March 8, 2018
LENTEN PROGRAM
Last night, Wednesday, March 7, due to inclement weather, the Lenten Program was cancelled. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral (New York City) was scheduled to speak on Church and Charity .

Next Wednesday, March 14, Rev. Fr Hovnan Bozoian, Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church of Ridgefield, New Jersey, will reflect on John 15:9 — “Abide in my Love” (in Armenian), followed by Der Mesrob’s short presentation (in English).

The evening program will begin with a church service at 7:00pm, followed by the educational component at 7:30, and conclude with a table fellowship at 8:00pm. 

The Lenten Program is sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the Prelacy Ladies Guild (PLG), and the Ladies’ Guild of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. 


IN MEMORIAM

DIANA DER-HOVANESSIAN (1934-2018)

We mourn the passing of the well-known Armenian American poet, Diana Der-Hovanessian, who passed away last week. She produced many volumes of her own poetry and many more of translations of Armenian poets. For many generations of Armenian Americans her translations were the first introduction to their rich Armenian literary heritage.

Her poems and translations appeared regularly in Outreach, the Prelacy’s publication, especially in the 1980s and 1990s when Outreach was published monthly. Her 20-stanza long poem titled “The 60 th Anniversary Poem,” was written for the 60 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 1975 that was recited at the Prelacy’s genocide commemoration in Madison Square Garden organized by the Prelacy and the then Prelate Archbishop Karekin Sarkissian (later Catholicos of Cilicia and Etchmiadzin), who encouraged her to write a poem for the occasion.

She served for many years as president of the New England Poetry Club, and was a teacher and mentor to young poets. She received many awards and prizes including from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Columbia Translation Center, and the Armenian Writers Union.

Asdvatz hokeen lousavoreh. She is now writing poetry for the angels.

BIBLE READINGS
Bible readings for Sunday, March 11 , Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of the Judge, are: Isaiah 65:8-25; Philippians 3:1-4:9; Luke 17:20-18:14

Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard.

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh!” For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh—even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthy things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 3:1-4:9)

***
Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to the disciple, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man.

They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot; they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them—it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”  (Luke 17:20-18:14)


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

SUNDAY OF THE JUDGE
We are now more than halfway through Great Lent (yesterday was Michink , the median day of Lent). This Sunday, March 11, is the Sunday of the Judge ( Datavori Kiraki ). The Gospel reading for this day is the parable told by Jesus about a widow and a judge (see reading above). The judge in the parable is seen as hard-heated and without principles, fear of God, or compassion for people. A widow in the same town has been ill-treated and she has come to the judge for justice. Although her cause is just, the judge does not pay attention to her case. However, she is persistent and she makes the same appeal again and again until at last the judge decides to see she receives justice. He does this not because he cares about justice, but because he wants to be rid of the widow. The message of this parable is that we must persist in our pursuit of righteousness and justice with the confidence that perseverance (especially in prayer) will be rewarded.

FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTIA
This Saturday, March 10, the Armenian Church remembers the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia. Although the backgrounds and identities of the forty young soldiers are not known, it is believed they came from Lesser Armenia and served in the Roman army. According to St. Basil of Caesarea, forty Christian soldiers refused to worship the Roman emperor while stationed in Sebastia in Armenia in 320. They remained faithful to their Christian faith. The soldiers were tried and condemned to death by stoning. Miraculously, when the sentence was being carried out, the stones would not reach the condemned soldiers, but would instead bounce back striking those throwing the stones. The soldiers were then thrown into a frozen lake and
forced to stay there unless they renounced their faith. Warm baths were prepared for anyone who would recant. Of the forty, only one gave up. When he did, another soldier, moved by the example of the suffering Christians, declared himself a Christian and took the apostate’s place. All forty died.

Some of our great Church Fathers like Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Ephraim the Assyrian, and Sisian of Sebastia, wrote panegyrics about the forty martyrs, who are remembered each year during Lent on the Saturday following the median day of Lent. The Armenians have built and named churches in memory of the Forty Martyrs in various parts of the world.
THE SUNRISE SERVICE ( AREVAKAL )
On many occasions we have expressed our personal appreciation of the Armenian Church’s Sunrise ( Arevakal ) service that is offered during Lent. Traditionally the service takes place on Wednesday and Friday mornings during Lent; however, we now celebrate it on Sundays immediately after the closed-altar Divine Liturgy.

Two years ago the Prelacy issued a CD of the hymns of the Sunrise Service. These hymns are spiritually uplifting and rich in musical expression. Included on the CD are the hymns Harevelits, Juknavork, Looys Ararich Looso , and Janabarh , with their variations. The CD comes with a 12-page booklet that includes the words of the hymns in Armenian, transliteration, and translation. Well-known choral director, Haroutioun Odabashian, who has served as choirmaster of Yerevan’s Sourp Sarkis Church, and principle choirmaster of Armenia’s Araratian Diocese, directs the featured choir.

The Arevakal CD is available at the Prelacy Bookstore for the special price of $10.00 plus shipping and handling. To place an order, contact the Bookstore by email ( books@armenianprelacy.org ) or by phone (212-689-7810).

