August 28, 2014
Archbishop Oshagan will be in Detroit, Michigan, this weekend where he will deliver the opening invocation/message at the opening ceremonies of the 81st Olympics of the Armenian Youth Federation, tomorrow, Friday, August 29.

Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, held its annual picnic on the church grounds on August 17, presided by Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Prelacy, who celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon earlier. More than 600 parishioners, friends, and townspeople enjoyed the delicious meals and the desserts that were available to eat or take home. The parish’s Sirounig Dancers, directed by Kristi Markarian, provided entertainment. Many of the pastors of New England parishes participated in the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony.
Bishop Anoushavan officiates the Blessing of Grapes ceremony at Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church.
Bishop Anoushavan and Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian with “Sirounig Dancers,” who performed during the picnic that followed the Divine Liturgy.
Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, conducted the Blessing of Grapes ceremony at the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plains. Participating in the ceremony was pastoral intern Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian. They were assisted by Deacons Diran Der Khosrofian (right), and Harold Nazarian (left), who will be ordained to the Priesthood in October.
Philadelphia’s St. Gregory Church community experienced an historic event last Thursday, August 21, when the Eternal Flame, brought from Armenia, lit at Dzidzernagapert, was hailed by the congregants. In a heartwarming ceremony, the Homenetmen Scouts escorted the Torch, and a requiem service for the 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide was offered by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church. The attendees were then called forth to light their candles from the Torch’s eternal flame and proceed to the Khatchkar in the outer court to continue the Vigil Service. Ending with the Armenian national anthem, Mer Hairenik, everyone then gathered in Founders Hall for a reception. The arrival of the Eternal Flame marks the beginning of events that will continue throughout this year and into 2015, commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of the Genocide. On Saturday evening a concert featuring Karnig Sarkissian took place in Founders Hall to an overflow audience of 300.

The Musical Armenia committee is accepting applications from young Armenian musicians who would like to be featured in a concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Those interested should visit the Prelacy’s web site ( or click here.

The Prelacy inaugurated the Musical Armenia series in 1982 in order to promote the careers of talented young Armenian musicians from all over the world. Since then, the annual concerts have remained faithful to the objectives of the series. The 2015 concert will take place on Friday, March 20. Applications should be sent no later than October 30, 2014.

Twenty-three teachers from eight Armenian Saturday schools of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago, came together last Saturday, August 23 for a one-day seminar organized by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at the Prelacy offices in New York City.

The seminar consisted of two main speakers. Sossi Essajanian spoke on best practices of early childhood teaching and Anahid Garmiryan spoke about the challenges of bilingual education. To read more about the seminar click here.
Participants at the ANEC seminar last Saturday.
Sossi Essajanian lecture was augmented with a PowerPoint presentation.
Vartan Matiossian, director of ANEC, introduces Anahid Garmiryan.
The Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), jointly sponsored by the Prelacy and the Armenian Relief Society, sponsored for many years the Siamanto Academy for young adults. After a recent hiatus, the Academy is ready to resume its activities. The Academy offers courses on Armenian history, culture, and contemporary issues. Classes will take place on a monthly basis, every second Saturday, beginning in September at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church (Ridgefield, New Jersey), from 2 pm-5 pm. For additional information, please contact ANEC at
Bible readings for Sunday, August 31, Second Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, Feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos are: Isaiah 9:8-19; 2 Corinthians 1:1-12; Mark 4:35-40.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-40)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, August 31, the second Sunday after Assumption, is the feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos. Because there are no relics of the Holy Mother’s earthly body (she was assumed into Heaven), her personal belongings became the object of devotion. During the time of the early Church, when Christians were persecuted, her possessions were kept hidden and secret. Her belt was the first item to be discovered in Jerusalem in the fifth century. This discovery is the basis for one of the eight feast days in the Armenian liturgical calendar devoted to the Holy Mother.
The religuary containg the Belt of the Virgin Mary kept at a monastery on Mount Athos in Greece.
Next Tuesday, September 2, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Prophets Ezekiel, Ezra, and Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Ezekiel prophesied for about 28 years. The Book of Ezekiel, composed of 48 chapters, is ranked third among the great prophets. It is full of rich imagery, prophetic visions, and allegories. Ezra was a learned and pious priest in Babylon. The Book of Ezra describes the return to Zion following the Babylonian captivity. Zechariah, is the father of John the Baptist. He was married to Elizabeth, and John was born to them in their old age. The promise of a son was conveyed to Zechariah by an angel.
Next Thursday, September 4, the Armenian Church commemorates St. John the Forerunner and Job the Righteous. St. John the Forerunner, also known as John the Baptist (Hovhaness Mkrtich), is an important figure in the Gospels. He is recognized as the “forerunner” (Karapet) to the Messiah. He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea. At the age of 30 he began to preach against the evils of the times and called for penance and baptism because “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.”

