April 13, 2017

 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem

(Kovya Yerousaghem Uzder)


Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!

Christ is risen from the dead, alleluia!

To Him who is risen from the dead, alleluia!

To Him that enlightened the world, alleluia!

Read the prelate message in Armenian and English.


Washing of the Feet, Gospel dated 1607 from New Julfa Collection.

Today is Holy Thursday, also called Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum meaning “command.” Holy Thursday commemorates several events including the Last Supper as described in the Gospels, and the Washing of the Feet (Votunlva) that occurred when the disciples argued about which of them would be the greatest. Witnessing this sad behavior of his disciples, Jesus displayed a living example of “greatness,” by washing the feet of his disciples, showing true humility. The Great Thursday vigil flows into Great (or Good) Friday, with the Tenebrae (darkness) service where Jesus is arrested, tortured and sentenced. The Tenebrae service takes place with only the light of 12 candles (representing the disciples), and one large candle, representing Jesus. During the service, which  includes some of the most beautiful hymns ever written, the candles are extinguished gradually, leaving only the one large candle —the Light of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.


Archbishop Oshagan offered heartfelt condolences following the bombings that killed more than 40 people at Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. The Prelate spoke with His Grace Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York and New England, condemning the deadly violence against Christians on the threshold of Holy Week leading to Christendom’s greatest holy day. Archbishop Oshagan offered prayers for the victims, their families, and survivors and asked everyone to join together in prayer for peace, love, and tolerance. 

Bible readings for Sunday, April 16 , Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, are: Acts 1:15-26; Mark 16:2-8. Evening Readings : Acts 1:1-8; Luke 24:13-36; John 20:1-18; John 5:24-30; John 19:31-37; John 20:19-25.

  In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘Let another take his position of overseer.’ So one of the men who had accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:12-26)


  And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8)
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings Click Here.


Archbishop Oshagan’s Holy Week schedule is as follows:

Palm Sunday, April 9, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the Sermon and presided over the “Opening of the Gates” ceremony at St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.
Holy Thursday, April 13, His Eminence will preside over the Washing of the Feet and Tenebrae services at St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown, Massachusetts.
Holy Friday, April 14, His Eminence will preside at the Good Friday Entombment Service at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island.
Holy Saturday, April 15, His Eminence will preside at Easter Eve Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
Easter Sunday, April 16, His Eminence will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City.


Bishop Anoushavan’s Holy Week schedule is as follows

Palm Sunday, April 9, His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy, delivered the Sermon, and presided over the “Opening of the Gates” ceremony at Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland.
Holy Thursday, April 13, His Grace will preside over the Washing of the Feet and Tenebrae services at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Holy Friday, April 14, His Grace will preside at the Good Friday Entombment Service at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City.
Holy Saturday, April 15, His Grace will attend Easter Eve Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.
Easter Sunday, April 16, His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York.


As they do every year during Holy Week, Archbishop Oshagan and Bishop Anoushavan, accompanied by metro area clergy, visited the Armenian Home in Flushing, New York on Tuesday. On Wednesday they visited the Hovnanian School in New Milford, New Jersey, and the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Emerson, New Jersey. Details and photos next week.


In the Armenian Apostolic tradition, the day following each of the five major feast days, is a Memorial Day, or Remembrance Day. Traditionally, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on this day, and afterwards the faithful visit the graves of their loved ones that are blessed by the priest with chants and incense.


It is a long-standing tradition in the Armenian Church to give “Yughakin” donations, especially at Christmas and Easter. Yughakin literally means “price of oil.” Parishioners would donate money to purchase oil in order to keep the lanterns lit and the church illuminated. The tradition has continued throughout the centuries to modern times, although nowadays the money is not for oil for lanterns, but for utility bills that provide light, heat, and air conditioning. The concept is still very valid, so remember to make your Yughakin donation and help keep the doors open and the environment comfortable.


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 the picture below to visit the Datev Webpage for all information and reservations.



The premiere weekend of the movie The Promise is little more than a week away. Make plans for family and friends to see the movie sometime during the weekend of April 21-23. Check with your local theatre chains regarding the schedule. Also check with your local parishes and organizations as many communities are organizing group attendance with pre-paid tickets. To find out more about The Promise, please visit http://www.survivalpictures.org/the-promise/. To book a local theater to host a large group showing of the film, please email KeepThePromise@agbu.org

Watch The Promise Trailer below


“Remembering the Armenian Genocide,” the annual commemoration of Armenian Martyrs day will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 2 pm, at Times Square, 43rd Street and Broadway, New York City. Sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan; co-sponsored and with the participation of  more than 15 organizations. Free bus transportation to and from Times Square. New York buses call Sam Melkonian at 516-352-2587; Brooklyn, NY (corner of Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue) call Tigran Sahakyan at 347-291-7754; New Jersey Armenian Churches call Leo Manuelian at 917-418-3940 (cell) or 201-746-0409 (home).


