Consecration of Sacred Paintings and Unveiling of “The Surviving Mother” Monument at St. Garabed Church of Las Vegas


On Sunday, May 19, 2013, the Las Vegas parish community celebrated another joyous and momentous occasion as H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, visited the St. Garabed Church family to celebrate Divine Liturgy, consecrate sacred painting, and preside over the unveiling of “The Surviving Mother” monument.  Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Avedis Torossian, Deacon Mark Shirin, sub-deacon Bob Bezdikian, and stole-bearer Vazken Mouradian assisted on the altar.

During the service, Fr. Avedis brought forth the traditional dove-shaped vessel, from which the Prelate poured the Holy Chrism and consecrated the sacred paintings.

The Prelate’s sermon centered on the message of Pentecost, which calls us into unity and binds us together as one people to serve, empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The Prelate noted that on that first Pentecost, with the descent of the Holy Spirit a new creation came into being, the Church was born.  “Today, as we celebrate the birth of the Church, we celebrate again the new birth of this community which received new life with the consecration of St. Garabed Church just a month ago.”  The Feast of Pentecost, stated His Eminence, is an invitation to consider our own participation in the mission of oru Church. “Today is a fitting opportunity to renew our commitment to live as active members of the body of Christ and of the Armenian Apostolic Church family, using our individual gifts to collectively build up our church and nation”.

“This community is a testament that all things are possible when we work together for good with trust in our Lord and guided by the Holy Spirit.  The kinship and fellowship in this parish community is evident and evidenced by the progress of this Church in a short period of time.  Today we complete the final phase of the rebirth of this community with the consecration of the sacred paintings and the unveiling of “The Surviving Mother” monument.  With these ceremonies, St. Garabed Church officially enters a new chapter, a new journey and mission.   As you embark on this new path and look ahead to future successes, today, on this Feast of Pentecost, may this parish family renew its commitment to working together with love and harmony, reinforced in faith and service by the power of the Holy Spirit,” concluded the Prelate.

After the service the Prelate and procession headed to the courtyard for the unveiling and blessing of “The Surviving Mother” monument that was erected in memory of Armenian mothers who survived the Armenian Genocide and created our new generation in America and around the world.  Monument sponsors Mr. & Mrs. Gary & Doris Deratzou and creator Roman Galstyan were among the faithful in attendance.  The ceremony concluded with the Cilician and Armenian anthems, after which young students of “Armenian Dancers of Las Vegas” performed three dances in the courtyard.

 A luncheon organized by the ARS “Shoushi” Chapter followed at “Koujakian” Hall.  Chairlady Mrs. Lila Darakjian welcomed the guests and gave a brief overview of the Chapter’s activities, among them the local Saturday School which has been serving the region for over two decades.

The day’s festivities came to a close with the benediction and blessings of the Prelate.

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