April 14, 2016
Archbishop Oshagan has asked all Prelacy parishes to offer a requiem service this Sunday for the forty heroes who sacrificed their lives for the defense of Artsakh in the attacks by Azerbaijan. His Eminence also asked that prayers be offered for the more than 100 wounded patriots and for a justice and peace.

Archbishop Oshagan also asked the parishes to offer a special plate collection this Sunday, April 17 and next Sunday April 24 to help the families. “Every Armenian has a duty to help the brave men and women who are defending the homeland. Let us show that they are not alone and we stand in solidarity with them for the cause of truth and justice,” said the Prelate.

Donations may also be sent directly to the Prelacy. Checks should be made out to Armenian Apostolic Church of America and mailed to Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Please indicate “Artsakh” in the memo area of your check.

A special reception/dinner will take place this Saturday evening for the New England area Pillars of the Prelacy. The event will take place at the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts. This special event is in appreciation of current Pillars in the New England region. It is also intended to encourage new members to join the Pillars program. During the evening the guests will enjoy a preview tour of a new exhibit “Objects that Transcend: Metalwork from the Garabedian Collection.”

The Pillars of the Prelacy is an annual giving program that encourages the active presence and participation of members in the life of the Prelacy. Pillars donate at least $1,000 each year. As host of the evening, Archbishop Oshagan will welcome the Pillars for an evening of thanks and fellowship. “This evening is our way of extending to the Pillars the recognition and thanks they so richly deserve,” said the Prelate. Last October the Pillars of the New York-New Jersey area were honored and thanked with a reception/dinner at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Similar events will take place in other regions.

For more information about the Pillars contact the Prelacy office (212-689-7810).
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will lead the first ever Archdiocese of Boston commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 23. The Cardinal will host and preside at a 4 pm prayer service. Ecumenical and interreligious guests and civic dignitaries will join a large number of faithful from both communities.

Joining in the commemoration will be His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, and His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan from the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. His Excellency Bishop Mikael Mouradian, who leads the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of the United States and Canada, will be represented by his vicar general, Monsignor Andon Atamian.

Cardinal O’Malley said, “Bringing home to Boston what the Holy Father Pope Francis said last year, we want to acknowledge the specific suffering of so many in the Armenian Genocide as a witness of faith, and to underscore the persecution of Christians still going on today. Building on our bond as Christians, it is such a grace for us Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston together with our Armenian brothers and sisters to make this remembrance in common prayer to our Lord.”

To read more click here.
Note: Beginning April 4 and continuing until Pentecost (May 15), 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 17, Red Sunday are: (1) Luke 9:18-36; (2) Acts 13:16-43; 1 Peter 5:1-14; John 5:19-30:12; (3) Matthew 11:25-30; Luke 23:32-46; (4) Mark 4:26-34.

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, April 17, 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.

The 30th annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute summer program for youth ages 13-18 will be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 3-10. 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 website at armenianprelacy.org/arec/datev or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or arec@armenianprelacy.org.
Hundreds of Armenian Americans converged in New York on Saturday, April 9, 2016 to participate in a peaceful protest against Azerbaijani aggression in the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh). The demonstration was organized by the New York and New Jersey (“Armen Garo” and “Dro”) chapters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADLP/Ramgavar Party). 

More than 300 protesters voiced their outrage over the recent violent attacks that were instigated by Azerbaijani forces against the peaceful residents of Karabagh. The protest took place at the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, near the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters—and close to the Consulate General of Azerbaijan. 

