May 26, 2016
Prelacy parishes will offer prayers of Thanksgiving for the Republic of Armenia and bless the Armenian tricolor flag on the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Republic (May 28, 1918), and the 25th anniversary of the current Republic of Armenia (September 21, 1991), this Sunday, May 29. Requiem services will be offered for the souls of the fallen heroes of Sardarabad, Bashabaran, Gharakilise, and the martyrs in the struggle for Artsakh.

“Bless, O Lord, this tricolor flag. And just as after the flood you placed your rainbow on Mt. Ararat and established a covenant with mankind, now too after the flowing of so much holy and heroic blood, may this flag with its beautiful colors be sealed as a sign of our covenant with you.”

Archbishop Oshagan recently announced that the Eastern Prelacy will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, on Sunday, October 9. The day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. In the afternoon a special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion will take place at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey, that will be followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration at the same venue. This event will be the one and only celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy. Details will be forthcoming during the coming weeks.

Archbishop Oshagan noted that although His Holiness’s 20th anniversary was last year, he chose to postpone any celebrations until this year in order to focus solely on the worldwide 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armenian Genocide.  

His Holiness was elected and consecrated in July 1995. During the past twenty years under his leadership a new page in the history of the ancient Holy See of Cilicia has been filled with many accomplishments that include new initiatives for educational religious and cultural programs, finding ways to strengthen the Armenian identity in the Diaspora, promoting and supporting ecumenism and interfaith relations, supporting the Armenian Cause, and launching many new construction projects.

The diocese of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar celebrated His Holiness’s anniversary on May 9 during the Catholicos’ pontifical visit to the area. More than 350 guests attended, including ambassadors, leadership of the local churches, and community representatives.

Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, will be elevated to the rank of Dzayakouyn Vartabed this Sunday at St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, Massachusetts.

The elevation, granted by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, will be conferred by the Prelate Archbishop Oshagan during the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Prelacy. A reception in Hayr Sahag’s honor will follow in the church hall.

The degree of Dzayakouyn Vartabed (Archimandrite Superior) confers ten advanced theological degrees in addition to the four given at the time of elevation to the rank of Vartabed (Doctor). This ceremony is more often conducted at the Catholicosate in Antelias, so most of the faithful in the United States have not witnessed this ceremony.

As reported last week, V. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian was elevated to Dzayakouyn Vartabed by His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, last Sunday at All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois, during the Divine Liturgy that was celebrated by V. Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian.

Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont was born in 1986. After attending primary school in Kessab, he was accepted into the Theological Seminary of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, in Antelias, Lebanon, where he completed the seminary’s nine-year education program. He was ordained a celibate priest on June 10, 2007. Three years later, after successfully presenting his thesis (“The Saints in the Armenian Liturgical Calendar”) he earned the rank of Vartabed (Doctor of Theology). During his years in Lebanon, Hayr Ghevont served in a number of positions at the Catholicosate including teacher at the seminary, director of Christian education, director of Sunday schools, and pastoral advisor to the Armenian Church University Students Association. His service as pastor of All Saints Church began on October 9, 2015, and in a short period of time he has vitalized the community and attracted the active participation of the parish’s younger generations.
Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian received the additional ten orders for the rank of 
Dzayrakouyn Vartabed.
Archbishop Oshagan with clergy and altar servers after the service.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian was re-elected last Saturday for a sixth four-year term as the Prelate of the Western Prelacy during the National Representative Assembly that took place last Friday and Saturday. Archbishop Oshagan extended congratulations and best wishes on behalf of the Eastern Prelacy  to Archbishop Moushegh and the newly elected Councils.
Bible readings for Sunday, May 29, Second Sunday after Pentecost; Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin are: Proverbs 9:1-6; Zechariah 3:7-4:9; Hebrews 9:1-10; John 10:22-30.

At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If we are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will ever perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:22-30)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
St. John the Baptist by El Greco
Today, May 26, is the Feast of St. John the Baptist (also called the Forerunner), and Bishop Athenogenes. John the Baptist is prominent in each of the four Gospels. He is associated with the beginning of the ministry of Jesus and is considered to be the “forerunner’ to Jesus the Messiah. He baptized those who repented their sins, and he preached the coming of one after him who is greater than he and would baptize not with water but with the Spirit. In the third chapter of Matthew, John is reluctant to baptize Jesus and does so only after encouragement from Jesus. The Armenian Church considers St. John the Baptist as one of the two prime intercessors to Jesus, the other being the Blessed Mother.

