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January 2, 2014
Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord
In keeping with the Armenian tradition, the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany commemorates the birth of Christ and His baptism by John the Baptist.  The Armenian Curch, among all of the Christian churches in the world, has preserved to this day an ancient tradition that predates the celebration of Christmas on December 25.
His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, extends his heartfelt good wishes to all for a New Year filled with the Light of our Lord bringing love, peace, and harmony to all mankind. In his Christmas message, “Christ, the Light,” His Eminence describes Jesus as the Light that gives life meaning. He writes, “If the miraculous events surrounding the birth of Jesus revealed the blissful condition of new life, our people were among the fortunate who made the supreme light the center of their existence, purpose and meaning and with the illumination of their souls and minds they gave their lives to God’s plan of salvation. During these days when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we must not turn it into a plain and ordinary celebration—with food and drink, and an occasion to exchange gifts. Jesus visits us again with love and peace, and with the same message of compassion and charity. All who continue their pious lives with the hope of a brighter life remain on the same road to salvation.”
Read Archbishop Oshagan’s Christmas message in Armenian and English.

His Holiness Aram I issued his Christmas Message, “Unto You Is Born a Savior.”
The Catholicos said in part,
“He who was born in a manger in Bethlehem was not an ordinary man. Nor was he a mere prophet. He was God’s only Son. . . . Jesus was the Messiah awaited for centuries.
“Today Christ is born again if we are prepared to accept Him as our Savior. Today the angel again gives us the heavenly message, if we are ready to hear it.
“Dear children of Armenia, You are the true children of the people who first bowed down before the Baby Jesus…. What a great honor and what a sacred obligation! During happy and sad times always remember the angel’s heavenly message, Unto You Is Born A Savior, and be renewed and strengthened by the faith of Bethlehem.”

This Sunday, January 6, is Christmas. The Armenian Church has remained faithful to the celebration of the Nativity and Epiphany on January 6. All Christians celebrated Christmas on January 6 until the mid-fourth century when the Roman Church separated the two events, celebrating the birth on December 25 and the baptism and visit of the magi on January 6 (thus the twelve days of Christmas).

On Christmas Eve a solemn Mass is celebrated, preceded by readings taken from various parts of the Bible about the birth or the coming of the Messiah. The third chapter from the book of Daniel is read, usually by a deacon and three young men representing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the youths who would not renounce their faith in spite of torture. Following Christmas Eve services, traditionally choir members would go from house to house singing hymns, spreading the Good News of the birth of our Savior.

On Christmas day, after the Divine Liturgy, a special service is performed symbolizing the baptism of Jesus, which was a turning point in His life and the beginning of His ministry. This service, which is called Blessing of the Water (Churorhnek), commemorates the Baptism and the Manifestation of Christ recognizing Him as the true Son of God.

Light sent from the Father, you came down from heaven and became flesh from the Holy Virgin; you are the Lamb of God and Son of the Father.

Today you appeared in the cave as Savior and accepted adoration from the magi and seeing you the shepherds said: You are the Lamb of God and Son of the Father.

Having seen the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, John cried out saying: This is the Lamb of God and Son of the Father.
(From the Canon for the seventh day of Theophany according to the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Church).

Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan:
On Christmas Eve Day, Sunday, January 5, His Eminence will preside at Morning Services at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York; His Eminence will preside at the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy services at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.

On Christmas Day, Monday, January 6, His Eminence will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon  and officiate the Blessing of Water Service at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City.

Vicar General, Bishop Anoushavan:
On Christmas Eve Day, Sunday January 5, His Grace will preside at Morning Services at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey; His Grace will preside at the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy services at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City.

On Christmas Day, Monday, January 6, His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Water Service at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

