APRIL 22, 2015
One Hundred Years Later…We Remember
One hundred years ago, the historical fabric of the Armenian nation, woven over a period of three millennia, was torn apart by a cataclysmic event. One and one half million Armenians—one-half of their total population—were brutally and savagely slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks on the very land that the Armenians had inhabited in Asia Minor since antiquity.

The disruption of the historical continuity of a nation is an enormous tragedy, in human terms, in physical terms, in intellectual and cultural terms. It is a tragedy that can never be fully understood or assessed, because it puts an end to the timeless evolution of the unique culture of an ancient people, leaving only a question mark in place of what might have developed.

One hundred years is more than a lifetime. But memory outlasts human life because it becomes a part of history, the collective, continuing memory of humanity. Why is it necessary to remember after 100 years? Because a crime against humanity cannot and must not ever be forgotten. To forget such an atrocious crime would be another crime, just as to deny the truth of the event is also a crime—a further crime against the victims and a crime against their children, grandchildren, and all their descendants yet to come.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the martyrs will be canonized at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Armenia tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, with His Holiness Karekin II and His Holiness Aram I presiding. At the symbolic hour of 19:15 (7:15 pm EDT), all the church bells throughout Armenia will ring one hundred times. Church bells will also toll in Armenian churches throughout the world as well as many other Christian denominations that are joining in honoring the newly canonized martyrs of 1915.

A live broadcast of the service will be shown at Saint Vartan Cathedral, 34th and Second Avenue, in New York City beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Those living in the metro-NY area are invited to go to the Cathedral to see the broadcast. Those outside of the greater New York area, as well as those unable to go to Saint Vartan Cathedral, can view the live broadcast on line at www.agbu.org or at www.armeniangenocide100.org.

What does it mean when the Martyrs are canonized as saints? What happens when they are canonized?  What exactly takes place during the ceremony? These and other questions are answered in a concise explanation prepared by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council. It will be a welcome guide for those watching the ceremony as well as those who want to learn more about the canonization process. For “Ceremony of Canonization of the Armenian Martyrs” click here.
The Martyrs’ Altar at Saint Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, was consecrated on April 24, 2000, by Archbishop Oshagan in memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the genocide of 1915.
Prayer services at the Martyrs Altar at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral will take place for seven days starting on Friday, April 24, at 7 pm in memory of the martyrs and the centennial of the genocide. All are welcome to attend.


Divine Liturgy, Friday, April 24, 10 am
Saint Vartan Cathedral
630 Second Avenue, New York City
Saint Illuminator Cathedral
221 East 27th Street, New York City

Friday, April 24—March to Demand Justice, 12 noon
Immediately after the Divine Liturgy there will be a march from St. Vartan and St. Illuminator Cathedrals to the Turkish Consulate organized by the ARF-ADL (New York and New Jersey branches).

Friday, April 24—Vigil at the United Nations, 4 to 6 pm
“Celebration of the Survival of a Nation,” at United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street and Second Avenue, New York City. Program includes Eric Bogosian, actor and author; Solange Merdinian, mezzo-soprano; Alan Semerdjian, poet and singer; Huyser Musical Group; Shant and Raffi Massoyan, musicians; Nicole Varanian, educator; Eugenie Mukeshimana, Rwanda genocide survivor; Magid Kabashi, Sudan genocide survivor.

Sunday, April 26—Divine Liturgy, 10 am
Saint Vartan Cathedral
The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Church of America; the sermon will be delivered by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. Please note: Divine Liturgy will not be celebrated in local parishes of the Eastern Diocese and Eastern Prelacy on Sunday, April 26.

Sunday, April 26, 2015—Gathering at Times Square
Immediately after the Liturgy, the faithful will walk in a procession from Second Avenue and 34th Street to Times Square to participate in a rally/gathering at the crossroads of the world. Buses are expected from throughout the East Coast and Midwest making this the largest gathering ever of Armenian Americans. The Times Square event is organized by the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan, in affiliation with the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America (Eastern Region).

