January 16, 2014
Last Sunday Archbishop Oshagan presided over the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. During the Liturgy, students and staff of the Sunday School received their first communion of the new year and the blessings of the Prelate.
After the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence met with members of the Compatriotic Union of Urfa of New Jersey who presented the Prelate with a check for $10,000 for the Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief.
Archbishop Oshagan watches as staff and students of the Sunday School receive Communion.
Archbishop Oshagan and Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian with members of the New Jersey Compatriotic Union of Urfa, who presented a generous donation to the Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief.
The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Thank you for your help
Maestro Aram Gharabekian
The acclaimed Armenian conductor, Aram Gharabekian, died on January 11 in Los Angeles. He was 58.
Maestro Gharabekian served as the music director and principal conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia from 1997 to 2010. In 2001 the Eastern Prelacy sponsored a concert featuring the Chamber Orchestra led by Mr. Gharabekian in celebration of the 1700th anniversary of Christian Armenia. The concert took place on November 10, 2001, at Alice Tully Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The concert, “Passion and Light,” a sold-out performance, received wide critical acclaim. Mr. Gharabekian was also the founder and artistic director of the Boston-based SinfoNova Orchestra from 1983 to1991.

We express deepest condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.
Two clergy candidates who have been studying in the United States arrived in Antelias, Lebanon where they will complete their studies before returning to the United States. The two candidates are Deacon Diran Der Khosrofian, from St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, and Deacon Harold Nazarian from Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island. Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian, chairman of the Prelacy’s Religious Council, traveled with the two deacons.
Der Aram and the deacons at the airport prior to departure with family members who bid them bon voyage.
Der Aram and Deacons Diran and Harold in front of the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias, Lebanon, with Very Rev. Fr. Paren Vartanian who is in charge of the special study program the deacons will follow.
Photo by Tina Tcholakian
Archpriest Fr. Zareh Sahakian officiates during the Blessing of the Water ceremony at All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois. The Godfather is Armen Jerikian, son of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Jerikian.
Bible readings for Sunday, January 19, First Sunday after Nativity, are: Isaiah 54:1-13; 1Timothy 1:1-11; John 2:1-11.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then  the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Tomorrow, Saturday, January 18, the Armenian Church remembers four early Christians, the Hermits Anthony, Tryphon, Barsauma, and Onouphrius.
Of the four hermit saints, Anthony is the best known. He lived during the time of our Lord and he heard the words spoken by Jesus to a wealthy young man advising, “If you will be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor and come follow me.” Anthony did exactly that, lived as a hermit, preached the teachings of Jesus and encouraged others to follow his example. The place he selected to live became the site of the first monastery; that is why he is recognized as the father of monasticism. Subsequently, many other brotherhoods were established throughout the world.
“Blessed among the fathers, Saint Anthony, who surpassed human nature, intercede before Christ for our souls. You spent many days without food, enduring voluntarily all the needs of the flesh; intercede before Christ for our souls. By your constant remembrance of us before Christ, be the helper of those who celebrate your memory that we also may receive praise.”
(Canon to Saint Anthony from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
The 2014 color poster of the Liturgical Calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church is now available at the Prelacy. At a glance, one can see the cycle of feasts and fasts and seasons of the Armenian Church year, which begins on January 6, 2014.
An added feature this year is a list of “Basic Facts” about the Armenian Church’s liturgical year. This 27x36 inch poster belongs in every Sunday school classroom.
To order, please contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or at arec@armenianprelacy.org. The cost of the poster is $5.00 plus shipping and handling.
Victoria “Tori” Kulungian, left, and Nairi Hovsepian in Armenia overlooking Yerevan where they spent four weeks working on various projects.
Nairi Hovsepian and Victoria (Tori) Kulungian attended Sunday School at St. Gregory Church in North Andover, Massachusetts, where they received their religious education, as well as the history of their ancestors. When they had the opportunity to visit Armenia last summer, they eagerly accepted.
During their 20-day trip, they worked at a soup kitchen, helped build a home, taught English classes and art, just to mention a few of the challenges that brought them closer to their roots, including learning the language.
To read the story by journalist Tom Vartabedian click here.
The 2014 National Representative Assembly (NRA), along with the Clergy Conference, and the Conference of the National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG), will take place May 13-17, hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan. Watch for details.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Birth of Dikran Khan Kelekian
(January 19, 1868)
The Assyrian reliefs of Genii and King Assurnasirpal, as well as the winged bull and lion from the ninth-century B.C. Palace of Assurnasirpal, which are today at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, were originally acquired in 1932 by John D. Rockefeller. The seller was a notable collector and dealer of Islamic art, Dikran Kelekian, who by that time was working together with his son, Charles (1900-1982). The representation of the head of Tutankhamun, seen in the museum's collection and on the cover of the catalogue of the Egyptian Wing, was acquired from the Kelekians in the late 1940s.
