November 19, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the terrorist bombings in Paris last Friday and the suicide bombing in Beirut one day earlier. Terrorism is not a new phenomenon; however it seems to be evolving into a new type of warfare that is difficult to fight in conventional ways. Let us pray that wisdom will descend upon all people to strive for a world that is faithful to the teachings of our Lord and Savior. A world devoted to faith, hope, love, brotherhood, and the golden rule.
The Armenia Fund’s International Thanksgiving Day Telethon will take place next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 26, under the general theme of "Our Home” (Mer Douneh). Having become a Thanksgiving Day tradition for Armenians around the world, the Telethon will air from Los Angeles and be broadcast from coast to coast and internationally. Go to for details of the broadcast schedule.
This year's target is the construction of furnished single-family homes for families in Artsakh with five children or more who lack adequate housing. There are already 466 families identified in Artsakh who fit the criteria and 211 are known to live in unacceptable housing conditions. 
The homes that Armenia Fund constructs for these families will have land plots of 10,000 sq. ft. each, where the families can grow fruits and vegetables. Armenia Fund will provide furniture for every room in the house as well as provide household appliances, including water heaters, refrigerators, washers, stoves and vacuum cleaners. Priority will be given to low-income families, families of veterans of the Artsakh Liberation War, as well as to the survivors of soldiers who died defending Artsakh.

Archbishop Oshagan sent a directive to all Prelacy parishes to offer special plate collections this Sunday, November 22 and next Sunday, November 29. All of the collected funds will be donated to the 2015 Telethon.
Verkine (Vicki) Marashian
Archbishop Oshagan and the Executive Council announce with sorrow the passing of Verkine Marashian on November 14 in New Jersey. Mrs. Marashian and her late husband Onnic were ardent supporters of the Armenian Church and especially the Prelacy. Mr. Marashian served as a member and chairman of the Prelacy’s Executive Council for many years. 
Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian will officiate at the funeral service on Saturday, November 21, at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey at 10 am. Interment will follow at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. Visiting period will begin at 9:30 am.
Mrs. Marashian is survived by her daughter, Hera Marashian (spouse John Williams), son Mardic Marashian (spouse Carol Marashian), and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Onnic, son Asbed, daughter-in-law Sosy, and sister Emily Avedian.
Mrs. Marashian was born in Aleppo, Syria, and grew up in Beirut. She married Onnic Marashian in 1953 and they resided in Cairo and Beirut where Onnic was a journalist for McGraw-Hill Publications and the Christian Science Monitor. They relocated to the United States first in Washington, DC, and then to Oradell, New Jersey, where they were active members of Sts. Vartanantz Church. Mrs. Marashian also taught Armenian for many years at Sts. Vartanantz Church and St. Leon’s Church and was a long-time member of the Friends of the Hovnanian School. 
In-lieu-of-flowers donations may be made to Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey 07657, or the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.
Asdvatz hokeen lousavoreh. May God illuminate her soul.
The regional Mid-Atlantic Board of Trustees Workshop will take place this Saturday, November 21, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 Eat 27th Street in New York City. The workshop will begin at 10 am and conclude at 4 pm. The Workshop will feature presentations and workshops on working together, developing a parish mission statement, Prelacy programs, and the sharing of “Parish Best Practices.” There will also be time for individual parish consultations.
The Prelacy is pleased to offer a presentation of the recently published book Goodbye, Antoura, a memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Karnig Panian, this Sunday, November  22, at 2 pm at St. Sarkis Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, New York.
“The Antoura orphanage was another project of the Armenian genocide; its administrators, some benign and some cruel, sought to transform the children into Turks by changing their Armenian names, forcing them to speak Turkish, and erasing their history.” (From the publisher’s website)
Dr. Herand Markarian will present the book and Mrs. Houry Boyamian, daughter of the author, will provide insight about her father’s memoir. Originally written and published in Armenian, this English translation has garnered much critical acclaim. The St.  Sarkis Ladies Guild will host a reception. 
Note: Listen to Der Nareg’s Podcast this week (below) for an interview with Mrs. Houry Boyamian.
Bible readings for Sunday, November 22, First Sunday of Advent, are: Isaiah 36:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Luke 12:13-31.
