August 18, 2016

Last Sunday Armenian churches around the world celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God and the Blessing of the Grapes, an old and beautiful tradition in the Armenian Church that expresses thanks for a bountiful harvest and encourages sharing with the needy.

In Lebanon His Holiness Aram I presided over the Divine Liturgy and the Blessing of Grapes and Madagh at the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God (Sourp Asdvadzadzin) in Bikfaya on Saturday. The Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian and sung by the “Shenorhali” choir. The complex of buildings that surround the vast area of the Monastery include the beautiful Chapel of Saint Mary, the Martyrs Altar, the Veharan (offices and residence), the Seminary, Guest House, and the distinctive monument erected in 1965 dedicated to the rebirth of the Armenian people. Thousands of pilgrims came to Bikfaya to participate in the services, which were televised worldwide. The Monastery has become a year-round destination for pilgrims and a steady stream of visitors is now the norm rather than an exception.

In his message following the Liturgy, His Holiness described the Mother of Jesus as the model of the virtuous woman, who has been constantly present in the Armenian Church, inspiring the church fathers, theologians, and poets. He said that her motherhood continues to shape the spiritual and moral values of Armenian families and the nation as a whole.

Prelacy parishes were filled on this adored holiday—one of the five major feast days in the Armenian liturgical calendar. Many of our parishes schedule their annual picnic on this day and conduct the Blessing of the Grapes outdoors, as well as after the Liturgy in church. This year because of the extreme heat and humidity on the east coast many of the outdoor activities were brought inside air conditioned halls.

Worcester, Massachusetts: The clergy perform the Blessing of Grapes service in Worcester, Massachusetts. From left, Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Archbishop Oshagan, and Archpriest Fr. Vazken Bekiarian.
Providence, Rhode Island: New England area clergy gather at Camp Haiastan for the Annual Picnic and Blessing of Grapes of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence. From left: Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, Archpriest Fr. Aram Stepanian, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, Archbishop Oshagan, Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, and Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian.
Clergy and Deacons during the service.
North Andover, Massachusetts: Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian and altar servers of St. Gregory Church, North Andover, during the Blessing of Grapes service.
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, together with some parishioners of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, visited the Armenian Home for the Aged in Flushing, New York yesterday. Der Mesrob conducted the Blessing of Grapes ceremony for the residents and staff of the Home. Der Hayr explained the significance of the centuries-old tradition of the blessing of grapes prior to the ceremony. Later he greeted and blessed each of the residents individually and presented each a bag of blessed grapes and a small Armenian cross, donated by Mrs. Ani Keshishian-Taslakian. Der Hayr also presented the Home with a donation of $500 from the Cathedral in appreciation of its dedicated care of the elderly.

Der Mesrob is surrounded by Cathedral parishioners and staff members of the Home in Flushing, New York.


His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia issued a statement on Monday, August 15, concerning the recent developments in Yerevan. An English translation is below. You can also view the message (in Armenian) here.

“It is with great sorrow and indignation that we watched the recent events in Armenia. Considering that it is the first occasion of issuing my precept to our people […] I’d like to express some of my concerns and also make certain reminders.

First of all, I’d like to stress that the Diaspora cannot be in the passive state of a mere listener and observer in issues of concern and challenges to Armenia and Artsakh. No. The Diaspora has a say and work to carry out.

On the eve of its 25th anniversary of independence, Armenia faces serious challenges. Therefore, it is necessary to be sensible, realistic and vigilant, keeping away from the failure to notice the past and positions of seeing everything in pink and unrealistic colors.

If decay becomes a usual phenomenon, people’s indignation rises and the migration continues at the same rate, the foundations of Armenia’s statehood may become shattered.

If the internal unity of our people, which is the guarantor of our nation’s and homeland’s strength, weakens, the mutual confidence between the people and authorities will decline, and Armenia may face unforeseeable and insurmountable troubles.

The moment of self-criticism has come, and this should be done in a sincere and realistic manner. It is time to take practical steps today for tomorrow will be late.
We have no right to keep the people stuck in the silt of poverty: The economic crisis will become a source of any kind of evil.