Dikran Kelekian was born in Caesarea (Kayseri) to a family originally from Persia. He was the son of an Armenian banker. He studied ancient Near Eastern history at Robert College (now Bogazici University) in Constantinople (now Istanbul) and continued his education in Paris. He set himself up, with his brother Kevork, in the antiquities business in Constantinople at the age of 24 and soon acquired a reputation as a knowledgeable collector and dealer specializing in Islamic art, particularly pottery. He came to the United States in 1893 as a commissioner for the Persian Pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair. He soon established shops in New York (Le Musée de Bosphore), Paris, London, and Cairo, where he and his brother flourished as vendors, selling works of art and antiquities.
In 1902 the Shah of Persia elevated Kelekian to the title of khan and appointed him to serve as the Persian consul in New York. His gallery became the headquarters of the consulate. He served as a member of the jury for the Paris World’s Fair of 1900, and was the general commissar of the Persian Empire at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition de Saint Louis, also known as St. Louis World’s Fair (1904), mounting a large display of his wares, accompanied with an illustrated catalogue. He eventually became an American citizen. His collections were featured in a number of international exhibitions in Paris, Munich, London, and New York over the decades. He is the author of Potteries of Persia, Being a Brief History of the Arts of Ceramics in the Near East (1909).
Kelekian was a member of the Central Board of Directors of the Armenian General Benevolent Union and in 1909 he funded an AGBU orphanage bearing his name in Deort Yol (Cilicia) for Armenian refugees fleeing the Adana massacres.
Regarded as the “dean of antiquities” in the United States, he acted as an adviser to great American collectors, including Henry Walters, George Blumenthal, and Louisine and Henry Havemeyer. Art critic Roger Fry described him as having an "omnivorous acquisitiveness."  In his book The Kelekian Collection of Persian and Analogous Potteries, 1885-1910 (1910), he stated his aesthetic views. For him, Persian art was a precursor of avant-garde art, which he defended with passion. Along with Coptic, Paleo-Christian, or Persian art, his gallery promoted the works of Matisse, Rouault, Derain, and Picasso in the United States.
Kelekian’s Cairo gallery served as a base for purchasing Egyptian antiquities, including Late Antique, commonly referred to as Coptic, textiles. In 1943 Milton Avery painted Kelekian in his gallery, posed before a Coptic textile. The “School of Paris” rendered homage to him with an exhibition of twenty-one portraits at the Gallery Durand Ruel (1944).
At age 83, Kelekian died in January 1951, when he fell from the twenty-first floor of the St. Moritz hotel in New York. His son first took the succession, and then the business was maintained by his granddaughter Nanette until 1990. Sometime in the early twentieth century, Kelekian had assembled an album of approximately one thousand textile fragments, which she donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2002.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
Don’t Sit on a File!
You may have a long sofa without a back, probably with various cushions against the wall. The English language calls that a divan (the same as French and Spanish), and the word comes from Turkish divan. But, indeed, the nomadic Turks had come into the Near East and did not bring the sofa with them: they simply adopted it, as they did with many other things, from the Arabs (diwan), who, in their turn, had borrowed it from the Persians. The Armenian dialects also have the word տիւան (divan), borrowed from Turkish, which is used in colloquial language.
Strangely enough, the two ultimate source words for these words, and for many others spread from the Middle East to the Atlantic Ocean, are dēvān (“archive,” in Middle Persian) and divan (“tribunal, hall, court, council chamber, collection of poems,” in Persian). How did an archive or a tribunal become a cushioned seat? The explanation is quite simple: those seats are found along the wall in Middle Eastern council chambers.
The word divan “Oriental council of state” also entered the English language in the 1580s, but it is not the kind of word that you use on a daily basis. Instead, its counterpart դիւան (tivan, in Western Armenian pronunciation) is of quite common use, although not with that same meaning.
The word entered Classical Armenian from Persian already in the fifth century. Historians Koriun and Movses Khorenatsi used դիւան with the meaning of “school” or “library.” Today, in Modern Armenian, the word is used with the meanings of “archive” and “office.”
In its first meaning, it’s synonymous with արխիւ/arkhiv, a borrowing from German via Russian.
In the second, you may hear it used when you talk about the tivan of an organization, meaning the distribution of the offices in its executive board. It also designates the office of president and secretary of an assembly.
The word is particularly used in compound terms, such as:
  • Դիւանագէտ (tivanaked) “diplomat,” hence դիւանագիտութիւն (tivanakidootyoon) “diplomacy”
  • Դիւանապետ (tivanabed) “head of office / head of archive”
  • Դիւանակալ (tivanagal) “bureaucrat”
As you see, seats and archives are related in Armenian. It is only a matter of being careful and avoid sitting. . . on a file.
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
This Sunday, January 19, marks the 7th anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink, the out-spoken and brave editor of the influential Turkish Armenian newspaper, Agos, the first newspaper in Turkey to be published in Turkish and Armenian.
Dink was one of Turkey’s most prominent Armenian voices and, despite threats on his life, he refused to remain silent. He always said his aim was to improve the difficult relationship between Turks and Armenians. He focused on issues of free speech, minority rights, civic rights, injustice, and issues pertaining to the Armenian community in Turkey. In his public speeches he never refrained from using the word genocide when talking about the Armenian Genocide.

