April 28, 2016
Reporting by Tom Vartabedian
Archbishop Oshagan addresses the gathering in Boston’s Holy Cross Cathedral. “I take this opportunity to express gratitude to Pope Francis for his courageous confirmation and to Cardinal O’Malley for today’s service that remembers the suffering of Armenian Christians a century ago, and brings to light the suffering of Christians being persecuted today.” (Photo by Tamar Kanarian)
In an era of Papal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, others have also taken a quantum leap forward in their quest for justice, including Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston. For the first time within a formal church setting, and ecumenical commemoration of the Saints and Martyrs brought together religious leaders of all persuasions to Boston’s Holy Cross Cathedral last Saturday. About one thousand worshippers attended the observance as busloads arrived from throughout the Greater Boston area and North Shore. The haunting sounds of two duduks set the tone as a combined choir of area Armenian churches led the entrance procession.

Although ecumenical prayer services commemorating the genocide are nothing new, this marked the first time the Archdiocese of Boston organized such an event to mark the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Joining the Cardinal were members of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Armenian churches across the state and New England.

In his homily, Cardinal O’Malley alluded to the message resounded by Pope Francis during the centennial. “Bringing home to Boston what the Holy Father Pope Francis said last year, we wish 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. 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.”

Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and Archbishop Khajag Barsamian presented messages on behalf of the Eastern Prelacy and Eastern Diocese. Also participating were Rev. Avedis Boynerian, pastor, Armenian Memorial Church; Verna Khantzian and Rev. Msgr. Andon Atamian, Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church.
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, May 1, Fifth Sunday after Easter are; (1) Luke 14:25-15:32; (2) Acts 20:17-38; 1 John 3:2-6; John 9:39-10:10; (3) Matthew 16:13-17:13; (4) Matthew 27:35-50; Mark 8:27-9:12.

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 9:39-10:10)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
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.
St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York
Archbishop Oshagan presided the Divine Liturgy last Sunday, April 24, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Bishop Anoushavan celebrated the Liturgy and delivered the sermon.

After the service, the Pastor and Board of Trustees presented a check for $5,000 to Archbishop Oshagan for the families of heroes who sacrificed their lives in defense of Artsakh during the recent attacks. The money was raised by the Cathedral through fundraising effort and the special plate offerings during the first two weeks of April. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor, expressed the Cathedral’s sincere gratitude to parishioners and friends for their generous donations.
Bishop Anoushavan delivers the sermon in front of the Martyrs Chapel at St. Illuminator Cathedral.
A check for the families of fallen soldiers in Artsakh was presented to the Prelate. From left, Sarkis Ohanessian, member of Prelacy Executive Council; Bishop Anoushavan, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Mrs. Seta Balmanoukian, board member; Archbishop Oshagan; and board members Viken Najarian (chairman), Yervant Kasparian (treasurer), Alex Alahverdin (secretary).
Holy Cross Church (Troy, New York)
On April 24 the two communities of Albany, namely the Holy Cross Church (Troy) and St. Peter Church (Watervliet) commemorated the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian, pastor of St. Peter Church, and the sermon was delivered by Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, Visiting Pastor of Holy Cross Church. After the Badarak a special service was held celebrating the Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

Sts. Vartanantz Church (Ridgefield, New Jersey)
The community of Sts. Vartanantz Church in New Jersey commemorated Martyrs Day on Saturday, 
April 23 with church services and program with guest speaker His Excellency Grigor Hovhannisian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States.
St. Gregory Church (North Andover, Massachusetts)
In observance of the Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, students at St. Gregory Church of North Andover conducted a tree-planting in honor of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide as well as all deceased members of the church community. Presiding over the dedication ceremony was Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor. Then project coincided with the “Year of Service” as declared by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. A second project consisting of a children’s library is being targeted for October.

Soorp Khatch Church (Bethesda, Maryland)
Archbishop Oshagan and Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian and Washington area Armenians on their way to the Capitol Hill Genocide Observance yesterday, April 27.
Archbishop Oshagan with Homenetmen Scouts from the Greater Washington area in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill.
His Holiness Catholicos Aram led the 101st anniversary commemoration of the Armenian genocide in front of the Martyrs Memorial at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon, on April 24.

After the Divine Liturgy, His Holiness addressed the thousands of Armenians who gathered to pay their respects to the memory of the one-and-a-half million martyred saints.

