Weekly News – April 20, 2012


On the afternoon of Friday, April 20, 2012, the Prelacy 40th Representatives Assembly convened at the Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall.

H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, is presiding over the two-day meeting which this year is being hosted by Holy Cross Cathedral of Montebello.

The Assembly will examine the annual activities report of Prelate and Councils, and discuss future endeavors relating our churches, schools, and committees serving under the Prelacy.

Also on the agenda is the election of the Prelate, Religious Council, and Executive Council.



On Tuesday, April 24, the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be commemorated with Divine Liturgy and Requiem with the participation of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches.

The service starts at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale.

Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, the sermon will be delivered by H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and remarks will be delivered by Very Rev. Fr. Krikor Chahinian and Rev. Joe Matossian.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, a requiem service and placing of wreaths and flowers will take place at the memorial cross-stone in the church courtyard.



In the past days and weeks, Armenians worldwide have been commemorating the 97th anniversary of the Genocide through various events.  The following is a list of commemorative events to be held in our community in which the Prelate and representatives will participate.

The Los Angeles United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide has organized a commemorative event to be held on Tuesday, April 24 at the Armenian Genocide Monument in Montebello.  The official program includes remarks and messages from invited political dignitaries and a requiem service with the participation of the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches.  After the requiem, the Prelate, Clergy, and Executive Council members will participate in the placement of wreaths at the monument.  The program begins at 1:30 p.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m.  This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Israel Charny, Executive Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem.

The annual AYF protest at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles will take place on the afternoon of the 24th.

In the evening, the annual Armenian Genocide commemoration ceremony sponsored by the City of Glendale will be held at the Alex Theatre.  The program features keynote speakers and cultural performances.

The United Young Armenians have organized two commemorative events.  The first is a candlelight vigil to be held on the evening of Monday, April 23rd, in the parking area of Glendale Civic Auditorium.  The second is a commemoration march in Little Armenia on the morning of Tuesday, April 24th.



By the invitation of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, on the morning of Friday, April 20 the Armenian community was invited to join the Council in commemorating the 97th anniversary of the Genocide.

During the presentation, the Council honored the joint efforts of the Armenian Film Foundation and the USC Shoah Institute, and recognized the contributions of community activists Elen Asatryan, Natalie Kalbakian, Ara Khachatourian, Nareg Kitsinian, John Kossakian, Ara Oshagan, Levon Parian, Ara Soudjian, and Garen Yegparian.

Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian represented the Prelate and delivered the invocation and benediction. He was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Ashod Kambourian.



Each year, the Armenian National Committee-Western Region organizes Advocacy Day, to coincide with Armenian Genocide commemorative events hosted by the California State Legislature.

This year’s Advocacy Day was held on Thursday, April 19, at the State Capitol in Sacramento.  The 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was commemorated in both the California State Senate and Assembly chambers, during which the Legislature adopted resolutions dedicated to the Armenian Genocide

Consul General Grigor Hovhannisian participated in the commemorative events, as well as members of the Armenian National Committee and Armenian-Americans from throughout California.  Homenetmen scouts participated in the presentation of colors.

The Prelate delivered the opening prayer on the Senate floor.  He was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Vahan Gosdanian.

Below is the text of the Prelate’s invocation:

“We offer this day our thanks to Almighty God for the opportunity to gather here with this distinguished group of legislators and fellow citizens to jointly commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and honor the 1.5 million innocent men, women, and children who from 1915 to 1923 fell victim to systematic genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire.

Each year in the month of April, Armenian communities in the four corners of the world pay tribute to the memory of our martyrs, and throughout the year strive to have our story heard, to shed light on the facts and realities of what really occurred nearly a century ago, to educate and simultaneously bring attention not just to the Armenian Genocide, but to genocides of ethnic groups that continue to this day.

As our history is tragically still being denied, revised, and ignored by modern-day Turkey and its allies, we beseech the Good Lord to grant us strength and patience during our struggle to attain full recognition, justice, and reparations for the few remaining survivors and descendents of both survivors and martyrs.

Today we also remember and honor the numerous international relief agencies, foreign consulates and embassies, including representatives of the United States government, who selflessly and courageously risked their own lives to help Armenian refugees who had miraculously managed to flee the atrocities.  We also take this opportunity to convey our gratitude to the many countries, states, organizations, leading academic institutions worldwide, scholars, historians, and others, who have had the courage to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and condemn its denial.

As members of the largest Armenian community in the United States, we have had among us eyewitnesses to the Genocide, and countless children and grandchildren of survivors.  Many of us can trace in our history relatives who perished or witnessed and survived the Genocide.  Thus, as Armenian Californians, we thank our elected officials of the California State Legislature for their initiative in designating April 24, 2012, as “California Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923”, and for their solidarity with their Armenian constituents on this somber occasion.  With the guidance of Almighty God, our united efforts and resolve, and the strength of our voices and prayers, we are confident that truth and justice will prevail. 

It is our prayer, hope, and wish, that this proclamation will encourage and inspire every country and state to follow in this example and acknowledge the historical truth that is the Armenian Genocide.  Furthermore, we hopefully anticipate the end of religious and ethnic discrimination by modern-day Turkey and await the day when the persecution of Christian minorities in Turkey is put to an end and sacred sites are returned to their rightful owners.

