October 17, 2013
Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, will travel to Connecticut, where on Sunday, October 20, he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the Sermon at St. Stephen’s Church, in New Britain. Archbishop Oshagan will be assisted at the altar by Archpriest Fr. Krikoris Keshishian, pastor of St. Stephen Church. The Prelate will grant acolyte Patrick Follo the right to wear the stole. His Eminence will preside over the parish’s 88th anniversary celebration following the liturgy.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, will travel to Racine, Wisconsin, where on Sunday, October 20, he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the Sermon at St. Hagop Church. Bishop Anoushavan will be assisted at the altar by Rev. Fr. Daron Stepanian, pastor of St. Hagop Church. His Grace will ordain altar servers, and following the services will preside over the parish’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Recognizing the importance of discovering and promoting the careers of exceptionally talented, but not well known, young Armenian musicians from all over the world, the Eastern Prelacy launched the Musical Armenia annual concert series in 1982. For more than thirty years the program has remained true to its objective by encouraging young Armenian artists and presenting them in recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
All young soloists and ensembles with at least one member of Armenian descent are invited to apply. Priority will be given to applicants currently living or studying in the United States. The deadline for applications has been extended to October 30, 2013.
For more information and application for the 2014 Musical Armenia concert click here.

An eight-week Bible study program on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, will begin on Thursday, October 24, and continue on subsequent Thursdays up to December 19, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. The Bible studies will be presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and is sponsored by AREC and the Cathedral. Registration, which is required, can be done on line (www.armenianprelacy.org) or by contacting the Prelacy at 212-689-7810, arec@armenianprelacy.org, or the Cathedral at 212-689-5880, office@st.illuminators.org. Or click here.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, executive director of the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), is in Yerevan, where he is participating in the Second International Congress on Armenian Studies, with the theme “Armenian Studies and the Challenges of Modern Times,” dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia and organized by the Academy.
The sessions of the Congress are taking place at the Academy of Sciences’ central building, on Marshal Baghramyan Avenue, from October 17-19. Dr. Matiossian will present a paper entitled “Anti-Immigrationism in the U.S. and the Armenians (1890-1914).”
The Prelacy recently published Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian’s monumental “Commentary on the Nicene Creed,” in a bilingual English and Armenian edition. The English translation was prepared by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, executive director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). This important work is based on a series of lectures delivered by Archbishop Zareh, of blessed memory, and was published in Armenian in Aleppo in 2008. A presentation of this new bilingual edition will take place on Wednesday, November 13, at 7 pm, at the Prelacy offices, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City.
The Nicene Creed is explained, line by line, word by word, in accordance of the orthodox faith; it presents the beliefs of the Christian faith that are essential for every believer. Each theological and biblical term is carefully examined and compared.
Admission is free. Please RSVP by email (email@armenianprelacy.org) or telephone at 212-689-7810. For more information click here.
On Sunday, October 13, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. The Prelate, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, presided over a solemn requiem service offered in memory of Catholicoi Zareh I and Khoren I on the 50th and 30th anniversaries of their passing, respectively.
Following church services, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, delivered opening remarks and introduced the program of the day. Mrs. Karine Kocharian, Director of The Voice of Armenians TV network, recited the poem, “Khachuh” by Archbishop Yeghishe Tourian.
The St. Sarkis Church Choir, directed by Mr. Armen Ardzivian, and accompanied by Mrs. Haigouhi Megerian, performed the song “Yedeves Yegour” and the hymn “Der Getsoh Tou Uzhays.”
The keynote speaker, Bishop Anoushavan, presented the lives and legacies of Catholicos Zareh and Catholicos Khoren. The lecture was followed by a video presentation that featured excerpts of the sermon delivered by  Catholicos Zareh I on the first anniversary of his enthronement. Archbishop Oshagan delivered the closing remarks and benediction.     (Reported by Zaghig Calian)
The month of October is known as Cultural Month for all Armenians around the world. During this time Armenian churches and organizations commemorate the Holy Translators who led the Golden Age of Armenian literature in the fifth century.
Last Sunday, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of New York, sponsored a lecture by Dr. Herand Markarian who spoke about “The Invention of the Armenian Alphabet.”
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, parish priest, welcomed the attendees and introduced the speaker, a well-known playwright, poet, and director. His bilingual lecture focused on the political situation in Armenia on the eve of the invention of the alphabet, as well as the life and work of St. Mesrob Mashdotz.
