June 8, 2017
FLAG BLESSING AND PRAYERS
Flag blessing and prayers for the Armenian Republic were offered in Prelacy parishes either on Sunday, May 28, or Sunday, June 4, commemorating the 99th anniversary of the first Armenian Republic (May 28, 1918), and the 26th anniversary of the current Republic of Armenia (September 21, 1991). Requiem services were offered for the souls of the fallen heroes of Sardarabad, Bashabaran, Gharakilise, and the martyrs of the struggle for Artsakh. Here are three parishes that held the ceremony this past Sunday.
St. Gregory Church, Granite City, Illinois: Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian and altar servers at the flag poles during the blessing ceremony.

HMEM Scouts lead the entourage outside following the blessing service at St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.

HMEM Scouts at attention during the flag blessing at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.

ST. SARKIS CHURCH HONORS PRELATE

On occasional Sundays when Archbishop Oshagan does not have a commitment to visit one of the parishes of the Eastern Prelacy, he attends the Divine Liturgy at one of the three metro area Prelacy churches. This past Sunday, June 4, His Eminence presided over the Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York. Most people did not know that this was a very special day for the Prelate. It was the actual date of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood (June 4, 1967). The Pastor, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, together with the Board of Trustees and Auxiliary organizations quickly organized an impromptu surprise celebration of this milestone event, as a prelude to the forthcoming Prelacy-wide celebration that will take place on November 19.

For an article about Sunday’s event and photographs click here.

ORGANIST HONORED FOR FIFTY YEARS OF SERVICE

Douglaston’s St. Sarkis Church had another milestone celebration that was duly honored last Sunday—the more than fifty years of service provided by Gail D’Onofrio as the parish’s organist. Gail recently retired after 53 years of service as the organist at St. Sarkis Church. Der Nareg noted that it is rare to find a parishioner who for 50 years continues to serve and inspires others. Deacon Frank Kabarajian spoke about Gail’s incredible contributions to the St. Sarkis community. Deborah Agopian, as a young voice, spoke about how Gail has been an inspiration in her life and presented her with a gift on behalf of the choir. The Ladies Guild acknowledged her with a bouquet of flowers and cake. Gail sincerely thanked everyone including the choir directors throughout the 53 years along with Juliette Milian and Haigouhi Megerian as organists. She also thanked all of the pastors of St. Sarkis—Der Asoghik Kelejian, Hayr Anoushavan, and Der Nareg. Archbishop Oshagan presented her with a certificate of merit on behalf of the Prelacy in appreciation of her distinguished service.

SUNDAY SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT IN NEW JERSEY

Three students graduated from the Sts. Vartanantz Sunday School during ceremonies that took place after the Divine Liturgy last Sunday at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. The graduates, Davit Isakhanyan, Meline Momjian, and Levon Tekeyan are seen here with Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor, and with the Sunday School director and teachers.

VICAR WILL ATTEND ANNIVERSARY

Bishop Anoushavan will attend the 120th anniversary banquet luncheon for the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York this Saturday (June 10) that will take place at the Liberty House in Jersey City, New Jersey.

BIBLE READINGS 

Bible readings for Sunday, June 11, First Sunday after Pentecost (Beginning of Sundays of Resurrection), Remembrance of the Prophet Elijah are: 1 Kings 18:29-46; 2 Kings 2:1-15; James 5:16-20; Luke 4:25-30).


Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sin. (James 5:16-20)

***

"…But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to one of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away.  (Luke 4:25-30)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings  Click Here.
REMEMBRANCE OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH

This Sunday (June 11) the Armenian Church remembers Elijah, the Messianic prophet of the Old Testament recorded in 1 and 2 Kings. Elijah was the greatest prophet in the Old Testament and therefore his feast day falls on a Sunday. He appeared along with Moses at the Transfiguration as the prophet of life and the new covenant; Moses was representative of the old covenant. The Armenian Church (like all the Eastern churches) holds Elijah in the highest esteem. Most importantly, Elijah did not experience death, but was taken to heaven, like the Holy Mother of God. He is mentioned in the Armenian hymn Ee Verin Yerousasgem, sung during the Requiem Service.

"Receive us in Jerusalem above, in the dwellings of the angels, in Eden, the paradise where Enoch and Elijah live worthily resplendent in dove-like purity and in old age. O merciful Lord, have mercy upon the souls of ours who have fallen asleep."

From the Armenian hymn Ee Verin Yerousagem (Receive us in Jerusalem above), sung during the Requiem Service.

SAINTS HRIPSIME AND GAYANE AND THEIR COMPANIONS

This Monday and Tuesday, June 12 and 13, the Armenian Church commemorates the virgin saints Hripsime and Gayane and their companions. Thirty-three nuns, led by Gayane, left Rome and sought refuge in Armenia hoping to escape the Roman Emperor who desired one of the nuns, the beautiful Hripsime. In Armenia, King Dertad became captivated by Hripsime’s beauty and sought to wed her. She refused. Enraged, the king had Hripsime (and the other nuns) imprisoned and tortured to death.

