“Year Of The Elder” Commemorated during Last Sunrise Service-Luncheon at Holy Martyrs Church


This past week, Lenten Sunrise and Vigil services, which were held on Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings respectively, concluded.

On Wednesday, April 9, the last Sunrise Service of Great Lent was conducted in Prelacy Churches.  At Holy Martyrs Church in Encino, the occasion was also a celebration of the “Year of the Elder”.

By the ordinance of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian participated in the Sunrise Service and delivered the spiritual meditation, in which he called on the faithful to receive the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ with pure hearts and spirits having acknowledged, repented and confessed our sins during Great Lent.

The traditional luncheon followed at “Dikranian” Hall, organized annually on this occasion by the Ladies Guild.  The luncheon was hosted by church sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Dikran and Houri Berberian.

The luncheon began with the blessing of tables by Parish Pastor Rev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian, after which Ladies Guild Chair Mrs. Nancy Bedirian welcomed the guests, thanking the hosts and the donors who contribute to the success of the Ladies Guild’s endeavors.  Mrs. Bedirian conveyed gratitude to Fr. Razmig for his guidance and support, and appreciation to the Board of Trustees for their encouragement. In conclusion, she thanked the guests who with their participation help keep our traditional alive.

During lunch, guests enjoyed musical selections on the violin by Mr. Suren Kahvejian, Chairman of the local chapter of the Armenian American Council on Aging, and Ferrahian 6th grade student Nanor Seraydarian.

Fr. Razmig then delivered his message, first thanking the cultural program participants for their performances and commending the Ladies Guild members for their service to the advancement of Holy Martyrs Church. He stated that traditionally, the Prelate presides over both the last Sunrise Service and the luncheon; however His Eminence was in Lebanon at the time, and so he conveyed the Prelate’s blessings to the guests.  Fr. Razmig stated that each year the luncheon is dedicated to the proclamation of His Holiness Aram I for that specific year, and so, the day’s lecture would focus on the “Year of the Elder”. Thus, he introduced the keynote speaker Mr. Garo Bedrosian, prominent educator and “St. Mesrob Mashdots” medal recipient, and invited him to present his talk.

In his informative and interesting lecture, Mr. Bedrosian stressed that honoring elders is an unspoken societal principle; that elders have paid their dues through a lifetime of care, nurturing, and hard work for the well-being of their individual families and our collective family, our church, homeland, and nation; that Armenian elders especially grew up in difficult circumstances in post-Genocide years, but after enduring great hardship and challenges, they emerged triumphant, having gained humility, appreciated the value of peace, and stronger in their faith in God and love for one another through their life experiences.  Each elder is a living unwritten book, articulated Mr. Bedrosian, and just as an actual book is considered a man’s best friend, so too must society regard elders, as valuable sources of knowledge and guidance, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude.  In conclusion, on behalf of his fellow elders, Mr. Bedrosian expressed gratitude to His Holiness Aram I for the care and attention he dedicates to elders, and thanked the Parish Pastor, Board of Trustees, and the Ladies Guild for organizing the luncheon.

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