March 6, 2014
Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Washington, DC, where on Sunday he will preside over the Divine Liturgy at Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland. His Eminence will deliver the Sermon. The Liturgy will be celebrated by Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, pastor of the parish.

The annual Ghevontiantz clergy gathering was hosted by Holy Cross Church, Troy, New York. Various topics of interest were discussed included the celebration of the “Year of the Elderly,” and Holy Week Services.
Archbishop Oshagan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon last Sunday at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, on the occasion of the Vartanantz Feast and in commemoration of the parish’s name day.
Following the Liturgy, a Celebration Dinner, hosted by the Ladies Guild, took place under the auspices of the Prelate. The community honored three of its devoted parishioners: Peter Bedrosian, Seta Tarbinian, and Marlene Vichabian. An uplifting program included presentations by the Mourad Armenian School students, Daniel Ventura on the piano, and recitation by Mrs. Gassia Boyadjian.
Archbishop Oshagan and Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian with deacons, altar servers, and choir members.
The Prelate, Der Gomidas, and the honorees light the anniversary cake.
Archbishop Oshagan  presided over the 44th anniversary celebration at St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, on February 23. The day began with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence, with Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian assisting at the altar. The anniversary was also marked by the ordination of Sunday school student Noah Aznoian as an acolyte, and the dedication of the newly renovated classrooms that was part of a $1.5 million renovation project currently in its final stages.
Another highlight was the presentation of a distinguished service award to 93-year old faithful parishioner, Charlie Jamgochian.  In presenting the award the Prelate described Mr. Jamgochian as an amazing person who is a fine example for others, and who holds a venerable place with God and His church.
Students present a program with love and gratitude.
The Prelate presents a distinguished service award to Charles Jamgochian.
The Prelacy’s six-week Lenten Program began last night with the Husgoom (Compline) service followed by a lecture at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, the Prelate.
The Nicene Creed (Havadamk) is the theme of this year’s lectures. The Nicene Creed is the official profession of faith of the church, chanted during the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak). The Creed is accepted by all Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church, as well as by the Anglicans, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, and many other protestant churches.
Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), spoke about the origin and function of creeds in general and the Nicene Creed in particular. A lively question and answer session ensued. The evening program concluded with a table fellowship.
Next Wednesday, March 12, the topic will be “In one God, the Father Almighty, the Creator” and will be presented by Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, Massachusetts
The Lenten Program is sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and the Ladies’ Guild of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. For details about the upcoming Lenten program, please click here.
Archbishop Oshagan leading the Husgoom (Compline) Service with the participation of Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of the Cathedral.
The lecturer, Dn. Shant Kazanjian.
Paregentan was celebrated last Sunday at St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, with lots of lots of fun and games, including a donut-eating contest. See in this photo are, from left, Alex Movsessian, Aram Oozoonian, and Andrew Movsessian.
The Ladies Guild of St. Illuminator Cathedral hosted a Poon Paregentan luncheon following church services last Sunday. A short program was presented by the Arminstring Ensemble. In this photo, Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, are with the members of the Arminstring ensemble that includes Diana Vasilyan, musical director, and young musicians Zovinar Aghavian, Lilit Kljyan, Nicole Marc, Arpie Bakhshian, Aren Arakelian, Nicholas Degoian, and Anthony Degoian.
Bishop Anoushavan and Der Mesrob with members of the Board and Ladies Guild.

The Men’s Club of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, has sponsored several “Chicken and Pilaf” dinners at the Providence Rescue Mission. Parishioners join them to help serve the meal to the homeless who come to the Mission for sustenance.
The Sts. Vartanantz team of volunteers during a recent “Chicken & Pilaf” dinner that they cook and serve at the Providence Rescue Mission.
The 31st Musical Armenia concert will take place Friday evening (8 pm), March 28, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, featuring Narek Arutyunian (clarinet) and Friends (Hahnsol Kim, violin; and Yun-Chin Zhou, piano).  For more information 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. Delegates and guests will find more information here.
