February 11, 2016
John A. Manoogian

Archbishop Oshagan and the Religious and Executive Councils received the news of the passing of John A. Manoogian with a great sense of loss and sorrow. Mr. Manoogian died on February 9 at the age of 94. 
Mr. Manoogian was proud of his Armenian heritage and an ardent supporter of the Armenian Church. In appreciation of his many years of service, Mr. Manoogian was awarded the Eagle of the Prelacy, which is the highest award given by the Eastern Prelacy. He was also honored with the Prince of Cilicia medal, the highest award given by the Catholicate of the Great House of Cilicia, in recognition of his continuous and generous support of the Armenian Church.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy, will preside over the wake service that will take place Sunday evening, February 14, 6 to 9 pm, with Dan Gark services at 7:30 pm at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, 19300 Ford Road, Dearborn, Michigan. His Grace will preside over a national (azgayin) funeral service on Monday, February 15, at 10:30 am at St. Sarkis Church followed by interment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. The family will receive friends on Monday from 9:30 am until 10:30 am.

Mr. Manoogian is survived by his wife of 74 years Rose Manoogian, children Natalie Mosher, John Manoogian II, and Lori Johnston, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Mr. Manoogian was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II. He joined the Ford Motor Company as a drafting apprentice in 1940 and worked until his retirement in 1991. During his 50-year career, he held numerous positions as he advanced up the corporate hierarchy.

In lieu-of-flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Seasons Hospice, or charity of choice.

May his noble soul rest in eternal peace.
Bishop Anoushavan will be the first presenter at Douglaston’s St. Sarkis Church “Liturgy, Education, and Tradition Series,” this Friday evening. His Grace will speak about “Serving the Lord and serving the community with joy.”

On Sunday the Vicar will attend the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Sarkis Church in Dearborn, Michigan, and preside over the 40th day presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ (Dyarnuntarach).

Sunday evening Bishop Anoushavan will preside over the wake service and funeral service on Monday for John Manoogian.
Bible readings for Sunday, February 14, Second Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Expulsion, Presentation of the Lord are: Isaiah 24:21-25:8; Acts 7:47-50; Galatians 4:1-7; Luke 2:41-52.

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here
This Saturday, February 12, 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 Genesis, 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 creation.
Each of the Sundays during Lent has a theme. This Sunday is the Sunday of the Expulsion (Ardagsman Giragi). 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 opportunity to be 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 Sunday, February 14, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple (Dyarnuntarch in Armenian, which literally means “bringing forward of the Lord”). This feast always falls on February14—forty days after the Nativity (January 6). Forty days after the birth of Christ, Mary and Joseph obeyed Mosaic Law and presented their son to the temple (Numbers 18:15). In the temple, a righteous and devout man named Simeon to whom it was revealed that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord, took Jesus in his arms, blessed God and said, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (See Luke 2:22-40)

Some pre-Christian Armenian customs have been incorporated into this feast, including one that remains popular to this day, especially in the Middle East and Armenia. In recent years the tradition has been revived here in the United States. On the eve of the feast, a bonfire is lit outside of the church using a flame from the altar. Young people, especially newlyweds, gather around the fire as the flames subside, the young men leap over the flames. The light of the bonfire is symbolic of Christ, who is the Everlasting Life of the world.

This year this feast falls on a Sunday during Lent when the altar curtain is kept closed. On this occasion in celebration of the Presentation of the Lord, the curtain will be open during the Liturgy.

Last October during the united clergy conference of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies, many important matters were presented and discussed. One major concern regarded Great Lent. Because Lent is a time of prayer, meditation, and introspection in preparation of the resurrection of our Lord, it was decided that all social events and celebrations should not take place in the Church or the Church Hall. This includes wedding ceremonies both in the church and at an outside venue.  Our faithful are encouraged to follow these recommendations and all church affiliated organizations and communities are urged to respect this time of year and take this recommendation into consideration when planning future events.

The first of a six-part Prelacy Lenten lecture series began last night at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York, with “service” as its overall theme, since His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia proclaimed 2016 as the “Year of Service.”

The first lecture focused on “The notion of service in the Old Testament,” presented by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Der Hayr emphasized three main points: a servant seeking wisdom, serving with joy, and serving faithfully.

In addition to the educational component, the program included a short Husgoom service and a table fellowship.

To view Der Nareg’s presentation, click below.
Next Wednesday, February 17, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian will speak about “Jesus as the Servant of God.”

