Name Day Celebration of St. Garabed Church in Hollywood

In celebration of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, on Sunday, January 17, 2016, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and conducted the blessing of madagh on the name day celebration of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood. The Prelate was assisted at the altar by Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Ashekian and Very Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian. Among the faithful in attendance were Executive Council members Dr. Navasart Kazazian and Dr. Kaloust Agopian, ARF “Karekin Njdeh” Gomideh representative Mr. Zohrab Mahdessian, church benefactor and Godfather Mr. Vahe Karapetian, altar Godfather Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Haiguhi Daglian, Pilibos Principal Dr. Alina Dorian, and representatives of ANC, Homenetmen, ARS, Daron Dourouperan Compatriotic Union, Raffi Romanian Armenian Cultural Association, and the Armenian Ecclesiastical Brotherhood.

The Prelate began his sermon by giving thanks for the opportunity for the community to once again gather to celebrate the name day of their church and renew their pledge of service. His Eminence greeted the two clergymen who arrived from Antelias a few days prior to begin their new assignments in our Prelacy, and greeted also parish pastor Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian and the parish family.

The Prelate then spoke of the miraculous birth of St. John the Baptist and the circumstances of his naming, and extolled his virtue of humility and commitment to service, stating that the proclamation of 2016 as “The Year of Service” by His Holiness Aram I is a wonderful opportunity and invitation to follow in the ideal example of St. John. His Eminence noted that St. John was chosen by God for a unique mission, to preach the Word and pave the way for our Lord. It is a mission he fulfilled obediently, patiently, humbly, and selflessly, said the Prelate, and urged the faithful to take inspiration from the life of St. John the Forerunner and serve our church and nation in the same manner in which he served our Lord. In the second part of his sermon, the Prelate presented the “Year of Service” message of His Holiness Aram I.

Requiem service was held at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, followed by the blessing of madagh, during which the Prelate prayed for healing and remission of sins for all who partake of the madagh. His Eminence also drew attention to the cross reliquary in his hand containing the relics of our martyrs, through which he blessed the faithful who then had the opportunity to kiss the cross.

The celebratory luncheon followed at “Karapetian” Hall. Following the blessing of tables by the Prelate, Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian welcomed the guests and presented the program, which included religious and cultural performances by St. Garabed Church Sunday School and Rose and Alex Pilibos School students.

Each year during this luncheon the Church honors a member of the parish community for their service. This year’s honoree was Mr. Apraham Tashjian, who has served the church for many years and whose family is also the sponsor of the Pilibos School gym. Fr. Vicken introduced the honoree, and together with parish representatives presented him a plaque of appreciation. On behalf of Pilibos School, Dr. Dorian presented a memento to Mr. Tashjian, who also received certificates of commendation from the offices of public officials.

The closing message was delivered by the Prelate. His Eminence congratulated and commended Mr. Tashjian and also church Godfather Mr. Vahe Karapetian, the parish pastor and all the individuals who serve devotedly for the progress of the church and school. The Prelate presented a letter of blessing and commendation to Mr. Tashjian, which was read by Fr. Vicken. Mr. Tashjian expressed gratitude for the honor and thanked the Prelate and all who presented letters and mementos on this occasion.

The luncheon came to a close with the benediction and Cilicia.

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