We have no right to make Armenia a country which sways in the waves of disorder: Armenia is a state with its Constitution and laws.

We have no right to have murky and ambiguous positions on the issue of Artsakh, which regained its independence at the expense of great sacrifice: This can endanger the independence of Artsakh.

The geopolitical changes taking place in the Middle East and Caucasus and new formations of interstate interests, which can be harmful to Armenia and Artsakh, must be looked upon and assessed properly, adopting relevant position, combining our diplomacy with the strong spirit and firm will of our people.

The pains of our homeland and people must be diagnosed correctly and quickly. And instead of merely removing the syndromes, we should have wisdom and courage to heal our wounds and console our pains by joint efforts.

We should refrain from any kind of violence and polarization, regardless of their motives. It is totally unacceptable for the blood of an Armenian to be shed in Yerevan.  Armenian’s blood can be shed only on the holy path of defending Armenia and Artsakh.

We should keep away from a diverging mentality and actions between Armenia and Diaspora, as well as people and authorities. We are one nation with a single homeland, single past, present and future.

It is only with deep recognition and full commitment that we can strengthen our homeland.  Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian community are beyond anything. This shouldn’t become a mere motto, but a guiding principle in the life of every Armenian and the entire Armenian nation.”


The more than two decades of visionary leadership of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, will be marked on Sunday, October 9. The celebratory day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, celebrated by His Holiness. In the afternoon a special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion will take place at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey, that will be followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration at the same venue. This event will be the one and only celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy. All Prelacy parishes will be closed on October 9 to permit the participation of our clergy and parishioners.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

10:00 am
Pontifical Divine Liturgy
Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church
461 Bergen Boulevard
Ridgefield, New Jersey 07657

1:30 pm
Cocktail Reception
Marriott at Glenpointe
100 Frank W. Burr Boulevard
Teaneck, New Jersey 07666

3:00 pm
20th Anniversary Program
Grand Ballroom

4:30 pm
Celebratory Dinner
Grand Ballroom

$250 per person
For information/reservations contact the Prelacy office:


Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, this Sunday where he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and preside over the Blessing of the Grapes and the parish’s annual picnic on the church grounds. This annual event usually draws many hundreds of people from the New England area. 


Bishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and preside over the Blessing of Grapes this Sunday at St. Hagop Church, Niagara Falls, New York.


Archbishop Oshagan and the Prelacy community have been invited to participate in the upcoming 2016 National Advocacy Convention  “Beyond Genocide: Preserving Christianity in the Middle East,” that will take place in Washington, DC, September 7 to 9, 2016. It is sponsored by In Defense of Christians (IDC), the first American organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness and advocacy for the troubled Christian communities in the Middle East.  The convention will include members of the Middle East Christian diaspora, members of diverse Christian communities, members of Congress and their staff, political leaders, policy experts, and human rights activists from across the United States.

An Ecumenical Prayer Service will take place on September 7 at 7 pm, bringing together Eastern and Western churches to pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. The event will take place at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 595 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Go to for more information or call (202) 351-6195.


Bible readings for Sunday, August 21, First Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God , are, Proverbs 11:30-12:4; Zechariah 2:10-13; 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Luke 1:39-56.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.   (Luke 1:39-56)


What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1)

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


On Tuesday, August 23, the Armenian Church commemorates Saints Joachim and Anna, parents of Mary, the mother of Christ. Joachim, son of Barpathir, was a descendant of King David, to whom God had revealed that the Savior of the world would be born through his descendants. Anna was a descendant of the tribe of Levi through her father and the tribe of Judah through her mother. Joachim and Anna were childless through years of marriage. Joachim fasted for forty days in the desert and both of them prayed for a child, ultimately placing their trust in God’s will. An angel appeared to each of them telling them that in spite of their old age they would be the parents of a daughter.

