Episcopal Divine Liturgy Celebrated at the Crescenta Valley Parish – Reading of Pontifical Encyclical Dedicated to the Genocide Centennial

On Sunday, December 28, 2014, the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, on the occasion of the Genocide Centennial was read at St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral in Antelias and throughout all Churches of Holy See Prelacies worldwide. Within Western Prelacy Churches, the Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr was also commemorated on this day.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and read the Pontifical Encyclical at the Crescenta Valley parish. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian and deacons assisted at the altar. H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian was in attendance, as well as Executive Council member Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian, first Foreign Minister of Armenia and current MP Raffi Hovanissian, parish board members and representatives of sister organizations.

The Feast of St. Stephen, a celebration of deacons, was commemorated prior to the Lord’s Prayer. Candles in hand, deacons knelt before the Prelate to receive his blessings. His Eminence encouraged them to follow the example of St. Stephen, the first deacon and first martyr, by serving faithfully and humbly and setting an example to others with their service.

Afterward, as the choir sang the hymn “Hrashapar”, the Holy Encyclical of His Holiness Aram I was brought forth to the altar to be read by the Prelate. His Eminence then briefly touched on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke 19:11-28 on The Parable of the Minas, and on the eve of a New Year urged the faithful to be good stewards of God’s blessings and utilize them for His glory, because “to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

Prior to “Der Voghormya”, on behalf of the parish community Fr. Ghevont thanked the Prelate for accepting their invitation and for inspiring the faithful with his message and blessings. Thus, he asked the faithful to pray for the health and well-being of the Prelate and continued successes in his leadership. Finally, Fr. Ghevont greeted Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian and honored guests. The service came to a close with requiem prayers offered for loved ones.

A luncheon hosted by the parish Ladies Guild followed. The Prelate was escorted in a procession to the lobby where he blessed the table. The collective singing of Cilicia followed and the ceremony concluded with the benediction by the Prelate.

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