January 4, 2018
A BLESSED AND HOLY NATIVITY

Քրիստոս Ծնաւ եւ Յայտնեցաւ
Օրնեալ է Յայտնութիւնը Քրիստոսի


Christ was born and made manifest
Blessed is the manifestation of Christ


Arise and look to Bethlehem,
O children of Zion,
Go forth to the cave,
Bow down before the King.

Sing with the shepherds,
Worship with the magi.
Behold the gold of the King,
The incense of the Only-Begotten of God the Father,

To Whom alone do we give glory and thanks,
And endless exaltation,
Now and forever may
Christ be blessed together by all.

Ode of St. Gregory of Narek (c. 945-1003)
(Translated by Michael B. Papazian)

Saturday, January 6, is Christmas. The Armenian Church has remained faithful to the celebration of the Nativity and Theophany on January 6. In the mid-fourth century the Roman Church separated the two events, celebrating the birth on December 25 and the baptism and visit of the magi on January 6.

On Christmas Eve a solemn Mass is celebrated, preceded by readings taken from various parts of the Bible about the birth or the coming of the Messiah. The third chapter from the book of Daniel is read, usually by a deacon and three young men representing Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, the youths who would not renounce their faith in spite of torture. Following Christmas Eve services, traditionally choir members would go from house to house singing hymns, spreading the Good News of the birth of our Savior.

On Christmas Day, after the Divine Liturgy, a special service is performed symbolizing the baptism of Jesus, which was a turning point in His life and the beginning of His ministry. This service, which is called Blessing of the Water ( Churorhnek ), commemorates the Baptism and the Manifestation of Christ recognizing Him as the true Son of God.

SCHEDULE OF SERVICES FOR PRELATE AND VICAR
Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate:
On Christmas Eve, Friday, January 5, His Eminence will preside at the Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy services at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York.

On Christmas Day, Saturday, January 6, His Eminence will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and officiate over the Blessing of Water service at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General:
On Christmas Day, Saturday, January 6, His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the service, and officiate over the Blessing of Water service at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.


MEMORIAL DAY
Sunday, January 7, the day after Christmas, is Memorial Day. As is the custom in the Armenian Church, the day after each of the five great tabernacle feasts is a memorial day. Traditionally, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on this day and afterwards the faithful go to the cemetery to honor the memory of their loved ones and have their graves blessed. This year the day following Christmas falls on a Sunday.

PRELATE’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
Under the title “The Liberator Savior” His Eminence envisions the miraculous event of the birth of Jesus and the joy of his parents Joseph and Mary. The Prelate notes that “As children of the Armenian Church we accepted Christ into our faith believing in the salvation of humankind as well as salvation of individuals. For centuries we prayed to Him, turning His sermons and commandments into the strength and purpose of our everyday lives and we forged the principles of Christianity on our national character. As individuals we beseeched and prayed for our own salvation filled with the hope of eternal life. But at the same time, individual salvation in our faith also became collective—the hope of salvation for our entire nation.”

The Prelate concludes his message with a reminder that “during these days of remembrance of the birth of Jesus, our message is that we, as a nation, must be dedicated to the truths of our faith, and live with Jesus our Savior, and as a nation be dedicated to the strength and immortality of our fatherland.”


Read the entire message in Armenian or English
BIBLE READINGS
Bible Readings for Christmas Eve, Friday, January 5: Genesis 1:1-3:24; Isaiah 7:10-17; Exodus 14:24-15:21; Micah 5:2-7; Proverbs 1:1-9; Isaiah 9:5-7; Isaiah 35:3-8; Isaiah 40:10-17; Isaiah 42:1-8; Daniel 3:1-90. Divine Liturgy : Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 2:1-12; Dismissal: Luke 2:8-14.

Bible Readings for Christmas and Epiphany: Titus 2:1-15; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Matthew 3:1-17. Blessing of Water : 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; Matthew 3:1-17.

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

***

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne son and he named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25)


For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

Death of Henri Verneuil (January 11, 2002)
Prolific filmmaker Henri Verneuil was one of the well-known names in French cinema for forty years, and closed his cinematographic career with two autobiographic films that narrated the Armenian experience.

He was born Ashod Malakian on October 15, 1920, in Rodosto, Turkey. The Malakians emigrated from their hometown in 1924 as a result of Turkish anti-Armenian persecution in the years after the genocide and settled in Marseilles (France).

Young Ashod graduated from the French lyceum in Aix-en-Haute and entered the École Nationale d’Arts et Metiers in Aix-en-Provence (1942). Upon graduation in 1944, he put aside his technical diploma and started working as a journalist. In 1945 he wrote an article about the Armenian genocide and the editor suggested he adopt a French name to make it look more objective. Thus, Henri Verneuil was born.