May God guide our legislators in their endeavors and mission as they faithfully perform the duties entrusted to them as guardians of public interest, and lead them to continuous successes in their civil service to our beloved state of California that we so proudly call home.

May the blessings of our Lord be upon the United States, the champion of human rights and sanctuary of liberty, equality, and justice, protecting the leadership, armed forces, and citizens of this greatest of nations, keeping us in peace, safe from enemies visible and invisible, and may His mercy be upon us always

Lord, we bow humbly before You to render our praise and gratitude for Your loving kindness and bountiful blessings.  Amen.”

A reception followed, during which the Prelate met with members of the Legislature.  Remarks were delivered by elected officials and a program was presented by ANC representatives.



By the invitation of Supervisor Michael Antonovich, on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, participated in the weekly meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, during which a special presentation took place proclaiming April 24, 2012 as the “Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923”.

The Prelate was accompanied by Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian, Archpriest Fr. Nareg Pehlivanian, and Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian.  Community members were also in attendance.

The Prelate thanked Supervisor Antonovich and Board members for one again inviting the Armenian community to collectively commemorate the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and honor the memory of our martyrs with this proclamation.  “We are strengthened and reassured in our cause knowing that we have the staunch support of dear friends such as you, and for that we are ever grateful.  We hope the day will come when justice will be served by the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States”, concluded the Prelate.

Remarks were also delivered by H.E. Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian and Consul General of Armenia Grigor Hovhannissian.



On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, on the eve of the 40th Representatives Assembly, Prelacy clergy gathered at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale for the annual clergy conference in preparation for the two-day Assembly which will convene on Friday, April 20. H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, presided over the conference.

The day began with Morning Services, after which the Prelate delivered his message to the clergy members.  The spiritual meditation was on 1 Peter 3:8-12, which defined our duty to one another as children of Christ to treat each other with compassion, courtesy, and a tender heart.  The Prelate also spoke on the imperative of sacrifice and devotion in the spiritual service of clergy members, and the importance of mutual understanding and commonality in collaborative efforts with individuals and committees serving under the umbrella of our churches.

Clergy members then headed to the “Armenak Der Bedrossian” hall for the conference.  The conference then convened with opening remarks by the Prelate, who reiterated the importance of unified efforts to overcome challenges and meet the needs of our faithful.

The election of the officers followed. Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian served as the conference Chair, and Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian as the Secretary.

With the approval of the agenda, the Prelate presented retired priests Archpriest Fathers Nareg Shrikian and Mesrob Tashjian, as well as priesthood candidate Deacon Khatchig Shannakian, who had been invited to lecture on “Assisted Reproductive Technology”.  Deacon Khatchig gave an overview of the different reproductive technology currently available, and the position of Christian Churches and different faiths on this matter.  The lecture was followed by a discussion and exchange of thoughts, as well as a question and answer session.  The Prelate commended Deacon Khatchig’s preparation and presentation of the subject and discussed the approach of the Armenian Church on this matter.

The conference resumed after a lunch break.

Clergy members examined the annual Religious Council report and discussed suggestions and comments to present at the Representatives Assembly.  Also analyzed were suggestions from previous clergy conferences with regards to the expansion and growth of the Prelacy spiritual mission.

With regards to upcoming events, arrangements were made for Divine Liturgy and prayers on the Feasts of Ascension, Pentecost, and for the Republic of Armenia on May 28.

Also discussed was Armenian Genocide 97th anniversary commemorations, including joint Divine Liturgy, L.A. County Board of Supervisors, California State Legislature, and Los Angeles City Council, and community events, in which the Prelate and representatives are participating.

The last item on the agenda was the election of delegates to the Representatives Assembly.

The conference concluded with the Prelate’s benediction and the “Ashagerdk Krisdosi” (Disciples of Christ) hymn and Cilician anthem.



On Sunday, April 15, 2012, New Sunday, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at the Armenian Apostolic Church of North Hollywood.

The Prelate also ordained two deacons, Raffi Baghdassarian and Baghdig Ekmekjian.

Parish Pastor Very Rev. Fr. Muron Aznikian assisted at the altar.

The ordination took place during Divine Liturgy before the “kiss of peace”.  Fr. Muron presented the two stole-bearers, who were knelt before the Prelate, and vouched for their service and devotion to God and our church, and asked the Prelate to ordain them as deacons so that they have the privilege of serving on the altar.  With special prayers, the Prelate placed his hand on the  heads of the candidates and ordained them as deacons, granting them various privileges, among them vesting a priest, assisting on the altar, reading the Gospel, and holding the Chalice.

At the conclusion of the ordination ceremony, the Prelate delivered his sermon, explaining to the new deacons and to the faithful the different levels of service within the Armenian Church, from acolyte to Archbishop.  Addressing the deacons, he urged them to always remain humble and serve with love and faith in the example of St. Stephen the proto-deacon and proto-martyr.

After the sermon the Liturgy continued, and after receiving the blessing of the prelate, the newly ordained deacons descended from the altar to spread the kiss of peace to the faithful.

A reception followed at the church hall, in which parish Sunday School students participated.  Welcoming remarks were delivered by Board of Trustees Chair Mrs. Seta Tarpinian.  In his message, the Prelate encouraged the faithful by emphasizing the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in our service.




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