August 22, 2019
On Tuesday His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan paid a courtesy visit to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, and congratulated him on his recent election and enthronement as the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Srpazan Hayr was accompanied by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian.
The two hierarchs discussed a number of ministerial issues of mutual interest and concern in their respective jurisdictions. In the course of their conversation, Archbishop Elpidophoros spoke about his familiarity with the Armenian people and history, having known and worked with some of the Armenian Church leaders in Constantinople, where His Eminence was born and raised and served for a number of years. His Eminence also fondly recalled the leadership of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia as the Moderator of the World Council of Churches. 
Both hierarchs agreed that they should meet frequently, work together in common Christian witness, and further strengthen the bond of fellowship between the Armenian and the Greek Orthodox Churches. 
Last Sunday Prelacy parishes celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God and the Blessing of Grapes. Under sunny skies many of our parishes combined the Feast day with their annual picnic bringing together the faithful for the Blessing of Grapes ceremony and Madagh.

Archbishop Anoushavan traveled to St. Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church of Whitinsville, Massachusetts, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and presided over the Blessing of Grapes that took place during the parish’s annual picnic. Also participating were the following clergy: Der Mikael Der Kosrofian, Der Stephan Baljian, Der Antranig Baljian, Der Aram Stepanian, Der Bedros Shetilian and Der Torkom Chorbajian.

At St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian blesses the grapes with the assistance of the deacons and altar servers.

At St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Douglaston, NY, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan conducts the Blessing of Grapes service in the main hall where Madagh of traditional Harrisa was served.

In Racine, Wisconsin, Archpriest Fr. Daron Stepanian leads the services at St. Hagop Church.

Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian conducts the Blessing of Grapes at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.

Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian blesses the grapes at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia.

Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian conducts the Blessing of Grapes service at Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York.

Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian blesses the grapes at St. Stephen Church in Watertown, Massachusetts.

At All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois, Archbishop Shahe Panossian, V. Rev.Fr. Ghevont Pentezian, and Rev. Fr. Andreas Garabedian participate in the Blessing of Grapes service.

Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian conducts the Blessing of Grapes at St. Gregory Church in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian blesses the grapes at Soorp Khatch Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

Rev. Fr. Hrant Kevorkian conducts the grape blessing ceremony alongside the deacons of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Detroit, MI,
Bible readings for Sunday, August 25, 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 27, 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)

On Thursday, August 29, 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.’”

The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs 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 three-year-old Gayane* who does not have a sponsor yet but is being temporarily sponsored through the Prelacy’s Paula Hart Fund.
*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Dear Sponsor,
Since I am only three-and-a-half years old, I asked my father to write in my place. My name is Gayane. I was born in Yerevan, and I live with my grandmother and my dad. I go to kindergarten. I like to play with my friends, go for walks, draw pictures, and be very mischievous. My grandmother takes care of me, but she needs care herself. My mom went to the hospital to bring me a sister, but she didn’t come back home and neither did my sister. My dad tells me that they are far away and they can often see me from there. I miss my mom very much.

Dear Sponsor, I would love to have some swimming or dancing lessons, and I hope that with your help I will be able to do so.