For Listing of Events in Washington, DC click here

For more information about the national observances in Washington go to www.armeniangenocidecentennial.org 
The 29th annual summer program for youth ages 13-18 is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 28—July 5, 2015. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. It aims to instill and nurture the Armenian Christian faith and identity in our youth through a variety of educational activities, coupled with daily church services and communal recreational activities. For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s websiteby clicking the Datev postcard above or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org.
Note: Beginning April 13 and continuing until Pentecost (May 24), each day four Gospels are read in the following order: (1) Morning—Luke; (2) Midday—John; (3) Evening—Matthew; (4) Evening dismissal—Mark. 

Bible readings for Sunday, April 26, Red Sunday are: 1) Luke 9:18-36; 2) Acts 13:16-43; 1 Peter 5:1-14; John 5:19-30; Matthew 11:25-30; 4) Mark 4:26-34.

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” (John 5 19-30)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, April 26, is the fourth Sunday of Eastertide, known as Red Sunday (Garmir Giragi). The name does not have an ecclesiastical origin. Red is the color of blood and this may be an appropriate time to honor the memory of the early Christian martyrs.

The name Red Sunday is also believed to refer to the burst of color that comes forth from the land after a barren winter. Similar to last week’s Green Sunday, it is a celebration of nature and life, symbolizing rebirth after the Resurrection of our Lord.
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Members of St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, paid their respects to the victims of the Armenian genocide with a prayer service and vigil during a Family Night gathering at Jaffarian Hall last week. A special prayer service took place before dinner in the sanctuary, followed by a procession to the monument where parishioners held candles and laid carnations by the Khatchkar (stone cross). The event drew strong media attention from two area newspapers resulting in front page coverage. Many local members were interviewed by the press, relating accounts of their own families.

“This has been the first year there has been a candlelight vigil to remember the dead at St. Gregory Church,” said Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of the parish. He noted that henceforth after the canonization of the martyrs “the character and tone will change from somber and sorrow to celebratory.”

A symposium was conducted at nearby Lawrence High School with Der Stephan leading the discussion, joined by Greg Minasian and Tom Vartabedian. A number of schools throughout the area have opened their doors to genocide education while local communities have issued proclamations and fly the Armenian Tricolor flag.

Two buses are being dispatched from Merrimack Valley to Times Square on April 26 and members will also be taking part in other commemorations in Boston and Lowell.
Candlelight vigil at the Khatchkar at St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
The 50th Anniversary Demonstration of Yerevan (April 24, 1965)

The fiftieth anniversary of the Medz Yeghern, the Armenian genocide, became a watershed in the process of commemoration, as Armenians mobilized throughout the world to demand justice. The commemoration in the Armenian diaspora, including marches and public events in different capitals, was overshadowed by the unprecedented and unexpected explosion of popular feelings in Yerevan, the capital of Soviet Armenia. 1915 had been practically a taboo subject during the long night of Stalin’s repressive regime, and only after 1955 was there a gradual opening on the issue, which was coincidental with the “thaw,” the period of Nikita Khruschev as secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 

After the transition of the 1950s, the “thaw” actually reached Armenia with the designation of Yakov Zarobyan as first secretary of the local Communist Party in 1960. Gradual, but firm steps to restore public memory within the limits of what was ideologically permissible followed, including painstaking negotiations within the highest echelons of the Soviet hierarchy. The Soviet Union was disinclined to active confrontation with Turkey, and thus, in early March 1965 the party leadership in Moscow allowed very reluctantly the commemoration of the genocide.

On March 16, 1965 the Council of Ministers of Soviet Armenia passed a resolution, “On the Construction of a Monument to Perpetuate the Memory of the Victims of the Yeghern of the Year 1915.”

Commemorative activities were held in Holy Etchmiadzin, the Academy of Sciences, the Writers Union, and other venues. Several articles were published in the press. On Saturday, April 24 an editorial of the party daily Sovetakan Hayastan of Yerevan condemned the genocide and praised the Armenian rebirth in Soviet fashion:

“Exactly 50 years have passed from those terrible days when the Turkish rulers, guided by the fury of racism, attempted to annihilate an entire people. They did everything, deported and massacred, burned and ruined, but they were not able to annihilate the Armenian people, despite the heavy losses. …The Armenian people, wholly dedicated to the most humane ideas of peoples’ friendship and socialist internationalism, severely condemns, along with progressive humankind, the policy of genocide, one of whose first victims was the Armenian people under Ottoman Turkish rule fifty years ago, and which fascism carried with fury and disproportionately bigger magnitude during the second world war years in Europe.”
An official event by invitation had been planned for the evening, to be held at the Opera Theater. Everything seemed under control, but it was not.