Bible readings for Sunday, March 9, Second Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Expulsion are: Isaiah 33:2-22; Romans 12:1-13; Matthew 5:17-48.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. (Romans 12:1-13)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, March 8, the Armenian Church remembers Theodore the Warrior, a captain in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Licinius. Theodore was born into a Christian family and was educated in the teachings of the faith. He was noted for his bravery and was especially noted for killing a serpent that was terrorizing people and animals. Theodore armed himself with a sword, and with a prayer to the Lord vanquished the serpent and became a heroic figure. He was appointed commander of Heraclea where he combined his military duties with the preaching of the Gospel. Soon nearly all of Heraclea had accepted Christianity. Emperor Licinius began a campaign against the Christians, and Theodore was a main target. He was arrested and given an opportunity to renounce his Christian faith, which he refused to do. He was martyred in 319 A.D. in Heraclea, Thrace.

As of Monday we entered the period of Great Lent (Medz Bahk), and the Church has taken on a somber, mournful, and penitential manifestation. Beginning last Sunday, which was Poon Paregentan, the altar is closed with a dark curtain, symbolic of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (See Geneses, Chapters 2 and 3).
Holy Communion is not offered during the Liturgy. It is a period of repentance and reflection on our spiritual journey toward Easter. We are reminded that through prayers and fasting we strive to please God and regain mankind’s original sinless formation.
Each of the Sundays during Lent has a theme. This Sunday is the Sunday of the Expulsion (Artaksman Kiraki). The message of this day is a continuation of last Sunday’s Paregentan theme, namely, Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and banishment from Paradise. The hymns sung on the first two Sundays of Lent remind us of the expulsion and give sinners the good tidings that they may render themselves worthy through repentance.
O Lord, you first gave the holy observance of the law in paradise. But the first creatures disobeyed you by eating the forbidden fruit and thus tasted the bitterness of sin and death. Therefore, enable us to taste the sweetness of your commandments.
(From the hymn sung on the Sunday of the Expulsion)
On the occasion of the Vartanantz Feast, His Holiness Catholicos Aram spoke about the writings of the historian Yeghishe, and reminded the faithful that “Our heroes of the Vartanantz war sacrificed their lives to defend our one faith, homeland, and rights as a Nation. We are called to face our common problems and challenges with the same spirit of commitment. Today our people are deserting their homeland, the global economy is hurting everyone, our Christian faith is constantly under pressure, and our human rights are being denied. Today, Vartanantz urges us to celebrate the lives of our heroes and commit ourselves to staying together, protecting our homeland, and demanding justice for the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the stolen rights of the survivors.”

The Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon, Hilary Childs-Adams, visited Catholicos Aram I last week. She was accompanied by the Trade and Economic Affairs Attache of the Embassy, Jean-Philippe Tashjian.
His Holiness spoke about the history of the Catholicosate and its mission in the Diaspora, the contributions of the Armenian community to peaceful coexistence in Lebanon, and the current difficulties of Armenians in Syria. The Catholicos and Ambassador also discussed the Armenian community in Canada. The Ambassador said she admired and appreciated the contributions of the Armenian community in Canada. Speaking about the Middle East, the Ambassador affirmed Canada’s commitment to a politics of moderation and of providing humanitarian assistance to refugees.
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
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Birth of Hrachia Adjarian
(March 8, 1876
In times when “social mobility” was not a fashionable concept yet, the son of a shoemaker could become the foremost expert of the Armenian language as per European standards. Hrachia Adjarian, born in the Samatya neighborhood of Constantinople and blind in his left eye since the age of one, would be a legend in his lifetime and afterwards.
