Prelate Visits Colorado Parish – Divine Liturgy And Pontifical Thanksgiving Service

On Sunday, June 26, 2016, Pontifical Thanksgiving Service was conducted in all Prelacy Churches in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I as Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. It was a particularly memorable day for the Armenian Apostolic Church of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region as H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, paid a pastoral visit to the parish community where he celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and conducted Pontifical Thanksgiving Service.

Prior to the sermon, on behalf of the parish family, Deacon Shahe Jierian welcomed and congratulated His Eminence on his re-election and conveyed well wished for his sixth term as Prelate.

The Prelate began his sermon by joyfully greeting the Board of Trustees and the congregation, noting that though separated physically by a thousand miles, that they are indeed united in spirit as children of God, as members of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Western Prelacy family. His Eminence expressed joy that the parish has advanced to regular, monthly services, and perceiving the spiritual hunger of the community, affirmed his commitment to meeting the spiritual needs of all Prelacy faithful, near and far.

His Eminence noted that the day marks some joyous occasions, the 21st anniversary of the election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I, the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Armenia, and the recent celebration of the 40th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood. The Prelate highlighted the esteemed leadership, vision, and commitment of our beloved Pontiff to the advancement of the Holy See of Cilicia, stating that he has revitalized the Catholicosate of Cilicia in various realms and wishing him a long and healthy life and with many more years of worthy leadership.

The Prelate then expounded on the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew 14:13-21, the feeding of the five thousand, which gives the hopeful message of the boundless and unconditional compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. “We need not worry, for the Lord will provide for our needs. To the human mind and eye it would seem impossible that five loaves of bread and two fish could feed five thousand, but with God, the impossible becomes possible. He knows our needs and will generously provide for us. We can truly do all things through Christ,” stressed the Prelate. Just as the disciples were commissioned to feed the crowds, we too, as children of God, are commissioned to have the same compassion that Jesus demonstrated and to help our fellow man, stated the Prelate, and encouraged the faithful to lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in Artsakh by participating in the Prelacy’s fundraising effort. His Eminence also spoke of the importance of spiritual food and nourishment, noting that man does not live by bread alone, and urged the faithful to pray, read and study the Bible, and to attend Divine Liturgy regularly in order to satisfy their spiritual hunger. The Prelate concluded his sermon by praying for the Holy See of Cilicia and for His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, for the Armenian Apostolic Church and nation, and for the parish community of Colorado, encouraging them to serve with faith, love, and conviction for the advancement of the community, with compassion in their hearts in the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with commitment to excellence in the example of our beloved Pontiff.

Pontifical Thanksgiving Service followed. At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, the congregation joined in the singing of Cilicia and the Pontifical and Armenian national anthems, after which the faithful, spiritually enriched by the day’s services and message, gathered around the Prelate for a photo and to receive mementos from his Eminence.

A luncheon followed, during which Board of Trustees Chairman Mr. Vahe Berejiklian conveyed the parish community’s thanks to the Prelate for his inspiring visit, congratulated his re-election and 40th anniversary of ordination, and expressed a wish for more frequent visits. The Prelate once again conveyed his joy at being with the parish and at witnessing the participation of youth in the service, and invited the parish family to work together with love and brotherhood for the progress and strengthening of the community.
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