A requiem prayer was offered, by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral and Rev. Haig Kherlopian of the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York, in memory of the Armenian servicemen who were killed in the recent hostilities in Republic of Nagorno-Karabagh.
His Holiness Aram I arrived in Yerevan on Monday April 11 for meetings on Karabagh. The two Catholicoi met with the presidents of Armenia and Karabagh and expressed their solidarity with the soldiers defending their homeland of Karabagh.
The two Catholicoi join the President of Artsakh and other clergymen and government officials in a procession toeards the Ghazanchetots Cathedral in Shushi to participate in a Divine Liturgy service.
The president of the organization “In Defense of Christians in the Middle East,” Toufik Baakline and his delegation met with His Holiness Aram I last Saturday. After presenting their plans and hearing the recommendations of the Catholicos, they assured him of their solidarity with the Armenians in Karabagh and promised to lobby in Washington on their behalf. The Catholicos had met the president and the members of the organization during the 2014 meeting of spiritual leaders of the Middle East in Washington, D.C., which they had organized.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Karen Demirchyan (April 17, 1932)
Karen Demirchyan was a noted name in post-Stalinist Soviet Armenia and held the leadership of the republic until the beginning of the Karabagh movement contributed to topple him. He would reinvent himself as a politician in post-Soviet times for a brief period until his murder.
Demirchyan was born on April 17, 1932 in Yerevan, in a family of employees. He lost his parents when he was still an infant. After graduating from the school “26 Commissars,” he chose a career in engineering and studied at the Yerevan Karl Marx Polytechnic Institute (now Yerevan State Engineering University) from 1949-1954. After graduating as mechanical engineer, he worked briefly for a research institute in Leningrad, and in 1955 he returned to Armenia and joined the Yerevan Electrotechnical Factory. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1954 and soon rose to the position of secretary of the party committee in the factory.

His political career was in progress. In 1959 he was sent to the higher party school of Moscow attached to the Communist Party of the USSR, which was a prerequisite to climb to higher echelons, and he graduated in 1961. He returned to his former workplace as chief engineer and later director. In 1964 he became second secretary of the Yerevan party committee and joined the secretariat of the Armenian Central Committee six years later.
Demirchyan replaced Anton Kochinyan as first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party in November 1974 and he also became chairman of the Armenian Supreme Soviet in 1976. During his fourteen-year rule as party boss (he was one of the longest holders of the position of first secretary), Armenia was prosperous by Soviet standards, with its economy helped by semi-legal and illegal businesses. Various important public works were finished and opened during his tenure: the Zvartnots airport in Yerevan and the Shirak in Gyumri, as well as airports in the border zones; the first section of the Yerevan Metro (subway); the atomic central of Armenia, in Metzamor; the sports-concert complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd; the Arpa-Sevan tunnel. Several important factories and highways were also built. On April 23, 1975, for the first time in the history of Soviet Armenia, Demirchyan officially condemned the Armenian Genocide on behalf of the leadership of the republic. Thanks to his efforts, an article that declared Armenian as official language of the republic was reinstated in the new Constitution of 1978.
Demirchyan visiting the contruction site of the Yerevan Metropolitain subway.
Demirchyan (center) and his Georgian and Azeri counterparts, Eduard Shevardnadze(left) and Heydar Aliev (right) at Sardarapat in 1979.
At the beginning of the Karabagh movement in 1988, Demirchyan tried to persuade the demonstrators to be patient. However, his middle course did not please either side, and he was forced out of office by Moscow authorities in May 1988.

He practically disappeared from the political scene, and after the independence of Armenia he became president and executive director of the Hayelectramekena (Armenian Electrical Machines) from 1991-1999.

A decade after leaving politics, he made a surprising comeback. Nostalgia for his era gave him momentum to try a run for the presidency as a non-partisan in the elections of March 1998. He managed to garner 30 per cent of the votes in the first round and 40 per cent in the second-round run-off against the eventual winner, Robert Kocharyan. He later formed the People's Party, teaming up with Defense minister Vazgen Sargsyan’s Republican Party to form the Miasnutyun (Unity) alliance and contest the May 1999 parliamentary elections.
Demirchyan during his 1998 presidential campaign.
The alliance won with 43 per cent of the vote and the majority of parliamentary seats. This gave the country the first chance of some stability since independence. Demirchyan was overwhelmingly elected speaker in June 1999. Four months later, on October 27, 1999, he, Sargsyan and six other politicians were assassinated in the Armenian Parliament by a group of gunmen who stormed the building in a move whose ultimate motives and driving forces have not been clarified.

