October 10, 2013
The Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief is a joint effort of: Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy); Armenian Catholic Eparchy; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Relief Society (Eastern USA, Inc.); Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Thank you for your help.
Archbishop Oshagan will attend and deliver the Invocation at the 7th annual dinner and awards of the eastern region of the Armenian National Committee of America that will take place this Saturday, October 12, in Philadelphia. The 2013 ANCA Freedom Award will be presented to New York Times Best Selling author Chris Bohjalian. The 2013 Vahan Cardashian Award will be presented to activist and benefactor Zohrab Tazian.

Parishioners and friends of St Sarkis Church in Dearborn, Michigan, celebrated the church’s 51st anniversary last Sunday, beginning with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, followed by a banquet at the church hall. More than 200 people attended the banquet.
Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian, pastor, welcomed the audience starting with a biblical verse from St Paul's letter to the Ephesians 4:16. A beautiful program followed the dinner including recitations and musical selections.
Twenty-three couples who were married for more than 51 years were honored and presented with a gift in remembrance of this occasion. The event concluded with the Prelate’s message that stressed the importance of the family and family values.
Archbishop Oshagan during the Liturgy with Der Hrant and Deacon.
A scene from the dinner that followed.
The couples who were honored.
Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy last Sunday at Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland. Assisting at the altar was Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, pastor. Following the Liturgy a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Zareh I and the 30th anniversary of the passing of Catholicos Khoren I took place with a special presentation by Bishop Anoushavan.
His Grace will make a similar presentation this Sunday, October 13, at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
Bishop Anoushavan delivers the sermon at Soorp Khatch Church.
Recognizing the importance of discovering and promoting the careers of exceptionally talented, but not well known, young Armenian musicians from all over the world, the Eastern Prelacy launched the Musical Armenia annual concert series in 1982. For more than thirty years the program has remained true to its objective by encouraging young Armenian artists and presenting them in recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
All young soloists and ensembles with at least one member of Armenian descent are invited to apply. Priority will be given to applicants currently living or studying in the United States. The deadline for applications has been extended to October 30, 2013.
For more information and application for the 2014 Musical Armenia concert click here.

An eight-week Bible study program on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, will begin on Thursday, October 24, and continue on subsequent Thursdays up to December 19, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. The Bible studies will be presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), and is sponsored by AREC and the Cathedral. Registration, which is required, can be done on line (www.armenianprelacy.org) or by contacting the Prelacy at 212-689-7810, arec@armenianprelacy.org, or the Cathedral at 212-689-5880, office@st.illuminators.org. Or click here.
Bible readings for Sunday, October 13, Fifth Sunday of the Exaltation are, Isaiah 19:1-11; Galatians 2:1-10; Mark 12:35-44.
While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Mark 12:35-44)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, October 12, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Translators, one of the most beloved feasts. There are, in fact, two such commemorations in our liturgical calendar. One is on the Thursday following the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, which can occur in June or July; the other is on the second Saturday of October.
The October commemoration focuses on the creation of the Armenian alphabet (406) and on the accomplishments of the Holy Translators. Mesrob Mashdots, the founder of the alphabet, and Catholicos Sahag, together with some of their students, translated the Bible. Schools were opened and the works of world-renowned scholars were translated. Their work gave the Armenian Church a distinct national identity.
In modern times the entire month of October has been designated as a “Month of Culture.” Armenians throughout the Diaspora and Armenia mark this with cultural events not only in remembrance of the past, but in celebration of modern-day scholars, theologians, writers, and translators.
Specifically remembered this Saturday along with Mesrob and Sahag, are: Yeghishe, a renowned student of Sahag and Mesrob, who served as secretary to Vartan Mamigonian and who wrote the great history of the Vartanantz wars; Movses of Khoren, another student of Sahag and Mesrob, who is revered as the father of Armenian history; David the Invincible, a student of Movses, received most of his education in Athens, where he was given the title “Invincible” because of his brilliance in philosophy; Gregory of Narek, who is considered the greatest poet of the Armenian nation and its first and greatest mystic; and Nerses Shnorhali, a great writer, musician, theologian, and ecumenist. 
