Consecration of Painting and Requiem for ARS Members at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood

On Sunday, February 24, 2019, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood, consecrated a new painting of St. Kevork and delivered the sermon.

By the request of the Armenian Relief Society Western Region Executive and ordinance of the Prelate, on this day, prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches during requiem service for the souls of departed ARS members and sponsors.

Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian celebrated Divine Liturgy. Among the faithful in attendance were Executive Council member Dr. Navasart Kazazian and members of the ARS Central Executive, Regional Executive, and “Mayr” chapter.

The Prelate conducted the consecration of the painting prior to delivering the sermon. The painting was sponsored by the Khamisian family in memory of their son Kevork, who tragically lost his life in a car accident a year ago.

His Eminence then delivered the sermon, beginning with the life of St. Kevork the commander, inviting the faithful to seek the intercession of St. Kevork, and all of our saints, for the fulfillment of our prayers, for the Lord to keep us steadfast in our faith in the face of storms, grant healing to the sick, dispel evil and iniquity from our lives, grant physical and spiritual health and wellbeing to all, and turn the hearts of doubters to His light

Next, the Prelate touched on the day’s Gospel reading from John 7:37-52 where we read the following words of our Lord Jesus Christ; “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus invites all to drink of the “living water” and promises to send the Holy Spirit to all who believe, in the same manner as He invites “all who labor and are heavy laden” to come to Him for rest, said the Prelate. “Jesus gives us new life through the power of the Holy Spirit which cleanses and purifies us and becomes guidance, illumination, and the path of our lives, as it was with our saints who boldly proclaimed Jesus as Lord, put on the armor of faith and willingly gave their lives in defense of our faith and nation, stated His Eminence.

In the final portion of his sermon, the Prelate paid tribute to departed members of the ARS who left their mark in our collective life by serving the needs of those experiencing hardship in an effort to ease their burdens.
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“Though this day is designated to remembering the departed, it is also a fitting occasion to draw attention to the organization’s indispensable endeavors since its inception in 1910 and the faithful service of its members whose legacy has inspired others to follow in their path and keep the ARS thriving. No matter where in the world they may be, ARS members have served and continue to serve with the golden heart of a mother, with compassionate care, offering comfort to the distressed and ailing, to the lonely elder, to the needy student, and much more. Since the independence of our homeland, the organization’s work has expanded to Armenia, Artsakh, and Javakhk, serving with the Biblical principle that is more blessed to give than to receive. Over the past century and more, members of the ARS have served as angels of mercy, with devotion to our sacred cause, and devotion to keeping our culture and heritage alive in these foreign lands especially. May the souls of the founders and all departed members rest in peace, for their legacy and good deeds continue through each and every present-day ARS member and through the heart of every Armenia. May God bless the sponsors for their generosity and grant strength and vigor to all members.”

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