Over the years St. Stephen’s Armenian elementary School (SSAES) has benefited from the generosity of the Armenian Youth Foundation, especially in the field of technology. In 1988 the Foundation sponsored the School’s first Computer Lab. Then, they partially upgraded it on two different occasions. This year, they supported some of the School’s current needs in technology by donating ten iPads that are used by the students as tools for research, project based learning and collaboration with peers on projects, easily accessing notes and files on Google Drive.

“We are very thankful to the Armenian Youth Foundation for seeing a major benefit in the use of technology to improve student learning and accepting our grant request,” stated Principal Houry Boyamian.


Students at St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School’s Annual STEM week, held April 3-7, participated in a variety of enrichment activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

On Monday, students in Grades K-5 participated in a Robotics Day with the help of parent volunteers. KIBO robots provided students with the experience of sequencing blocks to command a robot to move through an obstacle course. Students in Grades 3-5 explored with the WeDo Lego robots by choosing or drawing a figure and programming it to move in specific ways. Scratch Jr. was introduced to students in Grades K-2 as they were able to learn how to program a figure to interact with each other and their environment.

On Tuesday, students experienced The Whale Mobile and explored the anatomy, habitat, behaviors, and feeding habits of various species of whales. Using sounds, videos, images and whale teeth students learned about how scientists study Humpback whales and had an opportunity to go inside a life size model of a whale to learn about how whales and humans are similar and different.

On Wednesday, classes were combined to solve Math Challenges. The Kindergarten and First Grade classes collected data from the student body about favorite ice creams to understand which flavors are the most popular at St Stephen’s. The second and third grade paired up to explore concepts around adding and solving problems using monetary denominations, and the fourth and fifth graders were tasked to build a vacation resort taking financial planning into account.

On Thursday, students displayed their Science Fair Projects that they have been working on in class for the last few months. Third, fourth, and fifth graders were interviewed by a group of volunteer parents. Open viewing of projects took place at the end of the day from 2:30-3:00 pm.

On Friday, students participated in an Hour of Code activity in the computer lab which gave them more practice with computer coding.

All in all it was a very hands-on engaging week for the students and St. Stephen’s School will continue to grow its STEM Initiative every year.

Grade 3 Students with their Barometers and Anemometers at the Science Fair
Grade 5 Students with their Roller Coasters at the Science Fair
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)

Birth of Arnold J. Toynbee (April 14, 1889)

Arnold Joseph Toynbee was an influential British historian, widely read and discussed in the 1940s and 1950s due to his prodigious output of books, papers, articles, speeches, and presentations, especially his twelve-volume A Study of History. He also had an important role in the early documentation and characterization of the Armenian Genocide.

Toynbee was born in London, the descendant of a family with generations of intellectuals. His sister Jocelyn was an archaeologist and art historian. He won scholarships to Winchester College and Balliol College in Oxford (1907-1911), and studied briefly at the British School at Athens. He became a tutor and fellow in ancient history at Balliol College in 1912. A year later, he would marry Rosalind Murray, daughter of historian Gilbert Murray. They would have three children. In 1915 he began working for the Political Intelligence Department of the British Foreign Office. From 1915-1917 he would write nine books, mostly about German and Turkish atrocities, the first of them being his survey of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian Atrocities: The Murder of a Nation (1915), based on much of the documentation collected in The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (1916), which he co-edited with Viscount James Bryce. The information provided by credible eyewitness accounts of Armenian persecutions, arrests, murders and deportations withstood modern historical scrutiny, despite futile attempts by the Young Turks and their German allies—followed by contemporary denialist writers—to dismiss it as wartime propaganda.

Toynbee served as a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. His support for Greece and hostility to the Ottoman Empire during the war earned him an appointment to the Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at King’s College. He became the correspondent for the Manchester Guardian during the Greco-Turkish War of 1921-1922, which resulted in the publication of The Western Question in Greece and Turkey. His change of heart, accusing the Greek military government of massacres and atrocities in temporarily occupied Turkish territory, was followed by enmity from wealthy Greeks who had endowed his chair, and he was forced to resign in 1924.

Toynbee became research professor of international history at the London School of Economics (1925-1956) and director of studies (1925-1939) and director of foreign research (1939-1943) at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which conducted research for the British Foreign Office. During World War II, he served as director of the research department of the Foreign Office (1943-1946). In 1946 he divorced his wife and married his long-time research assistant, Veronica Boulter.