Last Sunday, December 29, Very Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia. The Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan, presided over the service.  A member of the Cilician brotherhood, Hayr Boghos is currently furthering his studies in California.
During his visit to the Philadelphia parish Archbishop Oshagan spoke with the Sunday school students as he visited some of the classes. Alicia Handian, an 8th grade Sunday school student wrote the following about the Prelates visit: “On Sunday, December 29, Oshagan Srpazan visited the younger students at St. Gregory Church in Philadelphia. He spoke to the children about Christmas and told them how much he loved them. He taught them what it takes to be a good and devoted Christian and a child of God: one has to follow Jesus’ steps by praying hard, working hard, being charitable, and loving others. Srpazan ended by saying that he hopes one day he can visit with us again. So do we!”
V. Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian with his aunt and cousins, the Dekermenjians and Nalbantians,  in Philadelphia after the Divine Liturgy.
Oshagan Srpazan visits with Sunday school students.
Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, celebrated three special events recently, namely, the Christmas Pageant offered by the Nareg Armenian School; The Feast of St. Stephen’s honoring deacons of the church; and the Christmas Pageant offered by the Sunday School.
On Sunday, December 22, students of the Nareg Saturday Armenian School held its Christmas party and luncheon. His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, who celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon, attended the Christmas celebration to everyone’s delight, offering his fatherly blessings, encouragement, and best wishes.
Bishop Anoushavan, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, Yeretzgin Ani, and Santa with board members, director, staff and students of the Nareg Armenian School.
On Sunday, December 29, following the Divine Liturgy, Sts. Vartanantz Church celebrated the Feast of St. Stephen, the first deacon and Proto-martyr. The deacons who serve the altar, Dn. Zohrab Zakarian (choirmaster), Dn. Kostan Charkutian, Dn. Hagop Tekeyan, Dn. Harout Takvorian, and Dr. Dn. Vahan Kouyoumdjian, wore crowns in honor of this special day. Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor, congratulated and thanked the deacons and choir members for their service and dedication.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian with his deacons and acolytes.
On Sunday, December 29, after the Divine Liturgy, the Sunday School of Sts. Vartanantz Church held its Christman Pageant and luncheon. Parishioners enjoyed the special program prepared by the students.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, Yeretzgin Ani, and Santa, with the administration, staff, PTA and students of the Sts. Vartanantz Sunday School.
On Saturday afternoon, December 28th, St. Sarkis Church took the initiative to devote the final Saturday of the year to pray against the violence that the world witnessed in 2013, and to pray for the devastation to our Armenian communities in Syria.
Under the Auspices of His Eminence, Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, and His Grace, Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, along with Father Nareg Terterian, Pastor of St. Sarkis Church a beautiful prayer service was conducted.  Nearly 75 parishioners gathered in our Sanctuary and prayed together for peace and against violence. Prior to the start of the service, Der Nareg Terterian welcomed parishioners with his opening remarks, thanking those in attendance, for devoting their final Saturday of the year to pray together for our brothers and sisters suffering in Syria.  The community then prayed the vesper service of the Armenian Church.
His Eminence, Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate, also gave a message to our parishioners.  He spoke from his heart about the ongoing suffering and devastation our brothers and sisters are facing in Syria on a daily basis.  He brought a reality to the horrific situation many of us living in America cannot even begin to imagine.  He spoke of peace in our American lives as opposed to that of those in Syria, saying " We take peace for granted in the United States, where in Syria it is a matter between life and death."
" While it may seem easier to donate our money to relief funds, he said, our people in Syria need our Hope and Prayers.   His Eminence, invited all to join together in singing Der Voghormya and conclude with the Lord's Prayer.
Following the beautiful service, parishioners gathered together in a Fellowship Hour.  A lovely table of cookies, cakes and various desserts were graciously donated by Mrs. Sitta Oranjian.
Archbishop Oshagan leading the special prayer service.
Bible readings for Sunday, January 5, Christmas Eve,  Divine Liturgy are: Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 2:1-12; Dismissal: Luke 2:8-14.
Bible readings for Monday, January 6, Christmas and Epiphany are: Titus 2:1-15; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Matthew 3:1-17.
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:1-17)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Tuesday, January 7, the day after Christmas, is Memorial Day. As is the custom in the Armenian Church, the day after each of the five great tabernacle feasts is a Memorial Day. Traditionally, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on Memorial Day and afterwards the faithful go to the cemetery to honor their loved ones and have their graves blessed.

