July 5, 2018
ST. GREGORY OF DATEV INSTITUTE IN SESSION
The Prelacy’s annual Saint Gregory of Datev Summer Institute is currently in session at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania. For 32 years Datev has offered a unique Christian experience for youth ages 13 to 18, to enrich their knowledge of the Christian faith, in unison with recreational activities, daily worship and prayer services. The week-long program will end on Sunday with the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory Church in Philadelphia, followed by a luncheon.

BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, July 8, Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, ( Aylakerputiun / Vartavar ) are: Wisdom 7:25-8:4; Zechariah 14:16-21; 1 John 1:1-7; Matthew 16:13-17:13.

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:1-7)


*** 

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:1-13)

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

THE OLD ARK OF THE COVENANT AND FEAST OF THE NEW HOLY CHURCH
On Saturday (July 7) the Armenian Church commemorates the Old Ark of the Covenant and the Feast of the New Holy Church. This combined commemoration takes place on the Saturday prior to the Feast of the Transfiguration. Celebrating the old and new shows the perpetuity of the Church. God revealed Himself to humankind gradually through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets. The church existed from the beginning, and that is why the Old Testament is accepted as part of the Holy Scriptures and recognized as a preamble to the New Testament. The hymn designated for this day proclaims, “Who from the beginning established your church with wisdom, O, Father of Wisdom, who revealed to Moses upon Sinai.”

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION
This Sunday (July 8) the Armenian Church observes one of its five major feasts, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Aylakerputiunm / Vartavar ). This Feast is observed fourteen weeks after Easter, and therefore can fall between June 28 and August 1. It commemorates an episode in the New Testament recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Peter, recalling Christ’s ascent up Mount Tabor with disciples John, James, and Peter.

The Transfiguration took place on the “holy mountain” (believed to be Mt. Tabor) where Jesus went with his three disciples. As He was praying, “His face shone like the sun and his garments became white as light.” The Patriarch Moses and Prophet Elijah appeared at his side. It was at this moment that his appearance was “transfigured” revealing himself as God to his disciples as a voice from above said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” Jesus urged his disciples to keep silent about what they saw, but the incident was recorded in the Gospels.

The pre-Christian festival Vartavar (Festival of Roses) was joined with this new Christian holiday. Armenians would decorate the temple of the goddess Asdghig (goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and water) with roses, release doves, and engage in water games on this popular pre-Christian holiday. St. Gregory the Illuminator combined Vartavar with the Transfiguration. The fifth century historian Yeshighe wrote the prayer that is recited in church on this feast: “O Lord, bless the harvest of this year and defend from all the perils, and may your right hand, O Lord, protect us for the whole year.”

Vartavar became a traditional day of pilgrimage to churches named in honor of St. John the Baptist. The most popular destination was the Monastery of Sourp Garabed of Moush, founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the province of Taron near Moush. (Garabed means Forerunner, referring to John the Baptist). The monastery was large and expansive and built like a fortress in the mountains. More than one thousand pilgrims could be accommodated. After 1915 the complex ceased to exist. The monastery was destroyed by the Turkish army, and the ravages of time, weather and scavengers completed its destruction. The once large and thriving Armenian monastery is now a mass of stone and rubble.

This Sunday is the name day for those named Vartkes, Vartavar, Vart, Vartouni, Alvart, Sirvart, Nevart, Lousvart, Hyvart, Baidzar, Vartanoush, Vartiter, Varvar.

MONDAY IS MEMORIAL DAY
The Monday after each of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church is a Memorial Day—a day of remembrance.

NEWS FROM THE CATHOLICOSATE
COPTIC, SYRIAN AND ARMENIAN CHURCHES MEET
Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East, namely, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Episcopate, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Church Holy See of Cilicia, held their twelfth meeting at the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Residence in Lebanon.