On the same day the Church remembers the oil-bearing women (Myrophores). These are the eight women who are identified as the oil- or myrrh-bearers in the four Gospels who had different roles during Christ’s ministry, at the Cross, and the tomb on Easter morning. The eight women are: Mary Magdalene, Mary (Theotokos), Joanna, Salome, Mary (wife of Cleopas), Susanna, Mary of Bethany, and Martha of Bethany.

Frankincense and Myrrh were the “gifts of kings,” more valuable than gold. Myrrh is mentioned frequently in both the Old and New Testaments. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were the precious offerings of thanks to Mary by the three Wise Men for bringing forth the Son of God. Myrrh is mentioned occasionally throughout the life of Jesus of Nazareth: “And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh (Mark 15:23); after his death, “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight,” which was used to prepare the Body for burial (John 19:39).

O God, by wise foreknowledge you established the mystery of the holy church, having laid down the assembly of the righteous as its deep and firm foundation; through their prayers, have mercy on us. The blessing given by you to husband and wife, the pair created by God, buds forth today in Joachim and Anna like a splendid flower; through their prayers, have mercy on us. Today you manifested from Anna the promise given to Abraham, our patriarch according to the Spirit, in the union of staffs both priestly and kingly; through their prayers, have mercy on us. O God, without beginning, unspeakable, boundless might, from the beginning of the ages you have cared for the sons of Adam, today by grace from above, you have designated by her birth the mother of your chosen and only-begotten Son. Through her prayers, have mercy on us.
(Canon to Saints Joachim and Anna from the liturgical canons of the Armenian Church)


Next Thursday, August 25, the Armenian Church remembers Jeremiah, one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. His writings are collected in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah, in I and II Kings, and the Book of Lamentations. God appointed Jeremiah to confront Judah and Jerusalem for the worship of idols and other violations of the covenant (described in the Book of Deuteronomy). Jeremiah had the task of explaining the reason for the impending disaster—the destruction by the Babylonian army and captivity: “And when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”


Last month pilgrims from the Worcester, Massachusetts community had the opportunity to visit their homeland. The feeling to see the independent homeland was indescribable. Hearing about the beauty of Armenia from parents and grandparents and seeing it with their own eyes was a dream come true for all of them. From July 6 to 17, 35 Worcester area Armenians enjoyed their pilgrimage, visiting churches and monasteries and praying in the first Christian country, which everyone described as being “an amazing experience and opportunity.”

One of the youngest members, Pateal Aprahamian, had this to say about her experience:

 "All throughout my life I have heard about Armenia’s endless beauty from my family, and this summer I finally had a chance to experience it for myself. Never before have I encountered people so proud of their history and so determined to preserve their heritage. The instant connection I made with Armenia was indescribable, I truly felt at home while I was there. It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of seeing my homeland for the first time, it is a feeling that I wish all Armenians could experience.
“One of my favorite memories was seeing Mount Ararat for the first time, my jaw dropped and it stayed open for quite a while. I have never seen a view as stunning as what was right in front of me, I could not comprehend that I was finally seeing it with my own eyes. I was standing there in awe trying to absorb everything I was seeing.
“I was overwhelmed by the beautiful countryside, the beautiful churches, monasteries, and Yerevan’s incredible nightlife. However what amazed me most was the sincere hospitality and generosity of the people. My visit to Armenia was a life changing experience that I will genuinely never forget." 

The Pilgrims visit the Genocide memorial at Dzidzernakapert.
High above the beautiful city.


The Trustees of the Pashalian Family Education Fund held their annual meeting yesterday, Wednesday, August 17, at the Prelacy offices in New York City.  The Trustees of the Fund include His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, president of the Fund, and trustees Dr. George Dermksian, Mr. Michael Derian, Ms. Sossi Essajanian, and Ms. Iris Papazian (ex-officio). The trustees examined the progress and growth of the Fund and decided on the total distribution of grants for 2016, which will be announced in October.

