Forty Martyrs Church Name-Day Celebration

On Sunday, March 26, 2017, Forty Martyrs Church of Orange County celebrated its name-day with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and blessing of madagh conducted by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate. His Eminence was assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Very Rev. Fr. Vache Balekjian, and parish pastor Rev.
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Fr. Karekin Bedourian.

Prior to delivering his sermon, the Prelate greeted and congratulated the parish family on their name-day celebration as well as on the election of their new Delegates and Board of Trustees members, and introduced the two new members of the Brotherhood and their mission within the Western Prelacy.

The Prelate focused his sermon on the extraordinary and unshakeable faith and conviction of the forty soldiers of Sepastia, and the correlation of their life and legacy with the day’s Gospel reading on the Parable of the Unjust Judge and that of the Persistent Widow, the message of which is that we must always pray and not lose heart. His Eminence noted that the forty martyrs are the embodiment of unrelenting faith, hope, prayer, and trust in the will of our Lord. From each battle they fought in, throughout their persecution, and until their last breath, they never stopped praying and praising God. Even threat of death did not deter them from their faith and prayer, for their believed wholeheartedly that though they would die, they would live eternally in the kingdom of our Lord.

Next, the Prelate spoke on the importance of the name-day observance as an occasion for celebration but also a wonderful opportunity for the parish family to evaluate itself, learn from the past, and commit themselves to renewing and bettering the community. “The forty martyrs, the name sakes of this church, are the guardian angels of this parish and community and our intercessors before God. We, in turn, are to live our lives according to their extraordinary faith, courage, and dedication, in our individual lives and in our service to our church and nation, especially in this Year of Renewal,” emphasized His Eminence.
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In light of the recent general membership meeting and elections, His Eminence encouraged the Parish Pastor and the new Delegates and Board of Trustees to work together for the advancement of the parish with renewed spirits, faith, devotion, and vigor, in harmony and brotherly love, inspired by the life and legacy of the forty martyrs; not for praise and accolades, but for the reward of making a difference in our church life and for the glory of God. Also in the example of the forty martyrs, the Prelate called on the faithful to pray consistently, sincerely, and wholeheartedly, to remain hopeful and staunch in our faith no matter the circumstances, and ahead of Holy Week, to examine and renew themselves so that they may emerge spiritually fortified and transformed to welcome the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Later on in the service, Fr. Karekin thanked the Prelate for joining the parish community and presiding over the name-day celebration, and greeted the new clergymen. During requiem service, prayers were offered for the souls of the departed Parish Pastor, benefactors, founding members, Board of Trustees members, Delegates, Ladies Guild members, altar servers, choir members, and volunteers who served diligently in the past three decades.

At the conclusion of the service, the procession of clergy and deacons ushered the Prelate to “Gugasian” Hall where the blessing of madagh was conducted. This year’s madagh was sponsored by the Keuylian family in memory of their parents. Congratulatory remarks were once again delivered and the celebration came to a close with the benediction by the Prelate.

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