Celebration of Pentecost at Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello

On Sunday, June 4, 2017, on the feast of Pentecost, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian, who was assisted at the altar by deacons, including Armenian Mesrobian School Principal David Ghoogasian.

On this day, the annual Senior Baccalaureate Service was held, a tradition begun over three decades ago honoring the graduating class of Mesrobian School. The students were in attendance to receive Holy Communion and the Prelate’s blessings as they prepare to embark on the next phase of their lives. The Mesrobian Middle and High School Performing Arts Choir, third grade students, and Sunday School students attended and performed in the service. Executive Council Secretary Mr. Antranik Kasbarian, former principals and teachers, students’ families, and members of the Holy Cross and Mesrobian School family were among the faithful in attendance.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate joyfully greeted the Holy Cross Cathedral family and especially the graduating class of Mesrobian School, to whom he conveyed his congratulations and message. As they prepare for the next phase of their lives, His Eminence reminded the students that anything is possible when they place their trust in God and also believe in themselves. Thus, he urged them to always pray, to be strong and courageous, and not be discouraged, and also reminded them that our church and community is always available to them as a support system, to provide a listening ear, a helping hand, encouraging words, strength, and support. The Prelate greeted also the members of Prelacy Bible Study Groups, whose dedication to teaching the Word of God he commended.

His Eminence next delivered his sermon on the feast of Pentecost and its message of renewal, beginning by giving an overview of the episode which occurred ten days after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ when one hundred and twenty people had gathered to pray in the Upper Room in Jerusalem when suddenly there came a powerful wind and a fire that separated into individual tongues or flames and came to rest on each of their heads. Those who were present received the source of were filled with God Himself, they were transformed into new beings, reinforced in their faith, armed with spiritual strengths and wisdom, emboldened and reinvigorated, and ready to begin their commission of spreading the good news of salvation across continents. It was the birth of the church.

The Prelate stressed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was not only for those gathered on that day of Pentecost, rather for all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. “With the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we have the power to live in the way God has called us to live, to serve Him in the way He has called us to serve, to overcome obstacles and defeat sin, for nothing and no power can withstand the power of God. All things are possible when we live in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit,” he stated. Thus, he called on all the faithful, as individuals and as part of the collective, to beseech the descent of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and souls so that we too may undergo renewal and empowerment as did those gathered in the Upper Room.

The graduates received Holy Communion and were gifted copies of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I’s “The Armenian Church.”

Following the service, a luncheon in celebration of the feast of Pentecost was held at Tumanjan Hall. The Prelate presided over the luncheon, which was sponsored by Holy Cross Cathedral Dean, Pastor, and Board of Trustees, and organized by the Prelacy Bible Study groups, head by Mr. Krikor Misserlian. Executive Council member Antranik Kasbarian was among the guests in attendance. Dr. Dikran Dikranian, a long-time altar server at Holy Cross Cathedral, served as the MC. The program featured Bile readings and spiritual songs. Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian sang the day’s hymn. In his message, the Prelate reiterated the importance of renewal and of unity which is at the heart of Pentecost. The luncheon closed with “Cilicia.”

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