One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
And he said to his disciples, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. (Luke 12:13-31)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, November 22, is the first Sunday of Advent (from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming”). Advent is a season of penitence, anticipation, and preparation. Advent serves as a reminder of the original anticipation of the birth of Christ, as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return. Ideally, it should be a time of quiet reflection and meditation. In modern times the period leading to Christmas is far from calm, and often is stressful and frenetic. It is a good time to remember to pause and reflect on the proper observation of the birth of our Lord and Savior.
In the true spirit of Christmas remember that this time of the year, although filled with joy for most, can be lonely and sad for many people. Reach out to an elderly person living alone, someone who is ill, or someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one.

On Saturday, November 21, the Armenian Church commemorates the Presentation of the Holy Mother to the Temple (Unzayoum Sourp Asdvadzadzini), one of the eight feast days devoted to Mary in the Armenian Liturgical Calendar. The doctrine of the Holy Mother as “Mother-of-God” (Asdvadzamayr) and Bearer-of-God, (Asdvadzadzin) was established in the fifth century at the Holy Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.
Titian, The Prersentation of the Virgin, 1539
If you are planning a trip to England sometime soon you might want to make note of this exhibit at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library that for the first time is exhibiting its collection of Armenian manuscripts. The exhibit, “Armenia: Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture,” opened on October 23 and will continue until February 28, 2016. On display are more than 100 items spanning more than 2,000 years of history.

Mr. Leo Sarkisian, 94, who recently returned to the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, has organized an exhibit of his artwork at the assisted living facility he now calls home. Mr. Sarkisian and his wife of 66 years, Mary, relocated from the Washington D.C. area about a year ago, in order to enjoy their retirement near their hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. 
Mr. Sarkisian has been a fixture of the Armenian American community for decades, as an artistic collaborator with the Armenian Weekly, an active member of the ARF and the Washington Armenian community, a noted ethnomusicologist, and a performer of Middle Eastern music. Throughout his distinguished career in the United States Armed Forces, which began during World War II, Mr. Sarkisian and his wife traveled the world, taking up residence in many countries, working for the Voice of America and founding its longest running program "Music Time in Africa." Mr. Sarkisian was trained as a sketch artist in his youth, and during his time in the war and living overseas, he drew countless sketches of interesting scenes and subjects. Bayberry at Emerald Court in Tewksbury, the assisted living facility in which the very vivacious senior citizen resides, felt it fitting to honor Mr. Sarkisian by hosting an exhibit of his various sketches made throughout the decades. Following remarks and an opening prayer by Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, Pastor of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of Merrimack Valley, a short program took place in which remarks were offered by both the Activities Director of the facility and a representative from the town’s Board of Selectmen. In his own remarks, Mr. Sarkisian reflected upon his six decades of service to the United States of America in all the various capacities in which he served and upon his love and admiration for his Armenian heritage of which he is so proud. He also acknowledged his wife for having always been with him during their travels to 85 countries. Lastly, he bedazzled all present by performing an Armenian song on the kanon. Since their relocation to the area, Mr. & Mrs. Sarkisian have become members of St. Gregory and continue to be active in the life of the Armenian community. Photos by Tom Vartabedian
Mr. Sarkisian in front of one of the displays of his artwork.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo and Mary Sarkisian with Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts.
The Historical Atlas of Armenia, published by the Armenian National Education Committee and edited by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, is reviewed in the recent issue of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies. The Atlas is reviewed by Professor Robert H. Hewsen who notes that “the Atlas has been revised and expanded to accommodate the many findings and transformations that have taken place in Armenian affairs since the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the independent republics of Armenia and Karabagh.”
In a very thoughtful and constructive critique of the Atlas, Professor Hewsen concludes: “In sum, this handsome Atlas is a most welcome addition to the educational materials now available to the Armenian public and, in particular, to Armenian students on any level. Mr. Matiossian, his associates and ANEC are to be congratulated and thanked for what they have accomplished.”
See this week’s “From the Bookstore” below for a special offer for the purchase of the Historical Atlas of Armenia.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Maghakia Ormanian (November 19, 1918)
Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian was a remarkable figure of the Armenian Church in turbulent times at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century.
Boghos Ormanian was born on February 23, 1841 in Constantinople. After learning the first letters, in 1851 he was sent to Rome, where he pursued studies at the convent of St. Gregory, belonging to the Antonine Congregation, and then at the Vatican. He returned to Constantinople in 1866 and became secretary of the Antonine Congregation, while a year later he was designated principal of the Antonine School in Rome. In 1868 he obtained a master degree in philosophy, theology, and Church law, and became a member of the Theological Academy of Rome, as well as teacher of Armenian at the College of the Propaganda Fide.