In the morning, several thousand young people gathered at Lenin Square (now Republic Square), near Lenin’s huge statue (toppled in 1991) and various speakers among them started to talk about the meaning of the day. Several leaders, such as Anton Kochinian (president of the Council of Ministers) and famous astronomer Victor Hambardzumian (president of the Academy of Sciences), also spoke to the audience.

After they left, the public, whose number had reached an estimate of no less than 30 to 40,000 people, formed an orderly caravan that walked through the streets of central Yerevan. The demonstrators marched with calls of “Our lands!” and carrying banners that said, for instance, “2,000,000” (the number of victims) and “Solve the Armenian question fairly.” Their number appears to have grown up to 100,000 people, according to some accounts. The demonstration, after stops at the Polytechnic Institute (now State University of Engineering) and Yerevan State University, walked towards the tomb of Gomidas Vartabed in the Pantheon, where several writers, scholars, and young people spoke.

The demonstration continued in the evening, and the marchers tried to force their way into the official ceremony at the Opera Theater, which was surrounded by several police lines. They were repelled by the use of the fire sprinklers of the theater. However, a hundred or two hundred young demonstrators managed to enter the building. The event, where Nagush Harutiunian (president of the Supreme Soviet) and Victor Hambardzumian, had already spoken, was disrupted. The party leadership left the stage, as well as many in the audience. Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I took the stage to calm the demonstrators.
The failure to prevent the demonstration would lead Moscow to various punitive measures, including Zarobyan’s removal in February 1966. However, the commemoration would become a tradition year after year. The first monument was dedicated in the courtyard of Holy Etchmiadzin in October 1965, followed by the memorial on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd inaugurated on November 29, 1967. Starting in 1975, the leadership of the country would join the hundreds of thousands of mourners who every April 24 would pay their respects at the memorial. In November 1988, following the impact of the Karabagh movement, the law “On the condemnation of the genocide of the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915” would also make a provision to declare April 24 a national holiday. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org)
“1915,” a movie co-written and directed by Garin Hovannisian will open tonight at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, New York City. The psychological thriller stars Simon Abkarian (Casino Royale), Angela Sarafyan (Twilight), and Sam Page (Mad Men), with an original score by Grammy Award winning musician Serj Tankian (System of a Down). Garin will be on hand tonight for the 7:20 pm showing and will conduct a brief Q&A afterwards. There will be a similar Q&A tomorrow evening, April 23. The film is receiving great reviews—“cinematically ambitious and visually lush capturing the power of story to reclaim the stolen history of a people.”

Here are three links for information:
Quad Cinema tickets: tiny.cc/nycquad 
Goodbye, Antoura
A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide
By Karnig Panian
Translated by Simon Beugekian

This is a personal story of survival that is memorable and touching. While telling the story of one orphan, it tells the story of a whole generation of orphans. In his Foreword, Vartan Gregorian describes it as “an indispensable tool for awakening our consciences, restoring our collective sense of decency, and forging our solidarity with all those who have suffered the horrors of genocide.” A recent reviewer described Goodbye, Antoura as a “literary gem.”

191 pages, hard cover, $25.00 plus shipping & handling
Operation Nemesis
By Eric Bogosian

This is a well-researched and well-written account of the assassins who hunted down the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. It is an exciting story and Bogosian’s prose does justice to its drama. Some myths are shattered in this comprehensive work making the story even more compelling.

375 pages, hard cover, $28.00 plus shipping & handling

To order these books contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by telephone (212-689-7810).
April 1-30—Photography exhibit by Tom Vartabedian commemorating the Centennial at Haverhill (Massachusetts) Public Library, 99 Main Street, showing images of the country and its people, including scenes of the eternal flame at Tzizernagapert. The exhibit is next to the Children’s Room in the upstairs gallery.

April 22—Capitol Hill Commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the Armenian genocide in the Canon Caucus Room from 6 pm to 8:30 pm

April 23—Canonization of the Armenian Martyrs of 1915 in Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

April 23—White House Vigil, 5 pm to 8:30 pm.

