Feast of Pentecost Celebration

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, the feast of Pentecost, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit, was celebrated in Prelacy Churches. On this occasion, H.G. Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, celebrated his first Episcopal Divine Liturgy at Forty Martyrs Church in Orange County and delivered the sermon. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the service. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian and deacons assisted at the altar.

The Prelate greeted the parish family and conveyed his blessings, praying for the Lord to enrich and renew all with the Holy Spirit on this feast of Pentecost, a day of spiritual rebirth and renewal. Noting that the parish was preparing for the consecration of the church thirty years ago around the feast of Pentecost, he wished that members of the church and community continue their service with renewed faith and spirits for the glory of God and advancement of the parish and our nation. He once again congratulated the Vicar General on his Episcopal ordination, commended the parish pastor, Board of Trustees, delegates, Ladies Guild, altar servers, choirs, and all the volunteers, and invited the Vicar General to deliver his sermon.

The Vicar General first greeted the Prelate and conveyed his blessings to the parish. He began his sermon on the feast of Pentecost by stating that though the apostles were staunch in their faith, there was still some trepidation, something missing, and that which was missing was the emboldening and revitalizing presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, ten days after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues, cleansed them and granted them inexplicable strength, peace, and such elation that those around them thought they were inebriated. The Holy Spirit was manifested in various forms, but no matter in what form, it always brought great inspiration to those who received it, he said, for it grants grace, abilities, and wisdom, fills our lives with heavenly fruits and enriches our hearts. Today, the Holy Spirit once more will descend and rest upon all those who have opened their hearts to the Lord and are ready to accept it, he said. The Vicar General stressed the ways in which the Holy Spirit works wonders in our lives today. “The Holy Spirit renews us first as individuals, cleanses us of sin and makes us new individuals. Subsequently, those who are renewed bring renewal to their families and surroundings, who then bring renewal to our parishes and community which become strengthened. Renewed parishes and communities renew the life of our nation, and this renewal, leads to renewal in pan-Christian life,” stated the Vicar General, and concluded by praying for the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, spirits, and hearts, to renew our children so that they stay on the right path, our nation, our people, and the entire worlds, bringing the same joy that it did to the apostles.

Later in the service, Fr. Karekin greeted and conveyed his well wishes to the Prelate and Vicar General on behalf of the parish community.

Following the service, a reception was held at “Ghazarian” Hall of the Harut Barsamian Armenian Center during which faithful had the opportunity to congratulate the newly-ordained Bishop and receive the blessings of the Prelate and Vicar General.

Welcoming and congratulatory remarks were delivered by the Parish Pastor and Board of Trustees Chair Mr. Herair Jermakian. The Vicar General gave thanks for the welcome and invited the community to work together with love.

The Prelate delivered the closing message. He noted that the Forty Martyrs Church has had an important part in his life and recalled the great enthusiasm with which the church was constructed and consecrated three decades ago. His Eminence prayed for the Holy Spirit to renew the hearts and souls of the community’s members with faith, hope, and love so that they may continue to work together with mutual love, respect, and a greater sense of responsibility for the splendor of the parish community. The Prelate concluded by once again congratulating the Vicar General’s ordination.

The Board of Trustees and Ladies Guild surprised the parish pastor with a birthday cake, and guests conveyed their well wishes to Fr. Karekin on this occasion.

The reception closed with the benediction and “Cilicia.”

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