Job is a good and righteous person who experiences and endures catastrophe after catastrophe. The phrase “the patience of Job” has entered the English lexicon as a popular cliché. The Book of Job is one of the five books classified as the “poetical books” of the Bible. The central theme is the mystery of suffering. Ultimately, Job is rewarded because “the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning,” and “After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.” (Job, chapter 42).

A delegation of representatives from churches in Sweden met with His Holiness Aram I at St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya, Lebanon, last week. The delegation is meeting the heads of churches in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq to assess the situation of victims in the Middle East. The churches they represent are providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflicts in the region.

After thanking them for their help and their visit, His Holiness briefed them on the general situation, and explained in detail the situation of Christians in Syria and Iraq. In response to their questions, the Catholicos said that fundamentalist Islam threatens not only the immediate victims in the region, but all Muslims as well, and the whole world. The West must not feel safe from that threat, His Holiness said. He said that short-term military strikes are not a solution. Rather, there must be a plan that includes long-term diplomacy and strategic planning in cooperation with all Muslim countries and the establishment of participatory structures of decision-making. In the meantime, measures must be taken to protect human rights and the freedom of religion and rights of minorities. “The presence of Christians in the Middle East and Christian-Muslim dialogue and cooperation are vital not only for the people in the region but for the whole world. Christians will remain in the Middle East irrespective of the conflict,” His Holiness said.

On Saturday evening, August 16, His Holiness Aram I presided over the Holy Liturgy celebrated in the open air by the Prelate of Lebanon, Bishop Shahe Panossian, and sung by the Catholicosate’s Shenorhali Choir.

On the Feast of Assumption, the Armenian Church also blesses grapes, the fruit of the vine. Sixty-two years ago, the Catholicosate declared the Feast of Assumption as a day of pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Church in Bikfaya. Pilgrims arrive in Bikfaya on Friday evening, bringing with them not only their prayers and supplications, but also offerings, which are blessed during the Liturgy and shared with the people along with the blessed grapes.

This year the Holy Liturgy of Assumption was special because it was celebrated on the newly erected altar dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Martyrs of the Genocide. At the end of the Liturgy His Holiness anointed the new altar with Holy Muron  including  the Mother and Child sculpture and the two altars on each side dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the “Father of our Faith,” and St. Mesrob Mashdotz, “the founder of our alphabet.” In his message to the pilgrims, His Holiness said, “Pilgrimage means being on the journey towards Salvation. The road to Salvation is difficult because of the burden of sin we carry with us. We make this journey with the understanding that the Son of God suffered in order to save us from our sins and make us children of God. Today you have come as pilgrims to pray to God and ask the Mother of God to intercede with His Son and grant His mercy to each of us. I join you and pray that God bestows upon us His grace, protects our people from all evil and restores justice and peace in the Middle East.”

The Catholicos took this opportunity to announce that the monastery in Bikfaya, which was recently renovated, will now be known as “St. Mary’s Monastery in Lebanon.” He thanked the benefactors who made the renovations possible and decorated Mr. and Mrs. Karnik and Anahid Yacoubian with the Prince of Cilicia insignia and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur and Tamar Nazarian with the Knight of Cilicia insignia.
The large crowd gathered at the Cilician Theological Seminary in Bikfaya, Lebanon
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Death of Frunze Dovlatyan (August 30, 1997)

Almost fifty years ago, Frunze Dovlatyan’s film, “Hello, It’s Me!” (Բարեւ, ես եմ), marked a milestone in the history of Armenian cinema.
Dovlatyan was born in Kamo (nowadays Gavar), on May 27, 1927, in a family of actors. His father and his paternal aunt staged amateur plays in the theater of the town. When the Dovlatyan family moved to Yerevan, Frunze, still a school student, started his career as an actor. He performed from 1941-1952 in the provincial theaters of Armenia and in the “Gabriel Sundukian” academic theater of Yerevan. He graduated in 1947 from the theatrical studio of the latter, and appeared in a few films from 1943-1958, the first being Hamo-Bek Nazarian’s “David Bek”. 