Athenogenes, a bishop and theologian was burned to death along with ten of his disciples in Sebastia, Armenia, during the persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian. Athenogenes wrote a hymn of praise proclaiming the divinity of the Holy Spirit. He is remembered as singing this hymn as he went into the flames.

The Baptism of the Armenian Nation by Ivan Aivazovsky.
This Saturday, May 28, is the Feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s deliverance from the pit (Khor Viraben Yelkuh). Gregory is revered as the patron saint of the Armenian Church. He is recognized and memorialized in both eastern and western hierarchical churches. The Armenian liturgical calendar reserves three feast days in his honor: Entrance into the pit; deliverance from the pit; and discovery of relics. In addition to these three days, there are several feast days to which he is closely connected, namely the feast days for Sts. Hripsimiantz, Sts. Gayaniantz, Shoghakat, Holy Etchmiadzin, and King Trdat. The Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox churches, and Oriental Orthodox churches have special days in their calendars for the veneration of St. Gregory, who is considered to be one of the Fathers of the early Christian church.

Gregory was condemned to the pit in 287 AD by King Trdat and the persecution of Christians began. After the martyrdom of a group of nuns who came to Armenia from Rome led by Hripsime and Gayane, Trdat was stricken with strange maladies. His sister, Khosrovidukht, had a dream that Gregory was the only person who could heal her brother. Miraculously, Gregory was still alive after many years in the pit, thanks to an angelic woman who lowered food and water into the pit each day. Gregory emerged from the pit; the king was healed and baptized, and he declared Christianity to be the official religion of Armenia.

Gregory was not the first to preach Christianity in Armenia. That distinction belongs to the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew who came to Armenia in the first century, and thus gave the Armenian Church its apostolic designation. Nevertheless, Gregory is revered and is considered by Armenians to be the father of their faith. Hundreds of churches have been built and named in his honor.

“The ancient calendars of the still undivided Church celebrated him [Gregory] on the same day in both the East and the West as a tireless apostle of truth and holiness. The father in faith of the whole Armenian people, St. Gregory still intercedes from heaven today, so that all the children of your great nation may at last gather round the one table prepared by Christ, the divine Shepherd of one flock.”
Pope John Paul II in his “Apostolic Letter for the 1700th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People,” issued February 2, 2001.

This Sunday, May 29, is the Feast of Holy Mother Etchmiadzin, the cathedral built by St. Gregory after his deliverance from the pit, to the specifications he saw in a vision, and on the place marked by the Lord with a golden hammer. This feast day commemorates the establishment of the Armenian Church and the end of paganism.

Etchmiadzin is the oldest example of a four-altar, four-pillar, domes, cruciform church in Christian architecture. More than 1,700 years old, it is the oldest surviving Armenian Christian site. Relief sculptures on the exterior walls are some of the oldest examples of the Christian Armenian art of sculpting.
Bishop Anoushavan attended the 20th anniversary of Ardzagang TV at which time he presented Ara Manougian with an encyclical from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, with a Mesrob Mashdotz medal in appreciation of his years of service to the Armenian community.
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
The Men’s Club of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, has taken Aram Vehapar's "Year of Service" to heart and for the past several weeks, have met at the Oakland Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island on Saturday mornings to help with the cleanup and restoration needed in the Armenian section of the Cemetery. When the task is completed, the clergy of the three Armenian churches in the area will join to offer a grave blessing service. The service is expected to take place a week or two after Memorial Day.
Members of the Men’s Club of Sts. Vartanantz Church have been spending their Saturdays to help cleanup and restore the Armenian section at Oakland Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island.
A new book by Hrair Hawk Khatcherian, was presented on Sunday, May 22, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, entitled “100: 1915-2015," dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of the Cathedral, introduced the world renowned photographer. Hrair Khatcherian was born in Lebanon in 1961 and moved to Canada in 1984. In 1988, he began to actively participate in Diaspora activities related to the Karabakh Movement, and he became profoundly and permanently aware of his roots, his origins, and his Armenian national identity.

Despite being told in the early 1990s that he had terminal cancer, Khatcherian has spent almost three decades traveling around the world to photograph Armenian sites and then making presentations at exhibitions, conferences, and lectures around the globe. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, books, and publications.

