April 27, 2017


Here's an important message from The Promise team:

“The support from the Armenian community and our human rights allies has been astounding. You made sure The Promise made headlines last weekend, spreading awareness not only about the Armenian Genocide, but the Turkish government’s efforts to silence us.  

“But let me blunt: Unless more people come to see the film this week, we will lose theaters. Fewer theaters mean fewer ticket sales, and because we’re donating every dollar to nonprofit organizations, including numerous Armenian causes, that’s a terrible loss.  

“All film proceeds are supporting charitable work—please join us and support this important mission by bringing two friends to a showing of The Promise.  

“Our communities came out in force—we received pictures of sold-out shows all around the country. What we need now is to reach our friends who are not Armenian, who don’t know this story. The non-Armenians seeing the film are deeply affected and have become allies in getting the word out. All you have to do is turn on the news to see how relevant our story still is today. Our window is closing and we need all the help we can get.”  

Let’s #KeepThePromise.


We are pleased to provide the following photographs of various commemorative events. Thank you all for keeping us informed of your community events.

TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK: A large gathering assembled in Times Square for the annual April 24th commemoration organized by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan with the participation and support of community-wide organizations and institutions. Archbishop Oshagan offered the Invocation at the gathering, calling the genocide as “death multiplied a million and a half times over.” His Eminence described the Armenians as a “hopeful and faithful people. That same faith and hope will bring us into the future as a forward-looking nation with commitment and resolve.”

Archbishop Metropolitan Methodios, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, speaking at the Ecumenical Commemoration at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (left) and Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan participated and spoke at the commemoration.  In his comments, Archbishop Oshagan noted that the Armenian Genocide 102 years ago was “an assault on Christianity. It was not just against the Armenians; it was also an assault on all Christians of the Ottoman Empire, including Greeks and Assyrians… We consider it our solemn duty to remember, because only memory can conquer genocide. ‘Never again,’ means never again for any and all people.”

To watch the Ecumenical Commemoration click below.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Genocide Commemoration at the Massachusetts House of Representative Chamber, took place on April 21, 2017.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND: A group photo of Armenian, Jewish and Southeast Asian communities with Armenian priests, and representatives at the State House. The Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust were recognized together in a resolution passed unanimously by the Rhode Island State House on April 13. This is the first time a resolution commemorating both devastating crimes against humanity was introduced and passed in the Rhode Island State Legislature. The State of Rhode Island also recently passed a law requiring that the schools teach the Holocaust and Genocide.

GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS: Service in front of the Khatchkar monument at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Granite City, Illinois. The Liturgy was celebrated by Hayr Mesrob Parsamyan, pastor of the Holy Virgin Mary and Shoghagat Church, with Der Torkom Chorbajian, pastor of St. Gregory Church.

WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS: Very Rev. Fr.  Sahag Yemishian, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, delivering invocation at Worcester City Council.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America, speaking to the Armenian Inter-Communal Committee of Philadelphia commemoration at St. Gregory Church. He emphasized the need to continue to support Armenia and Artsakh through economic support, political activism, and countering anti-Armenian propaganda. Allan Arpajian and Susan Arpajian presented a discussion on their new book, “Out of My Great Sorrows,” about their aunt Mary Zakarian, a well known artist in Philadelphia. Students from the Sisters Academy presented a program of songs and poetry.

WISCONSIN: April 24th commemoration in southeastern Wisconsin took place on April 24 at Holy Resurrection Armenian Church, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Participating Armenian churches were: Holy Resurrection Church, St. Hagop Church, St. Mesrob Church, St. John the Baptist Church, St. Paul Church, and St. George Church.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND: The clergy in front of the Martyrs Memorial at North Burial Ground in Providence. The Rhode Island Armenian community joined to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. United States representatives David Cicilline and James Langevin were in attendance and offered their comments, along with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. The Homenetmen Scouts performed. Guest speaker was Marc A. Mamigonian, Director of Academic Affairs of the National Association of Studies and Research (NAASR). The “Genocide Educator of the Year Award” was presented to Claudia Traub of Sophia Academy.

TROY, NEW YORK: Armenians in the area gathered at the Knights and Daughters of Vartan Genocide Monument in Riverfront Park to commemorate the Armenian Genocide hosted annually by the Armenian National Committee of Albany. In addition to members of the Armenian community, state and local officials, including Assembly members Steve McLaughlin and John McDonald III, spoke at the commemoration on April 24. Troy Mayor Patrick Madden proclaimed April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the city of Troy. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to continue to shine a light on this and never let the world forget,” he said.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN: The four Armenian churches of Greater Detroit commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Church. Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, pastor of St. John Church officiated, with Rev. Vahan Tootikian, of the Armenian Congregational Church delivering the sermon. The Liturgy was followed by a procession outdoor to the Martyrs Monument and the intercessory prayers of the Genocide saints were offered with the participation of all of the clergy. Fellowship followed at St. Sarkis Church’s Lilian Arakelian Hall.

NORTH ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS: Parishioners of St. Gregory Church, gather for a prayer service outside beside the tree planted last year in commemoration of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide and in memory of all the deceased members of St. Gregory parish.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The Armenian community in the Chicago area joined together to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on April 24 and to attend the movie The Promise.


A Note about the Readings:  Beginning Monday (April 24) and continuing until Pentecost (June 4) each day the four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion narratives.

Bible readings for Sunday, April 30, Green Sunday, are: (1) Luke 6:12-49 ;( 2) Acts 9:23-31; 1 (Peter 2:1-10; John 2:23-3:12; (3) Matthew 8:18-9:8; (4) Mark 3:6-12.

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.  

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.  

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10)


When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone, for he himself knew what was in everyone.  

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” (John 2:23-3:12)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings Click Here.