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.
A scene during the Husgoom service.
A regional Board of Trustees Workshop will take place for the parishes in the Midwest on Saturday, March 5, beginning at 10 am and concluding at 4:30 pm. The workshop is being hosted by All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois. His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan will preside and members of the Religious and Executive Councils will participate. 

The 33rd Musical Armenia concert will take place on Friday, March 11, 8 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This year the Musical Armenia committee is excited to present the pianist Sofya Melikyan and NUR (a collaboration of the lyric soprano Rosy Anoush Svazlian and the pianist/composer Andrea Manzoni. The Musical Armenia series is sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy and the Prelacy Ladies Guild. Tickets for the concert are twenty-five dollars.

This is the 33rd concert in this much-loved series that dates back to 1982. Established by the late Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, Musical Armenia is dedicated to promoting young Armenian artists and to the performance of music by Armenian composers. Over the past thirty-four years many of the program’s performers have established solid professional careers.

Throughout Musical Armenia’s more than three-decades-long history the price of tickets have been kept low thanks to the support of dedicated sponsors who have made the continuation of the Musical Armenia tradition a priority. As a sponsor of Musical Armenia you can make a key contribution to the development of talented musicians as they strive for success in their various musical fields. All donations will be acknowledged in the concert booklet.

Donations in any amount are deeply appreciated. The categories of sponsorship are: Diamond ($1,000); Platinum ($500); Gold ($300); Silver ($200); Friend (any amount). Diamond, Platinum, and Gold sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets.

Click here to donate online. Click here for a Sponsorship Form that can be mailed with your donation to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. For information or to purchase tickets contact the Prelacy by telephone (212-689-7810) or by email (sophie@armenianprelacy.org). 
For many decades the Prelacy has sponsored an annual raffle drawing the proceeds of which are devoted to the educational and religious programs of the Prelacy that benefit our youth. The drawing takes place in May during the annual National Representative Assembly. The top prize is $5,000, second prize is $2,000 and third, fourth, and fifth prizes are $1,000. 

Of course being a winner is great. But, truthfully, in this raffle there are no losers, because the money raised funds the programs that are so vital to our church’s mission. If you haven’t bought a ticket please consider purchasing one or more now. Contact your local parish or contact the Prelacy (email@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810). 

Children at St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts, embraced the idea of Service during a Paregentan celebration that included games and refreshments. The students organized a community-style forum in Jaffarian Hall following the Liturgy last Sunday. Four areas of service were outlined, namely, Service to church, community, themselves and their families, and Armenia. The program coincided with the “Year of Service,” as proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

More than 20 students took part in the endeavor, offering suggestions and ideas as to how to best serve the cause of service. The two projects that the students decided to undertake are: Development of a children’s library in the church, and the planting of a tree in memory of the Armenian martyrs. Student Ava Movsessian noted that “Every time we pass by that tree in the front lawn of our church, we can point to it and say it is our tree and we did it for the martyrs.” The projects are under the supervision of the superintendent, Sossy Jeknavorian, and instructors Tom Vartabedian and Jane Kublbeck.
A group photo of the students during the Paregentan celebration and plans for “Year of Service” projects.
A variety of games enjoyed by the students included the popular “musical chairs.”
Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy last Sunday at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island on the occasion of Vartanank and the parish’s name day. Following the Liturgy a celebratory dinner took place, hosted by the Ladies’ Guild and Men’s Club, under the auspices of His Grace. During the name-day celebration the following seven devoted parishioners were honored: Kenneth and Sandra Bogosian, Vartges Engustian, Harry Kushigian, Antranig Mesrobian, John Takian, and Joyce Yeremian. An interlude of songs by Dalita Getzoyan and the Vicar’s concluding message provided inspiration and motivation.
The clergy with altar servers and choir members at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence.
Seven parishioners were honored during the name-day dinner. Seen in the photo, left to right: Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor of Sts. Vartananatz Church,  Hagop Khatchadourian, chairman of the Board of Trustees, Kenneth Bogosian, Sandra Bogosian, Vartges Engustian, Antranig Mesrobian, Bishop Anoushavan, John Takian , Joyce Yeremian, Harry Kushigian, and Rev. Fr. Kapriel, Assistant Pastor.
Two infants on their 40th day were presented to the Lord: Simon Donabedian (left), son of Samuel and Stephanie Donabedian and Arpi Khatchadourian (right), daughter of Deacon Arees and Megan Khatchadourian.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
The Fall of Erzerum (February 16, 1916)
A general scene of Erzerum in the early 1900's.
In 1915-1916 Western Armenia was mostly emptied of its native population, massacred and deported during the execution of the genocide planned by the Ottoman government. There was a moment during the war, when Armenians felt that the gigantic sacrifice of human lives had not been in vain. That moment came in February 1916 with the battle for Erzerum.

