street, Lodi, New Jersey. For information: newjersey@hamazkayin-usa.org.

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. www.responsibility2015.com for information.

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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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
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