April 23—Divine Liturgy at Holy Ascension Armenian Church, Trumbull, Connecticut, 6:30 pm in memory of Armenian martyrs. Rev. Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, pastor of the Holy Resurrection Church of New Britain will be the celebrant and Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britian will deliver the sermon.

April 24—Protest at Turkish Embassy, Washington D.C., 4 pm to 7:30 pm.

April 24—Centennial Memorial Dinner, sponsored by Providence ARF, hosted by the Armenian Cultural Association of America, Inc., Omni Providence Hotel, One West Exchange Street, Providence, Rhode Island. Cocktails 6 pm; dinner 7 pm. Emcee: Honorable Scott Avedisian, Mayor of Warwick; guest speaker, Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, author of “Sacred Justice: The Voices and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis.” $50 per person. Reserve by email: acaa.prov.ri@gmail.com or by phone: Raffi Rachdouni 401-226-2305; Paula Burke 401-282-0459.

April 25—Connecticut Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day at the Connecticut State Capitol at 11 am. Keynote speaker: Noted author Chris Bohjalian.

April 25—Armenian Genocide Centennial commemoration sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of Merrimack Valley (Massachusetts), 10 am at Lowell City Hall, following a procession from John Street, led by the Armenian American Veterans. Participants are asked to gather at 9:30 am. Luncheon buffet to follow with the showing of a film.

April 26—Centennial commemoration of Genocide. Joint united Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan Cathedral, New York City. Celebrant, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian; homilist, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. To be followed by Times Square gathering “100 Years to Remember.”

April 27—“Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,” by Drew University Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study in Madison, New Jersey at 7 pm. Testimony of Andranik Vartanian (1900-2007), presented by his daughter Susan Vartanian Barba; “Undoing Denial: The Armenian Genocide and Art” presented by Neery E. Melkonian; Concert by the Armenian folk group, Zulal, an a cappella trio will present Armenian village folk melodies. Free and open to the public. RSVP encouraged: (973) 408-3600 or ctrholst@drew.edu.

May 7, 8, 9—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 7, Ecumenical Service at the National Cathedral, 7 pm; May 8, A Journey Through Armenian Music at the Music Center at Strathmore, 7:30 pm; May 8 & 9, Exhibits, Films, and Events at various venues; May 9, Divine Liturgy at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 10 am; May 9, A Time to Give Thanks, banquet, 5:30 pm, Marriott Marquis.

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

May 12—“Anatolia, Land of Armenians Until the 1915 Armenian Genocide,” presentation by Margaret Tellalian-Kyrkostas, executive director of the Anthropology Museum of the People of New York and the Armenian Cultural Educational Resource Center Gallery at Queens College, 7 pm in the Lapham Meeting Room at the Port Washington Public Library.

May 16—“Your Church. Your Nation. Engage.” A Dialogue with His Holiness Aram I, for young adults (ages 18-35). Speakers will explore the theme of Faithfulness, the Centennial of the Armenian genocide, and the canonization of the Martyrs. St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 3 pm to 5 pm. Registration required.

May 30—“Your Church. Your Nation. Engage.” A Dialogue with His Holiness Aram I, with young adults (ages 18-35). Speakers will explore the themes of Faithfulness, the Centennial of the Armenian genocide, and the canonization of the Martyrs. Westin Hotel, 70 Third Avenue, Waltham, Massachusetts, 10 am to 2 pm.

June 3-6—National Representative Assembly hosted by St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.

June 4-5—National Association of Ladies Guilds 2015 Annual Conference, St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts. For information: Sharke Der Apkarian, shakar07@comcast.net, or 978-808-0598.

June 18—Annual Cigar Night and Dinner, Men’s Club of St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts. Drawing of Super Raffle of 2015 Mercedes Benz-CLA 250 will take place. Raffle tickets can be purchased online (saintgregory.org/organizations/mens-club).

June 28-July 5—29th annual 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 and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website at armenianprelacy.org/arec/datev or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org.

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

October 5-9—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.

November 15—90th Anniversary Banquet, St. Stephen’s Church, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut. Watch for details.
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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