Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Ordination of Deacons at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County – Requiem for Homenetmen Members and Prof. Harut Barsamian

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County. Parish pastor, Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, assisted at the altar. During the service, the Prelate conducted the ordination of Garo Kilejian and Sarkis Der Tavitian as deacons. Also on this day, requiem prayers were offered in all Prelacy Churches for the souls of departed Homenetmen members, and at Forty Martyrs, requiem prayers were offered for benefactor Prof. Harut Barsamian on the one year anniversary of his passing.

The ordination began with the hymn “Oorakh Ler.” The candidates kneeling before him, the Prelate beseeched the Lord to cleanse and purify them, fortify and fill them with the Holy Spirit, strengthen them in good works, augment in them love and faith, make them worthy to fulfill the rank of deacon by serving the Holy Altar of God with purity, and to keep them unshaken in the order to which they are called. With the singing of the hymn “Divine and Heavenly Gift,” the candidates faced westward, with their hands by their ears, and pledged to dedicate themselves to their calling. The Prelate placed his hand on the heads of the candidates and granted them the privileges of the deaconate.

The Prelate began his sermon by congratulating the newly ordained deacons and the parish family on this joyous occasion and for all progress the parish has made in the past year, stating that each and every one of these occasions and achievements is a testament to the advancement of this parish and community and to the faithfulness and dedication of its servants and parishioners. His Eminence hoped that the ordination will inspire others in the community to become active participants in our church and national life, for service is not the responsibility of a select few, but of each and every individual.

His Eminence then expounded on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 9:44-50, an important lesson on greatness and humility, stressing that greatness comes from serving. “Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, came to this earth not to be served, but to serve. Throughout His earthly ministry He served with love, humility, and compassion, most often the most disenfranchised segments of society, the poor, the sick, and the helpless. That is true greatness, and that is what we are to aspire to, in the ideal example of our Lord,” said the Prelate.

Reiterating the duty of each individual, church, school, and community organization to serve for the progress of our nation, the Prelate paid tribute to the members of Homenetmen, for whom requiem prayers would be offered later in the service, stating that Homenetmen is a vital organization in the life of our nation, an organization which for nearly a century has served to preserve our heritage, cultivate the hearts, minds, and bodies of our youth, build their character, and prepare them to become responsible and productive members of society and of our nation. The Prelate blessed the memory of all the members of Homenetmen who served with faith, love, and humility for the common good, and blessed all the present-day members for their commendable service.
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Finally, His Eminence paid tribute also to the life and legacy of service of beloved community member Prof. Harut Barsamian on the one year anniversary of his passing, and concluded by encouraging the parish members to work together with brotherly love and harmony for the best interests of the community.

Following the service, a memorial luncheon in memory of Prof. Harut Barsamian was held at “Ghazarian” Hall of the Harut Barsamian Armenian Center. Dr. Hagop Panossian presented Dr. Barsamian’s life through a series of slide-shows. Dr. Garo Agopian spoke about his memories and friendship with Dr. Barsamian. The decedent’s wife, Tamara Barsamian, and niece, Shakeh Bogharian, thanked the guests for joining them in honoring the memory of their loved one. The program concluded with the Prelate’s remarks and benediction.

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