Commemoration of the Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr

On Tuesday, December 25, 2018, the Armenian Apostolic Church observed the Feast of St. Stephen, the first deacon and martyr for the Christian faith. On this occasion, on Sunday, December 23rd, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered his sermon at the Crescenta Valley parish. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian. Executive Council Vice-Chair Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian was among the faithful in attendance.

Given that the feast is a celebration of deacons, during the service the Prelate blessed and commended the deacons. Prior to the sermon, as the choir sang a hymn dedicated to the feast, deacons ascended the altar with candles in hand and knelt before the Prelate to receive his blessing.

His Eminence then delivered his sermon highlighting the virtuous life of St. Stephen, his humble and dutiful service to God and to the people, and his martyrdom for the faith, inviting the faithful to take inspiration from St. Stephen in their faith and service. Next, the Prelate touched on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 18:9-14 on the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, emphasizing the importance of humility, meekness, self-knowledge and awareness in our prayers in the example of the tax collector. He concluded by conveying New Year and Christmas well wishes to all.

On behalf of the parish family, Fr. Ghevont thanked the Prelate for presiding over the service and asked the faithful to pray for the health and wellbeing of His Eminence.

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy and requiem service, as the choir sang “Cilicia” the Prelate proceeded to the courtyard where he blessed madagh offered by Mrs. Anahid Baghdadlian-Ohannessian on the second anniversary of the passing of her husband Gaidzag.

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