The Ottoman Empire had entered World War I in November 1914 on the side of the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary, later joined by Bulgaria), which considered it a valuable ally for two reasons: first, it could threaten British interests in the Middle East, and second, it could divert Russian troops from the front in Europe to the Caucasus.

The Turkish offensive in the winter of December 1914-January 1915 had ended with the disastrous battle of Sarikamish, where the Armenian volunteer units had also had a share in the victory of the Russian army. It became the pretext for disarming the Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army and turning them into labor battalions, to be later massacred. The subsequent invasion of the Russian army in May 1915, when the Armenian Genocide had already started, was able to save the population of the city of Van, but the Russian troops retreated in July. The annihilation of the Armenian population disrupted the supplying of the Ottoman forces. However, the front remained quiet until the end of the year.

The end of the Gallipoli campaign and the retreat of the Allied forces from the surroundings of Constantinople would free up considerable Turkish soldiers. General Nikolai Yudenich, one of the most successful and distinguished Russian commanders of the war and commander of the Caucasus army, was aware of this and prepared to launch an offensive. His aim was to take the strategic fortress of Erzerum, followed by Trebizond. It would be a difficult campaign, since Erzerum was protected by a number of forts in the mountains and was considered the second best defended town in the Ottoman Empire. Its fortress was defended by 235 pieces of artillery and the fortifications covered the city on a 180 degree arc in two rings. There were eleven forts and batteries covering the central area.

The Russians had 130,000 infantry and 35,000 cavalry. Further, they had 160,000 troops in reserve, 150 supply trucks, and 20 planes of the Siberian Air Squadron. On the other side, Ottoman forces were 126,000 men as of January 1916, only 50,539 being combat soldiers, with inadequate armament and food. They were big on paper, but not on the ground.  

It seems that after the disastrous end of the Turkish winter offensive of 1914-1915, the Ottoman High Command did not expect the Russians to make operations during winter. Ottoman High Command did not expect any Russian operations during winter. Mahmut Kamil Pasha, commander of the Third Army, was in Constantinople, and his chief of staff, Colonel Felix Guse, was in Germany. General Yudenich launched a major winter offensive. In the middle of January, there was heavy snow, which often came up to four feet.

The Russian plan was to break through a weak part of the line. The initial offensive managed to break through the XI Ottoman Corps, which suffered high losses after a four-day engagement from January 10-14. The Ottoman defensive formation was dissolved within one week, by January 23.

Mahmut Kamil returned from Istanbul on January 29. He could feel that the Russians would not only attack Erzerum, but also renew the offensive on the southern flank around Lake Van. Khnus, located further south, was taken on February 7 to prevent reinforcements from Mush from coming in. Turkish reserves were diverted from the northern front, but Russian forces captured Mush, seventy miles from Erzerum.
Citizens of Erzerum in their national costume.
The attack on Erzerum started on February 11 from the south. Once the Russian forces broke through the Turkish lines to the south and began to attack other Turkish positions, the fall of the city seemed inevitable. In three days, the Russians managed to reach the heights overlooking the plain of Erzerum. The Turkish units began to retreat from the fortified zones at the front and also evacuate the city. On February 14 the Russians penetrated through both rings of Erzerum defenses and the remaining forts surrounding the city were evacuated the next day, avoiding encirclement. Russian Cossacks were among the first to enter the city in the early morning of February 16, 1916.

The Ottoman army lost a total of 17,000 soldiers during the campaign, including 5,000 prisoners. The Russians had 1,000 casualties, 4,000 wounded soldiers, and another 4,000 affected with frostbite.

The Russians gained the upper hand in the battle for control on the Caucasus front with the capture of Erzerum. This one victory, followed by the occupation of Trebizond in April 1916, enabled them to capture or control all the roads leading to Mesopotamia and Tabriz (Iran), and in essence, to control most of Western Armenia. The Russian victory allowed Armenian refugees and survivors from the Caucasus to return to their homes, and for the next year and a half, until the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917, the liberation of Western Armenian from Ottoman yoke was a reality.