Karen Demirchyan is buried at the Komitas Pantheon, located in the city center of Yerevan. One of his two sons, Stepan Demirchyan, succeeded him as leader of the People’s Party. The subway system, the sports-concert complex, a school, and a street are named after him in Yerevan.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
The Armenian Students Association, Inc., has announced the start of its 6th annual poetry competition. Once again, the ASA is partnering with the Armenian Poetry Project for the writing competition named in honor of the late Arthur Halvajian, a former trustee who led its Board in sponsoring the first competition. The 2016 competition is now open; the deadline for submission is May 28, 2016. The competition winners will be announced in June 2016.

All individuals of Armenian descent, residing in the United States or Canada are invited to submit their work, in English or Armenian. Entries should be emailed by May 28 to ArmenianPoetryProject@gmail.com with the subject heading “Halvajian ASA/APP Poetry competition.” Only one poem per individual may be submitted. Submissions must be accompanied by the author’s full name, age, home address/telephone number. Students must include school name and sponsoring teacher’s telephone number. For full details go to http://armenian-poetry.blogspot.com. 

“Truth, Justice, Recognition: Remembering the Armenian Genocide,” is the theme of this year’s Times Square gathering organized by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. The gathering will begin at 2 pm at the crossroads of the world—New York’s Times Square—with free bus transportation to and from Times Square from various sites. For information visit www.knightsofvartan.org and click on Main/April 24, 2016.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Virgins Do Not Take Sides
The calendar of Holy Week in the Armenian Apostolic Church includes a special service that enacts the parable of the Foolish and Wise Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The translation of “virgin” in Armenian is gooys (կոյս); this word is also used, indeed, as the name of the sign of Virgo (Gooys / Կոյս) and as an adjective (e.g. “virgin forest” = gooys andarr / կոյս անտառ). Its origin is still unknown.

The service is celebrated “in the memory of the Ten Virgins” (Dasuh Goosanats hishadageen / Տասը Կուսանաց յիշատակին). The word goosanats is a Classical Armenian declination of the plural of gooys (= goosank / կուսանք), while its Modern Armenian equivalent would be gooyseroo / կոյսերու. Now, the existence of goosank / goosanats indicates that the root gooys becomes goos (կուս) in Modern Armenian, except in plural (gooys > gooyser). A grammar rule establishes that the diphthong ooy (ոյ) becomes oo (ու) when words are derived or compounded. We have, for instance, the words goosagan(կուսական) “virginal” and goosagron (կուսակրօն) “celibate.”
Some curious mind would like to ask: “What about goosagtsootyoon / կուսակցութիւն”? Is there any connection with gooys?”

Yes, there is. But before you start smiling, we should add that the relation is with another gooys. Virgins and parties (goosagtsootyoon) have nothing to do with each other.

As a matter of fact, the other word gooys (կոյս), meaning “side,” comes from an Iranian source and is not used today in Modern Armenian. However, it is the root for several words of current use, such as goosagtsootyoon, which is a compound word that means “group [of people] associated [with one] side” (gooys-a-g[i]ts-ootyoon), namely, “party,” whether political or not.

Another interesting compound word is megoosi (մեկուսի) “isolated.” It is composed of the words mi (մի “one”) and gooys. They are linked by the connective a (mi-a-gooys-i > megoosi). It is a grammatical rule of Armenian that the combination of i and a (ի + ա) in compound words turns into e (ե, not է).

Since we mentioned the termination goosi, let us finish with a third word: karragoosi (քառակուսի). At this point, the reader will probably surmise that it is the combination of karr and gooys. However, karr (քառ) has nothing to do either with carr (գառ “lamb”) or kar (քար “stone”). Like gooys, karr is another word from Classical Armenian that has only remained as a root in the modern language. It means “four,” but you do not say meg, yergoo, yerek, karr (մէկ, երկու, երեք, քառ), but meg, yergoo, yerek, chors (մէկ, երկու, երեք, չորս). As you may have guessed, karragoosi literally means “four-sided,” namely, “square,” as in a square room (karragoosi senyag / քառակուսի սենեակ).