The Pashalian Family Education Fund, which is part of the Prelacy’s Endowment Fund, was created in 1992 by Mr. and Mrs. Levon Pashalian with a generous donation from the Pashalian Family and gifts received in memory of their son John Pashalian by friends and family. The Fund supports Armenian education with grants to Armenian schools in the United States, to programs that advance the teaching of the Armenian language and history, and students in need of financial aid. Donations to the Fund are accepted at any time and can be sent to the Prelacy office, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Checks should be payable to Armenian Apostolic Church of America with “Pashalian Fund” indicated in the memo area.


Although it is summer time and school is on vacation, plans are in progress for the 2016-2017 term of the Prelacy’s Siamanto Academy. The Academy, under the direction of the Armenian National Education Committee, presents classes on Armenian history, culture, and current issues. Classes take place at the Hovnanian School in New Milford, New Jersey, every second Saturday of the month beginning September 10. For information: or 212-689-7231.


Although it was in the middle of the summer when many families are away on vacation, more than 150 people came to St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City on Friday, August 12 for “The Blue Room: Intimate Music of the Parisian Salon,” concert that featured Lucine Musaelian on the bass viola da gamba, Dongsok Shin on the harpsichord, and Martin Bernstein on the recorder. The program included the gems of the Baroque and Renaissance eras that included the works of composers Jean-Baptiste Barriere, Marin Marais, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Jean-Phillip Rameau and Michel Lambert. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor, spoke on behalf of the very appreciative audience when he expressed heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the three artists for their spectacular performance.

A summer concert at St. Illuminator Cathedral was enjoyed by attendees last Friday.


Artur Aleksanyan becme the first athlete to win a gold medal for the Armenia team on Tuesday when he beat Cuba’s Yasmany Daniel Lugo Cabrera in the final round of wrestling competition at the Rio Olympics. Earlier on Tuesday, Aleksanyan defeated Turkey’s Cenk Ildem in the semifinals to advance to the finals.

Fellow wrestler Migran Arutyunyan won a silver medal. And Simon Martirosyan, 19, won a silver medal in the men’s 105 kg weightlifting competition.

Watch the awards ceremony for gold medalist Artur Aleksanyan Here.

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Death of Sergey Mergelyan (August 20, 2008)
Sergey Mergelyan was an outstanding, world-famous mathematician, who established the grounds for the development of information technology in Armenia.

He was born in Simferopol, Crimea (then Russia), on May 19, 1928. His father Mkrtich Mergelov was born in Akhalkalak (Javakhk), and his mother Ludmila was Russian. Mergelov founded a factory of paper in 1936, but he was exiled to Siberia with his family for engaging in private economic activities. His wife and son were somehow able to return after a year of exile. Later, he was also freed and, before the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, he met by chance Kristapor Toumanian, deputy commissar (minister) of Industrial Cooperation of Armenia, who suggested that he come to Armenia and found a factory for the production of cartons. In late 1941 the Mergelovs moved to Yerevan.

It was a completely foreign environment for the Russian-educated young Sergey, who knew no Armenian and was unaware of Armenian culture. But he went on to become a perfect speaker of the language, with deep feeling for the culture of his people. Years later, his surname would become Mergelyan.

He showed his precocious talent in school years. He won the republican Olympics of mathematics and physics when an eighth grader at Mravian School. Afterwards, he rendered the exams for ninth and tenth grades, and entered the School of Physics and Mathematics of Yerevan State University in 1944, at the age of sixteen.

He passed the first year and most of the second year courses in one year, and started attending third year courses. Mergelyan graduated in three and a half years, instead of the normal five, and in 1947 he was sent to Moscow for graduate work at the Steklov Mathematics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union (now the Russian Academy of Sciences). Just two years later, on February 19, 1949, he defended his Ph.D. dissertation on the approximation theory in mathematical functions. The scientific council of the institute assessed it as a study of exceptional value, and unanimously awarded him both Ph.D. and Doctor of Science degrees. The acquisition of the highest degree of Doctor of Science at the age of twenty-one became a record, unbeaten to this day, in the former USSR and present-day Russia.