In the postwar, Verneuil entered the world of cinema. He directed his first short film in 1946 and moved to Paris in 1949, where he became an assistant director. In 1951 he directed his first feature, the black comedy The Hunting Ground. His second film, the drama Forbidden Fruit (1952), won him international acclaim. Both films featured the great French comic actor Fernandel in the main role. The same actor played the six main roles (a father and his five sons) in The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954), which earned the first prize at the Locarno International Film Festival and an Oscar nomination for best script to Verneuil in 1955. Verneuil’s biggest hit, before the New Wave of the 1960s, was The Cow and I (1959), once again with Fernandel.

Later he also directed other movie stars including Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Jean Paul Belmondo, Yves Montand, and Michele Morgan. In the 1970s he directed a few films in English with Anthony Quinn, Yul Brynner, and Henry Fonda. His last commercial film was in 1984.

Afterwards, the veteran filmmaker would focus on his Armenian heritage. In 1985 he published an autobiographical work, Mayrig, which recounted his childhood and the Armenian experience in Marseilles. It would become the basis for his two last films, Mayrig (1991) and 588, rue Paradis (1992), featuring Omar Sharif and Claudia Cardinale. In 1988 he had directed the video clip of “Pour toi, Arménie” (For You, Armenia), the song composed by Charles Aznavour to the benefit of the victims of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia. 

In 1996 Verneuil, who had earned the French Legion of Honor in 1955, was awarded an honorary César, France's equivalent of the Oscar, for lifetime achievement in film. He was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 2000. He died in Bagnolet, a suburb of Paris, on January 11, 2002. Two of his children, Patrick Malakian (a TV director) and Gaya Verneuil (an actress), followed in his steps. Several streets and squares in France and Armenia bear his name.



Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).
PLEASE REMEMBER
SYRIAN ARMENIAN COMMUNITY NEEDS OUR HELP MORE THAN EVER

The crisis in Syria requires our financial assistance.
Please keep this community in your prayers, your hearts, and your pocketbooks.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET OUR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS FOR THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY IN SYRIA WHERE CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT.

THE NEED IS REAL.
THE NEED IS GREAT.

DONATIONS TO THE FUND FOR SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF CAN BE MADE ON LINE.

TO DONATE NOW CLICK HERE AND SELECT SYRIAN ARMENIAN RELIEF IN THE MENU.
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138 E. 39th Street
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Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
THE PRELACY REFLECTIONS CONTINUE
In time for the Feast of the Nativity, the Eastern Prelacy resumes it’s weekly reflection program tomorrow at noon with a Bible Reflection from Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General.
 
To learn more and watch previous reflections visit our webpage here or like us on Facebook
SNOW STORM ALONG EASTERN U.S.
A strong storm is traveling up the coast of the Eastern United States affecting communities from Florida to Maine. The storm hit the New York area early this morning making it necessary for your Crossroads staff to work remotely from home in Queens and New Jersey. Fortunately modern technology makes this possible.

We advise our readers to check with their local parishes (especially in the New England area) for any changes in the schedule of services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day due to the weather.

Merry Christmas to all.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

January 12 —New York Hamazkayin, International art connoisseur Nika Babayan from Armenia will present his newly published books entitled: “Awards of the Armenian Church” and “Awards of the Republic of Armenia, 1991-2011.” World-renowned pianist Shahan Arzruni will introduce the speaker. Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. Free admission.

January 20 —St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 60 th Anniversary Celebration.

February 4 —Armenian Relief Society, NJ Shakeh Chapter presents Kev Orkian, British-Armenian musician, comedian, and actor from London. 4 to 7 pm at Mahwah High School, 50 Ridge Road, Mahwah, New Jersey. Tickets: $50, $40, and $30. For information and tickets: Maggie Kouyoumdjian, 845-598-3284, maggie11370@yahoo.com ; Maral Kaprielian, 201-289-6486, kaprielianmaral@gmail.com .

February 5-7 —Eastern Prelacy’s Annual Ghevontiantz Clergy Gathering hosted by Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. This year’s theme is “Freedom,” in accordance with the encyclical issued by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

March 17 —“Sirusho in Concert” presented by Hamazkayin NJ and ARS Agnouni Chapter, dedicated to the 100 th anniversary of the Armenian Republic and the 90 th anniversary of Hamazkayin. With participation of Nayiri Dance Ensemble. Felician University, Breslin Theater, 262 South Main Street, Lodi, New Jersey, 7:30 pm. Tickets: $85, $65, $45. Purchase online here or email sirushonj@gmail.com .

March 18 —35 th Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Prelacy Ladies Guild. Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57 th Street at 7 th Avenue, Sunday, March 18 at 2 pm.

May 9-12 —Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly, hosted by St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts. The one-day clergy conference will take place on Wednesday, May 9. The full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 10, at 11 am and will conclude on Saturday, May 12, at noon.

October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring world famous Onnik Dinkjian and the All Stars. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. Details to follow. www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .

The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: email@armenianprelacy.org

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at  http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/