Mr. Khatcherian, a lively and engaging speaker, described the ambitious project and his many journeys that took him around the world. He shared his photographs with the audience, presenting his unique perspective on Armenian culture, history, and heritage through imagery. The photographs consisted mostly of Armenian churches, manuscripts and historical documents, and architectural samples from all over the world.

Bishop Anoushavan, Hrair Hawk Khatcherian, Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian at the book presentation at the Cathedral.

On Sunday, May 22, His Eminence Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of Tehran, presided over the Divine Liturgy and delivered the homily at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Prior to the sermon, Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy, introduced the Archbishop to the faithful. In his remarks, Archbishop Sebouh expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Archbishop Oshagan, Bishop Anoushavan, and to the Pastor and Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator's for their warm welcome and hospitality. After the service, the parishioners enjoyed meeting and speaking with the Archbishop during the fellowship hour.
Archbishop Sebouh, Bishop Anoushavan, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian with deacons and choir members of the Cathedral.
On Sunday afternoon, May 15th, students, parents, grandparents and relatives of Suzanne and Hovsep Hagopian Saturday School gathered in the Main Hall of St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, to join in celebration of the year-end Hantes. Following the opening prayer Mrs. Nayri Zohrabian, principal, offered her opening remarks.

A fun filled year of learning Armenian language, history, culture, song and religion concluded in a beautiful program, full of songs, recitations, and plays. Graduates were honored and given diplomas by His Grace, Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian.  The 2016 graduates are: Giovanna Mayo, Michael Meneshian,  Michael Yaghdgian, Shahen Fiesel, and Andre Sarkisian.

The principal made special mention of Taleen Nenejian who represented our Saturday School at the annual Hamazkayin General Knowledge contest. Taleen filled the requirements of the program with flying colors and was presented with a gift from the school.

The principal also recognized Christapor Megherian who was honored by the Prelacy with the Youth Leadership Award at the National Representatives Assembly. Christapor is a proud graduate of the Saturday School and serves as an assistant to the teachers. 
Bishop Anoushavan with the graduates of the Suzanne and Hovsep Hagopian Saturday School.

AREC at the NRA 2016 
Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Executive Director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), presented the report of the Christian Education department to the National Representative Assembly on Thursday, May 12 under three major headings: Sunday Schools, community programs, and the St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program for youth ages 13-18. 
Dn. Shant highlighted the department’s permanent programs that are scheduled and developed annually, such as the Datev Program, the Lenten Program, Sunday School teachers’ seminars, etc., with their challenges and opportunities. He then presented some of the new initiatives that are being explored, in particular preparing catechetical material geared for adults (the most neglected segment of our community, and probably the most important segment when it comes to Christian education and formation), and integrating technology, more and more, in all aspects of the ministry, both to maximize our efforts and to reach to a wider audience with the gospel message. 

The following day, during a panel discussion session, NRA delegates examined AREC programs and projects, discussed ways to improve those ministries and made a number of suggestions and recommendations both to AREC and to local leaders.
Continuing the practice first initiated several years ago, this year the Yeretzgeens of the Eastern Prelacy convened a conference during the National Representative Assembly. Yn. Joanna Baghsarian was asked to honor the requests of Catholicos Aram and Archbishop Oshagan and organize a conference with “Service” as the theme. Executive Council member Karen Jehanian was given the task to facilitate and execute the conference.

The conference began with a meditation and a sharagan—a spiritual hymn of praise by Yn. Alice Baljian from the St. Gregory community of North Andover, Massachusetts. Speakers included: Yn. Joanna Baghsarian, who spoke on “Prayer—A Holy Occupation; and Yn. Margaret Stepanian, who described her many years of service as a “helpmate to her husband” and as a servant to her community. Group discussions followed to share how “service” is working in their respective homes and communities.

The next day, the Yeretzgeens turned “service” into “action” when they went to the New York Armenian Home in Flushing, New York, where they were welcomed by the Home’s director, Jenny Akopyan. The Home is home to 25 Armenians from five continents. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator Cathedral, opened with a prayer and morning service. Yn. Ojeen Lakissian, gifted in baking and cake artistry, prepared festive baskets of choreg for each resident. The Yeretzgeens were paired with residents from the same Province of their ancestral heritage and personally presented a basket to each resident. They interacted with the residents with prayer, Christian love, fellowship, bonding, singing, and even dancing to the piano and voice of resident Sosy Kadian. The Sunday and Armenian school students of Providence’s Sts. Vartanantz Church “cared enough to send the very best” to the elderly by creating greeting cards with messages that were presented to the residents by Yn. Debbie Nazarian.