He moved to Moscow and graduated from the all-Soviet Cinema Institute (VGIK) in 1959. He had already started his career as a film director (he would still appear as an actor in several films, some of them of his own, until the late 1980s) and directed three movies from 1958-1963 in Moscow.
Soviet movie poster for the film, Hello, It's Me.
He returned to Armenia in 1964 and the next year directed his first film in the homeland, “Hello, It’s Me,” partly based on the life of the famous Armenian physicist Artem Alikhanian, the founder of the Institute of Physics of Yerevan. The film started the career of famous actor Armen Djigarkhanian and had ten million viewers in 1966. It was nominated to the Palme d’Or in the Festival of Cannes in the same year and won the State Prize of Armenia in 1967. 
From 1966-1969 Dovlatyan was first secretary of the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia. He went on to direct some important films of the last decades of Soviet Armenian cinema: “Saroyan Brothers” (1968), “Chronicle of Yerevan Days” (1972), “Live Long” (1979), “The Solitary Walnut Tree” (1986). From 1986 he was the artistic director of the Armenfilm studios. His last work was “Yearning” (1990), about the life of a genocide survivor who, led by his yearning of the lost homeland, crosses the Soviet-Turkish border during the time of Stalin.

The filmmaker was the chairman of the Tekeyan Cultural Association in Armenia during the last three years of his life. He passed away in 1997 and was buried in Yerevan.
Hello, It's Me, in its entirety.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” can be read on the Prelacy’s web site (
The crises in Syria, including the recent upheaval in Kessab, require our financial assistance. Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.


Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief

Thank you for your help
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Food and Lunch Are Not the Same Thing

If you are very skinny, some well-intentioned person may give you this logical advice: “You need to eat food.”  Of course, if (s)he spoke to you in Armenian, (s)he would logically say: “Bedk e geragoor oodes” (Պէտք է կերակուր ուտես).

There is another word for “food,” oodelik (ուտելիք). However, the same person would not say: “Bedk e oodelik oodes” (Պէտք է ուտելիք ուտես). The reason is that oodelik and oodes sound quite odd in the same sentence.

Despite the fact that many people do it, the acquaintance of Mr. or Ms. Skinny would never say: “Bedk e jash oodes” (Պէտք է ճաշ ուտես).Why? Because jash does not mean “food,” but “meal” and, by extension, “lunch.”

Geragoor also means “meal.” If you are a child, you may announce to your parents after finishing your meal: “Geragoors gera” (Կերակուրս կերայ). You may also say “Jashs gera” (Ճաշս կերայ) if it is noon and you have finished lunch. But you don’t eat lunch when the sun has set, do you? At that time of the day, “Jashs gera” would be incorrect.

In conclusion,

“Food”: geragooroodelik

“Meal”: geragoor jash

“Lunch”: jash

Let’s end by listing the names of the different meals of the day:

nakhajash --- նախաճաշ --- “breakfast”
jash --- ճաշ --- “lunch”
nakhuntrik --- նախընթրիք --- “snack”
untrik --- ընթրիք --- “dinner, supper”

Previous entries in The Armenian Language Corner can be read on the Prelacy web site ( 
The Hovnanian School of New Milford, New Jersey, is searching for a new principal. The school is seeking new leadership after its principal of 14 years, Anahid Garmiryan, accepted a position at the Gulbenkian Foundation as the Senior Program Officer for Western Armenian Language Support. Inquiries and requests for more information should be directed to

Charles Aznavour will perform in Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, September 20, in what is being called a “farewell concert” and “only area appearance.” Tickets are on sale now at THEATERATMSG.COM or at 866-858-0008.

Ever since his student days in Princeton, Archbishop Oshagan has enjoyed the game of Baseball, and he became an avid fan of the Phillies. These days the Prelate does not have the time to enjoy the thrill of being in a ballpark rooting for his team. Therefore, last Tuesday was a special treat for him when as a guest of Peter Vosbikian he watched the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals in Philadelphia.
August 30—Concert, “Baroque & Before,” featuring Lucine Musaelian and Joyce Chen, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27th Street, New York City, at 5 pm.

September 6—Nareg Armenian Saturday School opening, 9 am to noon, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

September 7—Picnic Festival, St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Jason Naroian, Johnny Berberian, and John Arzigian; presentation by Siroun Dance Ensemble of Central Massachusetts. 12:30 to 5:30 pm, church grounds. Shish, losh, and chicken kebab dinners, veggie plates, Armenian pastries, family games and activities.

September 7—St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut, Annual Church Picnic after Sunday services will take place at The Quartette Club, 225 Wooster Street, New Britain. Armenian music, dancing, and food.

September 7—Holy Cross Church, Troy, New York, Annual Armenian Picnic, 12pm to 4 pm. Shish Kebob dinner, Lahmajoun for sale, Armenian pastries, live music. For info:

September 7—Lecture “Mkhitar Heratsi,” by Dr. Gregory Kazanjian, at 1 pm, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Organized by Cathedral and Hamazkayin of New York.

