April 30, 2020
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I discussed the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic with the monks in residence at the Monastery of the Catholicosate in Antelias. In the meeting he presided last Tuesday, His Holiness spoke about how COVID-19 has impacted world affairs and especially Armenian life.

In the presentation, he listed the measures adopted by the Prelacies across the world and the work they are carrying out within their communities, speaking with praise of the service the prelates, clergy and community leadership, along with the organizations, are providing. “Service is an essential part of the church; it is the reason for its existence and its goal,” the Catholicos said. “Our clergy must continue their service to the public with that awareness and renewed commitment.”  
His Holiness also highlighted the imperative of preaching the word of God. “Alongside the service, the mission of the church is preaching the truths and the values of the Bible,” he said. “Clergymen must live and then preach the Bible.”
The Catholicos warned about the need of avoiding the cheap and superficial spiritual and preaching of modern times. “We must inspire hope in the people, we have to strengthen their faith, to enable it to overcome the current difficulties.”
He also had words of praise for the monks in residence at the monastery, who participate in the service of our church to the nation with their spiritual work. His Holiness also outlined the humanitarian work carried out by the Catholicosate.  

Dear Fellow brothers and sisters of my hometown, Greater Philadelphia.

I am so delighted today to be at St. Gregory’s Church, to pray and praise together the Almighty Lord. You may question the validity of my joy while I am facing empty pews. My feeling is not self-deception, neither a rootless compliment, nor a magic trick, but rather a fact which might be seen and enjoyed only through spiritual eyes. In other words, every Sunday during the Badarak, prior to the Trisagion, the celebrant silently offers a very bold prayer and says, “O Lord, at this hour make the Angels worthy TO JOIN us in celebrating this Sacrifice.” I hope, having lifted up your minds to heavens, that you also will believe that this sanctuary is not empty but rather is filled with the invisible presence of myriads of angels celebrating with us this Badarak, the Holy Sacrifice. Besides, I believe that while the pandemic has distanced us, technology has brought us closer; thus in your hearts and minds you also are joining the angels in this, our joyful celebration. On a personal note, let me share with you a cartoon, in which Satan boasts and says: ‘With the coronavirus, I closed your churches.’ God answers with smile, “On the contrary, I just opened one in every home! Praise the Lord for everything, even for His humor.”

Today, the third Sunday following Easter, according to the Armenian Church Calendar is known as “Green Sunday”. It is also known as the “Sunday of the Universal Church”, dedicated to the Upper Room, where Jesus established the sacrament of the Eucharist, the Holy Communion, and where the Apostles gathered together and prayed for fifty days until the descent of the Holy Spirit.

The spirit of this celebration is the unity of the Apostles as well as of their companions, and subsequently the unity of the Universal Church founded on the Risen Lord. Step by step, the Apostles came to understand and see, in hindsight, the fulfillment of the prophecies of their beloved Master who so humbly walked with them, taught them, even while He was tired and slept in the boat or was rebuked by them. Each one of them through their experience came to see that He was not only the beloved Son, a good teacher, a wonder-worker, an incomparable forgiver, but He is the “I AM” who manifested His unconditional love through a mysterious but tangible incarnation in the Manger and on the Cross. This was the foundation of their unity. This was the strength of their solidarity. This was the inner power which gradually growing, in spite of their different personalities and outlooks, made them one and forged them in unison to become the witnesses of the Risen Lord, and proclaim Him the Savior of Mankind. Their priority was not to themselves but only in praising and glorifying Him who sacrificed Himself for us.

The spirit of oneness which streams from the Upper Room is the role model in which all Christian Churches and individuals should understand and interpret their oneness, in the mission of being the witnesses of the Risen Lord and proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

Throughout the centuries, we Christians have weakened ourselves by spending so much precious time and energy in exploring means and ways to accomplish administrative unity. We have estranged ourselves from the spirit of the Upper Room’s unity which is not conditional upon the merging of physical, material or institutional differences, but rather is based upon mutual cooperation and is rooted in the harmonious economy in the Triune Godhead. 

I feel so humbled, I feel so grateful that among other Church Fathers, Archbishop Nerses of Lambron, an Armenian Church Father of the 12th century, has grasped the essence of unity and has actualized it in his own life. In his commentary on the Divine Liturgy he says:

“All we Christians adore in diverse tongues one Jesus Christ and all we Christians are the one Church of Jesus Christ…When Christians in Spain pray, that prayer is for me too, for I am a Christian as they are; and when I am praying in Cilicia, my prayer is for them too, for they too profess the same faith as I… I am united by traditions to whoever bears the name of Christ as a crown of glory. All are in Jesus and Jesus Christ is in all.”