In 1951 Mergelyan developed a powerful method that allowed him to demonstrate his famous theorem of approximation by polynomials (the “Mergelyan theorem”), giving the ultimate solution to a chain of studies started in 1885 by mathematicians Karl Weierstrass and Carl Runge. Later works would include theory of functions of complex variables, theory of approximation, and theory of potential and harmonic functions. His work would lay the ground for the modern complex approximation theory.

Mergelyan won the USSR State Prize in 1952, and the following year he established another unbroken record as he became a corresponding member of the Soviet and the Armenian Academies of Sciences at the age of twenty-five. This was an honor, whether in Russia or in Armenia, that many remarkable scientists were unable to achieve in their entire lifetime. The young mathematician was a poster boy for propaganda of Soviet science abroad during the next decades.

In 1956 Mergelyan became a full member of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia and the founding director of the Yerevan Scientific Research Institute of Mathematical Machines (popularly known as the Mergelyan Institute), an important research facility at Soviet level and a pioneer of the informational technology and software industry in Armenia. At the same time, he taught at Yerevan State University and at the Yerevan Pedagogical Institute. In 1961 he moved to Moscow as deputy academician-secretary of the Mathematics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, where he created and directed the section of complex analysis until 1970.

He returned to Armenia as vice-president of the Armenian Academy of Sciences (1971-1974), and was also chair of Numerical Analysis at Yerevan State University (1972-1979). However, envy and slander would pursue him for the next fifteen years. He was demoted to director of the Computing Center of the Academy (1974-1979), and sector head of the Mathematics Institute (1979-1982). In the end, he would be designated rector of the Pedagogical Institute of Kirovakan (nowadays Vanadzor) from 1982-1986, a minor position in the third city of Armenia that was unbecoming of his status. In 1986 he left Armenia and returned to Russia, where he taught at Moscow State University and worked at the Mathematics Institute.

In the 1990s Mergelyan received an invitation to teach in the United States, first at Brown University and then at Cornell University. After a three-year stint, he returned to Moscow, but in the end he came back to America in 1996 with his wife Lidia, and settled in Sacramento. There was a failed attempt to have him return to Armenia in the late 1990s; his wife was already gravely ill with cancer and needed constant medical oversight, and the harsh experience of the 1970-1980s had deeply scarred the elder scientist.

Mergelyan’s wife passed away in 2002, and the mathematician moved to Los Angeles. On his eightieth birthday, he received the medal “Mesrop Mashtots” from the government of the Republic of Armenia in May 2008, and his jubilee was celebrated by the Academy of Sciences, a few days later. These final acts of recognition came in the last stage of his life. He died on August 20, 2008. According to his last will, he was buried at the Novodevichie Memorial Cemetery in Moscow, Russia, along his wife and mother. His legacy lives in the generations of students formed by him, and in the institute founded by him in Yerevan, popularly known as “Mergelyan’s Institute,” although it does not officially bear his name.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site (

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Do You Understand What the Lord’s Prayer Says?

You have a regular knowledge of Armenian, but are perhaps among those who have said that you attend the Badarak (Պատարագ – Mass) and do not understand it because it is krapar (գրաբար) or Classical Armenian. Let’s put aside the fact that, besides the hymns and some texts, a good part of the Sunday ceremony is in Modern Armenian. Let’s focus on what you may have said or still say.
Is it true? You cannot understand krapar?
Yes, you can!
As we have said other times, krapar is not to Modern Armenian what Old English is to Modern English or Latin is to French or Spanish. This means that, unlike the case of Old English or Latin, you may have never learned krapar, but if you know Modern Armenian, you can do a lot.
You just need to pay some attention.