Dr. Herand Markarian speaks about the Holy Translators.
Last Sunday, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and members of the “Hayer” Band visited the New York Armenian Home in Flushing, New York. Members of the band entertained the residents, staff, and guests with Armenian folk and contemporary music.
From left, Samvel Nersisyan, musical director, Armine Vardanyan, pianist, members of the band, and Aghavni Ellian, Executive Director of the Home, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian.
Bible readings for Sunday, October 20, Sixth Sunday of the Exaltation are, Isaiah 20:2-21; Galatians 4:3-18; Luke 4:14-23.
Then Jesus filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” (Luke 4:14-23)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, October 19, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors of the four Gospels.
Matthew is the patron of the Church’s mission. The Gospel attributed to him closes with the command by Jesus to His disciples and followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Mark had significant influence on the advancement of Christianity. Although the Gospel according to Mark is a narrative of the life of Jesus, theologians consider it to be a handbook of discipleship. The dominant message is that being a Christian is not only believing in Jesus Christ, it is also living according to the example set by Jesus. According to tradition, Mark was the first bishop of Alexandria. One of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world is named after him in Venice, where his relics are kept.
Luke is the author of the third Gospel and the Book of Acts. He is considered to be the patron of physicians and artists. The Gospel according to Luke describes Jesus as “the healer of a broken world.” Luke is also noted for his concern for the poor, the marginalized, women, and social outcasts. His Gospel does not end with the Resurrection, but continues to Pentecost and the eternal presence of Christ in the world. Traditionally he is believed to be one of the Seventy and the unnamed disciple in Emmaus.
John, often called the “beloved disciple,” is the author of the fourth Gospel. He was the only one of the twelve disciples who did not forsake Christ and stood at the foot of the Cross. Jesus entrusted his mother to John’s care on the day of the Crucifixion. The best known verse in his Gospel is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” According to tradition, John left Jerusalem after attending the first ecumenical council and went to Asia Minor and settled in Ephesus. He was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation, although scholars have concluded that John the Apostle and John of Patmos were two different people.
His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, addressed the 3rd Convention of European Armenians that convened in Brussels. In his opening remarks His Holiness urged Turkey to “return the Armenian churches to their legitimate owners, the Armenian people.”
Referring to the emerging realities, His Holiness said, “The question of the Armenian Genocide is acquiring a new form and expression; it is generating a renewed interest and a new reaction. These factors and developments, referred to briefly, with their implications need to be taken into serious consideration as we try to reassess and reactivate our efforts. However, we must be realistic. We must bear in mind that activism may soon reach a dead-end if it is not consonant with the geopolitical realities and interests of the present world; the scholarly research will be confined to academic circles if it is not tested by international law, and international laws will be inapplicable if it is not supported by political will.”
Speaking about the Armenian Church properties, His Holiness stated that they “cannot be considered abandoned, because the Armenians did not leave their properties by their own choice. They were threatened and forced to leave. Hence, the Armenian properties were seized and confiscated by force. Confiscation of properties under all circumstances is not only illegal, it is also a crime against humanity,” the Catholicos said.
The convention was attended by a number of specialists of genocide and international law, as well as representatives of the European Parliament.
The 84th scholastic year of the Zarehian Seminary of the Catholicosate officially began last Sunday, with the newly-appointed Dean, Very Rev. Fr. Housig Mardirossian, celebrating the Holy Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias. Returning and new students and the faculty took part in the Liturgy and received Holy Communion.
In his sermon, Fr. Housig welcomed the new seminarians to the community of future spiritual leaders of the Armenian Church. He told them they were now embarking on a new journey of service.
On Monday, before classes began, seminarians and faculty attended a thanksgiving ceremony that included prayers, songs, and messages. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian conveyed the blessings of His Holiness Aram I, and urged the students to read and discover the Bible and learn from the teaching and lives of our Armenian Church Fathers.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Pen and ink drawing by Minas Minasian.
Death of Gomidas Vartabed
(October 22, 1935)

Gomidas Vartabed was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, but he was also a victim of it, for he was never able to recover from the traumatic effects of his short-termed deportation.