This Monday, January 20, is a federal holiday in the United States honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929. He attended public schools in Georgia and graduated from high school at age 15. He received the B.A. degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta. After three years of theological study at Crozser Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he received the B.D. degree and continued graduate studies at Boston University where he successfully completed his doctoral studies in 1955. Two years later he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the civil rights movement. King took the ideals of this organization from Christianity and its operation al techniques from Gandhi. From 1957 to 1968 he traveled more than six million miles and delivered more than 2,500 speeches, appearing wherever there was injustice, believing that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. In 1964, at age 35, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Four years later, on April 4, 1968, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
May the memory of the righteous be forever blessed and honored.
January 31—Memorial Program dedicated to Sos Sargsyan, Armenian actor, playwright, people’s artist, and political activist, organized by Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of New York, featuring Karine Kocharyan, Voice of Armenians TVNY, at the Armenian  Center, 69-23 47th Street, Woodside, New York. Suggested donation: $7.00. For information: 718-565-8397.

February 1
—Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

February 2
—St. Sarkis Men’s Club, Dearborn, Michigan, presents Super Bowl Party, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

February 9—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Book Presentation by Deacon Shant Kazanjian following the Divine Liturgy at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

February 9
—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Bishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon. Following the services, His Grace will make a presentation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Zareh I, and the 30th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Khoren I.

February 24-26—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.

March 1—St. Sarkis Sunday School, Dearborn, Michigan, Poon Paregentan Costume Party for everyone, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

March 26
—St. Sarkis Ladies Guild, Dearborn, Michigan, Mid-Lenten Luncheon following the Lenten morning service, Lillian Arakelian Hall.

March 28—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm.

May 13-17—Clergy Conference and National Representative Assembly, and Annual Conference of the National Association of Ladies’ Guilds (NALG) of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan.

June 1—Ladies Guild Annual Brunch, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

June 1—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Toronto Children’s Choir concert in the church sanctuary.
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: info@armenianprelacy.org
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