Let’s take the most representative and commonly used text: the Lord’s Prayer. Here’s the original:

Hayr mer vor herginus es, soorp yegheetsee anoon Ko. Yegestseh arkayootyoon Ko. Yeghitsin gamk Ko vorbes herginus yev hergri. uZhats mer hanabazort door mez aysor. Yev togh mez zbardees mer, vorbes yev mek toghoomk merots bardabanats. Yev mi danir uzmez I portsootyoon ayl purgya uzmez ee chareh. Zi ko e arkayootyoon yev zorootyoon yev park havideans Amen.
(Հայր մեր որ յերկինս ես, սուրբ եղիցի անուն Քո։ Եկեսցէ արքայութիւն Քո։ Եղիցին կամք Քո
որպէս յերկինս եւ յերկրի։ Զհաց մեր հանապազորդ տուր մեզ այսօր։ Եւ թող մեզ զպարտիս մեր, որպէս եւ մեք թողումք մերոց պարտապանաց։ Եւ մի տանիր զմեզ ի փորձութիւն այլ փրկեա զմեզ ի չարէ։ Զի քո է արքայութիւն եւ զօրութիւն եւ փառք յաւիտեանս Ամէն)։

The assumption that you know Armenian entails that you also know how to read it. Therefore, you will surely be able to identify յերկինս (hergins) and յերկրի (hergri) with երկինք (yergink “heaven; sky”) and երկիր (yergir “earth; land”). Such being the case, you will be able to understand that the first three sentences include the words “father” (հայր/hayr), “our” (մեր/mer), “heaven” (երկինք/yergink), “holy” (սուրբ/soorp), “name” (անուն/anoon), “your” (քու/koo), “kingdom” (արքայութիւն/arkayootion), “will” (կամք/gamk). Thus, you know almost everything, because these are common words in Modern Armenian too!

You may not get at first glance what եղիցի (yegheetsee) and եկեսցէ (yegestse) mean, because they are not Modern Armenian. To solve the “puzzle,” you need to pick your own brain. If you know that soorp yegheetsee anun ko means “holy [blank] your name,” perhaps yegh (եղ), the root of yegh(eetsee), would be related to yegh(av) (եղաւ), a past form of the verb ullal (ըլլալ) “to be”! If you know that yegestseh arkayootioon ko means “[blank] your kingdom,” then yeg (եկ), the root of yeg(estse), might be related to yeg(av) (եկաւ), a past form of the verb kal (գալ) “come.” Now go and look into the English version. 

You will have some trouble with hanabazort (հանապազորդ), because this adjective does not relate to any word in Modern Armenian. However, you do not need to know what the word means at first glance to understand the essential: the prayer asks the Lord to “give us today our bread.” If you are too anxious, then check a dictionary: you will find that hanabazort means “daily.”

The words togh and toghum in the fourth and fifth sentences are the most complicated, because they are both related to the same verb, toghul (թողուլ), which is rarely used in Modern Armenian with one meaning: “to leave.” As a regular speaker of Modern Armenian, you know that the root bard(is) (պարտիս) must be related to the word bard(k) (պարտք “debt”), and you may guess that bardaban is related to the latter. The word toornaban (դռնապան) means “doorkeeper”; thus, bardaban should mean “debt-keeper” (= debtor).

(Don’t get confused. Instead of “debt,” the English Bible speaks about “trespass” or “sin,” but we all know that the Bible has different translations for different words.)
We ask from God something for our debts, in the same way that we do the same for our debtors. Can we understand that we ask to be “left alone” with our debts, in the same way that we “leave alone” our debtors? A little improbable, but the meaning is not too farfetched. To be left alone may be somehow understood as to be pardoned for something we did. Actually, the verb toghul had another meaning in krapar, “to pardon,” namely, nerel (ներել) in Modern Armenian.

In conclusion: if you try to penetrate the meaning of your prayer, it will not take you long to crack the code. We will study other examples in the future.


Now that you have learned everything (almost!) about the Lord’s Prayer, you might want to order this lovely blue and gold rendition as a constant reminder about this simple yet eloquent and popular prayer that is recited all around the world in hundreds of different languages. And, yes, we think the Armenian rendition is the most beautiful of all!


This is an attractive blue and gold free-standing plaque with an Armenian Cross and the Lord’s Prayer in Armenian. It measures 2-1/4” x 7”: small enough to fit most anywhere and large enough as a daily inspiration. $10.00 plus shipping & handling.