Soghomon Soghomonian was born in Kütahya (Gudina), in western Turkey, on October 8, 1869. His family was Turkish-speaking.  He lost his mother when he was one year old and his father when he was ten. In 1881 he was taken to Holy Etchmiadzin, where he entered the Kevorkian Seminary.
His exceptional voice and musical abilities attracted special attention. He studied Armenian musical notes and religious music, collected popular songs, and made his first attempts at composing. In 1893 he graduated and was designated music teacher and choirmaster of the cathedral. One year later he was ordained a celibate priest, and named Gomidas in honor of Catholicos Gomidas, a musician and poet of the 7th century. In 1895, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite (vartabed).
He pursued musical studies in Berlin from 1896-1899. He returned to Etchmiadzin from 1899-1910. He collected close to 3,000 popular songs and dances, which he mostly arranged for choir versions. He presented his arrangements of Armenian popular and religious music in Paris (1906) with great success.
His musical programs included folk and sacred music, but his actions and ideas upset a conservative faction in Etchmiadzin. After Catholicos Mgrdich I (Khrimian Hairig) passed away in 1907, Gomidas’ situation became more problematic. He wrote that he could not breathe and was suffocating in Etchmiadzin. His formal request to become a hermit and continue his work was denied, and finally he decided to move to Constantinople.
He created the 300-member “Kusan” Choir and gave concerts in various places in the Ottoman Empire and Egypt. Five of its members (Parsegh Ganachian, Mihran Toumajan, Vartan Sarxian, Vagharshag Srvantzdian, and Haig Semerjian) took classes of musical theory with him and came to be known as the “five Gomidas students.”
In April 1915, Gomidas was arrested with more than 200 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders and exiled to Chankiri. His behavior changed along the exile route. A few weeks later, while officiating at a church service, word came that he would be sent back to Constantinople with a few other notables.
The return was very difficult for him. His friends could not understand his odd behavior and considered him mad, committing him to the Turkish Military Psychiatric Hospital. Many of his compositions and notes were dispersed and lost.
In 1919 he was sent to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life, first in a private psychiatric hospital and then in the Villejuif asylum, where he passed away. In 1936 his body was sent to Armenia and buried in the pantheon named after him, where famous personalities found their final rest. The Music Conservatory of Yerevan is named after him, as is the state chamber quartet.
Gomidas was justly termed the Father of Armenian Music, as he rescued from oblivion more than 4,000 village songs and melodies, and set the foundation for the scientific study of Armenian music. He also wrote pieces for piano and songs, fragments for comedies and operas. His version of the Holy Mass is a classic work, used to this day by the Armenian Church.
Note: Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
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.
October 19—Armenian Friends of America presents “Hye Kef 5” featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Greg Takvorian, Ken Kalajian, Ron Raphaelian, and Jay Baronian, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit all Armenian churches in Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Tickets: $40 adults; $30 students; includes individually-served mezza platters. For information/reservations: John Arzigian 603-560-3826; Sandy Boroyan 978-251-8687; Scott Sahagian 617-699-3581; Peter Gulezian 978-375-1616.
October 19—Annual Bazaar of St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, 10 am to 7 pm in church hall. Favorite Armenian dinners including shish, losh, and chicken kebabs with rice pilaf. Traditional Armenian and American baked goods including paklava and spinach-cheese pie. Take-out available by calling 413-543-4763. Raffle drawing with valuable prizes. Admission and parking are free. For information: 413-543-4763.
October 19—Youth Club Gathering, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
October 20—Benefactors remembrance and Au8xiliary bodies appreciation day, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
October 20—St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin, 75th Anniversary Celebration to begin with Badarak at 10 am at the church, followed by a gala “tasting banquet” and program at the Racine Marriott. For information: Mary M. Olson, 262-681-1535.
October 24 to December 19—St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, an 8-week Bible study program beginning Thursday, October 24, and continuing on Thursdays up to December 19 (no session on Thanksgiving, November 28). Sessions will be presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Sessions will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7:15-8:00 pm, Presentation; 8:00-8:45 pm, Q/A & Discussion. Registration is required. Register at www.armenianprelacy.org or contact the Prelacy 212-689-7810, or the Cathedral at 212-689-5880.
October 26—Annual Fall Fair sponsored by St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 10 am to 7 pm. Armenian foods and pastries, along with gift tables, white elephant, raffles and games. Fun for the whole family.
October 27—90th anniversary celebration of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy at the church’s Founders Hall, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19128.
