Name Day Celebration of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood

On Thursday, January 15, 2015 the Armenian Apostolic Church commemorated the Feast of St. John the Forerunner, which within the Prelacy is the name day of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood and Las Vegas. Each year on this feast day, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, leads the celebration at the Hollywood parish with Episcopal Divine Liturgy and blessing of madagh. This year’s name day celebration was held on Sunday, January 18.

The day began with Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Prelate, who was assisted at the altar by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian and Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian. Among the faithful in attendance were Central Executive member Mr. Khajag Dikijian, Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, members Dr. Navasart Kazazian and Dr. Kaloust Agopian, Board of Trustees members and delegates, church benefactor and consecration Godfather Mr. Vahe Karapetian and Ms. Veronica Monique, altar sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Haiguhi Daglian, Rose and Alex Pilibos School Principal Dr. Alina Dorian, representatives of sister organizations, sponsors and friends.

In his sermon, the Prelate spoke of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner as a witness of the Light of Christ and a ray of righteousness, stating that the Feast of St. John is an invitation to strive to become witnesses of Christ in the example of the great saint. “With faith we must become witnesses of the truth and of righteousness, of the just and of justice, and remain secure in our faith in the face of hardship and the challenges of an unjust world,” stressed His Eminence. On the threshold of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Prelate called for making our collective voice heard to the world and to the perpetrator especially, so that through recognition and reparations we can attain long overdue justice for our martyrs. In conclusion, His Eminence congratulated and blessed the parish community and all those bearing the name of St. John. Requiem service was held at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, followed by the blessing of madagh by the Prelate.

Guests then headed to “Karapetian” Hall for the annual luncheon, which began with the invocation by the Prelate. Fr. Vicken welcomed the guests and presented the program schedule. He thanked the administration and students of Pilibos School for their participation in the cultural program year after year. Another tradition of the yearly luncheon is the honoring of a church and community servant by the Pastor and Board of Trustees. This year’s honoree was Mr. Gaidzag Zetlian. Fr. Vicken gave a brief overview of the honoree’s service, and invited Board of Trustees representatives to join him in presenting Mr. Zetlian with a congratulatory plaque. The honoree was also awarded certificates of commendation by elected officials, which were presented by ANCA-WR representatives.

The Prelate was then invited to deliver his message. His Eminence first spoke of St. John’s mission of reconciling mankind with God’s love, a message which is just as timely today, and which invited us to renew ourselves and place ourselves in God’s hand. The Prelate commended the Pastor, Board of Trustees, Delegates, Ladies Guild, and Pilibos School members for their dedicated service. His Eminence then congratulated and commended the day’s honoree and presented him a Certificate of Blessing and Commendation which was read by Fr. Vicken. Deeply moved by the gesture, Mr. Zetlian expressed his thankfulness to the Prelate and to all those present and took the opportunity to express his wish for the community to organize a pilgrimage of one hundred couples on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The Prelate welcomed his wish and urged all those present to strive to participate in all centennial commemorations, including the Blessing of Muron in Bikfaya, Lebanon on July 18.

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

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