Christmas and Christmas Eve Services within the Western Prelacy

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016 the Armenian Church celebrated the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Within the Western Prelacy, the celebration began on the evening of Tuesday, January 5, Christmas Eve, with Divine Liturgy and Jrakalooyts service. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood and delivered his message. At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, the Prelate presided over the Jrakalouyts service. With the faithful holding candles lit by a candle brought forth from the altar by the Prelate, signifying the Light of Christ, Christmas hymns were sung heralding the Birth of Christ.

On Christmas Day, the Prelate celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Among the faithful in attendance were Counsellor Razmik Stepanyan and Consul Armella Shakaryan representing the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles. The Prelate began his message by greeting the honored guests and wishing all a blessed New Year. His Eminence spoke of Christmas as a time of renewal by the Light of Christ and an invitation for us all to serve in His example. Our Lord came to this world as the Sun of Justice, to illuminate our lives and to open our eyes to His Light and His Truth. He came as the New King in humble circumstances, was revealed not to kings but to humble shepherds, and received praise and worship from the magi, who knelt before Him in reverence. Let us too allow the Light of Christ to enter our hearts and illuminate us, and let us spread His Light to those around us, said the Prelate. His Eminence also emphasized the message of humility brought by the Birth of our Lord. As a demonstration of His love for us, God humbled Himself and came in the likeness of man to serve man. Let us take inspiration from His ideal example and take this time to cleanse ourselves spiritually, to sow goodness around us, and to serve with love and humility, especially in this “Year of Service” proclaimed by His Holiness Aram I, stressed the Prelate, and concluded by once again conveying his blessings and well wishes on the New Year.

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, the Prelate conducted the blessing of water ceremony symbolizing the baptism of our Lord. Young Shant Azaian served as Godfather of the Cross. At the end of the service, the Prelate blessed the Godfather and his family.

On Thursday, January 7, in commemoration of Memorial Day, clergy gathered at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills “Hall of Liberty” and Forest Lawn Glendale “Church of the Recessional” to offer requiem prayers in memory of loved ones. The Prelate presided over the service at Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn.

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