When Gregory was released from his imprisonment in the deep pit (Khor Virab) he built chapels over the relics of the nuns, which Catholicos Sahag Bartev later renovated. During the 7th century, churches were built over both sites. The church dedicated to Hripsime, built by Catholicos Gomidas, is considered to be an architectural masterpiece and influenced the future course of Armenian architecture. Catholicos Gomidas also wrote a sharagan (hymn) in their memory—the well-known Antsink Nviryalk (Dedicated Beings).

The two churches, as well as a third (Shoghakat) are in the city of Etchmiadzin (Vagharshapat), not far from the complex of buildings that comprise the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: NOVEMBER 19, 2017

The 50th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan will be celebrated on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Please save the date and watch for the exciting details of this inspiring milestone.

REGISTER FOR DATEV SUMMER PROGRAM
The 31st annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute summer program for youth ages 13-18 is scheduled to be held at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 2-9, 2017. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the summer program offers a unique weeklong Christian educational program for youth. It aims to instill and nurture the Armenian Christian faith and identity in our youth through a variety of educational activities, coupled with daily church services and communal recreational activities. For information and registration, please visit the Prelacy’s website or contact the AREC office by email ( arec@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810). 
Click a picture below to visit the Datev Webpage
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET:

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.
Death of Karen Asrian (June 9, 2008)

Chess has remained a beloved activity in Armenia since Soviet times, and especially after Tigran Petrosian became world champion from 1963-1969. Karen Asrian was among those chess players who followed that tradition to become one of the most promising and short-lived names in independent Armenia.

He was born in Yerevan on the day of the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide: April 24, 1980. He started playing chess at the age of five and in 1990 he participated in the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) classification tournament for the Youth World Chess Championship, where he completed his norm to be awarded the title of International Master at the age of nine. Interestingly, then champion Garry Kasparov (1985-1993) had completed the same norm at the age of thirteen and his predecessor Anatoli Karpov (1975-1985) was eleven when he did it. Asrian’s ELO rating (the measure to rank chess players) was 2310 in September 1996 and became 2600 at the end of 1998, when he became International Grandmaster.

Between 1996 and 2008 he completed an impressive number of feats. In 1996 and 1997 he won the Tigran Petrosian Memorial international tournament (he would win it again in 2004) in Yerevan. Two years later, he won the Armenian Chess Championship and was champion of Europe with the Armenian team. Competing on the third board of the Armenian team, he won the bronze medal in the World Tournaments of 2001 and 2005, and the Chess Olympics of 2002 and 2004. He was also on the third board of the Armenian team that won the gold medal at the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin (Italy) in 2006. During the same year, he had reached his highest ELO rating (2646), with put him on the 62nd position among chess players in the world.

Meanwhile, Asrian had graduated from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 2001, when he also won the Sheikh Cup in Dubai.

He won the Armenian Chess Championship again in 2007 and 2008, when he became the coach of the Iranian national chess team. His final rating, in April 2008, was 2630 (92nd in the world).

In the early morning of June 9, 2008, Asrian felt ill while driving and pulled his car into a courtyard of Yerevan before losing consciousness. An ambulance crew pronounced him dead at the scene, and the Armenian Chess Federation reported that the player had died of a heart attack while driving. The Chess Giants Yerevan tournament, which was going to start that same day, was interrupted for a few days and then renamed Karen Asrian Memorial. The unfortunate player had an open casket funeral at the Yerevan Chess House on June 11, with the participation of the President of Armenia (and President of the Armenian Chess Federation) Serzh Sargsyan and top government and legislative officials.

The Chess Giants Yerevan tournament was scheduled to start on June 9, with Asrian’s participation. It was postponed for a few days by decision of the Armenian Chess Federation and renamed the Karen Asrian Memorial. The tournament was held from June 12-15 and won by Levon Aronian, who had been on the first board of the gold medalist Armenian chess team in 2006.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( www.armenianprelacy. org ).
WEEKLY REFLECTIONS

Last Sunday’s Reflection was offered by Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Click Here to watch.

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.

June 18—St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street,  Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, Father’s Day Picnic; Armenian music and dancing featuring Leo Derderian, David Ansbigian, and Haig Aram Arakelian; Activities for young and young at heart. Shish Kebab and Losh Kebab Dinners; Shish Kebab & Losh Kebab Sandwiches; delicious homemade pastries and baked good.

October 2-6—Clergy Conference for Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will take place in Montreal, hosted by the Prelacy of Canada.

October 7—Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey presents “The Battle of the Bands.” Dance all night with two bands featuring Onnig Dinkjian and Kevork Artinian. Mezza and Dessert tables. For information and reservations contact: Bea Movsesian 201-445-6867; Lynn Mahlebjian 201-739-6217; Silva Kouyoumdjian 201-779-6744.

October 14—Armenian Friends of America, Inc., present “Hye Kef 5,” a five hour dance featuring Onnik Dinkjian with John Berberian (Oud); Mal Barsamian (Clarinet); Ara Dinkjian (keyboard); Ron Tutunjian (Dumbeg), at DoubleTree by Hilton, 123 Old River Road, Andover, Massachusetts. Tickets: $55 (before September 1); $65 (after September 1); $50 for students 21 and under. Continuous buffet 7:30 to 9:30 pm; coffee and dessert will follow. Advance tickets only. Proceeds will benefit five Armenian churches. For information: Sharke Der Apkarian 978-808-0598.

November 19SAVE THE DATE. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan.

December 5-8—World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.

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/