Celebration of the Name-Day and 54th Anniversary of Holy Martyrs Church of Encino

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the 54th anniversary and name-day of Holy Martyrs Church of Encino was celebrated with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and blessing of madagh conducted by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian assisted at the altar. Sunday School students and Ferrahian High School seniors attended the service.

The Prelate began his sermon by giving thanks to God for the blessing of collectively celebrating the Divine Liturgy and partaking in the day’s message. He greeted the Pastor, the Parish family, and in particular the Sunday School students who, in the words of the day’s Gospel reading, are those “who hear the Word of God” and who, understanding the Word of God, pledge to carry out His word. He greeted also the Ferrahian senior class, their principal and teachers, stating, “as our future leaders, you must comprehend the level of care, instruction, and sacrifice of your parents, teachers, and community so that you can have a bright future and become the torchbearers of our forefathers’ legacy,” and urged them to remember this in the future when they take on responsibilities.

Speaking on the day’s celebration, His Eminence stated that the anniversary is a time to remember all those who contributed to the establishment of the church and set the foundation for the successes we enjoy today, the fruits of the seeds they planted, and also an impetus to renew our commitment to serve, having their example as our guide. Noting that the church is dedicated to our holy martyrs, the Prelate stated that throughout the year we remember the lives of our saints who remain an inspiration and example for us to emulate, and that the day prior was the Feast of All Saints, a tribute to all of our saints, old and new, known and unknown. “These were individuals who faithfully heard and did the Word of God, individuals whose names are not known but who today rest in eternity and await their just reward from our Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming. Our saints were champions of unwavering faith and devoted followers of Christ, who at the cost of their lives remained ever-faithful to our Lord,” stated the Prelate, and urged for the name-day celebration to be a new invitation to heed God’s Word and serve with unyielding faith and love, guided by the faith and service of our saints.

Next, the Prelate touched on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 8:17-21, the Parable of the Revealed Light, and the preceding Parable of the Sower, both of which serve as important lessons to keep us on the right path of faith and service. When we live as children of the Light, our journey to Light does not remain hidden or secret; our omnipotent and Almighty Lord sees all and rewards according to His holy will, said His Eminence, and continued, “our saints planted the good seed, the Word of God, first in themselves. They were illuminated by the Word of God, which became the guiding light of their lives and service, and then planted the seed in others. Today as we remember them all, all the champions of our faith, let us ask ourselves if we have the same faith and if we are living and serving in their example,” stated the Prelate, and inspired by the day’s Gospel reading, the life of our saints, and the service of the founders of Holy Martyrs Church, urged all to transform the Word of God into the lighthouse of our lives, to make service, true faith, and obedience to God’s Word the guiding force of our lives, and do our part for the glory of God and the advancement of our church and nation.

Later in the service, Fr. Razmig expressed gratitude to the Prelate on behalf of the parish community for joining them in the celebration and for his care and guidance. He also thanked the madagh sponsors for their support.

During the requiem service, prayers were offered for all parish clergy and lay servants, including past Pastors, Delegates, Board members, Altar servers, Choir members, Sunday School teachers, and Ladies Guild members. The blessing of madagh was conducted during requiem service, at the conclusion of which the Prelate blessed the memory of all past church servants and expressed his condolences to all those mourning loved ones. The celebration came to a close with the benediction by the Prelate and the singing of “Cilicia.”

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