In the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent armistice between Russia and the Central Powers, Erzerum was returned to Turkish control. The transfer of power was made official under the terms of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, when an Ottoman offensive on the Caucasus, against Eastern Armenia, was already on its way.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org

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Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
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Thank you for your help.
This Monday, February 15, is Presidents Day, a federal holiday in the United States. All federal and state offices, post offices, banks, stock exchange, and most businesses are closed. The holiday was created by Congress as part of the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act,” an attempt to create more three-day weekends. Presidents Day was ostensibly to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22); it is now increasingly touted as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present. Truth be told, it has become a day to shop at the Mall for bargains.
The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia: History, Treasures, Mission
Seta B. Dadoyan, Editor
Published on the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, this oversize volume chronicles the history and mission of the Armenian Church, especially the Holy See of Cilicia. The first part concentrates on the history of Cilicia and the Catholicosate; the second part focuses on the treasures of Armenian Cilicia. Five appendices provide valuable historic information. Most articles are published in the language they were originally written (English and/or French).

In his Epilogue to the volume, His Holiness Aram I notes, “While going through this volume, the reader witnesses the long pilgrimage of a people, who overcame despair by hope, uncertainty by resolve, genocide by survival. Indeed, the very survival of this small nation and church is a miracle. Faith in God was the people’s sustaining power and their vision of the future became their driving force.”

400 pages, hardcover, color photographs
$150.00 plus shipping and handling.
Reprint of Books on Historic Armenian Cities
After the Armenian genocide, more than a hundred books on various historic Armenian cities and provinces were published through the efforts of compatriotic societies, as well as individuals throughout the world. In 2012 the Catholicate of the Holy See of Cilicia initiated the reprint of these books on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the genocide. Copies of the first eight books in this collection are now available through the Prelacy Bookstore:

  1. Puzant Yeghiayan, Ատանայի հայոց պատմութիւն (History of the Armenians of Adana). 
Garo Sasuni, Պատմութիւն Տարօնի աշխարհի (History of the Land of Daron).
Kevork A. Sarafian, Պատմութիւն Անթէպի հայոց (History of the Armenians of Aintab),     volume 1. 
Kevork A. Sarafian, Պատմութիւն Անթէպի հայոց (History of the Armenians of Aintab), volume 2. 
Hagop Boghosian, Հաճընի ընդհանուր պատմութիւն (General History of Hajin). 
Aram Sahakian, Դիւցազնական Ուրֆան եւ իր հայորդիները (Heroic Urfa and Her   Armenian Children).
Bedros Minasian, Պատմագիրք Կիւրինի (History of Gurin).
Hagop Tcholakian, Քեսապ (Kessab).

All of the above books are in Armenian and are hardcover. 
Each book is $50.00, plus shipping and handling.

To order these or other books contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email (books@armenianprelacy.org) or by phone (212-689-7810).
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)

This week’s podcast features:
  • Interview with Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Evangelical community in Syria.
  • Lent and other discussions.
  • And more.
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.

February 17—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Jesus as the Servant of God,” by Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

February 24—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Service in patristic thought,” by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

February 27—Sunday School Teachers’ Seminar, Mid-Atlantic Region, “Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist: The Foundation of our Life in Christ,” at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 10 am to 3 pm, lunch 12 noon to 1 pm. Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC)—Eastern Prelacy. The seminar will be conducted by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, AREC Director. For information contact the AREC office by phone (212-689-7810) or email (arec@armenianprelacy.org).

March 2—Prelacy Lenten Program, “We were all pledged at baptism to serve God,” by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 5—Midwest Board of Trustees Regional Workshop, hosted by All Saints Armenian Church, Glenview, Illinois, 10 am to 4:30 pm.

March 9—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Qualities of the servants of the Lord,” by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 12—30th anniversary of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School at Sorenson Center for the Arts (Babson College), Wellesley, Massachusetts. Tickets ($125) may be purchased online (www.mkt.com/ssaes) by email (30years@ssaes.org), or by phone (617-926-6979.

March 16—Prelacy Lenten Program, “Service is the obligation of the community and government structures,” by Mrs. Silva Takvorian, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7 pm.

March 11—33rd Musical Armenia, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and 7th Avenue, with Sofya Melikian, piano; and NUR featuring Rosy Anoush Svazlian and Andrea Manzoni, soprano and piano. Tickets: $25. Box office: 212-247-7800; Prelacy: 212-689-7810; email@armenianprelacy.org.
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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