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).

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138 E. 39th Street
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Featured this week: Karabakh Special
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SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

April 16—Reception for Pillars of the Prelacy in New England area, Cocktails and Dinner at Armenian Museum of America, 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts. Exclusive exhibition preview for the Pillars of “Metal Memories: Selected Metalwork from the Berdj Garabedian Collection.” For information (email@armenianprelacy.org).

April 17—“Walk Armenia,” sponsored by ARS Mayr Chapter of New York; a 2-mile walk starting and ending at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Registration at 12 noon; walk starts at 1 pm. Registration fee: $25. Proceeds from the walk will benefit renovations to Camp Haiastan. For information contact Anais (anais@mindripple.com).

April 19—18th annual Armenian Youth Day, sponsored by the Armenian Martyrs Memorial Committee of Rhode Island starting at 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, at St. Sahag and Mesrob Church, Egavian Auditorium, Providence, Rhode Island. All youth between ages of 7 to 14 are invited for a full day of activities and lunch. There is no charge for this event.

April 23—“Beyond the 100th Anniversary: A Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” church service in memory of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, 7 pm at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Program at 8:30 pm; keynote speaker: H.E. Grigor Hovhannissian, Ambassador of Armenia to the United States.Organized by ARF Dro Gomideh and Hai Tahd Committee. All welcome. For information: arfdro@gmail.com or 201-945-0011.

April 23—“Remembrance, Witness and Resurrection,” Archdiocese of Boston commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will host and lead the first ever Archdiocese of Boston commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The Cardinal will preside at a 4 pm prayer service. Joining the commemoration will be His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Ecumenical and interreligious guests and civic dignitaries will join a large number of faithful from the Archdiocese and the Armenian Church.

April 23—Connecticut General Assembly, in association with the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Connecticut, will commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide; flag raisin g at 11 am, commemoration at 11:30 am in the House Chambers of the Connecticut State Capitol. Guest Speaker: Shant Mardirossian, Chairman Emeritus of the Near East Foundation (formerly Near East Relief). Reception will follow event.

April 24—Armenian Martyrs Committee of Rhode Island commemoration of 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide at North Burial Ground, Providence, starting at 12:45 pm. Clergy from the three local Armenian churches along with deacons and choirs will participate. Federal and state officials have been invited. Dr. Barbara J. Merguerian of Wellesley, Massachusetts, is the guest speaker. For information: joyce41@cox.net or go to www.Ammri.org.

April 24— “Remembering the Armenian Genocide,” Gathering at Times Square, New York, beginning at 2 pm. Sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. Free bus transportation available. For information (www.knightsofvartan.org). 

April 28—Annul Alice K. Norian Lecture, “Genocide Recognition or Quest for Justice?” by Harut Sassounian; 5:30 pm reception, 6:00 pm lecture at UCONN School of Social Work, Zachs Community Room, 1798 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut. “They Shall Not Perish: The Story of the Near East Relief” Exhibit will also be on display in the Zachs Community Room on April 28. The Exhibit will be moved to UConn Storrs campus after the lecture, and will remain on display in Laurel Hall until September 20, 2016. Sponsored by UConn’s Norian Armenian Programs, Global Affairs, and School of Social Work.

May 5—St. Gregory Church, Avak Luncheon, 12 noon at Jaffarian Hall, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Speaker: Lisa Kouchakdjian, originator of  “Love on a Plate.” Come share and appreciate some wonderful Armenian recipes. All invited.

May 12, 13, 14—National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. Also convening are the National Association of Ladies Guilds conference, and conference of Yeretzgins. 

May 21—Friends of Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS), Annual Gala, North Hills Country Club, Manhasset, New York. Educating today’s Armenian American students remains our first priority. Join us in the festivities and help ensure the future of our Armenian School. For reservations/information: 718-225-4826.

July 3-10—St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. 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.
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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