Name Day Celebration of St. Sarkis Church of Pasadena

Over the weekend of February 15, 2014, the Feast of St. Sarkis, which is also the name day of St. Sarkis Church of Pasadena, was celebrated with a number of services, culminating on Sunday, February 16, with Episcopal Divine Liturgy celebrated by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and the blessing of madagh.

The name-day celebration began on Friday, February 14, with Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan’s blessing of the salt to be used for the madagh, after which the madagh preparation began.

  On Saturday evening, the eve of the feast was commemorated with an evening service conducted by Fr. Boghos.

On Sunday morning Divine Liturgy began with the procession of the Prelate into the church as the choir sang the “Hrashapar” hymn.  His Eminence was assisted at the altar by Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan and Rev. Fr. Armen Melkonian, who is visiting our Prelacy.

Prior to delivering the sermon, the Prelate congratulated and commended the church family on their name-day celebration and greeted the faithful, among them church benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Sarkis and Suzan Kitsinian and family members.

The message of the Prelate’s sermon was the words of St. Sarkis, that “when you are reinforced in faith and by the Holy Spirit, no force can overcome you, because triumph is for the good and the righteous, and ultimate triumph and glory belong to God”.

His Eminence spoke of the life of St. Sarkis, his staunch faith and martyrdom, and invited the faithful to become strengthened in their faith in the example of St. Sarkis and to put aside our own self interests in our service to Him.  The Prelate also reminded the faithful how St. Sarkis, his son Mardiros, and their fourteen companions endured untold torture with illuminated spirits and unwavering faith.
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  No matter the circumstances in our lives, we must always look for the good and remain faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ Who came to this earth to reveal that He is “the way, the truth, and the life,” stated the Prelate and concluded his sermon with the following prayer; “O Lord, during the course of our lives we are faced with all kinds of challenges and tribulations, but we will never falter in our faith because we trust in Your dominion, mercy, and righteousness, and we beseech You, through the intercession of our beloved saint, to release us from our afflictions and grant peace to our lives and to the world, especially to our brothers and sisters in Syria.  May Your peace be with them, granting them patience in the struggles they endure.

The blessing of madagh and requiem service followed, in which H.E. Archbishop Souren Kataroyan, former Prelate of the Prelacy of Aleppo, participated.  Requiem prayers were offered for the souls of the first parish pastor, Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Antreassian, Board of Trustees members, Delegates, and church and community servants.

 The services concluded with the Cilician and Pontifical anthems in the church main entrance.

A lunch reception followed at “Andon Andonian” Hall presided over by the Prelate and with the participation of Archbishop Souren Kataroyan, priests, Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian, Board of Trustees members, Delegates, and church benefactors, sponsors.

After the blessing of tables by the Prelate, remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Hagop Avedikian, Rev. Fr. Boghos Baltayan, Hrag Kitsinian, youngest child of the Kitsinian family, Mr. Sarkis Kitsinian, and Mrs. Rima Boghossian, all congratulating the community on this joyous occasion.

The Prelate again congratulated and commended the parish community, wishing them continued successes in their service.  The celebration came to a close with the Prelate’s benediction.

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