December 27, 2013
As we prepare to welcome the New Year, we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2014 graced with the peace and brotherhood of our Lord and Savior whose birth we will celebrate on Monday, January 6.
His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, extends his heartfelt good wishes to all for a New Year filled with the Light of our Lord bringing love, peace, and harmony to all mankind. In his Christmas message, “Christ, the Light,” His Eminence describes Jesus as the Light that gives life meaning. He writes, “If the miraculous events surrounding the birth of Jesus revealed the blissful condition of new life, our people were among the fortunate who made the supreme light the center of their existence, purpose and meaning and with the illumination of their souls and minds they gave their lives to God’s plan of salvation. During these days when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must not turn it into a plain and ordinary celebration—with food and drink, and an occasion to exchange gifts. Jesus visits us again with love and peace, and with the same message of compassion and charity. All who continue their pious lives with the hope of a brighter life remain on the same road to salvation.”
Archbishop Oshagan’s Christmas message in Armenian and English.

NATIVITY AND EPIPHANY SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan:
On Christmas Eve Day, Sunday, January 5, His Eminence will preside at Morning Services at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York; His Eminence will preside at the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy services at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
On Christmas Day, Monday, January 6, His Eminence will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon  and officiate the Blessing of Water Service at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City.
Vicar General, Bishop Anoushavan:
On Christmas Eve Day, Sunday January 5, His Grace will preside at Morning Services at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey; His Grace will preside at the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy services at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City.
On Christmas Day, Monday, January 6, His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Water Service at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

PRAYER SERVICE AT ST. SARKIS AGAINST VIOLENCE
St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, is presenting an Evening of Prayer, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, against violence and for peace in Syria. The Prayer Service will take place tomorrow, Saturday, December 28, at 4 pm.
A special invitation and announcement issued by St. Sarkis Church, says: “We will not be asking for your money; We will not bore you with a lecture; However, if you think what’s happening to the Armenian communities in Syria has an effect on you, join us Saturday December 28, 2013, and say a prayer because: The Lord is the strength of his people; He is the saving refuge of his anointed. O save your people, and bless your heritage; Be their shepherds, and carry them forever, (Psalm 28:8-9).

CILICIAN BROTHERHOOD MEMBER WILL CELEBRATE LITURGY
Very Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian, a young member of the Cilician Brotherhood, who is currently continuing his studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy this Sunday, December 29, at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia. Archbishop Oshagan will preside over the Liturgy. Hayr Boghos, who is visiting the East Coast, visited the Eastern Prelacy offices in New York on Monday, December 23 .

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT IN NORTH ANDOVER
Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory Church in North Andover, Massachusetts, with students and teachers after the Christmas Pageant they presented on Sunday, December 22.
DEACONS’ DAY CELEBRATED AT THE CATHEDRAL
St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, celebrated the Feast of St. Stephen, the protodeacon and first martyr, on December 22. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian is seen here with the Cathedral’s deacons, Shant Kazanjian, Krikor Esayan, Hagop Haddad, and Ryan Tellalian, who were honored and granted the honor to wear the liturgical crowns (Saghavard) on this occasion.
DEACONS’ DAY CELEBRATED IN WATERTOWN
Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian and the deacons of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, during a prefestal service (nakhadonag) marking the feast day of the church’s patron saint, St. Stephen the Protodeacon and First Martyr. From left to right: Subdeacon Jirayr Iskenderian, Deacon Zadour Bedoyan, Der Antranig, Archdeacon John Doursounian, and Subdeacons Ara and Albert Barsoumian.
DEACONS’ DAY CELEBRATED IN DOUGLASTON
The Feast of St. Stephen, the first deacon and proto-martyr, was observed at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. The deacons serving the altar wore crowns in honor of this special day and offered incense to the holy altar and received the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan. Seen in the photo are the deacons, altar servers, and choir members with Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Der Kaloustian, Pastor Emeritus of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church.
BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, December 29, Sixth Sunday of Advent, Eve of the Fast of the Holy Nativity, are: Isaiah 41:4-14; Hebrews 7:11-25; Luke 19:12-28.
As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’” After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. (Luke 19:12-28)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
HOLY APOSTLES JAMES AND JOHN
This Saturday, December 28, the Armenian Church commemorates the apostles James and John (Mark 10:35-41), called the Sons of Thunder by Jesus because of their passionate and quick-natured character. James was a Galilean fisherman, who was called along with his brother John to be two of the twelve apostles. They, together with Peter, formed the inner core among the twelve who were present at the raising of the daughter of Jarius, the Transfiguration, and the agony of Gethsemane.
James is sometimes referred to as “James the Greater” to differentiate from the younger apostle also named James. James was the first of the apostles to be martyred by order of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2). He is considered to be the patron saint of Spain and according to tradition his body was brought from Jerusalem to Spain to Santiago de Compostela that became, and remains, a popular destination for pilgrims.
John is also called “The Divine.” It was to John that Jesus on the cross entrusted the care of his mother. Paul names Peter, John, and James as the “pillars” of the church (Galatians 2:9).