Their Holinesses began the meeting with prayer. Then, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II welcomed everyone, followed by words by Pope Tawadros II, and Catholicos Aram I. During the meeting the religious leaders discussed several issues of common interest, including the presence of Christianity in the Middle East, the situation of the Syriac Orthodox Church in India, the official theological dialogues with the churches, and the work of the subcommittees, and they signed an official common declaration, covering these issues.

CATHOLICOSATE PATICIPATES IN WCC MEETING
The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the highest decision-making body, met in Geneva and Bossey, Switzerland, from June 15 to 22. During the meeting, the committee celebrated the 70 th anniversary of the WCC and decided on the theme and venue of the 11 th Assembly.

Representing the Holy See of Cilicia at the meeting were Fr. Hrant Tahanian, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, Ms. Teny Pirri-Simonian, the Ecumenical Representative in Switzerland, and Ms. Carla Khejoyan, staff responsible for the Middle East.

One of the plenary meetings was devoted to the history of the Council, its leadership and landmarks. A documentary was shown and one of the highlights of the documentary was the message of His Holiness Aram I at the Seventh Assembly in Canberra in 1991, where His Holiness had just been elected as the first Orthodox Moderator of the WCC.

The Central Committee meeting concluded on June 22 with a special visit from Pope Francis to the WCC.

CATHOLICOSATE HOSTS CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE
The Executive Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) met at the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, under the auspices of His Holiness Aram I. Present at the meeting along with the Executive Committee members of the CCA, was the Acting General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, Dr. Souraya Bechealany.

In his message, His Holiness Catholicos Aram defined ecumenism as a movement that transcends all boundaries, while being a local and a global reality. Speaking from his own ecumenical experience that started with his ordination to the priesthood in 1968, His Holiness stated that ecumenism should not remain an area of commitment outside of the Christian ministry and witness. He added that it is not a mere academic reflection or an opportunity to organize ecumenical meetings, but a response to the message of Jesus Christ and translation of that message to local realities. 

Death of Gevork Jahukian 
(July 6, 2005)
Gevork Jahukian, together with others of his generation, continued the tradition of Armenian linguistics started by Hrachia Ajarian and made important contributions to many aspects of the study of the Armenian language.

He was born on April 1, 1920 in the village of Shahnazar, district of Kalinino (nowadays it is the village of Metzavan in the district of Tashir). After finishing high school in Yerevan in 1937, he entered Yerevan State University and graduated in 1941. Then, like many young people in Armenia, he was drafted into the Soviet army and served in World War II from 1942-1943.

After returning from the war, he entered his alma mater and taught at the Faculty of Romano-Germanic Philology for sixty years. He was a senior lecturer from 1945-1949, head of the chair of Foreign Languages (1948-1957) and of Romano-Germanic philology (1957-1970), and professor of the chair of General Linguistics (1970 onwards). From 1948-1957 he also taught at the Institute of Russian and Foreign Languages (today renamed Yerevan State Linguistic University) “Valery Briusov.” He taught Classical and Modern Armenian, Latin, history of linguistics, comparative grammar, general linguistics, and other subjects.

He defended his first doctorate in 1947 and his second doctorate in 1955. In 1958 he received the title of professor. Shortly after earning his first doctorate, he entered the Institute of Linguistics “Hrachia Ajarian” of the Academy of Sciences. He was a senior researcher from 1949-1950 and 1959-1962, and in 1962 he became director of the institute until his death. He was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in 1968 and full member in 1974. He received the title of emeritus worker in 1965.

Jahukian was the author of more than twenty books and close to a hundred scholarly articles. He became the most well-known authority in Armenian linguistics, particularly in the field of comparative grammar and history of the Armenian language, from the late 1950s onwards. He authored many articles and a series of remarkable monographs, such as The System of Declension in Old Armenian and Its Origin (Armenian, 1959), Essays on the History of the Pre-Literal Period of the Armenian Language (Russian, 1967), Comparative Grammar of the Armenian Language (Russian, 1982), and his most important work, History of the Armenian Language: Pre-Literal Period (Armenian, 1987), for which he earned the State Prize of Armenia in 1988. He researched the relations of the Armenian language with many old and early Indo-European and non-Indo-European language, and made important contributions to the etymology of many Armenian words. His Armenian Etymological Dictionary, posthumously published in 2010, became a continuation and an update of the classical multivolume work of Ajarian.