With total agreement the Yeretzgeens said, “When one attends a conference such as this, there is nothing more gratifying than to depart feeling energized, enlightened, encouraged, motivated, inspired, refreshed and ready to return to our communities with a renewed spirit in Jesus Christ.”
The Yeretzgeens at the New York Armenian Home.
Gift baskets of choreg were presented to the residents.
Watch for more NRA coverage next week.

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Battle of Avarayr (May 26, 451)
Every year we celebrate the Feast of Vartanantz (Վարդանանց տօն, Vartanantz don) on the last Thursday before the beginning of Great Lent, which falls sometime from early February to early March. Yet, it is traditionally accepted that the battle of Avarayr, which symbolized the ultimate sacrifice of Armenians in defense of their faith, was fought in May (some sources say June 2) and not in February or March. The reason for the change was ritual. The actual date of Avarayr fell between Easter and Pentecost, and no other saints—the fallen in the battle were canonized by the Armenian Church—could be celebrated in that period of time.

The kingdom of Armenia had been divided since 387 between Persia and Byzantium, becoming a vassal state of the Persian Empire. The ruling Arshakuni (Arsacid) dynasty came to an end in 428 with the deposition of the last king, Artashes IV, by the Persian king Bahram V, who belonged to the Sassanian dynasty. This action legally established Persian authority through a Persian governor. Armenia would not have a king for the next four centuries and a half.

While Armenians were initially allowed to freely practice Christianity, the situation changed drastically after Yazdegerd II (called Յազկերտ/Yazkert in Armenian) became king of Persia (439-457). In the late 440s, the new sovereign was concerned with the situation of the Armenian Church, which was within the orbit of the Orthodox Christian Church, aligned with Rome and Constantinople, rather than the Nestorian Church, which was Persian-backed and followed the teachings of Nestorius, which had been condemned as heretical by the ecumenical council of Ephesus in 431 (the third and last ecumenical council recognized by the Armenian Church). He tried to force the Armenian Church to abandon Rome and Byzantium in favor of the Nestorian Church or either to compel conversion to Zoroastrianism, the official religion of Persia, which was rather preferable for him. He summoned the leading Armenian nobles to Ctesiphon (called Տիզբոն/Tizbon in Armenian) to convince them into following his way. On the other hand, he sent Zoroastrian magi (priests) to Armenia, who made attempts at demolishing churches and building fire-temples, with Persian troops backing them, as well as replacing Christian clergy.

However, Yazdegerd’s policies backfired, as they created a Christian rebellion. A mass revolt broke out when news about the Armenian nobles being compelled to convert into Zoroastrianism reached Armenia. Upon their return to Armenia, the nobility, led by the supreme commander of the Armenian army, Vartan Mamikonian, joined forces with the rebels. An attempt to obtain Byzantine aid was unsuccessful, and the Armenians had to face the Persian repression alone.
The Armenian-Persian confrontation took place on May 26, 451, in the plain of Avarayr, southeast of the currently Iranian city of Maku, which was part of the region of Vaspurakan at the time. The Armenian army, composed by veteran soldiers and popular battalions, was said to be 66,000-strong, while the Persian army, including war elephants, was said to be three times larger. Some Armenian noblemen, led by Vasak Siuni, went over to the Persians. During the battle, Vartan Mamikonian won initial success, but was later killed with eight of his main officers.

In the evening, the Armenian troops retreated. However, the Persian victory had been extremely costly, and their losses (3,544) were also said to have tripled Armenian losses (1,036 men). Following his victory, Yazdegerd exiled Armenian Catholicos Hovsep I and some of the more recalcitrant priests, and jailed some nobles, appointing a new governor for Armenia. However, he did not follow up with his plans. 

Vartan Mamikonian was raised to the status of national hero; the 1,036 men fallen in battle were canonized by the Armenian Church, and Avarayr was turned into a moral victory. By a strange coincidence of history, a “second Avarayr” or a “new Avarayr,” as it is frequently called, was fought and won on May 26, 1918: the battle of Sardarabad.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
“A Cup of Black Water, Please!”
They say that Ethiopia was the homeland of native wild coffee, and the first reference to coffee drinking or the coffee tree came from Yemen. The origin of the word coffee, therefore, is Arabic. The word qahwah, on its turn, has several etymologies.