Meanwhile, an acute conflict had started within the Armenian Catholic community as a result of the bulla Reversurus, promulgated by Pope Pius IX in 1867, which made dramatic changes in the traditions with which Armenians were familiar. The conflict was around the figure of Andon Hassoun, Armenian Catholic archbishop-primate of Constantinople, who was consecrated Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia by the Pope in 1867, with residence in Constantinople.
Ormanian took position with the anti-Hassoun camp, and returned to Constantinople in 1870, where he published numerous commentaries in French and Armenians newspapers against the Vatican policy, as well as several books in Italian and French, which in 1874 were included in the Index (the catalog of forbidden books) of the Vatican.
In 1876 Ormanian decided to sever his links with the Catholic Church and renounce to Catholicism, and the following year he applied to Archbishop Nerses Varjabedian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, asking to return to the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 1879 he received the grade of archimandrite superior (dzayrakooyn vartabed)of the Armenian Apostolic Church from the Patriarch in a ceremony at the cathedral of Kum-Kapu, in Constantinople.
After a short stint as preacher at the church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in the neighborhood of Galatia, in 1880 he was designated prelate of the diocese of Garin (Erzerum) and had an important role in the opening of the Sanasarian School of Erzerum in 1881. He also established links with the leaders of the secret organization “Defenders of the Fatherland,” founded in the same year. After his consecration as bishop by Catholicos of All Armenians Magar I in 1886, a year later he left the diocese of Garin and was invited to Holy Echmiadzin as lecturer of Theology at the Kevorkian Seminary. Among his students were future luminaries of the Armenian Church and culture, such as Gomidas Vartabed, Karekin I Hovsepiants, Karapet Ter-Mkrtichian, Yervant Ter-Minasian, and others. His teaching made an impact in the seminary.
His liberal views attracted the attention of the Russian authorities and, under the pretext of not being a Russian citizen, he was expelled from the Russian Empire in 1889. He returned to Constantinople and was named abbot of the monastery of Armash and director of the newly founded seminary.
On November 19, 1896 Ormanian, already an archbishop, was elected Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople. He succeeded Abp. Mateos Izmirlian (1894-1896), labeled the “Iron Patriarch” for his energetic protests against the Armenian massacres of 1894-1896. For this reason, he has been forced to resign by the Turkish authorities, which had exiled him to Egypt.
Ormanian adopted a conciliatory attitude towards the “Red Sultan” Abdul Hamid II, in order to avoid further massacres and create a more or less tolerable situation in the years of tyranny. His conservative policies alienated part of the Armenian constituency, and shortly after the Ottoman Revolution of 1908, a huge Armenian demonstration invaded the offices of the Armenian Patriarchate on July 16, 1908 and declared Ormanian’s dismissal from his position. The former Patriarch, in a book published in 1910, rebutted charges that he had been unreceptive to national problems and a knee-jerk to the Sultan, as well as a dictator in the management of community issues. The National Representative Assembly vindicated the former Patriarch in its session of January 3, 1913.
Ormanian was elected delegate of the Church convention and member of the Religious Council in 1913, as well as prelate of the diocese of Egypt, but he rejected this position. He took various positions in the monastery of St. James, in Jerusalem, from 1914-1917, and also taught at the seminary. He returned to Constantinople in 1918 and passed away on November 19, on the twenty-second anniversary of his election as Patriarch.
Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian was, along with his long administrative and teaching career in the Church, an accomplished scholar. He was the author of the monumental Azkabadoom (National History, 1910-1911 and 1927), a three-volume history of the Armenian nation based on the history of the Armenian Church, and The Armenian Church (1910, in French; 1911, in English, also translated into Armenian), a fundamental text on the doctrine, history, and administrative situation of the Armenian Apostolic Church on the eve of the Armenian Genocide, among many other works.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
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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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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
How Should Husbands Introduce Their Wives?
Husband and wives have a problem these days in the Armenian language. Two couples meet each other. The man in one couple and the woman in the other know each other, and introduce their significant others.
Wife 1: -- This is my husband, Bedros.