He also dealt with issues of Armenian dialects and Modern Armenian, and of general linguistics. Some of his most important works are History of Linguistics (1960-1962), Introduction to Armenian Dialectology (1972), Principles of the Theory of Contemporary Armenian (1974), among others. His works in general linguistics led him to formulate the idea of an universal theory of language, first published in Russian (1999) and then in English ( Universal Theory of Language, 2003).

Jahukian passed away on July 6, 2005, in Yerevan. 
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.
OR IF YOU PREFER YOU MAY MAIL YOUR DONATION TO:

Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL ENDS THIS SUNDAY
A scene from the opening ceremony.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the international exhibition of living cultural heritage presented annually in Washington, is continuing until this Sunday, July 8. This year Armenia is one of the featured cultures that include daily and evening programs of music, song, dance, performance, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and storytelling. The free event on the National Mall began on June 27 and will end on July 8. 

THIS WEEK'S REFLECTION
In this week's Prelacy Reflection Deacon Dr. Vahan S. Kouyoumdjian of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of New Jersey delivers his perspective on this past Sunday's Scripture reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew on the Paregentan of the Fast of the Transfiguration.


LATEST ISSUE OF “THE TREASURY”
The latest issue of The Treasury , a quarterly magazine published by Nor Voskiank , a fellowship of men and women, was recently issued. The Treasury is devoted to Armenian Orthodox theology and life within the Armenian Church with short articles and essays covering topics ranging from Armenian liturgy and worship, theology, church history, Christian culture, lives of the Saints, practical Christian living, book summaries and more. The Treasury depends entirely on the generosity of its readers and supporters. For a one-year subscription to The Treasury , send a tax-deductible gift of $30 payable to Fellowship of St. Voski, P.O. Box 377, Sutton, MA 01590.

The well-written articles and accompanying art and photographs make this publication a source of edification and beauty. Now in its fourth year, “The Treasury” deserves our full-hearted attention and support.

Past issues of The Treasury are available to read free of charge on the magazine’s web site ( www.St.Voski.org ). And here is a link to the current issue: http://www.stvoski.org/embed.html

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA IN WESTERN ARMENIAN
Roslin Press, a recently formed New York based publishing house announced the publication of the first ever Western Armenian translation of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia (seven volumes). Since its publication in 1950, generations of children have and continue to grow up with the Narnia books and films. Now it is available in Armenian. For information about the paperback books visit www.roslin.press and for e-book format visit www.vlume.com  

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. New term begins on September 22, 2018. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

July 1-8– Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18— Now in progress at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). 

July 14— Ladies Guild of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents “Hye Summer Night XII,” at Crown Plaza Hotel, Warwick, Rhode Island. Entertainment by Onnik Dinkjian, Hatchig Kazarian, Ara Dinkjian, Bruce Gigarjian, and Raffi Massoyan. Dinner/Dance $55.00 (6 pm to 12:30 am); Dance only $35.00 (8 pm). For dinner and table reservations: Joyce Bagdasarian, 401-434-4467 by July 7.

July 21 -- St. Illuminator Cathedral's Huyser Music Ensemble presents a first-of-its-kind Broadway caliber Armenian musical, entitled "We Shall Return Soon," at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Tony Bennett Concert Hall, Long Island City, New York, at 7:45 pm. Written and directed by Huyser's artistic director Harout Barsoumian, this musical is dedicated to the centennial of the first Republic of Armenia, seen through the memories of a 105-year-old Genocide survivor. The musical will feature the participation of Tekeyan Cultural Association's Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group. For updates and more details, visit ​ http://www.huysermusic.org .

September 21, 2018 to January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring Onnik Dinkjian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian, Mal Barsamian, and Jason Naroian. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. For information: www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .

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