Pontifical Thankgiving Service in Prelacy Churches on the 20th Anniversary of the Election and Consecration of His Holiness Aram I

On Sunday, June 28, 2015, Pontifical Thanksgiving service was held in Prelacy Churches in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy and Thanksgiving Prayer service at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, where he also delivered the sermon. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by parish pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian. Hundreds of faithful were in attendance, among them members of the Executive Council.

The Prelate began his sermon with the following line from the Pontifical prayer service, “Bless, O Lord, all the days of our Pontiff, and strengthen him in his great duties and mighty responsibilities,” stating, “It is with these words that earlier during the service we prayed for the edification of our church and nation.” His Eminence reflected on the religious and national feasts observed in the weeks preceding the Pontifical Thanksgiving service and their significance, including the Feasts of St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. Nerses the Great, King Dertad and Queen Ashkhen, and St. Sahag and St. Mesrob, noting that in our prayers we venerate these great Catholicoi, saints, and kings who established and promulgated Christianity among the Armenian people and enriched our nation with the creation of the Armenian alphabet.

“His Holiness Aram I is the faithful heir of the faith and vision of our religious forefathers, and it is in the spirit of their legacy that he has served as our worthy Pontiff for the past twenty years. His Holiness has established himself as a bold leader, reformer, organizer, and enricher of our culture. He has brought international recognition to the Holy See of Cilicia as a highly esteemed figure in ecumenical and inter-faith circles. He is a champion of the Armenian Cause and a pioneer in the pursuit of our national demands. We witnessed his remarkable leadership in this arena most recently during the Centennial commemoration and with the filing of the claim for the return of the Sis Catholicosate. For all this and more, we pray to Almighty God to bless His Holiness with many more years to shepherd our church and our people.
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Let this day be an opportunity to reaffirm our vow to serve and participate in the sacred work of faith and nation building, in the example set forth by our Pontiff,” concluded the Prelate.

During the requiem service, prayers were offered for the soul of Archbishop Goriun Babian on the 40th day of his passing. The Prelate paid tribute to the accomplished life and service of the late Archbishop. “He was a highly educated clergyman, a teacher, scholar, and Prelate. He was also a humble, jovial, and gracious man, who remained in high spirits and dedicated to his work despite the decline in his health and until his last days. His loss has left a large void, but his legacy of faithful service, his congenial personality, love of culture and literature, and his deep affection and dedication toward his heritage will never be forgotten,” stated the Prelate. His Eminence invited the faithful to pray for the rest of the late Archbishop’s soul and concluded by expressing condolences to the Babian family in attendance.

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