Divine Liturgy on the Name Day of St. Garabed Church


Monday, January 14, 2013 was the Feast of St. John the Forerunner, or Baptist, which is also the name day of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood.

On this occasion, on Sunday, January 13, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Garabed Church. Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian assisted at the altar.

In his sermon, the Prelate exalted the life and mission of St. John the Baptist, stating that the virtues, teachings, and martyrdom of individuals like St. John earned them the title of saints. “St. John lived a life of asceticism and teaching, and with his martyrdom upheld righteousness. He baptized with water and urged the people to live righteously. He was a courageous and just man who stood up to king Herod bravely and with integrity, and was martyred as a result.”

The Prelate sermonized that the Feast of St. John and name day of St. Garabed Church, is a call “to serve our Church, nation, and homeland with faithfulness, humility, and integrity, and demonstrate our faith through works.”

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy the Prelate blessed the madagh, which was distributed to the faithful.

The annual luncheon followed at “Karapetian” Hall, presided over by the Prelate. Among the guests in attendance were Parish Delegates, members of the Board of Trustees, Sunday School, Ladies Guild, ARF “Karekin Njteh” Gomideh, ARS, Homenetmen, Rose and Alex Pilibos School, Daron Dourouperan Compatriotic Union, Raffi Cultural Association, Sahagian School Alumni Association, and Merdinian School. Among the sponsors were Mr. and Mrs. Vahe Karapetian, Mrs. Maggie Piligian, and the Aslanian family who offered the madagh in memory of their father Kevork.

Fr. Vicken welcomed the guests and invited the Prelate to bless the tables.

Besides being a celebratory event, the annual luncheon is also an opportunity to recognize and honor church and community members for their service to our collective life. This year’s honorees were Archdeacon Setrag Hovhannissian, who has served within St. Garabed Church for decades, and Mrs. Ashkhen Ispenjian, who has been an educator for over fifty years.

Fr. Vicken presented Mrs. Ispenjian’s biography and commended her five decades of dedicated service as an Armenian teacher in Lebanon and Los Angeles, and her life as a devoted wife to her late husband Avedis, and nurturing mother to her children Garo and Raffi, who contribute to our community as active members of the ARF and Homenetmen. He then invited one of Mrs. Ispenjian’s students Maral Touloumian, to convey her thoughts.

Donations were made throughout the luncheon, for which Fr. Vicken expressed thanks on behalf of the Board of Trustees,

Fr. Vicken then invited Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Dajad Yeretsian to present Archdeacon Setrag Hovhannissian and Mrs. Ispenjian with plaques on behalf of the Board. Mrs. Christine Jerian-Kharmandalian presented Mrs. Ispenjian with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of L.A. City Council member Eric Garcetti.

Addressing the guests, Mrs. Ispenjian conveyed her gratitude to God and her thanks to all those present, stating “in my fifty years of service, I hope that I was able to do my utmost to educate generations of youth”.

The event featured a cultural program as well with recitations, dance, and musical performances by Pilibos School and St. Garabed Church Sunday School students.

The luncheon concluded with the Prelate’s message. His Eminence first presented Mrs. Ispenjian with a Letter of Blessing, which was read by Fr. Vicken. He commended Mrs. Ispenjian for her highly dedicated service over the past fifty years, stating, “Mrs. Ashkhen took the gifts granted to her by God, with faith and humility multiplied them, and utilized them to further people”. In  conclusion, the Prelate commended also the Parish Pastor, Delegates, Board of Trustees, and all those who faithfully serve our Church and community.

The celebration came to a close with the Prelate’s benediction and the Cilician anthem.

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