What a simple yet eloquent way to understand and live unity in Christ who said: “I am the Vine and you are the branches” (John 15:5).

Today, while we are celebrating the establishment, the inception of the first Christian sanctuary, symbolized within the Upper Room, full of love, unity, prayer and expectations, we are all invited to renew our understanding of unity and oneness in Christ. Due to extreme caution when we are distancing ourselves from each other, it is so positive to witness that the pyramid of our priorities is being totally reconfigured. We are reuniting in live communication with God. While once we had distanced ourselves from Him and even marginalized Him, now we are confessing His crucial role in our welfare. We are becoming more grateful for the things which may have been taken for granted just a few months ago. We are more careful, we are more attentive toward each other. We are realizing how interdependent we are regardless of our positions, wealth, and ethnic differences. We highly appreciate the sacrificial commitment of doctors, nurses, health communities, public servants, and researchers who have rallied on all levels to secure safety for mankind. Amid terror, hopelessness, and uncertainty a new understanding of one world is merging into our experience at home.

Let us all, anchored in the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, unceasingly pray for ourselves, for all Christians, for entire mankind, and for the Creation at large.

Let us pray fervently for we believe that the Almighty Lord is with us and invisibly is working through the heroic sacrifice of doctors, nurses and health communities, through public servants who are providing our necessities while we are safely distancing ourselves in our homes, as well as through the community of science which, supported by government agencies, are committed to discover the cure for this virus.  

Let us with renewed faith unceasingly Pray, be Prudent and be Patient.

Let us feel strong with the spirit of oneness prevailing in the Upper Room, to face all challenges of visible and invisible enemies and viruses of today and of all ages. For united we are stronger, for united we become the authentic children of the Almighty Lord, to whom is befitting Glory, Power and Honor, forever and ever. Amen.

With the tolling of the bells on the morning of April 24, the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of the Great House of Cilicia announced the commemoration of the 105 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, marked with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy presided by His Holiness, Catholicos Aram I. Bishop Shahe Panossian, Pontifical Vicar of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, was the celebrant.
During the service, His Holiness delivered a pontifical message from the altar, saying that April 24 reminds us of the Armenian Genocide yet, at the same time, the date contains and embodies the will for justice and the unshakeable faith of our people. “That’s why today is not a common day; it’s a concept that gives meaning to our life, it’s a message that gives sense and purpose to our life”.

The Catholicos emphasized that the life of every Armenian and their fight for existence is driven with the idea of April 24. “The Armenian cause is the cause of the Armenian people,” he added. “It’s your cause, Armenian people! And thus we will continue the Armenian cause on a pan-Armenian scale, with pan-Armenian collaboration, pan-Armenian will and determination.”
In his message, His Holiness emphasized that we had to keep striving for justice with unyielding spirit. “We are a people that have been deprived of their rights,” he said. “The Great House of Cilicia itself has been deprived of its rights, its historical lands, and it has been expelled from its own properties.” This, he said, does not only belong in the history books. “Our claims for justice are not a slogan for our people but a daily suffering, experience and yearning.” He said that it was impossible to relegate the claims for justice to history books, especially as Turkey continues with its actions, appropriating our national monuments, changing their character and seeking to erase any traces of an Armenian presence. The Catholicos questioned the silence of organizations that defend cultural heritage like UNESCO in the face of cultural genocide.
Aram I closed his remarks urging every Armenian to renew their faith in the claim for justice, their will, the resolution and their commitment, and to continue the fight, the collective struggle of the Armenian people, with that spirit, to get back what’s rightfully ours.

The religious service was followed by a march to the chapel of the Holy Martyrs, the first Armenian Genocide memorial erected in the Diaspora, where wreaths were laid in memory of more than one million and a half holy martyrs.

In Defense of Christians, a Washington-based advocacy group for Middle Eastern Christians, today hosted a videoconference with Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas), who discussed the future of Christianity in the Middle East and the important role of the Eastern Christian diaspora in the U.S. The speaker also provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Since being sworn into office in April 2017, Congressman Estes has been a leading proponent of immigration reform, among other causes he has espoused.

His Eminence, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian also took part in the call. The Prelate is a member of the IDC Advisory Religious Board.

