Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Madagh on the 52nd Anniversary of Holy Martyrs Church – Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian Bestowed the Title of Archpriest

In celebration of the 52nd anniversary and name-day of Holy Martyrs Church of Encino, on Sunday, November 8, 2015, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and conducted the blessing of madagh at Holy Martyrs. The Prelate was assisted at the altar by Very Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian and Fr. Razmig. Among the faithful in attendance were Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, representatives of sister organizations, Sunday School students, and Ferrahian School 12th grade students.

Prior to his sermon the Prelate greeted the parish family and faithful, congratulating them all on the dual occasions of the 52nd anniversary and name-day celebration. Reiterating his announcement made at the banquet held the night before, the Prelate once again joyfully announced that in response to a request presented to His Holiness Aram I, parish pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian would be bestowed the title of Archpriest as commendation for his dedicated service. Thereafter Fr. Boghos carried the Encyclical up to the altar, which the Prelate read and presented to Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian.

The Prelate congratulated and commended Fr. Razmig for his humble and faithful service as a priest for the past twenty-two years and as the pastor of Holy Martyrs for sixteen years, and especially his hard work in the past few years to renovate and beautify the sanctuary. His Eminence also commended Fr. Razmig for setting a good example for his sons Toukhman and Nareg, both of whom have served on the altar since childhood, and urged all parents to be a good example for their own children. Fr. Razmig then knelt before the Prelate to receive his blessing.

The Prelate next spoke of the Feast of All Saints Day, which is also the name-day of Holy Martyrs Church, noting that the feast takes on deeper meaning this year with the canonization of our martyrs in April. He announced that on December 8 a special ceremony will take place at the church with the participation of all of our parishes, during which the relics of our martyrs will be blessed and placed in special crosses to be displayed within our churches.

His Eminence then turned to the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 8:43-56, which tells the miracle of a woman healed and a girl restored to life, emphasizing the following encouraging words of our Lord Jesus Christ; “Your faith has made you well,” and “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” The Prelate drew attention to the faith of Jairus and of the sick woman, which led to the answering of their prayers, and called on the faithful to emulate their deep faith and trust in the power of our Lord. In all our troubles, in our sickness, weakness, and other worries, let us reach out to our Lord Jesus Christ with the same faith, humility, and hope of Jairus and the sick woman, so that we too may receive the answer to our prayers, encouraged the Prelate, and concluded by urging for the day’s celebration to bring renewal in our faith and service.

Later in the service Fr. Razmig conveyed his gratitude to His Holiness Aram I for the great honor of receiving the title of Archpriest and to the Prelate for his request to our Pontiff and for his constant guidance and support. He also thanked all the parish members who work together for the advancement of the church and the sponsors for their backing.

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy requiem service was held for the souls of Fr. Razmig’s parents and for all those who served the church. The blessing of madagh followed at “Avedissian” Hall, after which the Prelate blessed the memory of all departed church servants and commended all those who continue to serve and support the church, among them the benefactors of the renovation project, Haig and Siroon Rechdouni. His Eminence once congratulated Fr. Razmig, his family, and the entire parish family, and the service came to a close with “Cilicia.”

BANQUET On the evening of Saturday, November 7, the Prelate presided over the 52nd anniversary banquet held at “Avedissian” Hall. The banquet was hosted by Haig and Siroon Rechdouni, who were honored with mementos during the event. The program began with the national anthems sung by Toukhman Khatchadourian. Welcoming remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees member and Master of Ceremonies Mr. Greg Martayan. Fr. Razmig conducted the blessing of tables, after which the Board message was delivered by Chairman Mr. Levon Arabian. The official program concluded with the Prelate’s message.

His Eminence first and foremost congratulated the parish family on their 52nd anniversary and name-day celebration, which this year has even deeper meaning he stated with the canonization of our martyrs, who made the ultimate sacrifice for faith and nation for they trusted in the eternal life promised by the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Prelate then announced that in the following month, relics of our martyrs brought from Der Zor will be blessed and placed in special crosses to be displayed in our churches, so that our holy martyrs will remain a constant presence in our lives. His Eminence invited the faithful to follow in the example of our forefathers and dedicate ourselves to the progress of our church and to our nation, reborn from the ashes of Genocide. The Prelate concluded by commending the church sponsors and donors for their support, in particular Haig and Siroon Rechdouni, who sponsored the church renovation project and hosted the anniversary banquet.

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