This Saturday, January 4, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Fathers Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Sylvester of Rome, and Ephrem the Syrian.
St. Basil, called the “Great,” was an exceptional leader who helped spread Christianity. At the age of 26 he gave up his wealth and became a monk, and dedicated his life to serve the people, by establishing hospitals, hostels, and public kitchens to feed the needy. He was a talented writer and many of his prayers are used in the Armenian Church and other eastern churches. At a time when a solitary life of a hermit was considered to be spiritual, he instead urged monastic communities believing that no one is totally self-sufficient.
St. Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of Basil, and friend of Gregory of Nazianus. He was educated in Athens and influenced by the writings of Origen and Plato. He was a professor of rhetoric, but became disillusioned with his life as a teacher and became a priest. He served as Bishop of Nyssa and Archbishop of Sebastia.
St. Sylvester served as the Bishop of Rome during the era of Constantine for more than twenty years. During the time of his service many great churches were built. He took part in the negotiations concerning Arianism at the Council of Nicaea.
St. Ephrem the Syrian lived in Mesopotamia (Syria) during his entire life. He was baptized at age 18 and he served under St. James of Nisibis. He is credited for introducing hymns in public worship services. He visited St. Basil at Caesarea and upon his return he helped ease the famine during the winter of 372-73 by distributing food and money to the poor and needy. He was a prolific writer and his work, written in Syriac, was immediately translated into Greek, Armenian, and Latin.
The 2014 color poster of the Liturgical Calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church is now available at the Prelacy. At a glance, one can see the cycle of feasts and fasts and seasons of the Armenian Church year, which begins on January 6, 2014.
An added feature this year is a list of “Basic Facts” about the Armenian Church’s liturgical year. This 27x36 inch poster belongs in every Sunday school classroom.
To order, please contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or at The cost of the poster is $5.00 plus shipping and handling.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Death of Vahan Terian
(January 7, 1920)
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the lyrical production of Vahan Terian marked a new era in Eastern Armenian poetry. He was hailed by Hovhannes Tumanian as the most original poetical voice of his age, and his works closed the first period of modern Armenian literature.
His real name was Vahan Ter Grigorian. He was born on January 28, 1885 in the village of Gandza, in the region of Akhalkalak (Djavakhk), today in Georgia. He departed to Tiflis, where his elder brothers were studying, in 1897. He learned Russian with them and prepared to enter the Lazarian Oriental Institute in Moscow. He was admitted in 1899 at the Institute, where he met and befriended several young people who would become important public and literary figures, such as Alexander Miasnikian, Poghos Makintsin, Tsolak Khanzadian, and others. He graduated in 1906 and entered Moscow University.
However, Terian had already engaged in revolutionary activities, as a sympathizer of the Bolshevik branch of the Russian Social Democratic Party. Soon after entering the university, he was arrested and briefly jailed in the prison of Butirka in Moscow.
After his liberation, he published his first volume of poetry, Twilight Dreams, in Tiflis (1908). It was very well-received by readers and critics for its originality. Sadness and pain, spring and love, the homeland and its fate were some of the markers of his poetry, which became the basis for many songs still interpreted today. He married Susanna Pakhalova in 1911 and published the first volume of his collected poetry, titled Poems, in 1912, where he gathered also works written after 1908. He left Moscow University in 1913 and went to St. Petersburg University, where he majored in Oriental Studies.
His wife died in 1916 after giving birth to a daughter, who did not survived. In the same year, the first signals of tuberculosis appeared in the poet. Terian went to the Caucasus for treatment, but the first Russian Revolution (March 1917) prompted him to abandon the region and return to St. Petersburg. He became a close collaborator to Stalin, the future strongman of the Soviet Union.
Terian participated actively in the second Russian Revolution of November 1917, led by the Bolshevik Party, and the civil war that ensued. As Armenian representative at the Commissariat of Nationalities led by Stalin, he participated actively in the writing of the decree on Western Armenia that was issued in January 1918 and proclaimed its freedom of self-determination. As a member of the Central Executive Committee of Soviet Russia, Terian was assigned a mission in Turkestan in late 1919, but his illness had gotten worse and the poet was forced to stop in Orenburg, in Russia, where he passed away on January 7, 1920 at the age of 35. His daughter Nvard, fruit of his relationship with Anahit Shahinjanyan, was born posthumously, in April 1920.
The memory of the poet has been evoked in July in his birthplace with a “Day of Terian Poetry” since 1967, which gathers thousands of admirers every year.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( 
The tomb of Vahan Terian at the Pantheon in Yerevan's Komitas Park.
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee[ANEC])
Do We Always Go Together?
This is what the final song of the famous musical Grease says: “We Go Together.” However, two quite different languages like Armenian and English do not go always together. This is quite clear in the word... “together.”
The English words “together” and “gather” are somehow related, as their meanings point out, and it is logical to think that together has evolved from the combination of to + gather.
The Armenian equivalent, միասին (miasin), is also a composite word, but has an even deeper meaning. Its origin indicates a closer relationship: two people who have not only come to gather, but have been raised together. The first word, մի (mi), is the Classical and Eastern Armenian form of “one”—մէկ (meg) in Western Armenian—and the root of the word միութիւն (miootioon, “unity”) and the second word, սին (sin), is the result of the substitution of a vocal (this is technically called ablaut) from the original word սուն (sun, “to keep, to feed, to raise,” from which we have սնունդ/sunoont, “food, nourishment”). Thus, in the beginning, to be miasin meant that one had been fed and raised with someone else.
Now, while today miasin always implies “together,” this does not mean than every time we see “together” in English we should automatically think of miasin. Otherwise, we find ourselves in trouble.
One hears, for instance, “They live together.” This is, of course, Անոնք միասին կ՚ապրին (Anonk miasin g’abrin), and there is nothing wrong here. However, when we say “He has come together with his family,” the case is different.
Armenian has something that Latin had and, for instance, German still has, but the English language has lost: noun declination (հոլովում, holovoom). These are the little particles է (e), ի (i), ով (ov), with the particular cases that “torture” us when we learn the paradigms of declination of various nouns.
One of the six cases of noun declination is called “instrumental declination” (գործիական հոլով, kordziagan holov), which applies to the abovementioned sentence. The English with is an indication of instrument, and thus, you should forget “together” when you render the sentence into Armenian. You may either say,
1)Ան իր ընտանիքին հետ եկած է (An ir undanikin hed yegadz e = He has come with his family),
2) Ան իր ընտանիքով եկած է (An ir undanikov yegadz e = He has come with his family)
As we said in the beginning, yes, languages go together, but not always.
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
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
These beautiful snow-white luxurious baptismal towels are lovely to use during an infant’s baptism and remains as a keepsake memento and family heirloom. Both styles are embroidered in gold in Armenian with the baptismal appeal: Havadk, Houys, Ser, yev Mkrdoutyoun. (Faith, Hope, Love, and Baptism).
$75.00 each plus shipping and handling.
This 110 page Atlas includes 30 maps, 174 photographs, and an accompanying CD with all of the maps. A great educational resource for everyone.
$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.
The following five workbooks FREE.
1. Elements of Armenian Church Architecture;
2. The Land of the Armenians;
3. My Origins: Discovering and Recording Family History;
4. Khatchkars: Armenian Stone Crosses;
5. Medieval Armenian Costumes: Paper Cut-Outs to color and display.
To take advantage of this special offer,  or order baptismal towels contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( or telephone (212-689-7810).
January 5—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Christmas Eve Concert following the Jerakalouyts Badarak. Concert features Farmington Community Chorus. Reception follows.