Meanwhile, he had started publishing his master work, A Study of History. Three volumes appeared in 1934 and three more in 1939. The one-volume abridgement of the first six volumes, published in 1946, sold over 300,000 copies in the United States alone, and the ten-volume edition sold more than 7,000 sets by 1955 in the U.S. Two more volumes would be published until 1961. Toynbee was featured on the cover of Time in 1947, with an article depicting his multivolume study as “the most provocative work of historical theory written in England since Karl Marx’s Capital.” According to historian Michael Lang, “For much of the twentieth century though, Toynbee was perhaps the world’s most read, translated, and discussed living scholar. His output was enormous, hundreds of books, pamphlets, and articles. Of these, scores were translated into thirty different languages. . . . Among intellectuals, response to his work was de rigueur. Indeed, the critical reaction to Toynbee constitutes a veritable intellectual history of the midcentury: we find, for example, Aron, Frye, Huxley, Kennan, Kracauer, Kroeber, Morgenthau, Mumford, Niebuhr, Ortega y Gasset, Popper, Ricoeur, and Sweezy, as well as a long list of the period’s most important historians, Beard, Braudel, Collingwood, and so on.”

After 1960, Toynbee's ideas faded both in academia and the media, to the point of seldom being cited today. However, his work continued to be referenced by classical historians.

He continued producing books and memoirs in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1972 he published, in collaboration, a new one-volume abridgement of the entire Study of History. Meanwhile, after four decades of silence, he spoke in his two memoirs, Acquaintances (1967) and Experiences (1969), of his views regarding Turks and Turkey, but he also became one of the first worldwide known historians to unambiguously characterize the Armenian annihilation that he had documented fifty years before as genocide. He repeated his qualification in his posthumously published Mankind and Mother Earth: A Narrative History of the World (1976).

Toynbee had written in The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (1916): “In one way or another, the Central Government enforced and controlled the execution of the scheme, as it alone had originated the conception of it; and the Young Turkish Ministers and their associates at Constantinople are directly and personally responsible, from beginning to end, for the gigantic crime that devastated the Near East in 1915.” In Acquaintances (1967), he underscored: ''They therefore decided to deport the Armenians from the war-zone, and this, in itself, might pass for a legitimate security measure. In similar circumstances, other governments have taken similar action. ... In Turkey, however, in 1915, the Ottoman Armenian deportees were not only robbed; the deportations were deliberately conducted with a brutality that was calculated to take the maximum of lives en route.

“This was the C.U.P.'s crime; and my study of it left an impression on my mind that was not effaced by the still more coldblooded genocide, on a far larger scale, that was committed in the Second World War by the Nazis. ... My study of the genocide that had been committed in Turkey in 1915 brought home to me the reality of Original Sin.'' 

The British historian passed away on October 22, 1975, at the age of 86.

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

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






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.


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.


Last Sunday’s Reflection is offered by Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, Pastor of Saint Asdvadzadzin Church,Whitinsville, Massachusetts.

Click Here to view this weeks reflection.




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.

April 17—“Orphans of the Genocide,” film screening and discussion with special guest, Bared Baronian, film director, hosted by St. Gregory Church of Granite City, Illinois and the local ARF, AYF, and ARS chapters.

April 18—Lecture by Dr. Talin Suciyan, “The Armenians in Modern Turkey: Post Genocide Society, Politics, and History,” organized by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) at the Cathedral’s John Pashalian Hall, 7:30 pm, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Dr. Suciyan is assistant professor of Turkish studies at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.

April 22.  Connecticut Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Connecticut State Capitol, House Chamber.  11:00 a.m. Keynote speaker will be The Hon. John Marshall Evans, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia. Reception in the Hall of Flags, following the commemoration.

April 22—“Remembrance, Witness and Resurrection,” an ecumenical commemoration of the Saints and Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England, 514 Parker Street, Boston, Massachusetts, at 2 pm. With the participation of His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; Armenian Catholic eparchy of the United States and Canada; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.
April 22—William Saroyan’s The Human Comedy and Hello Out There, presented in partnership with the Anthropology Museum of the People of New York and the Armenian Cultural Resource Center at Queens College, 3 pm. Followed by Q&A with director Tim Armen O’Hanlen and cinematographer Saro Varjabedian. Ticket includes admission to the Museum galleries.

April 23—Remembering the Armenian Genocide, Gathering at Times Square, 2 pm (43rd and Broadway, New York City). Sponsored by Knights and Daughters of Vartan; co-sponsored and with the participation of all major Armenian organizations. Free bus transportation to and from Times Square. For information: www.KOFV.ORG/MAIN/APRIL232017.

April 23—Joint commemorative Badarak of the Armenian Genocide at St. Gregory Church of Granite City, Illinois, followed by  cultural/political event at St. Gregory Armenian Community Center.

May 7—Ladies Guild Fun Day, organized by the Ladies Guild of St. Gregory Church of Granite City, Illinois.

May 18-20—National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by All Saints Church, Glenview, Illinois.

May 21—St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, North Andover, Massachusetts, 47th anniversary celebration and year-end hantes of church schools. Archbishop Oshagan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and preside over the dedication of the Tom M. Vartabedian Library and anniversary/hantes.

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/