September 12—St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin, 2nd Annual “Taste of the Mediterranean” Wine Tasting Fundraiser, 4 to 6 pm at Uncork in downtown Racine. Event will again feature 6 wines for tasting, a “mezze” table, silent auction items, and 50/50 raffle. Cost of the event is $20 per person or $35 per couple. Last year’s even was a sell-out, so get your tickets early. For tickets and/or information contact Mary M. Olson by email (

September 14—St. Sarkis Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, New York, Annual Picnic on the church grounds following church services. Admission is free. Enjoy excellent kebabs and salads. Terrific entertainment for everyone and special activities for children in the “KidZone.” Music, food, and friends…a wonderful afternoon. For information 718-224-2275.

September 14—Opening day of Sunday School at St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts. For information contact Priscilla Altoonian, Director, (

September 18, 19, 20—2014 Fall Food Festival, Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland.

September 18—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 12th Annual Golf Classic, River Vale Country Club, River Vale, New Jersey. Rain or Shine. 11 am registration and Grilled Lunch Buffet; 1 pm Tee Off. Format: Shotgun Scramble (All player levels welcome). Golf Outing Reservation: $195; limited to first 128 paid golf reservations. Reservation includes: Grilled lunch buffet, dinner banquet, golf, cart, and range balls. Contests and Prizes. Sponsorships available. For information: 201-943-2950.

September 19—All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, 10th Annual Golf Outing, Fox Run Golf Link, 333 Plum Grove Road, Elk Grove Village. For information: Hagop Soulakian 847-858-7685 or

September 20—Charles Aznavour “Farewell Concert” at The Theater, Madison Square Garden. Only area appearance. Tickets: THEATERATMSG.COM or 866-858-0008.

September 21—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut, will host a Tea party at noon in the church hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut. Brought back by popular demand. Guest speaker from the Bigelow Tea Company. Goodie bags for all. Raffle prize is being provided by Armeny Custom Jewelry Design.

September 21—St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, “Designer Bag Bingo” luncheon in Founders’ Hall at 2 pm. Fifteen lucky winners of designer bags, including top labels, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Laboutin, Judith Leiber, Chanel, and others. Join us for a fun game of Bingo, Chinese auction, and enjoy the lavish Chanel inspired theme and décor, along with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. Ticket sales limited. For reservations and information: Cissy DerHagopian 856-313-6848; Donna Walter 484-354-0388.

September 21—St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Sunday School Picnic, 1 to 3 pm. Food, hayride, and games at Peter and Susan Baghdasarian’s farm, Uxbridge, Massachusetts. For information contact Sunday school director Priscilla Altoonian (

October 3—St. Sarkis Armenian Church, Douglaston, New York, Saturday School Dinner Dance Gala.

October 3 & 4—Ordination to the Priesthood of Deacon Diran Der Khosrofian and Deacon Harold Nazarian, at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan.

October 11—Armenian Friends of America presents Kef 5, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Tickets $50; students 21 and under, $40. Proceeds will benefit Armenian churches of Merrimack Valley. Individually served mezza platters and pastries; musicians, Mal Barsamian (clarinet), John Berberian (oud), Bob Raphaelian (violin), Bruce Jigarjian (guitar), Jason Naroian (dumbeg & vocals). Advance ticket sales only. John Arzigian, 603-560-3826; Lucy Sirmaian, 978-683-9121; Peter Gulezian, 978-375-1616, Sandy Boroyan, 978-251-8687.

October 12-15—Prelacy Clergy Gathering for Reflection and Renewal at St. Mary of Providence Retreat Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania.

October 19—St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan will ordain sub-deacon Ara Stepanian during the Divine Liturgy and preside over the parish’s 57th Annual Banquet.

November 7 & 8—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 58th Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts. Meals served from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm (take out is available). Enjoy delicious meals, Armenian pastries, gourmet items, arts and crafts, books, raffles, attic treasures. For information: 617-924-7562.

November 21, 22, 23—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual Bazaar, Food Festival, and Hantes. Mezze and Kebab dinners (chicken, shish, luleh); dessert table and trays of home-made delicacies; Boutique Booths; Chinese Auction; Supervised Game Room for children; Pre-packaged Monte, Sou Buereg, Kufteh, and Lehmejun; Take-out available; Live Music for dancing and listening. Traditional Kavourma dinner on Sunday served immediately after church service. For information: 201-943-2950.

December 6—Armenian Winter Dessert Festival, Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland.

December 6—St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Annual Bazaar at Dutch Reformed Church, Whitinsvilloe, 10 am to 5 pm.

December 7—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut, will host a Wine Tasting Party at noon in the church hall, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain. A wine talk and tasting will be provided by Taylor Brooke Winery, Woodstock, Connecticut, owned by Linda Varjabedian Auger.

February 9-11, 2015—Ghevontiantz gathering of clergy serving the Eastern Prelacy.

October 5-9, 2015—Clergy gathering of Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies.
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