Thank you for caring about children like me.
                                                                                   [signed] Gayane (written by her father)
Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie.
The Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United States and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations invite members of the Armenian community to a Town Hall meeting with H.E. Mr. Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, on Tuesday, September 24, at the Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium at St. Vartan Cathedral (630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016). Please RSVP by September 20 by registering at
Birth of Arthur Adamov (August 23, 1908)
The Theater of the Absurd was one of the avant-garde directions of theater in the 1950s and 1960s, created after the great shock produced by World War II. One of its founders was an ethnic Armenian writer émigré in France, Arthur Adamov.
The son of a wealthy oilman from Karabagh, Suren Adamov (Adamian), Arthur (Haroutioun) Adamov was born on August 23, 1908, in Kislovodsk, a spa city in the northern Caucasus famous for its mineral waters. In one of his autobiographical novels, he would write: “I forgot to say that my family has Armenian origins. At a certain time I even spoke that language…” In 1914 his family left Russia and settled in Germany, where the future writer attended a French lyceum. Because of their Russian documents, the family was forced to leave Germany and move to Switzerland, where they lived until 1922. In the meantime, the October Revolution had a fatal outcome for the Adamovs, who lost almost their entire fortune. Suren Adamov, who was a known gambler, would leave the last remnants of that future on the card table and commit suicide in 1933.
In 1922 the Adamov family moved to France, and the future writer finally settled in Paris two years later, living the rest of his life in the French capital. The bitterness and deprivations of life in exile would be crucial in the formation of his worldview. In the late 1920s he associated with the newly born Surrealist movement and became friends with poet Paul Éluard. He also edited the surrealist journal Discontinuité. His first poems written in surrealist style became the expression of his pessimism.
In the 1930s Adamov actively participated in the fight against the fascist groups that had appeared in France following the wave of nazi-fascism in Germany and Italy. In 1938 he suffered a nervous breakdown. His autobiography The Confession, written in 1938-1943 and published in 1946, revealed his tortured conscience, delving into his sense of alienation and preparing the stage for some of the most powerful Absurdist dramas. After the defeat of France in the war and the German occupation, he spent almost a year in the internment camp of Argelès - sur-Mer, in southern France.
In the postwar period, Adamov, influenced by Swedish playwright August Strindberg and by Franz Kafka, started writing plays, with The Parody (1947) being the first. The title character of one of his best-known works, Professor Taranne (1953), is accused of various things (public nudity, littering, plagiarism). When he strenuously denied them, his denials are turned against him as further evidence of misdemeanors. His best-known play was The Ping-Pong (1955). Adamov’s later plays ( Paolo Paoli , 1957; Spring 71 , 1961; The Politics of Rubbish , 1963) featured radical political statements, besides his ongoing interest in dramatic experimentation. In the 1960s he become further radicalized. He translated a number of works by German authors and Russian classics into French. During his later years, he began to drink and use drugs.
The other members of the Absurdist leading trio, Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, would go on to great acclaim and recognition. Beckett received the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1969 and Ionesco was inducted into the French Academy in 1970. Forgotten, alone, and impoverished, Arthur Adamov died in Paris on March 16, 1970. His death may have been the result of an accidental suicide by taking an overdose of barbiturates.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 
The Many Meanings of a Pipe

Every language has those pestering words that are written and pronounced in the same way, but may have many different meanings. They are pestering, because if they ask you what it means, you cannot readily answer. You definitely need a context clue to do so. 
We have dealt in the past with some examples. Now it is the turn of “pipe.”

The ultimate source for English “pipe,” via Old English, is Vulgar Latin *pipa “a pipe, tube-shaped musical instrument.” As you know, however, a pipe is also a device for smoking, a tube to convey a fluid, and a cask for wine. When you think of pipes, you have to think how you are using the word before thinking how you say that in Armenian. It is very easy to say « Ես փայփ կը ծխեմ » (Yes payp guh dzukhem “I smoke pipe”), « Փայփը պայթեցաւ » (Paypuh baytetsav tsoorden “The pipe burst from the cold”) կամ « Գինիի փայփը պարպեցի » (Kinii paypuh barbetsi “I emptied the cask”), as if the Armenian for “pipe” was… payp.

Of course, in a case of emergency, you can use “pipe” as a loanword when you are unaware of the Armenian word or it does not come to your mind, but once in a while opening a dictionary will not hurt.

When you do that, you will find that the Armenian word for pipe (“tube”) was already present in the fifth century A.D. translation of the Bible: խողովակ (khoghovag). (Its origin is unclear; it might be related to some Proto-Indo-European root.) Therefore, in the unfortunate case that your home’s pipe burst, next time the words of choice would be Khoghovaguh baytsetsav.  