In 1883, Adjarian, then seven, started his primary studies at the grammar school of Samatya, where he studied Armenian, Turkish, and French, and finished the entire school course in two years. He then attended the Sahagian School and graduated with honors in 1890. Three years later, he would graduate from the Getronagan School of Constantinople. He taught for a year in Kadiköy and then for another year at the Sanasarian Lyceum of Karin (Erzerum). After writing the first draft of his future Armenian Etymological Dictionary, in 1895 he went to Europe and studied with two eminent linguists of the time, who were also experts in the Armenian language: Antoine Meillet at the Sorbonne of Paris and Heinrich Hubschmann at the University of Strasbourg. He graduated in 1898 from the Sorbonne. A year before, at the age of 21, he was elected member of the prestigious Société de Linguistique de Paris.
Adjarian returned from Europe in 1898 to start his career as a teacher at the Gevorgian Seminary of Etchmiadzin, and then taught in Shushi (Gharabagh), Nor Bayazet (nowadays Gavar), Nakhichevan-on-Don (Nor Nakhichevan), Tehran, and Tabriz until 1923. He met his first wife, Arusiak, in Shushi. Meanwhile, he published studies of various Armenian dialects, catalogs of Armenian manuscripts and many other articles and also books. In the period until 1915, his most important works were Classification of dialectes arméniennes (1909), Armenian Dialectology (1911) and Armenian Provincial Dictionary, published in 1913 with more than 30,000 words. He became the founder of a series of branches of Armenian Studies, such as history of the Armenian language, Armenian dialectology, etcetera.
He survived the turmoil of World War I, the Armenian Genocide, the massacres of Armenians in Azerbaijan, and found refuge in Iran. In 1923 he was invited to settle in Soviet Armenia and join the faculty at Yerevan State University, where he taught for the next thirty years. He lost his wife in 1925, and later, at the insistence of his friends, he remarried one of his students, Sofia, who would be his faithful companion for the rest of his life. They adopted a daughter, Knarik.
In 1926 Adjarian started to publish his magnum opus, the Armenian Etymological Dictionary (1926-1935, seven volumes), which contained 11,000 roots of the Armenian language.
In 1937 he was elected corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Czechoslovakia. Ironically, in September of the same year, he would be arrested during the Stalinist purges on charges of having been an English spy in Soviet Azerbaijan and a member of a counter-revolutionary group of professors. He was interrogated and beaten on those trumped-up charges. His wife, under great peril, was able to hide his priceless manuscripts. The court condemned him to six years of imprisonment. Adjarian was finally released in December 1939 “for lack of corpus delicti.” He got back his position at the University.
In 1943 he would become a founding member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. In the remaining years of his life, he started to publish some other fundamental works: History of the Armenian Language (2 vols., 1940-1951), Dictionary of Armenian Names (5 vols., 1942-1962), Complete Grammar of the Armenian Language in Comparison with 562 Languages (7 vols., 1952-1971). At the end of his life, he had accumulated over 200 scholarly publications. He left many unpublished volumes, some of which are still being published.
Adjarian passed away on April 16, 1953. The Institute of Linguistics of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences bears his name.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
A conference marking Women’s History Month will explore the topic of “Women and Genocide” on Monday, March 17, at Queens College in Flushing, New York. The conference will feature eight panelists who will explore “War and its Aftermath from the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust to Ethnic Cleansing in Srebrenica.” The conference, which will take place on the fourth floor of the Student Union, will begin at 9 a.m.
The conference is presented by the Queens College Women and Gender Studies Program. The eight panelists will collectively review nearly a hundred years of war and its aftermath. Donna-Lee Frieze will speak about “The Armenian Genocide, Women, and the Genocide Convention.” Ms. Frieze is Senior Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York City and Visiting Fellow at the Deakin Research Institute in Australia. She has published widely on the Armenian and other genocides in relation to testimony, film, and philosophy. For information: 718-997-5593.

The recently organized non-profit “Socially Relevant Film Festival” will take place in New York from March 14 to March 20 at New York’s Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th Street in Manhattan, and will feature about 40 films and documentaries, including six on Armenian-themed issues. For information and tickets: www.ratedsrfilms,org.