IDC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks the protection and preservation of Christians and Christianity in the Middle East raising global awareness, mobilizing international support, and educating policymakers.
Since September, the Armenian community of Lebanon is facing an acute financial crisis, now compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, sent the following message on April 27 :
“My dear Lebanese Armenian brothers and sisters,

“Along with the coronavirus global crisis, you have been facing with extraordinary resilience the political, financial and social crisis that our second, Lebanese homeland has been going through for the last eight months. I have been following the developments and your response from across the ocean, and I wanted to express my admiration for all of you and say that in the tragic days following the Genocide, yet even more in the progress of our renaissance —something to be proud of— the Armenian community of Lebanon has played a key role in the religious, political, charity, cultural, educational fields and other spheres of the Armenian life. 

“The outstanding trait of the Lebanese Armenians has been the following: it has not lived only for itself, but in the literal sense of the world, for the entire Armenian nation. Yes, it has occasionally enjoyed the benefits of other communities, but its heart has always beaten for the fulfillment of the dreams and ideals of the Armenian people, to which it has given new blood.

“As a clergyman enrolled in the service of the Armenian Church and the centuries-old Great House of Cilicia, who has opened his eyes under the canopy of cedars, I share this message from the bottom of my heart: grounded in our faith in God, having fought for our freedom for five thousand years and having survived, and with our promise forged in the vows of our April martyrs, let us never waver and lose hope, but let us overcome the dire situation of today with each other and for each other, with the expectation of new dawns of blooming roses, in the prophetic words of our martyred poet Daniel Varoujan.”
A Note about the Readings : Beginning Monday, April 20, and continuing until Pentecost (May 31) 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.

Bible readings for Sunday, May 3, Red Sunday, are: Acts 13:16-43; 1 Peter 5:1-14; John 5:19:30.
Acts 13:16-43

So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes. Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’

“My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm. ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’ As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’ Therefore he has also said in another psalm, ‘You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption; but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you: ‘Look, you scoffers! Be amazed and perish, for in you days I am doing a work, a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’”

As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next Sabbath. When the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.


John 5:19-30

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday (May 3) is the fourth Sunday of Eastertide, known as Red Sunday ( Garmir Giragi ). The name does not have an ecclesiastical origin. Red is the color of blood and this may be an appropriate time to honor the memory of the early Christian martyrs. The name Red Sunday is also believed to refer to the burst of color that comes forth from the land after a barren winter. Similar to last week’s Green Sunday, it is a celebration of nature and life, symbolizing rebirth after the Resurrection of our Lord.

Due to the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute will hold a condensed online Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 from June 29 to July 3, 2020, instead of its regular sessions at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania.

There will be an hour-long class (11 am to noon), Monday to Friday, which will include a brief church service, followed by mini-sessions on the Bible, Armenian Church history, and a panel discussion on current issues.

We invite our youth, and especially past Datevatsis, to take part in this unique Christian educational program.

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, please send your contact information (name, address, phone number, email address, and DOB) to Dn. Shant Kazanjian at skazanjian.sk@gmail.com. If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Shant by email or at 212-689-7810.
The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s projects in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads.

This week’s letter is from Samvel* who is sponsored by Vahe and Hasmig Dombalagian.  

Dear Reader,
I, Samvel ____ was born on July 28, 2012 in Yerevan. For the last five years, I have been living with my mother in Sayat-Nova village. I am in 2nd grade in our village school. In these two years in school I made friends with a lot of students. My goal is to be a good student to make my mom happy.
I love chess –it helps me to concentrate and move forward with steadier pace. I would love to go to Chess School to broaden my knowledge and become a professional chess player.
When I am not busy with my homework, I like to play soccer with my friends, to help my mom in the house and to do gardening. I like nature very much. I dream of having a little piece of my own land someday and grow my dream garden there.

It is very difficult for my mom to raise me, but I never lose my spirit. I want my mom to always smile.

* In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.

The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization’s orphans’ sponsorship program now has two branches:
a.      Minors up to the age of 18.
b.     Orphans who upon turning 18 continue their studies at a higher education institution.
If you would like to sponsor a child on the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program, please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. Alternatively, for the sponsorship of both minors and university students you may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810). 
Siamanto Academy students got together on a Zoom videoconference on Saturday, April 25. The speaker of the day was Anahid Ugurlayan.
As the talk was one day after the Genocide commemoration on April 24, the speaker had chosen to discuss about the life and work of Zabel Yesayan, a renowned Western Armenian writer with a rich personality and life.
The speaker stirred the students’ interest, showing how a female intellectual in the first decades of the 20 th century managed to take such daring decisions at the time. Those deeds also turned her into a victim of Stalinist persecution, but their influence has been lasting and have given more prominent stature to Yesayan.
Ugurlayan engaged the students and drove them to reflect on the topic as well as to pen their thoughts. In their quickly written lines, the students showed how rapidly they had understood the topic as they tried to figure how Yesayan’s ideas would develop if she were alive today, especially on women’s life and the Armenian Genocide.
The next Siamanto Academy class is on Saturday, May 30.