To order contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( or by telephone (212-689-7810).

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)

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SIAMANTO ACADEMY —Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. For information: or 212-689-7810. NEW TERM BEGINS SEPTEMBER 10.

August 21 —Annual Church Picnic and Blessing of Grapes, Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, 315 Church Street, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, with the participation of pastors of the New England area churches. Full menu of shish kebob, chicken kebab, losh kebab, keyma, desserts, and choreg sale all beginning at 12 noon. Dance to the live music of John Berberian Ensemble; rain or shine. Information: or 508-234-3677.

August 22 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, 41st Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club. Golf and dinner $250. Dinner only $125. For information: Church office (313) 336-6200.

September 11 —Picnic Festival sponsored by St. Gregory Church, of Merrimack Valley, noon to 5:30 pm, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts. Music by Leon Janikian, John Berberian, Jason Naroian, and John Arzigian. Celebrating Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Shish, losh, chicken kebab, vegetarian dinners, take-out; family games and activities. Information: or 978-685-5038.

September 11—Annual Picnic of St. Stephen Church (New Britain/Hartford), at the Knights of Columbus Club in Unionville, Connecticut. Music by Mugrditchian Ensemble. Enjoy the day with family, friends, and lot of good food. The Divine Liturgy will take place at the picnic facility at 10 am. Picnic will follow the services. Dress is casual.

October 6 —Shadoyan Fashion Show “Exclusive Collection” of Evening Gowns and “Reincarnation” Armenian National Costumes. Sponsored by ARS Eastern USA. Details to follow.

October 9 —Eastern Prelacy celebrates the 20th anniversary of election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I. Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, with participation of regional parishes. Special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion at the Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey, followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration. This event will be the singular celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy.

October 22 —Armenian Friends of America presents Hye Kef 5, a 5-hour dance, 7 pm to midnight with buffet; Andover Windham, 123 Old River Road, featuring musicians Onnik and Ara Dinkjian, Johnny Berberian, Mal Barsamian, Jason Naroian and Paul Mooradian, with proceeds benefiting area Armenian churches. Advance tickets before September 1, $55, call either John Arzigian (603) 560-3826; Sharke Der Apkarian, (978) 808-0598; Lucy Sirmaian, (978) 683-9121, or Peter Gulezian, (978) 375-1616.

October 22 —Save the date: Celebration of 40th anniversary of the Hovnanian School at Rockleigh Country Club, Rockleigh, New Jersey. Entertainment by Elie Berberian and Ensemble, featuring Steve Vosbikian and Raffi Massoyan. Honoree: Mr.  Aso O. Tavitian.

October 23 —Opening reception of joint photograph exhibit titled, “East Meets West,” compiled by Tom Vartabedian and Sona (Dulgarian) Gevorkian, featuring eclectic pictures of Armenia and Artsakh, 2-5 pm, at Armenian Museum of America (AMA), 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, co-sponsored by Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives. Exhibit will be displayed through November.

November 4 & 5—60th Annual Bazaar, St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 11 am to 9 pm at Armenian Cultural & Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown. Meals served from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm (take-out available). Delicious meals including chicken, beef, and losh kebabs, kufteh, and kheyma dinners, Armenian pastries, Gourmet, Gift Shoppe, handmade arts and crafts, raffles, Attic Treasures. Live auction Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. For information: 617-924-7562.

November 4, 5, 6 —Annual Bazaar and Food Festival of Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Live entertainment Friday and Saturday; children’s activities; vendors; homemade Manti, Kufte, Sou Buereg, Choreg, and more. Traditional Khavourma dinner on Sunday. Extensive Messe and dessert menu for your Thanksgiving table available for take-out.

November 12 and 13 —Armenian Fest 2016, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island. Chicken, losh, and shish kebab and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Armenian Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry available all day. Saturday, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. For information: or church office, (401) 831-6399.

The Armenian Prelacy
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: