Prelate Presides over Last Sunrise Service and Lent Luncheon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the last Sunrise Service of Great Lent was held in Prelacy Churches, with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presiding over the service and delivering his message at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Ferrahian School students were among the faithful in attendance.

The Prelate greeted the faithful and students and spoke to them about Great Lent as a time not only for fasting but for self-discipline and self-analysis. Noting that he was with the community for the first Sunrise Service as well, His Eminence asked the faithful if now near the end of Great Lent they have grown stronger in their faith and feel a sense of renewal. “At the threshold of Holy Week, let us again examine ourselves and turn to God with a repentant spirit so that we can welcome the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection with pure heart and spirits,” concluded the Prelate.

The traditional luncheon organized by the parish Ladies Guild followed at “Dikranian” Hall and began with the invocation by the Prelate. Ladies Guild Chair Mrs. Nancy Bederian delivered welcoming remarks and expressed thanks to the Prelate, donors, and guests. Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian greeted the guests, thanked the Prelate for joining the parish community each year for the first and last Sunrise Service and luncheons, and commended the efforts of the Ladies Guild members.

Mr. John Kossakian, Principal of Marie Cabayan Elementary School, presented a concise yet comprehensive lecture on the 100th anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia, including events leading up to independence and the triumph of the Armenian people. He spoke on the period preceding independence, from the Cilician kingdom to the renaissance, and the struggle for independence culminating in the battles at Sardarabad, Pash Abaran, Gharakilise, and Javakhk. “Though independence was short-lived, that time period left an indelible legacy and inspired our re-independence in 1991,” stated Mr. Kossakian.

In his closing message, the Prelate commended and blessed the Pastor, Board of Trustees, Ladies Guild, Mr. Kossakian, and guests. “In this year of the centennial, and ahead of Easter, we believe that as our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and defeated evil with His Resurrection, so too did our forefathers in the aftermath of the Genocide grant resurrection to our nation on May 28, 1918 through their martyrdom. Thus, we all have a duty to uphold our homeland, our nation, and our national identity,” said the Prelate. He noted also that by a wonderful coincidence, earlier in the day His Holiness Catholicos Aram I presided over the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to the centennial at the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias. The monument is comprised of three pillars symbolizing the unity between Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora and our rise to new heights, to immortality, and to triumph. His Eminence concluded by lauding the Catholicosate as a guardian of our nation and national heritage.

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