Turns out the pizza guy that delivered pizzas to the Academy Awards show last Sunday in a stunt orchestrated by the MC Ellen DeGeneres, is Armenian. He is Edgar Martirosyan, owner of Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria in West Hollywood, who press reports say was “pitching in with deliveries at the time of the order.”
After passing out Pizza slices to some key stars up front, DeGeneres solicited tips for the pizza guy with a reported grand total of $1,000.  Nice tip ordinarily, but nothing compared to the publicity garnered for the pizza man and his pizzeria.
2014 Prelacy Lenten Program, on Wednesdays, starting March 5, at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral (New York City), Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral Ladies Guild. For information, please contact the Prelacy office at 212.689.7810, or or the Church office at 212-689-5880 or
March 8—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar for NY-NJ region, at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral (New York City), sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Theme: The Nicene Creed.
March 8—Anthropology/Armenian Museum will present “The Mark Kyrkostas Remember Me with Music” Dance and Music Concert with audience participation in Kaloustian Hall at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs, Bayside, New York, at 7 pm.
March 16—Armenian Earthquake Rescue Efforts…Remembered, at Soorp Khatch Church (Arabian Hall), Bethesda, Maryland, at 1 pm. Presentation by Lt. Michael Regan and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Virginia Task Force 1, the U.S. emergency rescue team deployed to the 1988 Armenian earthquake. Rescue team members will be recounting their experiences.
March 26—St. Sarkis Ladies Guild, Dearborn, Michigan, Mid-Lenten Luncheon following the Lenten morning service, Lillian Arakelian Hall.
March 27-April 6—Third Annual Online Auction hosted by Armenian Relief Society, Eastern USA, Inc. Auction items include Weekend Getaways, Unique Gifts, Restaurants, Hotels, Spa and Salon Services, Jewelry, Electronics, Artwork, Sports Memorabilia, and more. To view and bid on auction  items during the auction dates: To contact the ARS Auction committee:
March 28—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, featuring Narek Arutyunian (clarinet) & Friends, Hahnsol Kim (violin) and Yunqing Zhou (piano).
March 8—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar for NY-NJ region, at St. Illuminator’s Armenian Cathedral (New York City), sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and hosted by St. Illuminator’s Sunday School. Theme: The Nicene Creed.
March 14—St. Sarkis Armenian Church, Douglaston, New York, Commentary on the Nicene Creed book presentation at 7:30pm, by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) of the Prelacy.
March 28—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm, featuring Narek Arutyunian (clarinet) & Friends, Hahnsol Kim (violin) and Yun-Chin Zhou (piano).
March 28—St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, book presentation, Commentary on the Nicene Creed, at 8:00pm, by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) of the Prelacy.
March 29—Concert by Zulal Armenian A Capella Folk Trio at Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, 4 pm, followed by a reception in the church hall. Tickets $25, if purchased before March 8; $30 after March 8. To purchase tickets email Janis at or Carol at Also online at For information call the church, 508-852-2414.
March 30—Sts. Vartanantz Church Ladies Guild, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Mid-Lenten Luncheon following Church services.
April 5—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar – New England region, at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Theme: The Nicene Creed. 
April 24—“Walk to Honor our Martyrs,” organized by the New York ARF and the ANC of New York, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Badarak and Hokehankist, 10:30 am to 12 noon. Walk begins 12:30 pm from the Cathedral. For information: or 212-689-5880.
April 27—Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Merrimack Valley observance, 3 pm, North Andover High School, 430 Osgood St., Arev Armenian Folk Ensemble performing; joint requiem service by MV Armenian churches; reception to follow; complimentary admission.
April 27—Annual Times Square Gathering, in commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan with the support and participation of all churches and organizations. Free bus transportation from area Armenian churches, and other locations.
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.
June 29 – July 6, 2014: St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information, contact the AREC office at 212.689.7810 or at
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