Due to the lockdown caused by the current pandemic, the Nareg Saturday Armenian school is continuing classes online for all grades. The students are excited and comfortable with this venue and parents have provided their positive feedback and appreciation. The online classes have been successful thanks to joint efforts of the school board, principal and teachers. We are thankful and appreciative for the smooth and efficient coordination.

Besides regular classes, last week Nareg School students commemorated the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Turkey. They remembered the 1.5 million Armenian martyrs and demanded reparations and justice for the Armenian nation.


Barlow Der Mugrdechian (ed.)

This volume is a collection of scholarly articles in honor of Dr. Dickran Kouymjian, whose productive career as scholar, teacher, and prolific public speaker has covered more than fifty years, and reflects his interests in a wider field of Armenian Studies, from Armenian history and art to the study of William Saroyan and genocide.
For more than thirty years, from the late 1970s, Kouymjian served as Director of the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno, and since 1988 he has been the holder of the Haig and Isabel Berberian Chair of Armenian Studies at the same university. He was one of the five original founders of the Society for Armenian Studies, in 1974. Kouymjian resided for part of the year in Paris, France, where he currently lives, and six articles in the French language on Armenian topics enrich this volume. His remarkably productive career is reflected in the scope of articles contained in this Festschrift, with a total of forty-six contributions.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore ( books@armenianprelacy.org   or 212-689-7810)
The finalists for the 2020 Excellence in Publishing Awards were announced and the recently published The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek , by Michael Papazian was one of the seven finalists in the biography category.

The annual award honors the best resources from 2019 in sixteen categories. The winners will be announced the end of May.

Published by Liturgical Press, the book introduces the Armenian saint (951—1003) to a wide audience. In 2015, Pope Francis designated St. Gregory of Narek as a “Doctor of the Church,” and he joined the elite group of 36 saints renowned for their teaching.

Michael Papazian is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. After completing his philosophy doctorate at the University of Virginia, he studied classical Armenian at Oxford University. He publishes on ancient Greek philosophy and medieval Armenian theology.

Although Saint Gregory is revered and well known by Armenians, he has only recently become more widely known and appreciated thanks to translations of his works into modern languages. In a recent interview, Professor Papazian noted that the Saint’s great collection of prayers, the Book of Lamentation , are used in the Armenian liturgy and pious Armenian families have copies of the Bible and Gregory’s popular prayer book side by side.

The Doctor of Mercy aims to provide a scholarly and accessible introduction to Gregory’s literary works, theology, and spirituality, as well as to make the case for the contemporary relevance of his writings to the problems that face the church and the world today.

The Doctor of Mercy is available at the Prelacy Bookstore. Also available are two of Professor Papazian’s books published by the Eastern Prelacy, Light from Light: An Introduction to the History and Theology of the Armenian Church , and his translation of Stepanos Siwnetsi’s Commentary of the Four Evangelists  in a bilingual edition. Contact the bookstore to order or for more information ( books@armenianprelacy.org  or 212-689-7810)

Death of Hrachia Kochar (May 2, 1965)
Writer Hrachia Kochar, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, became one of the official voices of Stalinism, but at the end of his life, mounting on the wave of national rebirth in Soviet Armenian, produced the most durable works of his literary career.

He was born Hrachia Kaprielian in the village of Kumlubujakh, situated on the foot of Mount Nepat in the district of Bagrevand (Western Armenia), on February 1, 1910. His mother died on the road to exile in 1916, and he was able to cross into Eastern Armenia with the rest of the villagers, finding shelter in the village of Vagharshapat. His father Kochar (Kocho), who fought along General Antranig, died in 1918. The future writer became a pastor as well as a miner in the copper mines of Alaverdi. He moved to Yerevan in 1927, where he studied at the Faculty of Philology of Yerevan State University.

Hrachia Kochar took his father’s name as his pseudonym and published his first short story in 1931, in the journal Nor Ughi. In 1934, he was appointed the editor of the Kurdish newspaper Ria Taza. In the same year he became a member of the Writers Union of Armenia and published his first book, the novel Vahan Vartian, followed by a second one, The Voyage of Oksen Vaspur, in 1937.

During the height of the Stalinist purges, in 1936-1937, Kochar gave various speeches accusing of nationalism his fellow writers, some of whom were later shot or exiled. Ironically, in 1955 he headed the committee that investigated the rehabilitation of victims of Stalinism.

