Prelate Presides over First Sunrise Service and ARS Great Lent Luncheon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino

In keeping with a time-honored tradition, on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the first Sunrise service of Great Lent at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino and delivered his message. Ferrahian School juniors and seniors attended the service.

The Prelate focused his message to the students, inviting them to renew and restructure their daily lives according to the messages of Great Lent. Recognizing the amount of time that youth spend on social media these days, he urged them to reduce their screen time and spend that time on self-improvement, self-correction, doing good deeds for others, and communing with God through prayer. He noted that most people focus on their physical wellbeing, and Great Lent reminds us to focus on our spiritual wellbeing as well and undergo spiritual renewal through daily prayer, self-control and self-discipline, strengthening our spirits through fasting, bringing joy to our souls by doing, speaking, and thinking good, being productive and using our time to learn, to read the Bible, and to pray.

The traditional Great Lent luncheon hosted by the ARS “Anahid” Chapter followed at “Dikranian” Hall. In attendance were Holy Martyrs Church parish pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, Board of Trustees member Ara Papazian, Ferrahian principal Sossi Shanlian, ARS Regional Executive Chair Silva Poladian and members, and ARS “Anahid” and “Lori” chapter members.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by “Anahid” chapter Chair Shake Tokatlian. During lunch guests enjoyed cultural performances by Ferrahiam 8th grade students and ARS members. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Ara Papazian greeted and commended the members of the ARS for their service.

The Prelate delivered the closing message, which he began by blessing and commending the members of the ARS for their devoted service. His Eminence noted that in this “Year of Armenians with Special Needs” especially, as proclaimed by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, we must be ready to extend mercy and assistance not only to those in physical need but also in moral and spiritual need, adding that during Great Lent in particular we must have good thoughts, a good heart, and do good deeds. Expanding on the message he gave to the students in the Church, the Prelate stressed that Jesus did not say IF you pray, fast, or do good, rather WHEN you pray, fast, and do good, implying that we must always pray, fast, and do good. However, we must not do so to capture the attention of others. In addition, he stressed that all the days of our lives we are to abstain from doing evil, speaking ill of others, and being in destructive competition with others. The Prelate concluded by wishing for the journey of Great Lent to lead us to goodness and for the triumphant Resurrection of Christ to inspire us to overcome evil with good and expel all that is harmful and negative from our lives.


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