January 6—Ladies Guild of St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, presents Annual Christmas Luncheon and Program in Lillian Arakelian Fellowship Hall.

January 6—Christmas celebration at St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Special program, “First-time Impressions of Armenia,” presented by students Victoria Kulungian and Nairi Hovsepian, following Badarak and luncheon. All are invited.

February 1—Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

February 2—St. Sarkis Men’s Club, Dearborn, Michigan, presents Super Bowl Party, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

February 9—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Book Presentation by Deacon Shant Kazanjian following the Divine Liturgy at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

February 24-26—Annual Clergy Ghevontiantz Gathering hosted by Holy Cross Church, 255 Spring Avenue, Troy, New York.

March 1—St. Sarkis Sunday School, Dearborn, Michigan, Poon Paregentan Costume Party for everyone, at Lillian Arakelian Hall.

March 26—St. Sarkis Ladies Guild, Dearborn, Michigan, Mid-Lenten Luncheon following the Lenten morning service, Lillian Arakelian Hall.

March 28—Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies Guild, at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, 8 pm.

May 13-17—Clergy Conference and National Representative Assembly, and Annual Conference of the National Association of Ladies’ Guilds (NALG) of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan.

June 1—Ladies Guild Annual Brunch, St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.

June 1—St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Toronto Children’s Choir concert in the church sanctuary.
Web pages of the parishes can be accessed through the Prelacy’s web site.
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Items in Crossroads can be reproduced without permission. Please credit Crossroads as the source.
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