His Holiness reminded everyone that the centennial commemorations in 2015, Armenians worldwide recommitted themselves to the demands for justice. The Catholicos said that today the descendants of the Ottoman authorities, Talat Pasha, Enver Pasha, and Jemal Pasha are continuing through other means the genocide of 1915. He referred to speeches made by Turkish authorities in international political and diplomatic circles denying the genocide, the continuing confiscation of churches and institutions belonging to Armenians in Western Armenia, the attack of Turkish militias on the Armenian town of Kessab, Syria, the massacres in Baku and Sumgait by Azeris, Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan in the Karabagh war, and the anti-Armenian slogans and rhetoric by Turkish groups encouraged by Turkey. “Unfortunately,” he noted, “regional and international powers, because they are preoccupied by their immediate geopolitical gains, remain silent to the genocidal acts of Turkey. It is clear once more that many nations are placing their immediate geopolitical interests above all considerations of human rights and their commitment to historical, cultural, and religious rights, and moral values.”

The Catholicos asked everyone to continue advocating and demanding recognition and restitution for the Armenian genocide through legal means and spoke about the lawsuit of the Holy See of Cilicia demanding the return of the Holy See in Sis to its lawful owners.

His Holiness told the large gathering to remain vigilant in the face of Turkey’s attempt to annihilate Armenian history and Azerbaijan’s aggression against the people of Karabagh. “The Diaspora must work to strengthen the Armenian army and apply aggressive diplomacy and advocacy through contemporary global communication. Armenians must unite around a Pan-Armenian strategy, because a politically and economically strong Armenia is essential if we are to accomplish our just cause. The stolen rights of Armenians will be restored only if we maintain a strong Armenia and successfully defend Karabagh.”
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Spiriton Melikian
(May 4, 1933)
It is usual to speak about Gomidas Vartabed’s five students, of which Parsegh Ganachian (the author of the arrangement for the Armenian anthem Mer Hayrenik) is the better known. However, his eldest student is frequently left in the shadows.

Spiriton Melikian was born in Vagharshapat on December 1, 1880. He lost his parents at an early age and lived with his paternal and maternal uncles. He entered the Kevorkian Seminary of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin in 1893 and soon became the focus of Gomidas’ attention. He followed on the traces of his teacher and dedicated himself to record popular songs. To that aim, he spent his summers in the villages of Etchmiadzin and Aparan.

In 1902 Melikian graduated from the seminary and was ordained a deacon. He worked for two years as a singing teacher and assistant to Gomidas in the direction of the seminary choir. After two years of work, he went to Berlin to continue his musical education, following his teacher’s advice. He studied at the private conservatory of Richard Schmidt. Gomidas warned him, however, not to follow the scholastic orientation that prevailed in German musicology at the time. To that end, he loaned him his huge collection of Armenian popular songs to copy and take with him. That providential decision saved the collection from complete loss. Melikian published the only extant copy of Gomidas’ collection in 1931.

In Berlin, he studied ancient and modern music history, cultivated his voice, and deepened his knowledge of choral art. He returned to Armenia and decided to dedicate himself exclusively to music. As a result, he severed his links with the Armenian Church and renounced his order of deacon. After a year teaching in Shushi (Karabagh), in 1909 he settled in Tiflis, becoming music teacher and choirmaster at the Nersessian School. In the same year, he published a small book, The Issue of Music Development among Us. He was particularly adamant about the need to dedicate space to Armenian popular songs in school programs.

In 1912 he founded the Armenian Musical Society of Tiflis that did prolific work in the promotion and collection of Armenian music during the early 20th century. Melikian and another musician, Anushavan Ter-Ghevondian, published a collection of folkloric music in 1916, The Songs of Shirak.

In 1921, after the sovietization of Armenia, Melikian moved first to Etchmiadzin and later to Yerevan in 1923. He became a professor of choral art at the newly founded Music Conservatory, and also taught theoretical subjects, and retrained teachers. He directed the 75-member choir of the conservatory, which also performed in Moscow.

In those years, Melikian continued collecting samples of folkloric music and publishing. He became a member of the Institute of Science and Art of the republic in 1926. He organized several campaigns in different areas of the republic from 1926-1932 and published two booklets of Armenian Popular Songs and studies on Gomidas Vartabed. He worked on a book, Outline of History of Armenian Music, posthumously published in 1935. It is said that he collected more than a thousand samples of Armenian song and dance melodies, becoming the most prolific in this field after Gomidas.