The holy translators, like stewards, were interpreters of the divine Scriptures by inventing letters by means of which are preserved on earth as living words for the shepherd flock of the New Israel, praise God with a sweet sounding hymn.
They looked on the greatness of earthly glory as on darkness and having put their hope in the immortal bridegroom they were made worthy of the kingdom of heaven; praise God with a sweet-sounding song.
By the power of the Father’s wisdom the uncreated existing One by means of their translation they made firm the throne of Saint Gregory, praise God with a sweet-sounding song.
Saint Sahag having dressed in the new word, the holy scriptures, adorned the Armenian churches, praise God with a sweet-sounding song
(Canon to the Holy Translators, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
The Diocesan Council of Lebanon elected His Grace Bishop Shahe Panossian as the new prelate of Lebanon on Monday, October 7. Bishop Shahe entered the Cilician Seminary in 1971, was ordained a deacon in 1976 and a celibate priest in 1980. From 1982-2006 he served at various times  in Thessaloniki, Greece, and in parishes in Florida, Chicago, and New Jersey in the United States.
In 2006 Bishop Shahe returned to Lebanon where he served as the Dean of the Seminary until 2011. He received his Episcopal ordination in 2008. Most recently he served as Pontifical Vicar in Kuwait and the Gulf countries.

The second meeting of the Oriental Orthodox-Anglican bilateral dialogue took place in London last week. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Rev. Shahe Ananian represented the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian and Bishop Shahe Panossian represented the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
Archbishop Nareg and Rev. Jeffrey Raul co-chaired the meeting that discussed the doctrine of Pneumatology and the joint statement on Christology of 2002. On Saturday the participants attended a special prayer service for the Middle East at the Coptic Orthodox Church. On Sunday they attended an Anglican church service and were the guests of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for lunch. The next bilateral dialogue will take place in October 2014 in Cairo.
Sts. Vartanantz Church and Hamazkayine of NJ organized a book presentation last Saturday by Dr. Meline Karakashian, of her book, “Komitas: A Psychological Study.” Dr. Karakashian spoke about Komitas, the man and the clergyman who survived life’s adversities. He was exiled in 1915, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder,  and his musical career ended with his commitment to psychiatric institutions.
Komitas is remembered for having saved Armenian folk music from extinction before the Armenian Genocide, and for his compositions that are dear to Armenians all over the world. He remains the symbol of Armenian suffering. Dr. Karakashian analyzed Komitas’ mental state after 1915 from a psychological perspective.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, presented a plaque to Dr. Karakashian on behalf of Sts. Vartanantz Church and Hamazkayine of NJ in appreciation of her presentation and important work.
The author with Der Hovnan and Yeretzgin and members of Hamazkayine.
The last session of the seminar “A Brief Introduction to Modern Armenian Literature,” sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC), took place last Thursday. Dr. Vartan Matiossian, executive director of ANEC and facilitator of the seminar, presented an overview of literature in Soviet and independent Armenia. He discussed the historical and literary features of this period, and highlighted the literary production of several authors, particularly poets Yeghishe Charents and Paruyr Sevak. A lively exchange of questions and answers followed the presentation.
Seminar attendees with Der Mesrob Lakissian and Dr. Vartan Matiossian.
The Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) sponsored a symposium last Saturday on “Armenian Women as Mothers and Artists,” at Pashalian Hall of St. Illumintor’s Cathedral in New York. The three speakers belonged to the new generation of Armenian Studies scholars, and they introduced fresh ideas that were warmly welcomed by the attendees.
The first lecture by Dr. Melissa Bilal, a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Columbia University, Department of Music, was presented by Ms. Sossi Essajanian, a member of the ANEC committee. Dr. Bilal was unable to attend due to health problems.
