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March 31, 2016
Parishes throughout the Eastern Prelacy report an exceptionally large attendance during Holy Week and especially on Easter Sunday. Archbishop Oshagan celebrated the Easter Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City. Bishop Anoushavan celebrated the Easter Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Archbishop Oshagan delivers his Easter sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
In Pashalian Hall following the Divine Liturgy.
To view photos of Holy Week services at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York click here.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will lead the first ever Archdiocese of Boston commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 23. The Cardinal will host and preside at a 4 pm prayer service. Ecumenical and interreligious guests and civic dignitaries will join a large number of faithful from both communities.

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

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

To read more click here.
More than 450 friends and supporters of the St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) of Watertown, Massachusetts, gathered on March 12 at the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College in Wellesley, to celebrate the school’s 30th anniversary. The celebration, presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, raised $150,000 for the school’s endowment fund.

The anniversary celebration started with a cocktail reception, before the guests went into the auditorium where the program began with the invocation offered by Archbishop Oshagan.

The School’s principal for 28 years, Houry Boyamian, paid tribute to past and present members of the school board and committees, the St. Stephen’s Church pastor, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian and its Boards of Trustees, as well as to the administrative and teaching staff. “From the early days of the School, we were aware of the challenge facing us. In a region that is home to some of the best educational institutions in the nation, an Armenian school would have to offer an excellent education in order to thrive and meet the demands of a modern American society, all the while preserving and maintaining our Armenian culture and heritage.”

Also addressing the gathering were Sarkis Ourfalian, chairman of the 30th anniversary committee, the MC Tamar Kanarian (class of 1994) and Ani Nalbandian Atamian (Class of 1992). The program also featured renowned singer Alla Levonyan and pianist Jasmine Atabekyan.

To read more click here.
Archbishop Oshagan speaks to the assembled guests at the 30th anniversary of St. Stephen’s School.
Houry Boyamian, principal, expressed thanks to faculty, staff, board and committee members, and the community.
A scene from the program portion of the anniversary celebration.
Bible readings for Sunday, April 3, New Sunday are: (1) Luke 4:14-30; (2) Acts 5:34-6:7; James 1:1-17; (3) John 21:15-25; Matthew 27:50-61; (4) John 20:26-31.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became fresh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’” From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:1-17)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

Note: Beginning tomorrow, April 4, and continuing until Pentecost (May 15) each day the four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion narratives.
This Sunday, April 3, is New Sunday (Nor Giragi). Easter Sunday is followed by a period of fifty days (Hinook) during which there are no fasting days or saint days. This period from the Resurrection to Pentecost (Hokekaloost) is dedicated to the glorification of the Resurrection. Each of the seven Sundays of Hinook has a special name. It is also called Second Easter (Grgnazadig), which literally means “Easter repeated,” because it is the eighth day of Easter and a day similar to Easter.

Today, you new peoples, with the heavenly and radiant angels let us sing to the renewer of the human race who died and arose for us, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.

Today, sons of Sion, born sons of God by grace in the font for the renewal for the tomb, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.

Children of faith, celebrating today the feast of Jerusalem on high, renew the garment of your souls and with the sons of light of the new Sion bless Christ the King, saying: May your resurrection be glorified.
(Prayer for New Sunday from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
Next Thursday, April 7, is the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. This feast is always commemorated on April 7, nine months before the birth of Christ. The Feast celebrates the announcement made by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary that she would bear the Son of God, as foretold by the Prophet Isaiah (7:1) and as related in the first chapter in the Gospel of Luke.

Rejoice Mary, holy Mother of God, for the Lord has come suddenly into your purified temple; we bless and magnify you. Rejoice closed door through whom no one has passed except the Lord God of Israel; we bless and magnify you. Rejoice sealed fountain of the living water giving to you thirsting nature as drink; we bless and magnify you.
(Canon for the Annunciation to the Holy Mother of God from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
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 or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, ANEC Executive Director, traveled to Detroit, where he will participate in the conference “Armenians and the Cold War,” organized by the Armenian Research Center of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, directed by Dr. Ara Sanjian. Some thirty scholars from the United States, South America, Europe, and Armenia will present papers at the conference, which will be held from April 1-3 at the campus of the university. Dr. Matiossian will present a paper at a panel dedicated to the Cold War in South America, entitled “Fighting for History: An Unknown Polemics in Argentina at the Beginning of the Cold War.”
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Birth of Tovmas Nazarbekian (April 4, 1855)
General Tovmas Nazarbekian was one of the main names in a host of Armenian officers that served in the Russian army and helped found the Republic of Armenia in 1918 with their military expertise.
Nazarbekian was born on April 4, 1855 to a Russianized Armenian family in Tiflis, the capital of the viceroyalty of the Caucasus. He graduated from the military gymnasium of Moscow in 1874 and from the Alexandrian Military School in 1875. He participated in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, earning the Order of St. Stanislaus for his contribution to the occupation of the fortress of Ardahan and the Order of St. Anna for distinguished service in Erzerum. He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1902, and awarded the Gold Sword for Bravery for distinguished service during the Battle of Mukden in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. Nazarbekian attained the rank of major-general in 1906. He renounced his commission when the Russian policy turned against the Armenians in the period 1908-1912, but returned to the army when this anti-Armenian was abandoned.
He had an important role in the Caucasian front after the outbreak of World War I. He was commander of the second artillery division of the Russian army, which included the Armenian volunteer battalions. He achieved an important victory in the Battle of Dilman (April 1915), which helped stop the advance of Ottoman forces commanded by Halil Pasha into Persia. He also commanded the forces that occupied Bitlis in the winter of 1916, and took his army down through the mountains of Western Armenia to the plains of Mush, capturing the homonymous city. His achievements earned him the admiration of military critics. He supported the British Mesopotamian Army by disrupting Ottoman supply lines, and established the outposts that made possible the further advance of the British in the failed Mesopotamian campaign of 1916. Nazarbekian was decorated by the French government for his achievements.
General Nazarbekian with officers in his army.
The chaos caused by the Russian Revolution in 1917 stopped all military operations and the Russian regular troops withdrew from the frontline. The situation brought forward the formation of the Armenian national corps under the command of Nazarbekian. The Special Transcaucasian Committee (Ozakom) negotiated the armistice of Erzinga with the Third Ottoman Army on December 5, 1917, freezing the conflict until February 7, 1918.