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE VISITS CATHEDRAL
Left to right, Artur Martirosyan, Aram Hamparian, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Bishop Anoushavan, Don Boyajian, Armen Caprielian and Raffi Hamparian last Sunday at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.
New York Congressional Candidate Don Boyajian visited St. Illuminator's Cathedral last Sunday and met with Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) members and parishioners. A third-generation Armenian American, Don recently announced his candidacy for New York’s 21st Congressional District, representing the Adirondack Mountains and Thousand Islands regions of the Empire State.

If elected, he would be the third U.S. Representative of Armenian heritage serving in the U.S. House, joining Congresswoman Anna Eshooo (D-CA) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA).

The grandchild of Armenian immigrants from Aintab, on his father’s side, and Palu, on his mother’s side, Don represents the third generation in his family to live and work in the United States. During the Armenian Genocide era, his father’s family settled in Saratoga County, New York, where they operated a sheep farm, and his mother’s family put down roots in Providence, Rhode Island.

Professionally, Don is an environmental and municipal attorney at Dreyer Boyajian LLP, a firm his father co-founded. Don graduated from Colgate University and Cornell Law School, where he clerked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office (NDNY), New York Office of the Attorney General (Environmental Protection Bureau), and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Don also served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Congress, where he focused on agriculture, natural resources, and energy policy.

Don, a Democrat, will face a primary election to win his party’s nomination, and then challenge incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik, who has no meaningful record of support for Armenian American issues.
MUSICAL ARMENIA AT 35
Since 1982 the Eastern Prelacy has presented the annual Musical Armenia concert bringing to the forefront many talented artists of Armenian descent. This year’s concert is number 35 in the series that began 36 years ago and is renowned as a venue for talented young artists. Established by the late Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, Musical Armenia is dedicated to promoting young Armenian artists and to the performance music by Armenian composers. The Prelacy is able to present this annual concert series as a contribution to the artistic achievements of the community thanks in large part to a group of dedicated patrons who offer their financial support each year in order to cover the cost and keep the price of tickets affordable for all.

This year’s concert will take place on SUNDAY, MARCH 18, at 2 pm , at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. The cost of admission is only twenty-five dollars. Featured artists at the 2018 Musical Armenia concert are composer Mary Kouyoumdjian and pianist Hrant Bagrazyan.

Mary Kouyoumdjian’s artistic projects range from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. She is inspired by her Lebanese-Armenian heritage, her interest in Ethnomusicology, and her explorations of folk instrumentation. She is currently completing her doctor of musical arts degree in composition at Columbia University. Ms. Kouyoumdjian’s compositions will be performed by the ensemble Hotel Elefant, a contemporary group that focuses on the music of living composers, featuring guest pianist Timo Andres.

Hrant Bagrazyan is a prize-winner in multiple international competitions, including Third Prize and Bronze Medal at the Aram Khatchaturian International Piano Competition (2007) and Outstanding Performance Award at the NTD International Piano Competition in New York (2016). Mr. Bagrazyan has performed in the United States, Armenia, Belgium, and Poland. His U.S. orchestral debut took place in 2014 with a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra (Illinois). Mr. Bagrazyan is currently a doctoral student in piano performance at Michigan State University.

For tickets or information contact: Carnegie Hall (212-247-7800) or Prelacy office (212-689-7810).
Death of Alexander Khatisian (March 10, 1945)
Alexander Khatisian, one of the prime ministers of the first Republic of Armenia, was a remarkable public figure before and after the crucial years of 1918-1920.
 
He was born in Tiflis (nowadays Tbilisi), the capital of Georgia, on February 17, 1874. He belonged to a well-to-do family. His brother Kostandin Khatisian (1864-1913) was among the founding members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
 
After graduating from the local gymnasium (Russian high school) in 1891, Khatisian went to Russia to pursue higher education. He studied medicine at the universities of Moscow and Kharkov, and graduated in 1897. He mastered half a dozen languages, including English, French, and German.
 
From 1898 to 1900 he traveled abroad for specialization courses in the best clinics. He visited Italy, France, and Germany, where he also studied public hygiene, laws, and municipal work in slaughterhouses, hospitals, and water works. Later on, he would publish articles and pamphlets on cultural and health-related topics.
 
Upon his return to Tiflis, in 1900, Khatisian worked as a doctor, and also entered the political arena. In 1902 he was elected to the City Council, and in 1905 he became a member of the City Board. He participated in the revolutionary movements of 1905. He wanted to join the A.R.F. at that date, but he was dissuaded by Rostom, one of the party founders, and Hamo Ohanjanian, among others, who argued that he could better serve the Armenian people and the party as a non-partisan. In 1907 he became an assistant to the mayor of Tiflis, and from 1910-1917 served as mayor of Tiflis. He was president of the Caucasus branch of the Union of Cities (including a total of forty-four cities) from 1914-1917.
 
