Mesrobian School Seniors attend Divine Liturgy and Receive Holy Communion Prior to Graduation

On Sunday, June 5, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello. In attendance were Mesrobian High School seniors, who received Holy Communion one week prior to their graduation, as well as Sunday School students. Also in attendance were Executive Council member Mr. Antranik Kasbarian, parish members, Mesrobian School principal Mr. David Ghoogasian, who served at the altar, teachers, and parents.

Parish pastor Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian celebrated Divine Liturgy. On behalf of the parish family, Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian greeted and congratulated the Prelate on his re-election and also the new Religious and Executive Councils. He greeted also the students, stating that it has become a wonderful annual tradition for the graduating class to attend Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion.

His Eminence first thanked God for the opportunity to serve as Prelate for a sixth term, and thanked all their well wishes. He greeted the Holy Cross Cathedral and Mesrobian School families, Sunday School students and the graduates especially, congratulating them on this milestone in their lives and wishing them countless successes in every stage of their lives. The Prelate spoke to the students about the importance of staying true to our values and traditions throughout their lives, stating that a conscious effort is needed to retain our heritage outside of the Armenian school and community environment. He encouraged the students by reminding them that they can reach out to our church and community at any time for support and encouragement, but that most important is that they give thanks to God for all of His blessings in times of good and bad, and to reach out to him for comfort, wisdom, and guidance. The Prelate reminded them also that they are all members of one family, that each and every one of them brings great value to that family and has a part to play in its progress. “Our faith, heritage, traditions, and principles unite us in an unbreakable bond, and we urge you to hold fast to our religious and national treasures not as a matter of obligation, but with heart and soul,” said His Eminence, and segued into the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew 12:1-8.

The Prelate briefly went over the reading, which tells of a conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath laws, and then focused on the implications of the reading and its message for the modern day. His Eminence spoke of the importance of understanding the spirit and provisions of a law rather than strictly adhering to them as a matter of obligation and with no deeper understanding or heart and soul. The Prelate associated the message of the reading with an important message to the graduates, stating, “The values that make us distinct as Armenians were formed and cultivated centuries ago, and carried on from generation to generation to the present day, because our ancestors recognized the true importance of maintaining our principles for the survival of our people, and did so willingly and enthusiastically, with heart and soul. In the Diaspora especially, where we are inundated with a plethora of outside influences, it is even more important to adhere to our values, not as a matter of duty, but with the awareness that our faith and heritage are precious treasures that we must celebrate, preserve, and foster for centuries more to come.” The Prelate also highlighted the value of our Sunday Schools in this mission.

At the conclusion of his sermon, as the choir sang the hymn “Oorakh Ler,” the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on the occasion of Mesrobian School’s 50th anniversary was taken to the altar, where the Prelate presented it to the Prinicpal.

At the conclusion of the service, the Board of Trustees hosted a luncheon in honor of the Prelate’s re-election, during which congratulatory remarks were conveyed by clergy and board member. The Prelate thanked them all for their well wishes, commended their service, and wished them continued successes.

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