The case for wine is easier. A barrel, a cask or a pipe have all the same Armenian word: տակառ (dagarr). If you use barmil, thinking that this is an Armenian word close to “barrel,” you are utterly wrong. Actually, that is a word that you may only hear from Middle Eastern Armenians: the Arabic word for “barrel.” 

Even easier the case for pipe the musical instrument. The piper of Hamelin was simply a flutist. Hence, he played the սրինգ (surink).

In the end, we should deal with the smoking device. If you smoke pipe, let us tell that, even though pipes have been all over the world from ancient times, it appears that smoking habits were fairly modern among us. The Armenian word for “pipe” does not appear in Classical Armenian, but it is a modern invention. The compound word ծխամորճ (dzukhamorj) combined the old word ծուխ (dzookh “smoke”), still very much in use, and another old word, մորճ (morj “verdant branch”), which is no longer used and only comes back into life every time you put some tobacco into your pipe.
  Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 

Please send your inquiries and comments (English or Armenian) to .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

Earlier this year the Prelacy embarked on a long overdue process of digitizing photographs and important documents. From time to time we will be sharing some interesting historical photos found in our archives.
Seated, left to right are: Professor Peter Cowe, Professor Hratch Zadoian, His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of Cilicia, His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, Prelate, and Professor Nina Garsoian, who on this occasion was decorated with the Holy See of Cilicia’s Mesrob Mashdotz Medal (see photo). They are surrounded by the participating scholars.
In November 1993, the Prelacy sponsored an international symposium on the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. The three-day symposium held at the French Institute / Alliance Francais in New York City brought together top scholars from Europe, Armenia, the Middle East, and North and South America. Besides the lectures the multi-level event included the world premiere of a drama, King Hetoum by Herand Markarian; a concert of medieval music by the Waverly Consort; and a closing luncheon with food, dress and décor reminiscent of the Cilician era. Amazingly all of the lectures, events, etc. were sold out many weeks before the event.

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
September 7 —The Newark Museum of Art presents a concert-performance of “Gorky’s Dream Garden,” a musical-theater opera of love, courage and modern art, at the Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey, at 1:00 pm. Based on the life of Arshile Gorky by composer Michelle Ekizian. Admission is included with Newark Museum admission. For information: or 973-596-6550.

September 8 - Saint Gregory Church, North Andover, Annual Picnic, Sunday, 12:00-5:30 P.M; Great Procession of the Holy Cross will take place at 2:30 P.M. under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate.

September 22 —St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain Annual Picnic and surprise celebration for Centenarian (Col. Charles Alex). In church hall and grounds, 12 noon to 4 pm. Rain or shine. Hot dinners, bake sale, raffle.

September 28 —New Jersey chapter of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society presents Lilit Hovhannisyan with special performance by Nayri Dance Ensemble, 8 pm, Felician University, Breslin Hall, Lodi, New Jersey. Tickets online only:

October 9-12 —On the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Translators a joint clergy conference of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will convene in Montebello, California.

October 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ continues celebration of 60 th anniversary with Elie Berberian and his band. Information: 201-943-2950.

October 19 —Armenian Friends of America Annual Hye Kef 5 Dance, featuring The Vosbikians, at Double Tree by Hilton, Andover, MA. For information: Sharke’ Der Apkarian at 978-808-0598; John Arzigian at 603-560-3826.

October 19 —Herand Markarian’s Jubilee Celebration: 65 th anniversary of cultural achievements and 80 th birthday. Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, at 7:05 pm. Watch for details.

November 9 and 10 —Armenian Fest 2019, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Saturday noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: 401-831-6399. 

November 17 —SAVE THE DATE for Eastern Prelacy’s first annual Special Thanksgiving Banquet at Terrace on the Park. Details to follow.

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy, hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia. The Clergy Conference will begin on Wednesday, May 13; the full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 14 and conclude on Saturday, May 16.
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