Spiriton Melikian became director of the State Conservatory from 1930-1933, and was rewarded with the title of Emeritus Art Worker of Armenia in 1933. He passed away shortly thereafter, on May 4, 1933, victim of cancer. He was buried at the Gomidas Pantheon in Yerevan.

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

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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
How “Salt” and Agh Are the Same Word?
The custom of offering bread and salt to guests is common to many Eastern European, but also Middle Eastern people, as well as to Armenians (աղ ու հաց agh oo hats “salt and bread”), although its meaning may have variations from country to country. It is also a figure of speech, since you share bread and salt every time you sit to have a meal with a guest.

You also share something more: the common origin of “salt” in both English and Armenian. The word salt comes from Old English sealt, derived from Proto-Germanic *saltom (German salz comes from here, hence the name of  the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg). This word common to Germanic languages, at its turn, comes from the common Proto-Indo-European language, where it has been reconstructed as *sal- . This is why we have, for instance, Latin sal, from which we are familiar with Spanish sal and French sel

Armenian is an Indo-European language, but what does agh have to do with *sal-

Unlike their Indo-European sister languages, Armenian agh and Greek ἅλς (‘als, pronounced hals) also come from *sal, but did not keep the initial *s, which fell on the way and was replaced either by an aspiration, in the case of Greek, or just by nothing, in the case of Armenian.

The letter ghad (ղատ), that is, gh (ղ), was derived from the Proto-Indo-European sound *l. You may remember that this letter was not pronounced gh in the fifth century, but as a variant of the sound l (լ); for this reason, աղ sounded close, but not exactly the same, to al (the exact scientific transliteration is ). The letter ghad was the counterpart to the Greek letter lambda (l / λ). We have, for instance, the Biblical name Ghugas (Ղուկաս), which is the Greek Λουκάς (Loukas) or the English Luke

The result of this inquiry is that: 
Proto-Indo-European *sal --> Armenian agh 
Proto-Indo-European *sal --> Latin sal --> Spanish sal 
Proto Indo-European *sal --> Proto-Germanic *saltom --> English salt
Interestingly, salt-y and its Armenian translation agh-i (աղի) also share the same sound i to create the adjective. Therefore, look over your health: don’t eat too salty! Or, if you want to say it in Armenian, shad aghi mi oodek (շատ աղի մի՛ ուտէք).
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).

This Week:  “Entering the 2nd Century of Commemoration.”

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 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.

April 29—New York Hamazkayin Dzirani Children’s Choir Inaugural Concert, 8 pm, Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York 11377, under direction of Kevork Hadjian. Admission: $20. Children under 13 free. Light refreshments served. For tickets: Asdghig (718) 565-8297; St. Sarkis Church (718) 224-2275; St. Illuminator’s Cathedral (212) 689-5880.

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 6—ARS Mayr Chapter of New York, Mother’s Day Celebration, 8 pm, Armenian Center, 69-23 47th Avenue, Woodside, New York. Featuring the Yeraz Dance Ensemble. Donation: $50; children under 12, $15; includes dinner, wine, and soft drinks. Advance reservations required. Call Anais (718-392-6982) or Anahid (718-263-9325).

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 15—The Armenian community of Connecticut presents a talk on current events by Stepan Piligian. Topic: “Nagorno-Karabkah (Artsakh): The Cause of Armenian Self-Determination; A Recent History and Prospects for Peace.” West Hartford Public Library, Noah Webster Library, 20 South Main Street, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107. Reception 2:30 pm; lecture 3:00 pm.

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.

May 21—Armenian Relief Society New Jersey Shakeh Chapter, Concert of Patriotic Songs featuring Karnig Sarkissian and his band. Guest speaker: Dr. Nyree Derderian, Vice Chair, ARS Central 
Executive Board. Sts. Vartanantz Church Hall, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 7:30 pm. Admission  (Messa / cash bar $45.00. RSVP: Call/text 201-417-0204 (Ani); email arsnjshakeh@gmail.com.

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.

July 16—Sts. Vartanantz Church Ladies Guild and ARS Ani Chapter, “A Hye Summer Night 10 Dinner Dance,” featuring Hachig Kazarian, clarinet; John Berberian, oud; Ken Kalajian, guitar; Jason Naroian, dumbeg; Khatchig Jingirian, vocals. Alpine Country Club, 251 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston, Rhode Island, Dinner Buffet $55.00 per person. Dance only $30; students $30. For tickets/information: Joyce Bagdasarian (401) 434-4467; Joyce Yeremian (401) 354-8770.

October 9—Save the Date. Special event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Details will follow.
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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