Janet Manoukian, a graduate student in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University, spoke about the life of Zabel Yessayan, the foremost female writer in Armenian literature in the first half of the twentieth century.
The final presentation was by Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of ANEC, who spoke about the writer Armen Ohanian, who is not well-known. Although her first name is usually that of a male, she was a dancer, actress, writer, and translator, whose life journey allowed her to construct a multidimensional identity.
Read the full press release in Armenian or English.
The presenters with members of the ANEC committee.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Birth of Stepan Shahumian
(October 13, 1878)
After the independence of Armenia and Karabagh, neither the city of Stepanavan, in the northern region of Lori, which was severely damaged during the earthquake of 1988, nor Stepanakert, the capital of the Republic of Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabagh, changed their names, even though they had been renamed after a famous communist revolutionary.
Stepan Shahumian was born in Tiflis to a working family. He studied at the Royal School in his hometown and then followed with university studies in St. Petersburg and Riga (1898-1902). He was attracted by Marxism in early 1900. He graduated from the philosophy department of Alexander Humboldt University in Germany in 1905, while being actively involved in politics following the line of Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik fraction of the Russian Social Democratic Party.
Shahumian returned to the Caucasus in 1905 and became a leader first in Tiflis and then in Baku from 1907, both actively in the field and as an editor and polemicist. After being exiled to Astrakhan in 1912, he returned to Baku in 1914. He was arrested in March 1916 and exiled to Saratov, and liberated only after the February Revolution of 1917.
He returned to Baku once again, and led the Soviet of Workers and Villagers, which in November 1917 took control of the city. Shahumian was designated Extraordinary Commissar for the Caucasus in December. The Turkish army expanded its military campaign on the Caucasian front in late March 1918; encouraged, the Azerbaijani Musavat Party stepped up its anti-Soviet work and attempted to seize Baku to establish its own regime. After the crushing of the revolt, the Soviets took full control of the city government and established an alliance of Bolsheviks, Left Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks (Social Democrats), and Armenian Revolutionary Federation members, chaired by Shahumian, which was known as the Baku Commune.
The Bolsheviks clashed with the A.R.F. and the Mensheviks over the involvement of British forces, which the latter two welcomed. In either case, Shahumian was under direct orders from Moscow to refuse any and all aid offered by the British. However, in July the alliance broke and a new government replaced the Commune by the Central Caspian Dictatorship, with an alliance of Right Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and A.R.F. members; British forces temporarily entered Baku to abandon it later.
On July 31, the 26 commissars attempted the evacuation of Bolshevik armed forces by sailing over to Astrakhan, but the ships were captured by the military vessels of the Dictatorship two weeks later. They were arrested and placed in Baku prison. The city fell to Turkish forces, despite the heroic resistance of the Armenian population, which executed the massacre of 15,000 to 20,000 Armenians.
Amidst the confusion, Shahumian and his fellow commissars either escaped or were released on September 14. They boarded a ship to Krasnovodsk, where upon arrival they were arrested by anti-Bolshevik elements. In the end, on the night of September 20, Stepan Shahumian and the other 25 Baku commissars were executed by a firing squad on a remote location on the Trans-Caspian railway. Together with Shahumian and various Azerbaijanis, Georgians, and Russians, six other Armenians perished: Arsen Amirian, Suren Hovsepian, Armenak Borian, Baghdasar Avakian, Aram Kostandian, and Tateos Amirian.
Note: Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (www.armenianprelacy.org).