PAREGENTAN OF THE FAST OF THE NATIVITY
Sunday, December 29, the sixth Sunday of Advent, is the Paregentan of the Fast of the Nativity, the third and final fasting period during Advent. This six-day fast (Monday to Saturday) leads us to the celebration of the birth and baptism of our Lord and Savior on Sunday, January 6.

LITURGICAL CALENDAR POSTER
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.
NEWS FROM THE CATHOLICOSATE
2014: YEAR OF SENIORS
His Holiness Catholicos Aram declared the year 2014 as “The Year of Seniors.” In his message, His Holiness focuses upon the place of seniors in the Old and New Testaments, the role of seniors in the church, and the importance of honoring and serving seniors, and learning from their experience. The Catholicos was especially mindful of the generation of survivors whose dedicated work and support built new Armenian communities with its churches, schools, and organizations.

STUDENTS VISIT CATHOLICOSATE
Dr. George Sabra, the President of the Near East School of Theology (NEST), and his students visited the Catholicosate last week to learn about the Armenian Church. The group included students from Lebanon, Syria, Europe, Canada, and the United States. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate, welcomed the students and lectured on the theology, ecclesiology, and history of the Armenian Orthodox Church. The students also visited the Cilicia Museum and the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

HELPING SYRIAN ARMENIAN FAMILIES
Mr. Serop Ohanian, director of the Howard Karagueuzian Foundation for the Middle East, met with His Holiness Aram I last week. The Director briefed the Catholicos on the humanitarian work done by the Foundation and specifically about 1,350 Armenian families from Syria currently registered at the Foundation’s center in Beirut. His Holiness thanked Mr. Ohanian for the Foundations efforts and noted that helping Armenian families from Syria must be a priority.
THIS WEEK IN ARMENIAN HISTORY
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Founding of Hantes Amsorya (January 1, 1887)
The two oldest Armenian periodicals of the world have been published since the nineteenth century and belong to the Mekhitarist Congregation. The first one is Pazmaveb (Բազմավէպ), founded in 1843 in Venice, and the second one is Hantes Amsorya (Հանդէս Ամսօրեայ), founded in 1887 in Vienna. We should note that the Congregation, founded by Mekhitar of Sebastia in 1701 and established in the island of San Lazzaro, in Venice (Italy), in 1717, suffered a division in 1771 and a second branch settled in Vienna (Austria) in 1811. The two branches reunited in 2001 under a single authority with headquarters in San Lazzaro, although the two Mekhitarist monasteries continue their activities.
Father Arsen Aydinian (1825-1902), who was abbot of the Vienna congregation from 1866 until his death, was most famous as the author, in 1866, of a grammar of Modern Armenian which set the grounds for the development of Western Armenian as a literary language. However, he was also the founder of Hantes Amsorya. The name of the journal simply means “Monthly Review.”
The journal succeeded two previous periodicals published by the Viennese monks, Dzanotutiunk vajarakidutian (“Notes of Commerce,” 1819) and Yevroba (“Europe,” 1847-1863).  Between 1887 and 1894 it had general educational purposes, but starting in 1895 it became the flagship publication of Armenian Studies in the world until the foundation of the Armenian Academy of Sciences and the Yerevan State University and the publication of regular periodicals of Armenian Studies in the Republic of Armenia. Edited by a member of the Congregation, Hantes Amsorya was initially a monthly (until 1915) and then became bimonthly, quarterly, semi-annual and, since 1980, yearly. Despite the changes in periodicity, it attracted successive generations of Armenian and non-Armenian scholars, who have published articles and lengthy studies in all sorts of disciplines in Armenian, German, English, French, and Italian.