Easter Sunday is followed by a period of fifty days (Hinook). This period from the Resurrection to Pentecost (Hokekaloost) is dedicated to the glorification of the Resurrection. Each of the seven Sundays of Hinook has a special name. This Sunday (April 30) is Green Sunday (Ganach Giragi), also called Sunday of the World Church (Ashkharhamadoor), that commemorates the establishment in Jerusalem of the first Christian church where Christ met with the Apostles in the upper room.  

Green Sunday most probably originates from an ancient holiday celebrating spring. Our forefathers, seeing mother earth bloom after long winter months, glorified the Creator with an act of thanksgiving and celebrated by decorating the church and themselves with greenery. The reawakening of nature is symbolic of the Resurrection. Green is the color of life, freshness, and promise. After a barren winter and with the Resurrection we are filled with hope, life, and love.  

Green Sunday is the perfect time for us to remember and strengthen our obligations as good stewards of the earth and caretakers of the gifts given to us by God.


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 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.


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.
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)

Birth of Lydia Durnovo (May 1, 1885)

Lydia Durnovo was a Soviet Russian art historian and restorer, considered one of the founders of the school of art historians in Armenia.

She was born in Smolensk (Russia) on May 1, 1885. She first attended a local gymnasium, where she studied drawing. She moved to St. Petersburg in 1904 and entered A. V. Makovsky’s art workshop. However, she only studied for a year. The Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 had started, and she left for the front to serve as a nurse. She returned to St. Petersburg in 1906 and she graduated from the school of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts in 1915. She would subsequently complete her postgraduate studies at the State Institute of Art History and the Archaeology Institute between 1920 and 1923. In the 1920s Durnovo worked as a research fellow at the Institute, specializing in early Russian art. She was also the assistant curator of the Russian Museum and headed its copy shop, gathering and training a group of enthusiasts, who became the core of a school of restorers and copyists.

In an early wave of repression, she was arrested in October 1933 for allegedly being an "active member of a counterrevolutionary fascist organization." She was deported to Siberia and eventually freed three years later, in November 1936. In 1937 Ruben Drampian (founder and first director of the National Gallery of Armenia from 1935-1951), invited Durnovo to move to Armenia. The Gallery had created a department of Medieval Art, and it was necessary to establish the gathering and storage of manuscripts on a scholarly basis, as well as to organize the systematic copying of art works. She gathered again young students and taught them how to restore and copy works of art. After two years of contract work, she became a permanent employee of the Gallery in 1939.

Coming into contact with the architecture, frescoes, and miniatures of Armenia, Durnovo was among the first to look at them from the standpoint of an art historian. Scholars like Garegin Hovsepian, Toros Toramanian, Josef Strzygowski, and Nikolai Marr had contributed valuable historical and philological studies to the field, but Armenian medieval art was looking for a researcher who offered an aesthetic response.

The study of Armenian monumental painting, namely, frescoes, was Lydia Durnovo’s significant contribution. She discovered and studied unknown frescoes, and refuted Austrian art scholar Strzygowski’s view that medieval Armenia did not know them. She dated, organized, and copied Armenian frescoes, as well as miniatures. She also made an important contribution to the study and copying of drapery.

By the mid-1950s, Durnovo had earned authoritative reputation in the field of Armenian medieval art. In 1952 she published the album Armenian Ancient Miniature, which became a landmark in the scholarly life of Armenia and was published in eight languages from 1952 to 1969 (English edition, Armenian Miniatures, New York, 1961). Three years later, she left her work at the National Gallery and became a researcher at the Art Institute of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. She supervised the restoration of the frescoes of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. Three years after Stalin’s death, she was rehabilitated by the Soviet government and the charges leveled at her in the 1930s were suppressed. In 1957 she published a second book, A Brief History of Old Armenian Painting.

After a prolific career and contribution to the study of Armenian art during a quarter of a century, Lydia Durnovo passed away in Yerevan on January 7, 1963.

Portrait of Lydia Durnovo, by Martiros Sarian (1958)
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( www.armenianprelacy. org ).


Last Sunday’s Reflection was offered by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC).

Click Here to view.


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.

May 4 to 7—Fiftieth anniversary Festival of Hamazkayin New York Chapter, under auspices of Archbishop Oshagan, will be commemorated with the following events: May 4 to 7: Art Exhibit with original paintings by contemporary Armenian artists, provided by Gallery Z of Providence, Rhode Island. Opening reception May 4 at 8 pm, St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City. Paintings are priced for every budget. Remarks by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian. Free admission. May 5: 8 pm at St. Illuminator Cathedral. Welcoming remarks by Arevig Caprielian. “Saving the Wounded Soldiers of Artsakh,” Power point presentation by Razmig Arzoumanian, co-founder of the Wounded Heroes of Artsakh. Remarks by Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations and Robert Avetisyan, representative of Artsakh. May 6: 7 pm at St. Illuminator Cathedral. Panel discussion, “Responsibility, Commitment, and Action.” Participants: Veh Bezdikian, Rupen Janbazian, Natalie Gabrelian, Anahid Ugurlaian, Lucine Kasparian, Mardig Tcholakian. Armen Caprielian, moderator. Remarks by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Free admission. May 7: 4 pm at The Armenian Center, Woodside, New York. Cultural Program. Part I, 50 the Path Taken; Part II, Kaleidoscope of Armenian songs and music with participation of Hooyser Musical Ensemble, Jerry Bezdikian, Narek Boudakian, and Zulal Trio. Part III, “A Monologue,” world premiere of “Khrimian Hayrig,” written and performed by Herand Markarian. Anniversary cake and champagne reception. Admission $25. Space is limited; reservations for the Cultural Program highly recommended.  

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/