A statue of Stepan Shahumyan located in central Yerevan.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
A Little Word and a Bigger Problem
The word որ (vor) in Armenian has several meanings; “that,” “which,” “who” are the most common. For instance:
-- Կը յուսամ, որ կը շահին (Ge hoosam, vor ge shahin, “I hope that they win”)
-- Այս գիրքը, որ շատ լաւ գրուած է (Ayt kirke, vor shad lav krvadz eh, “This book, which is very well written”)
-- Մանուկը, որ կը խաղար դուրսը (Manooge, vor gue khaghar toorseh, “The child who played outside”)
Like any substantive, vor is subject to declination (հոլովում, holovoom), something that various Indo-European languages do not have, like English or French, but others do, like Latin and German. Thus, we have three declined forms of vor, besides the root word vor itself: որու (voroo, “for which, for who”), որմէ (vormeh, “from which, from who”), and որով (vorov, “with which”)(*).
Our focus is on the latter, vorov. An example of its use appears in the title of a poem by the great Armenian writer Vahan Tekeyan (1878-1945). It is called «Լեզուն որով գրեցի» (Lezoon vorov kretsi). The title is literally translated as “The Language with Which I Wrote."
However, it appears that people have started to forget the meaning of some little words in the last years. Both in colloquial and written language, we may currently notice the use of vorov as a synonym of an apparently similar word, որովհետեւ (vorovhedev), which has a totally different meaning, “because.” Here is an example of such wrong use:
Wrong: Չեմ կրնար դուրս երթալ, որով կ՚անձրեւէ (Chem grnar toors yertal, vorov g’antsreveh “I can’t go outside, because it’s raining”),
Right: Չեմ կրնար դուրս երթալ, որովհետեւ կ՚անձրեւէ (Chem grnar toors yertal, vorovhedev g’antsreveh”).
We may even hear children who, asked why such and such happened, reply: “Vorov,” as if they answered in English with the laconic “Because.”
Even worse, sometimes vorov replaces ուրեմն (ooremn, “then”), as in:
Wrong: Անօթի ենք, որով կրնանք ուտել (Anoti enk, vorov grnank oodel, “We are hungry, then we can eat”),
Right: Անօթի ենք, ուրեմն կրնանք ուտել (Anoti enk, ooremn grnank oodel)
An affair to remember:
a)    Որով (vorov) = “with which”
b)    Որովհետեւ (vorovhedev) = “because”
c)    Ուրեմն (ooremn) = “then”
(*) You may ask why there is no mention of “with whom.” This is because the use of vorov is not applicable to persons. If one wants to say “the boy with whom I went to school,” he or she should say «տղան որուն հետ դպրոց գացի» (dghan voroon hed tbrots katsi).
Monday, October 14, is Columbus Day… and today, October 10, is the bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, the King of Opera. To this day his operas are amongst the most loved and most performed  including Rigoletto, La Traviata, Nabucco, and Aida. He was born October 10, 1813 and died January 27, 1901.
October 13—Special program following the Divine Liturgy presented by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian commemorating the passing of Catholicos Zareh I (50th) and Catholicos Khoren I (30th) will take place at St. Sarkis Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, New York, under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan.
October 19—Armenian Friends of America presents “Hye Kef 5” featuring musicians Leon Janikian, Joe Kouyoumjian, Greg Takvorian, Ken Kalajian, Ron Raphaelian, and Jay Baronian, 7:30-12:30, Michael’s Function Hall, 12 Alpha Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts. Proceeds to benefit all Armenian churches in Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Tickets: $40 adults; $30 students; includes individually-served mezza platters. For information/reservations: John Arzigian 603-560-3826; Sandy Boroyan 978-251-8687; Scott Sahagian 617-699-3581; Peter Gulezian 978-375-1616.
October 19—Annual Bazaar of St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, 10 am to 7 pm in church hall. Favorite Armenian dinners including shish, losh, and chicken kebabs with rice pilaf. Traditional Armenian and American baked goods including paklava and spinach-cheese pie. Take-out available by calling 413-543-4763. Raffle drawing with valuable prizes. Admission and parking are free. For information: 413-543-4763.
October 20—St. Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin, 75th Anniversary Celebration to begin with Badarak at 10 am at the church, followed by a gala “tasting banquet” and program at the Racine Marriott. For information: Mary M. Olson, 262-681-1535.
