Name-Day Celebration of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood

On Sunday, January 14, 2018, on the eve of the Feast of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner, the name day of St. Garabed Churches in Hollywood and Las Vegas was celebrated with Divine Liturgy and the blessing of madagh.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and conducted the blessing of madagh at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood. Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian assisted at the altar. Executive Council members, sponsors, and Homenetmen members and scouts were among the faithful in attendance.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate greeted and congratulated the parish family on their name-day celebration. “Through the prayers of St. John the Baptist, who appeared in this world as a ray of righteousness, have mercy on us Lord;” this excerpt from the hymn dedicated to St. John the Baptist was the theme of the Prelate’s sermon. “St. John was the forerunner saint, the last and greatest of the prophets who, filled with the Holy Spirit, enlightened mankind as a ray of integrity, righteousness, and justice. He came to pave the way and introduce our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the world. He preached about the kingdom of heaven and the coming of the Savior, was a guiding light of the truth, lived and served with utmost integrity, and showed the way to draw near to God. He was the first Evangelist, the first to spread the news of Christ’s salvific mission. He lived a pious life, stood up to the inequity of the Pharisess and king Herod, and defended righteousness at the cost of his life,” stated the Prelate, and highlighted three points about St. John the Baptist’s unique role in Christianity. First, he received the gift of the Holy Spirit even before he was born, while the Apostles were to wait until Pentecost; second, he was the first evangelist, who boldly proclaimed “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” and as he baptized Jesus became worthy of seeing the descent of the Holy Spirit and hearing the voice of the Father; and third, he was the first martyr prior to the Ascension of Christ, the first to give his life for righteousness. Thus, inspired by the day’s message and celebration, the Prelate invited all to live and serve in the example of St. John the Forerunner, with integrity and righteousness, and to express our faith through action.

At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, requiem service was held and the blessing of madagh conducted by the Prelate.

The celebratory luncheon followed at “Karapetian” Hall, during which Mr. Kaloust Agopian, Executive Council member, was honored for his years of service to the community through St. Garabed Church, Rose and Alex Pilibos School, and the Raffi Romanian-Armenian Cultural Association.

The Prelate presided over the luncheon, which was attended by the parish family, Catholicosate Central Executive member Mr. Gaidzag Zetlian, Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovagumian and members, church consecration Godfather Mr. and Mrs. Vahe and Veronika Karapetian, ARF-WR Central Committee representative Mr. Garo Ispendjian, church new altar sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Haiguhi Daglian, representatives of the ARF “Karekin Njdeh” Gomideh, Pilibos and Postoian Schools, sister organizations and compatriotic unions, sponsors and friends.

Fr. Vicken welcomed the guests, after which the Prelate delivered the invocation. Fr. Vicken introduced the day’s honoree, expressed gratitude for his service and sacrifice, and invited Board of Trustees members to present a plaque of commendation and appreciation to Dr. Kaloust Agopian.

The Prelate delivered his message commending the Pastor and Board of Trustees and especially the honoree for his decades-long dedicated service, and presented a Letter of Blessing which was read by Fr. Vicken. In the Letter of Blessing, His Eminence lauded Dr. Agopian’s valuable contributions through the Raffi Romanian-Armenian Cultural Association and his devoted service to St. Garabed Church, Pilibos School, as a delegate and Executive Council member, and commended his humble and exemplary service.

The event featured cultural performances by St. Garabed Church Sunday School and Pilibos School students.

The reception came to a close with the benediction by the Prelate.

Very Rev. Fr. Torkom Donoyan, Vicar General, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Garabed Church in Las Vegas. Rev. Fr. Arsen Kassabian assisted at the altar. A celebratory luncheon followed at “Koujakian” Hall.

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