Christmas Prayer Service and Blessing of Water at Glendale Memorial Hospital

In celebration of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, on Friday, January 4, 2013, morning service was held and the blessing of water ceremony was conducted at Glendale Memorial Hospital.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, led the prayer service, conducted the blessing of water, and conveyed his New Year and Christmas blessings and well wishes. St. Mary’s Church Pastors assisted in the service.

Upon their arrival, the Prelate and St. Mary’s Church Pastors were greeted by Mr. Jack Ivie, President of Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, and led to the auditorium for the service.

Among the guests in attendance were Glendale City officials, hospital Board of Directors members, including Mr. Sarkis Ourfalian, Armenian and nonArmenians members of the administration, staff, and volunteers. Executive Council member Dr. Dikran Babikian was also present.

During the service, the Prelate explained the meaning of the blessing of water, which symbolizes the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. His Eminence also explained that in the Armenian Church Holy Chrism is used to bless the water. Guests listened intently as the Prelate interestingly gave a history of the Holy Chrism explaining that every time a new batch is prepared, the remaining portion of the previous oil is poured in with the new, a procedure which has been followed for generations, thus the holy oil always contains small amounts from the original oil blessed over 1700 years ago by St. Gregory the Illuminator.

Mr. Jack Ivie thanked the Prelate for this annual service and also for his explanation of the ceremony, stating that he has attended Armenian Christmas service in the past but was not aware of the history behind the traditions.

The Prelate and Pastors distributed the blessed water to the guests, after which they were hosted to a reception by the Board and administration.


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