October 24 to December 19—St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, an 8-week Bible study program beginning Thursday, October 24, and continuing on Thursdays up to December 19 (no session on Thanksgiving, November 28). Sessions will be presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Sessions will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, 7:15-8:00 pm, Presentation; 8:00-8:45 pm, Q/A & Discussion. Registration is required. Register at www.armenianprelacy.org or contact the Prelacy 212-689-7810, or the Cathedral at 212-689-5880.
October 26—Annual Fall Fair sponsored by St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 10 am to 7 pm. Armenian foods and pastries, along with gift tables, white elephant, raffles and games. Fun for the whole family.
October 27—90th anniversary celebration of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy at the church’s Founders Hall, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19128.
November 1 & 2—St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 57th Annual Armenian Bazaar, 10 am to 9:30 pm, at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center (ACEC), 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown. Delicious meals (take-out available), Armenian pastries, gourmet, Harvest Store, Books, Raffles, Attic Treasures, Auctions, and more. For information: 617-924-7562 or on Facebook.
November 2—Mid-West Regional Conference for Clergy, Boards of Trustees, and NRA Delegates, hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, beginning at 10 am and ending at 4 pm. Members of Prelacy’s Religious and Executive members will be present.
November 2 & 3—Armenian Fest 2013, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents its Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston. Featuring chicken, losh, and shish kebabs, and kufta dinners, Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, silent auction, hourly raffles, and grand prize, $2,000. Children’s dance group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry are available all day. Saturday, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. Free admission and parking. For information: 401-831-6399.
November 7—Avak luncheon, noon, Jaffarian Hall, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Speaker, Dr. Edward Khantzian, clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Impressions of a Keynote Visit to Armenia.”
November 10—Ladies Guild of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, presents The Way We Were Ensemble of New York/New Jersey in their performance of “The Gamavors,” at 2 pm in the church hall. Coffee and reception with cast will follow performance. Tickets: $20 adults; $10 children under 12. For tickets: Mary Derderian, hyeguin@yahoo.com or 781-762-4253.
November 15-16-17—Annual Bazaar, Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
November 16—Public Relations seminar for New England parishes, directed by Tom Vartabedian, at St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, beginning at 10 am. Speakers include: Stephen Kurkjian, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the Boston Globe, and Khatchig Mouradian, editor of The Armenian Weekly.
November 16 & 17—Annual ART IN FALL Exhibition featuring national and international Armenian artists, Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. Fine art including oils, mixed media, photography, and sculpture in classic, modern, and contemporary styles by 27 artists. Opening Reception, Saturday, 7 to 10 pm. Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres, $30 donation.  Sunday, 1 to 4 pm, Refreshments, $15 donation.
November 17—Banquet and Program celebrating the “Year of the Armenian Mother,” organized by the Eastern Prelacy, at Terrace in the Park, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Watch for details.
November 24—Special program following the Divine Liturgy presented by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian commemorating the passing of Catholicos Zareh I (50th) and Catholicos Khoren I (30th) will take place at St. Stephen’s Church, 38 Elton Avenue, Watertown, Massachusetts.
December 6—Anniversary celebration by Lowell “Aharonian” Gomideh, 6:30 pm, St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts; dinner and program honoring 50-year members Steve Dulgarian and Joe Dagdigian; remembering the 25th anniversary of the earthquake in Armenia; soloist Nina Hovsepian, accompanied by Mary Barooshian. Donation: $20 adults; $10 students.
December 7—Annual Church Bazaar of St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, will take place at Christian Reform Church, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville. For information: 508-234-3677.
December 7—Annual Holiday Bake Sale, St. Paul Church, 645 S. Lewis Avenue, Waukegan, Illinois, 9 am to 3 pm. Enjoy authentic Armenian & American pastries and plan to stay for lunch at St. Paul Café. For information or pre-orders, 847-244-4573.
February 24-26, 2014—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.
March 28, 2014—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm.
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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