Husband 1: -- This is my wife, Anna
If you’re listening to this dialogue in Armenian, you will probably get the following version
-- Amoosinus՝ Bedros (Ամուսինս՝ Պետրոս “My husband, Bedros”)
-- Geenus՝ Anna (Կինս՝ Աննա “My wife, Anna”)
Many husbands use inaccurately deegeen (տիկին) instead of geen and say Deegeens`Anna. You do not say “This is my madam” in English when you introduce your wife. Thus, you do not say Asiga deegens eh (Ասիկա տիկինս է).
Both deegeen and madam are honorific titles and compound words. Madam comes from the French madame (ma + dame = “my lady”), while deegeen is composed by the words dee (տի) and geen (կին); dee means “great” and geen, “woman, lady.”
Remember: You use deegeen as a title in the same way that you use “Madam” or “Mrs.,” namely, to address a lady with or without mention of her name.
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
(Pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York)
This week’s podcast features:
  • Interview with Mrs. Houry Boyamian on her father’s memoir of the Armenian Genocide, Goodbye Antoura.
Click on the image above to link to the Podcast.
This 110-page Atlas includes 30 maps, 174 photographs, and an accompanying CD with all of the maps. A great educational resource! $40.00 plus shipping & handling.
Armenia in Ancient and Medieval Times
By Robert Bedrosian
A 94-page soft cover book suitable for students aged 9 to 13.


All of the following five workbooks FREE:
  1. 1. Elements of Armenian Church Architecture;
  1. 2. The Land of the Armenians;
  1. 3. My Origins: Discovering and Recording Family History;
  1. 4. Khatchkars: Armenian Stone Crosses;
  1. 5. Medieval Armenian Costumes: Paper Cutouts to color and display.

To take advantage of this special offer contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( or telephone (212-689-7810).
SIAMANTO ACADEMY—Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: or 212-689-7810.
November 19—“Four Authors in Search of a Past: History, Community, Inspiration,” poetry readings by Nancy Agabian, Haig Chahinian, Lola Koundakjian, and Veronica Pamoukaghlian, 7 pm at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City.
November 22—Presentation of Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Karnig Panian, organized by Prelacy will take place at St Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York. The book will be presented by Dr. Herand Markarian; Mrs. Houry Boyamian, daughter of the author, will provide insight about her father’s memoir that was just recently translated into English. For information: 212-689-7810.
November 26 to December 6—Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, Fifth Annual Online Auction. Find the perfect Christmas gift for the special people on your list. To view and bid on auction items or make an online donation visit Information: or contact Talin Daghlian 201-446-2316.
November 29—ARS Havadk Chapter’s annual Holiday Dinner, at St. Stephen’s Church Hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut following church services. Ham with all the trimmings. $13 adult; $8 children under 16.
November 30—Get Classical presents: “With You Armenia,” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, 7 pm at (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street, New York City. Features cellist, Mischa Maisky, pianist Lily Maisky, pianist Elena Lisitsian, and violinist Alissa Margulis. Tickets ($30-$40) may be purchased at . “As musicians we would like to bring attention to some of the much under-appreciated Armenian Classical works by composers such as Arno Babadjanian and Komitas Vartabed. We will also present works by Sergey Rachmaninov and Dmitry Shostakovich. We feel very strongly about our responsibility to never forget and bring others to do so as well, through one of the most direct forms of communication and commemoration, music.” (Lily Maisky)
December 3, 17 and 30—“Living Out Our Baptism,” a three-part Bible study presented by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, executive director of Armenian Religious Education Council, 7 to 8:30 pm. Registration required. Contact or, or 212-689-7810.
December 5—Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar in Whitinsville will be held at the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church Hall, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 10:00-4:30, dinners served at 11:30.
December 5—120th anniversary celebration of Lowell ARF Aharonian Gomideh, Kazanjian Memorial Pavilion, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 180 Old Westford Road, Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Dinner and program. Armenian National Committee Freedom Awards and Community Service Awards will be presented. Donation $50 adults; $15 students. Reservations contact Armen Jeknavorian, or 978-256-2538.
December 6—Episcopal Divine Liturgy and 61st Anniversary celebration, St. Gregory Church, Granite City, Illinois.
December 20—“Soup, Sandwiches, and Bingo,” St. Stephen’s Church Hall, New Britain, Connecticut, following church services, sponsored by Ladies Guild.
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:
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