Prelate Presides over First Sunrise Service of Lent at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino

On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, the first Sunrise Service of Lent was conducted in Prelacy Churches. As per tradition, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the first Sunrise Service at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, and later attended the annual Lent luncheon organized by the local ARS “Anahid” Chapter. Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian assisted in the service, which Ferrahian High School attended.
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In his message to the faithful, the Prelate highlighted the importance of Lent as a time for renewal, a time to examine our inner selves, to acknowledge and rectify our transgressions and change our lives for the better. He then spoke of the significance of this year, stating that 2015 has special meaning for the Armenian people as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and dedicate our collective strength and efforts to the pursuit of our national demands. Addressing the students, the Prelate reminded them that children and students like them were also victims of the Genocide, stating that they can honor their memory and pay tribute to their lives by becoming the best students and upright children they can be, at school and at home with their parents.

The traditional Lent luncheon followed at “Dikranian” Hall. Welcoming remarks were delivered by ARS “Anahid” Chapter Chairlady Sona Bostanian. Ferrahian students enlivened the atmosphere with recitations, songs, and music. Greetings were also conveyed by special guest and scholar Eva Dervishian-Berberian from Greece.

The Prelate reflected on the Lenten journey, stating that by restricting our nutritional intake during Lent, what we are doing is nourishing our spirits, we are giving up one thing to gain something better, and that is achieved through prayer and almsgiving. Speaking on the Genocide centennial, His Eminence reiterated that we suffered untold losses in the Genocide, the Armenian people and nation rebuilt and rose again. The Prelate also brought to the attention of the guests that the day, February 18, was the 94th anniversary of the February uprising against the Bolshevik government, stating that the spirit of those brave men and the memory of our Genocide martyrs impels us to continue to stand up for our rights as a collective force, including community organizations such as the ARS. In conclusion, the Prelate commended the members for their service, hoped for younger generations to become inspired by their example, and wished them continued successes in their efforts to preserve and foster our national values and traditions.

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