90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Sunday School and Graduation Ceremony

On Friday, May 21, 2021, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, presided over the Supervisory Body of the Western Prelacy Sunday Schools initiative to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Sunday Schools. The celebration took place in “Dikran and Zarouhi Der Ghazarian” hall, at the Western Prelacy. During the celebration, a graduation ceremony took place where 17 students (from the past two graduating years) graduated from their respective Sunday schools. In attendance were the Dean of Sunday Schools Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian, clergy members, supervisors, teachers, students and the faithful.

The ceremony convened with a collective recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and singing of the Armenian national anthem and the Sunday school anthem, which was followed by a welcoming remark delivered by Mr. Raffi Torossian, Sunday school Supervisor at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood, who also briefly spoke about the mission of Sunday schools.

Mr. Hagop Tchaghatsbanian, Sunday School Supervisor at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale gave a brief overview of the founding of the Sunday Schools (1929) and the activities of the past 90 years. He expressed the hope that the familiarity about Sunday Schools will gradually expand everywhere.

Thereafter, 11 graduates (6 absentee students from Fresno) took the stage, where in turn, they recited verses from the Bible, and Eric Tchilinkarian recited Barouyr Sevag’s “Hayasdan.” Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian invited members of the Montebello Holy Cross Cathedral choir to perform number of beautiful hymns, classical and folk songs, led by the church choir conductor Mrs. Koharig Toranian. Following the performance, Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian emphasized the role of Sunday schools in the life of the Armenian, stating that “The role assigned to our Sunday School is to build a moral Armenian Christian.” He then invited H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate, to deliver the certificates to the graduates.

The Prelate first congratulated the organizers and all the participants of the ceremony, noting that what happened this evening was not a mere event, rather, as clergy members, educators, students, parents and faithful, this evening included spiritual revitalization for all. He continued by stating; “Today, we rejoiced in an atmosphere that will arouse our admiration and make us full with glee, because together we enjoyed a unique moment, a moment full of Christian love and warmth, where the Armenian creative mind and spirit joined through hymns.”

The Prelate presented Sunday School graduation certificates and prayer books to the graduating students. He also presented commendation certificates to Mrs. Hranush Mkrtchyan from Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello, and Miss Dina Meneshian from St. Sarkis Church in Pasadena. Also, he presented souvenirs to the members of the Holy Cross Cathedral choir. In conclusion, the Prelate emphasized that Sunday Schools have the unwavering support of the Western Prelacy, and stressed that Sunday Schools are called to flourish the faith and Christian teaching.

The ceremony concluded by singing of “Cilicia” and the Prelate’s benediction.

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