October 27—“Truth or Consequences: Challenges to Armenia’s Environmental Safety,” at Pashalian Hall, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27th Street, New York City, at 2 pm. Documentary Film and Q&A, and guest speakers Yeghia Nersessian, Anna Aghlamazyan, and Levon Galstyan, representing the Pan-Armenian Environmental Front. Opportunity to meet three activists on the frontlines of environmental issues in Armenia today.
October 27—A Showcase of Talent, Art Exhibition and Sale, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
November 1 & 2—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 57th Annual Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm, at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center (ACEC), 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown. Delicious meals (take-out available), Armenian pastries, gourmet, Harvest Store, Books, Raffles, Attic Treasures, Auctions, and more. For information: 617-924-7562 or on Facebook.
November 2—Mid-West Regional Conference for Clergy, Boards of Trustees, and NRA Delegates, hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, beginning at 10 am and ending at 4 pm. Members of Prelacy’s Religious and Executive members will be present.
November 2 & 3—Armenian Fest 2013, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents its Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston. Featuring chicken, losh, and shish kebabs, and kufta dinners, Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, silent auction, hourly raffles, and grand prize, $2,000. Children’s dance group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry are available all day. Saturday, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. Free admission and parking. For information: 401-831-6399.
November 7—Avak luncheon, noon, Jaffarian Hall, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Speaker, Dr. Edward Khantzian, clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Impressions of a Keynote Visit to Armenia.”
November 10—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, presents The Way We Were Ensemble of New York/New Jersey in their performance of “The Gamavors,” at 2 pm in the church hall. Coffee and reception with cast will follow performance. Tickets: $20 adults; $10 children under 12. For tickets: Mary Derderian, hyeguin@yahoo.com or 781-762-4253.
November 13—Book presentation and reception for “Commentary on the Nicene Creed” by Archbishop Zareh Aznavorian, of blessed memory. Bilingual edition of this important work will be presented under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan at the Prelacy offices, 138 East 39th Street, New York City. English translation was prepared by Deacon Shant Kazanjian.
November 15-16-17—Annual Bazaar, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
November 16—Public Relations seminar for New England parishes, directed by Tom Vartabedian, at St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, beginning at 10 am. Speakers include: Stephen Kurkjian, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the Boston Globe, and Khatchig Mouradian, editor of The Armenian Weekly.
November 16 & 17—Annual ART IN FALL Exhibition featuring national and international Armenian artists, Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. Fine art including oils, mixed media, photography, and sculpture in classic, modern, and contemporary styles by 27 artists. Opening Reception, Saturday, 7 to 10 pm. Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres, $30 donation.  Sunday, 1 to 4 pm, Refreshments, $15 donation.
November 17—Banquet and Program celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Mother,” organized by the Eastern Prelacy, at Terrace in the Park, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Watch for details.
November 22 & 23—Fall Food Festival at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Join us on Friday from 5 pm to 8 pm and Saturday from noon to 4 pm for shish, losh, chicken kebob, or kheyma dinners. Country Store and Bake Table. Stock up on katah, choreg, manti, porov kufta, simit, and much more.
November 24—Special program following the Divine Liturgy presented by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian commemorating the passing of Catholicos Zareh I (50th) and Catholicos Khoren I (30th) will take place at St. Stephen’s Church, 38 Elton Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts.
November 24—Ladies Guild Annual Bazaar, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
December 6—Anniversary celebration by Lowell “Aharonian” Gomideh, 6:30 pm, St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts; dinner and program honoring 50-year members Steve Dulgarian and Joe Dagdigian; remembering the 25th anniversary of the earthquake in Armenia; soloist Nina Hovsepian, accompanied by Mary Barooshian. Donation: $20 adults; $10 students.
December 7—Annual Church Bazaar of St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, will take place at Christian Reform Church, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville. For information: 508-234-3677.
December 7—Annual Holiday Bake Sale, St. Paul Church, 645 S. Lewis Avenue, Waukegan, Illinois, 9 am to 3 pm. Enjoy authentic Armenian & American pastries and plan to stay for lunch at St. Paul Café. For information or pre-orders, 847-244-4573.
December 15—Simply Christmas Concert, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
February 1—Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
February 24-26, 2014—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.
March 28, 2014—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm.
June 1—Ladies Guild Annual Brunch, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
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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