During World War I, Khatisian was among the organizers of assistance for Armenian refugees and genocide survivors. He collaborated with the formation of the Armenian volunteer battalions and was elected vice-president of the Armenian National Bureau of Tiflis from 1915-1917.
 
After the February Revolution of 1917, Khatisian entered the ranks of the A.R.F. During that decisive year, he led the National Bureau until October, presided over the Council of Armenian Political Parties (March-April), and participated in the convention of peasants of Transcaucasia (June 1917). He moved to Armenia at the end of the year and was elected mayor of Alexandropol (nowadays Gumri). In February 1918 he participated in the peace negotiations held with the Ottoman Empire in Trebizonda (Trabzon).
However, in April 1918 he went back to Tiflis, when he was designated Minister of Finances and Provisions of the short-lived Republic of Transcaucasia. In May he returned to the table of negotiations with the Turks, and was one of the three Armenian representatives who signed the Treaty of Batum on June 4, 1918, where the Ottoman Empire recognized the independence of Armenia over a stretch of territory.
 
He moved to Yerevan, and Prime Minister Hovhannes Kajaznuni designated him as Minister of Foreign Affairs. After Kajaznuni left Armenia in February 1919 on official mission, in April Khatisian was designated acting Prime Minister and was confirmed as Prime Minister in May, while also retaining his position in Foreign Affairs. He reshuffled his cabinet first in August 1919 and then in the spring of 1920.
After the failed May 1920 uprising engineered by Armenian Communists, Khatisian resigned from his post. He was replaced by Hamo Ohanjanian, the representative of the A.R.F. Bureau, while the Bureau members took the cabinet posts. Khatisian traveled abroad in the summer to organize a loan for the country within the Armenian communities and create a “Golden Fund.”
 
After his return, on the eve of the Sovietization, he signed the Treaty of Alexandropol along the representatives of Mustafa Kemal on behalf of the Republic of Armenia in the early morning of December 2-3, 1920.
 
After the fall of the Republic, Khatisian settled in Paris. He continued his political activities, and participated in the Lausanne Conference in 1922-1923 defending the rights of the Armenian people. He was a member of various Armenian and Russian public organizations. He published his memoirs of his time as mayor of Tiflis and the volume The Origin and Development of the Republic of Armenia (1930).
 
During World War II and the occupation of Paris, Khatisian moved to Portugal. However, after the liberation of the French capital, he was arrested under trumped-up charges of collaboration with the Nazis, but was soon liberated due to lack of proofs. He passed away on March 10, 1945, in Paris
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.
SPRING FORWARD
This Sunday we return to Daylight Saving Time. Remember to set your clocks one hour ahead as of 2 am Sunday, March 11. Yes, spring is near.

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.

March 9 —Mark Kyrkostas Remember Me with Music Concert, 6:30 pm, The Home of Mark Kyrkostas, 5710 Hewlett Street, Little Neck, New York 11362. The concert includes a dinner buffet and the concert for $30 per person, or 2 for $50. This year’s show included a stand-up comedian, and a dance sequence besides the music and singing. Call 718-428-5650 to order tickets. Space is limited.

March 10 —Armenian churches of Greater Detroit Genocide Commemoration Committee hosts a documentary film presented by Shant Mardirossian, Board Chair Emeritus of The Near East Foundation. The film recounts the story of the massive humanitarian effort by thousands of Americans in the aftermath of World War I and the Armenian Genocide, 2 pm and 6:30 pm at Lawrence Tech University Architectural Building, Room A200.

March 11 —Annual General Membership meeting of St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts; Sunday of the Judge, 12:30 pm in Jaffarian Hall; light luncheon will be served.

March 11 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Annual Membership Meeting in Lillian Arakelian Fellowship Hall, following church services.

March 11 —St. Stephen’s Church, Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut, Ladies Guild Lenten Luncheon after church service. Adults $12; children free .

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.

March 25 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Ladies Guild Palm Sunday Luncheon and special outdoor activities for children, Petting Zoo and pony/horse rides, at 1 pm after church services. In celebration of Palm Sunday, parishioners will form a procession around the exterior of the church; this year a donkey will join the procession in remembrance of our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem.
April 1 —St. Stephen’s Church, Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut, Easter reception, cheoreg, eggs, olives, cheese and bake sale.

April 6 —Book presentation, “The Sins of the Fathers: Turkish Denialism and the Armenian Genocide” by Professor Siobhan Nash-Marshall. The book will be presented by Dr. Herand Markarian at 7 pm in Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian Hall at the Eastern Prelacy, 138 E. 39 th Street, New York City. Reception will follow. Admission is free; RSVP necessary.

April 22 —Remembering the Armenian Genocide, Annual Gathering at Times Square, 2 pm, 43 rd Street and Broadway, New York City. Free bus transportation to and from Times Square. Sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan; co-sponsored by Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee of America, ADL-Ramagavars, Armenian National Council, and with the participation of community-wide churches and organizations. Contacts: New York , Sam Melkonian 516-352-2587; Brooklyn , Tigran Sahakyan 347-291-7765; New Jersey , Leo Manuelian 917-418-3940 or 201-746-0409.

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.

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 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/