Since the late nineteenth century, most studies first published in Hantes Amsorya have been later reprinted as books in a collection maintained by the Mekhitarist Congregation and called National Library (Ազգային Մատենաշար, Azkayin Madenashar). During the past decade, the journal has been published simultaneously in Vienna and Yerevan.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IN PHILLY. . .
It has been a long standing tradition that Philadelphia's St. Gregory Sunday School students present their shepherd, Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, with a token of their love, obedience to his guidance, and gratitude for all he does for the Sunday School.
This year, after reading Der Hayr’s Christmas message, entitled "Who Is on Your Christmas List?", the Sunday School students were so moved that they followed their shepherd’s exhortation to include those in Syria.  Imprinting on his parishioners' hearts and minds to experience the true meaning of Christmas by including the needy on their Christmas list, to see the star of Bethlehem, to give Emanuel a gift, that a check was issued to the Prelacy for the Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief in Der Hayr's honor and ultimately in Emanuel's honor.  In his message Der Nerses said, “My beloved parishioners, please experience the true meaning of Christmas by helping the needy. Make it a habit, every Christmas, to include the name of Emanuel on your list. Just like your family and friends, let Emanuel receive a gift as well. There is an Emanuel in your neighborhood, or in Armenia and especially these days in Syria. Thousands of Armenians are trapped in Aleppo, Damascus, and other cities and barely clinging to life. If you want to see the star of Bethlehem this Christmas, put them on your Christmas gift list; their collective name is Emanuel.”

. . .AND IN NEW YORK
With the same thoughts in mind, this year Prelacy staff members asked the Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan, to forgo gifts for the staff and asked instead that a donation be made to the Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief.
In this beautiful and significant season of the Holy Nativity, please remember the many people and families in deep distress. Open your hearts and pockets. You can make your donation right now on line.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.
THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.
DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.
TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE AND SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
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
FROM THE BOOKSTORE...
FRAMED POETRY BY SHIRAZ
Hovhannes Shiraz’s famous poem “My Mother,” in Armenian and English, is beautifully framed and available for purchase at the Prelacy Bookstore. Frame measures 12” x 15”
$25.00 plus shipping and handling.
To order contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by telephone (212-689-7810).
CROSSROADS COMPLETES TEN YEARS
This is the last issue of Crossroads for 2013. With this issue we complete ten years of Crossroads, the first issue having been inaugurated in 2004.
We wish all a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January 5—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Christmas Eve Concert following the Jerakalouyts Badarak. Concert features Farmington Community Chorus. Reception follows.
January 6—Ladies Guild of St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, presents Annual Christmas Luncheon and Program in Lillian Arakelian Fellowship Hall.
January 6—Christmas celebration at St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Special program, “First-time Impressions of Armenia,” presented by students Victoria Kulungian and Nairi Hovsepian, following Badarak and luncheon. All are invited.
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 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.
To ensure the timely arrival of Crossroads in your electronic mailbox, add email@armenianprelacy.org to your address book.
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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