By the end of January, 1918, Nazarbekian's divisions occupied the major positions from Yerevan to Van and Erzinga. Despite his resistance, he had to follow an order by the president of the newly formed Transcaucasian Parliament (Seim), the Georgian Akaki Chkhenkeli, and abandon Kars to the Ottoman advancing forces in April. Under his leadership, in late May 1918 the Armenian troops defeated the Ottoman forces in the battles of Sardarabad and Pash-Abaran, and stopped their advance in Gharakilise.

Nazarbekian was appointed the first Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the first Republic of Armenia. He continued his military service to the homeland without leaning to any political party. He used his knowledge and experience to aid in the creation of the Armenian national army. He established a special uniform, instead of the Russian uniform, and instructed to translate the military code into Armenian. The orders were issued in Armenian. He was appointed Chairman of the Military Council on March 25, 1919, and awarded the rank of Lieutenant General on July 15 in the same year.

After the sovietization of Armenia, in January 1921 Nazarbekian was arrested, together with 1,200 Armenian officers, and exiled to Moscow and then to Riazan. He was released four months later after an amnesty. He settled in his hometown, Tiflis, where he lived quietly and wrote a series of memoirs about his campaigns from 1917-1918. He passed away on February 19, 1931.

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

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Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
No Except-ions
The verb “to open” is irregular in Armenian. The infinitive is panal (բանալ), which becomes yes patsi (ես բացի) when you want to say “I opened.” You also have the word patsi (բացի) with the same spelling, but with a meaning that seems to be unrelated (“except”), as well as various words like patsarrootioon (բացառութիւն “exception”) and patsadrootioon (բացատրութիւն “explanation”).

Actually, the meanings of both patsis are not totally unrelated. If you are in a room, you open a door and you get... out of it. The word was pats i (բաց ի) in Classical Armenian (the two words became one in the modern language), meaning “out of,” with equivalents in Latin ex and Greek ex, from which today we have English ex (only with the meaning “out of,” as in excellent).

As the reader should know, Armenian nouns have kept declension (khonarhoom / խոնարհում), like in the German language. The case of patsi requires that the word be used with the noun in the ablative mode, which is coincidentally called patsarragan (բացառական) and consists in the addition of eh (է) at the end of the noun: for instance, kirkeh (գիրքէ), tooghteh (թուղթէ). We also add a n (ն) when we need to use an article (e.g. kirkehn “of the book”). For example, patsi kirkeh me (բացի գիրքէ մը / “except for a book”) or patsi kirkehn (բացի գիրքէն / “except for the book”).

We use patsi as a preposition, in the same way that we use “except” in English, but the flexibility of Armenian allows bringing the book behind the noun and turning it into a postposition: tooghteh me patsi (թուղթէ մը բացի “except a paper”).

Strangely enough, people tend to make mistakes when using patsi. They do not decline the word, as in the following sentence:

Pan me chem hisher, patsi poghotsin anoone (Բան մը չեմ յիշեր, բացի փողոցին անունը) “I don’t remember anything, except for the name of the street.”

This may be or may be not influenced by English grammar, but in any case the correct use should be:

Pan me chem hisher, patsi poghotsin anoonehn (Բան մը չեմ յիշեր, բացի փողոցին անունէն).

The rule has no exceptions. The meaning in English remains the same, but the accuracy of the Armenian original improves a lot.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
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 ( or 212-689-7810)
Images of America:
Armenians of the Merrimack Valley
By E. Philip Brown and Tom Vartabedian

This a wonderful, informative and entertaining chronicle of the Armenians who settled in the Merrimack Valley where they established new lives with their churches, schools, and community organizations. With more than 179 photographs, this book is a real treat. Merrimack Valley is and remains a vital part of the history of the Armenian American community.

Armenians of the Merrimack Valley:
128 pages, $22.00 plus shipping and handling.

To order contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( or by telephone (212-689-7810).

The Prelacy Bookstore has a big selection of books in Armenian and English for adults and children. Need a gift? Check the Bookstore. Click here
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.
April 2—Contemporary Art Exhibit and Reception, 7 pm to 10 pm, Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian Hall at the Armenian Prelacy, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City. Sponsored by the Armenian Relief Society of the Eastern USA, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. The works of prominent Armenian artists from Armenia and the Diaspora will be on view and available for purchase. Curated by Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian. Proceeds will benefit the ARS Educational Programs. The exhibition will also be open on Sunday, April 3, 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is free.

April 8—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual Membership meeting, 7 pm in large hall. Light dinner will be served.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 3-10—St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website at or contact the AREC office at 212-689-7810 or
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:
138 East 39th Street | New York, NY 10016 US