It appears that when the Arabic Peninsula fell under Ottoman domination, the Arabic word and the beverage entered the Turkish language, which recorded it as kahve. The Dutch loaned the word as koffie, which probably become the path for the appearance of coffee in the English language at the end of the sixteenth century. The Italians loaned kahve as caffe, which became the root for French café. While the French word means “coffeehouse,” the English language has borrowed café with the meaning of “a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks.”

But the Armenian word for “coffee,” soorj (սուրճ), is completely at odds either with the Arabic and the Turkish words. Its first written references to the word are from 1787-1788.

Soorj constitutes a little mystery for linguists, who have been forced to conclude that perhaps it is an original development. Some scholars have suggested that may be an onomatopoeic word, the kind derived from a natural sound (for instance, the English word crow comes from Old English crawe, imitative of a bird’s cry). Our word soorj would have imitated the sound we do when we drink hot coffee. Another explanation suggests that it was invented by a member of the Mekhitarist Congregation (founded in 1701) on the basis of the words sev choor (սեւ ջուր “black water”). As linguist Hrachia Ajarian remarked in his etymological dictionary, sev choor meant “coffee” in the secret language used of Constantinople, where he was born.

Enjoy your “black water,” but don’t drink it too hot!

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site (

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Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
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Thank you for your help.
This Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day—a day of remembrance for those who died in service to the United States of America. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. Originally known as Decoration Day it was for the soldiers who died during the Civil War. After World War I it became a holiday to honor all men and women who died in service. It is now a federal holiday in every state on the last Monday in May.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
From “For the Fallen,” by Laurence Binyon (September 1914)
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

June 3—“An Evening of Poetic Songs,” a concert by Berge Turabian, “Revisiting My Songs”; also featuring Ani Djirdjirian. John Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 E. 27th Street, New York City, 8 pm. Reservations/Information: 212-689-5880.

June 4—Premier of “Women of 1915,” a documentary by Bared Maronian. Sponsored by the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern United States, Ciccone Theater at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey, at 7:30 pm. Reception will follow the program. Tickets $30 (advance purchase); $35 (at door). Contact: Sonia (917-679-6992); Diana (201-790-0397).

June 5—Sunday School commencement, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

June 12—Nareg Armenian School Year-End Program, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

June 19—Father’s Day Picnic sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church Sunday School, on church grounds, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

June 19—Father’s Day Picnic & Alumni Reunion, St. Gregory Church, 135 Godwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Shish Kebab & Losh Kebab Dinners; Shish Kebab & Losh Kebab sandwiches; homemade pastries and baked goods. Armenian dancing with music by Leo Derderian (Oud); Haig-Aram Arakelian (Dumbeg); David Ansbigian (Guitar).  Information: (413) 543-4763.

June 27—Book Presentation and Reception in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Peter Balakian, at John Pashalian Hall, Saint Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street. Watch for details.

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

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 per person; dance only $30; students $30. For tickets/information: Joyce Bagdasarian (401) 434-4467; Joyce Yeremian (401) 354-8770.

August 14—Annual Picnic, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, News Jersey, at the Wild Duck Pond, Ridgewood, New Jersey, following the Badarak.

October 9SAVE 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.

October 22SAVE THE DATE. Armenian Friends of America presents Hye Kef 5, a 5-hour dance, 7 pm to midnight with buffet; Andover Windham, 123 Old River Road, featuring musicians Onnik and Ara Dinkjian, Johnny Berberian, Mal Barsamian, Jason Naroian and Paul Mooradian, with proceeds benefiting area Armenian churches. Advance tickets before September 1, $55, call either John Arzigian (603) 560-3826; Sharke Der Apkarian, (978) 808-0598; Lucy Sirmaian, (978) 683-9121, or Peter Gulezian, (978) 375-1616.

November 4, 5, 6—Annual Bazaar and Food Festival of Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Live entertainment Friday and Saturday; children’s activities; vendors; homemade Manti, Kufte, Sou Buereg, Choreg, and more. Traditional Khavourma dinner on Sunday. Extensive Messe and dessert menu for your Thanksgiving table available for take-out.
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