In June 1941, the writer went as volunteer to the battlefront and served in the Soviet army from 1941-1945, participating in World War II. He published volumes of articles written from the front. Among those works, the most celebrated at the time was the short story “The General’s Sister,” which was first published in 1945 in Pravda and then translated into 24 languages. Such works were the prologue to Kochar’s two-volume novel, The Children of the Great House (1952).

After the war, the writer immersed himself into public life and wrote social commentary along his literary works. He was secretary of the Writers Union of Armenia from 1946-1951 and editor of the literary monthly Sovetakan Grakanutiun, and became editor of the satirical weekly Vozni in 1954. He wrote the scenario for the film Aurora Borealis (1961) and was decorated with the Order of Red Star.

In the last years of his life, Kochar started dealing with the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He published his last article on April 24, 1965, when he was already seriously ill, and passed away eight days later, on May 2. Also in 1965, his last volume, The White Book, was published posthumously. It included his most enduring works, the novels Nahapet and Nostalgia, which dealt with survivors of the genocide and their fate. Kochar was posthumously awarded the State Prize of Armenia (1967) for Nahapet. Both novels became the subject of successful movies in 1977 and 1990. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
How Cameras Became Arches
We have come across many English and Armenian words that are close or distant relatives. This time, we will talk about a trio.

Their ultimate source is the Greek word kamara , “vaulted chamber.” We do not know anything certain about its origin, but we do about its derivations. One of them is the Latin word camera (“vault, vaulted room”), which became the source of two English words, both directly and indirectly. The direct result was, of course, “camera.” It was used as a short form of Modern Latin camera obscura “dark chamber” (a black box with a lens that could project images of external objects), which in the nineteenth century designated the picture-taking device and later, similar devices used to film.
Camera was the source, on the other side, of English “chamber” (“a room in a house”), derived from Old French chambre (“room”). 

But the Armenian word կամար ( gamar ), which sounded kamar in Classical Armenian (and now Eastern Armenian) and was directly derived from Greek kamara , adopted a different meaning. It became part of the “vaulted chamber” of the original Greek, taking the meaning “arch,” as in յաղթանակի կամար ( haghtanagi gamar , “arch of triumph”).

Moreover, the form of the arch gave origin to a metaphorical sense. The expression կամար կապել ( gamar gabel, literally “to tie an arch”) is used after the rain, when the rainbow appears in the sky (namely, երկինքը կամար կապեց , yerginkuh gamar gabets ). But, of course, you do not call a rainbow gamar . The standard word for “rainbow” is ծիածան ( dziadzan ).
Previous entries in “Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
May is traditionally the month when the Eastern Prelacy holds its annual National Representative Assembly (NRA), and delegates from all parishes come together to review the past year and set the course for the next one. The coronavirus pandemic has upended the tradition. As we all know, the NRA scheduled to be held in Philadelphia in mid-May, has been postponed. As a reminder of better days, here is a group picture of the assembly hosted by Sts. Vartanantz Church of Providence, Rhode Island, in May 15-18, 1979. The image is courtesy of Mrs. Karen Kachikian Massar, who has recently donated several pictures related to the history of the Prelacy.

Crossroads welcomes your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian), as well as parish news, photographs, and calendar items. Remember that the deadline for submitting items is Tuesday evenings. Please write to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org.

In his new article about the coronavirus pandemic, Fr. Bedros Shetilian invites us to see the revelation of our Lord in these dark times. You may read it here .
 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
May 13-16  — POSTPONED —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Philadelphia..
May 17  — CANCELED —Following Divine Liturgy, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral will host a talk by academic and author Rubina Peroomian.
May 31  — POSTPONED —Save the date. St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Douglaston, New York, 30th Anniversary Banquet.
June 29—July 3  —St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program online For information, please contact Dn. Shant Kazanjian at 212-689-7810 or skazanjian.sk@gmail.com.
September 26-27  —St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley (North Andover, Massachusetts), 50 th Anniversary, under the auspices of Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate.
October 4 —Save the date. St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT, 95th Anniversary Banquet.
October 17 CANCELED —Hye Kef 5 Annual Dance, presented by the Armenian Friends of America, Inc.. Featuring: Steve Vosbikian Jr., Mal Barsamian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian and Jason Naroian. At the DoubleTree Hotel in Andover, MA. For details, visit ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org or call Sharke at 978-808-0598.
November 15  —Save the date. The Eastern Prelacy's Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
November 28  —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church 80th Anniversary Celebration, under the auspices of Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island. 
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