August 24, 2017
In accordance with the Armenian Liturgical calendar, today the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of St. Jeremiah, one of the major prophets of the Bible. Jeremiah received his calling during a period of spiritual renewal among the Hebrew people. But, the death of King Josiah and the weak policies of his successors resulted in the conquest of their holy city, Jerusalem, and the exile of their nation. The Old Testament book of Jeremiah, as well as the book of Lamentations, chronicles this story. Although full of sorrow (he is known as the “weeping prophet”) Jeremiah’s words are Godly and hopeful. A lesson for all of us.
Archbishop Oshagan delivers the Sermon at Soorp Asdvadzazin Church.
Last Sunday Archbishop Oshagan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Following the service, the parish hosted its annual picnic on the church ground. Clergymen of the New England parishes participated in the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony. Parishioners, townspeople, and friends from near and far enjoyed the delicious meals and desserts and the live music provided by the Mugrditchian Ensemble.
The clergy and altar servers during the Blessing of the Grapes.
Clergymen participating in the Blessing of the Grapes, from left are: Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church; Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, pastor of St. Gregory Church, Springfield/Indian Orchard; Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church, Watertown; Archbishop Oshagan; Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor emeritus of Sts. Vartanantz Church; Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, pastor of St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville.

Bishop Anoushavan with clergy and altar servers during the Blessing of the Grapes
Bishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and officiated the Blessing of the Grapes at St. Hagop Church, Niagara Falls, New York, last Sunday, August 20. Following the services His Grace presented Certificates of Merit on behalf of the Prelacy to two members of the St. Hagop community, Vartkes Mavisakalian and Dn. Albert Amato.

Bishop Anoushavan presented Certificates of Merit to Varkes Mavisakalian and Dn. Albert Amato. From left to right, Rev. Fr. Sarkis Sarkissian (guest clergy from Lebanon), Vartkes Mavisakalian, Dn. Albert Amato, Bishop Anoushavan, Archpriest Fr. Vazken Bekiarian, Harry Ishkanian, Debbie Amato.

Bishop Anoushavan will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Soorp Khatch Church, Bethesda, Maryland, this Sunday, August 27.

Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian delivering the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church.
Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian attended and presided over the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, last Sunday, August 20. Hayr Soorp delivered an inspiring and thoughtful sermon about being a Christian. Hayr Zareh is a member of the Cilician Brotherhood and is completing his graduate studies in the United States. During this time he is serving as a visiting pastor to Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York, and assisting the Prelacy’s Christian education initiatives.
The popular new “Let’s Chat” series developed by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) went to camp this summer along with a lot of other “youngsters.” To Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Massachusetts, to be exact. The venerable Camp Haiastan, founded more than 65 years ago, has been successfully serving young Armenian Americans bringing them closer to their heritage and roots. Throughout the years many individuals and organizations have helped the camp in countless ways. The Armenian Relief Society has been especially helpful in expanding the camp’s educational programs. This year the ARS (Eastern Region) purchased 250 copies of ANEC’s new Armenian conversation booklets, “Let’s Chat” for use at the camp. With the end of the 2017 camping season, the verdict is that the “Let’s Chat” series performed well, and was enjoyed and appreciated by the campers.
The “Let’s Chat” series is a quick and easy way to learn Armenian conversation. If you would like to know more about “Let’s Chat,” please send an inquiry ( or ). The Armenian National Education Committee is a joint project of the Eastern Prelacy and the Armenian Relief Society. The booklets for the camp were purchased through the ARS’s Albert and Queenie Bagian Educational Fund.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey leads the Blessing of Grapes along with the altar servers.

Immediately after the services, the parish hosted its annual picnic—this year on the church grounds under tents. The picnic was well attended and provided an opportunity for fellowship, delicious food and enjoyable music.

The students and staff of Shushanig Summer Camp at Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
Shushanig Summer Camp at Sts. Vartanantz Church in New Jersey had a great inauguration during the week of August 14 to 20. With a goal to educate and inspire, the children were provided with an enriching environment and fun that included singing, bible lessons, creative projects, and games. The camp ended on Sunday when all of the students attended the Divine Liturgy.

Some of the children and staff during snack time.
The children perform prayers and songs they learned during the week.

Bible readings for Sunday, August 27, Second Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, Feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos are: Isaiah 9:8-19; 2 Corinthians 1:1-12; Mark 4:35-40.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God—and all the more toward you.  ( 2 Corinthians 1:1-12)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings  Click Here.
We can only imagine the joy of finding possessions of the Holy Mother. This Sunday, August 27, the second Sunday after Assumption, is the feast of the Discovery of the Belt of the Theotokos. Because there are no relics of the Holy Mother’s earthly body (she was assumed into Heaven), her personal belongings became the object of devotion and veneration. During the time of the early Church, when Christians were persecuted, her possessions were kept hidden and secret. Her belt was the first item to be discovered in Jerusalem in the fifth century. This discovery is the basis for one of the eight feast days in the Armenian liturgical calendar devoted to the Holy Mother.

Next Tuesday, August 29, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Prophets Ezekiel, Ezra, and Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Ezekiel prophesied for about 28 years. The Book of Ezekiel, composed of 48 chapters, is ranked third among the great prophets. It is full of rich imagery, prophetic visions, and allegories. Ezra was a learned and pious priest in Babylon. The Book of Ezra describes the return to Zion following the Babylonian captivity. Zechariah , is the father of John the Baptist. He was married to Elizabeth, and John was born to them in their old age. The promise of a son was conveyed to Zechariah by an angel.

Next Thursday, August 31, the Armenian Church commemorates St. John the Forerunner and Job the Righteous. St. John the Forerunner , also known as John the Baptist ( Hovhaness Mkrtich ), is an important figure in the Gospels. He is recognized as the “forerunner” ( Karapet ) to the Messiah. He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea. At the age of 30 he began to preach against the evils of the times and called for penance and baptism because “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.”
Job is a good and righteous person who experiences and endures catastrophe after catastrophe. The phrase “the patience of Job” has entered the English lexicon as a popular cliché. The Book of Job is one of the five books classified as the “poetical books” of the Bible. The central theme is the mystery of suffering. Ultimately, Job is rewarded because “the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning,” and “After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.” (Job, Chapter 42).

Also remembered this week are the following saints:
The Holy Apostle Thomas, Saturday, August 26.
St. Stepanos Ulnia, Kocharinos, Radigos, Dzamitos, Dookigos, Monday, August 28.

(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee)
Maundy Thursday and the Eclipse
If there is no light in the room, you say «Մութ է» ( Moot eh ) to mean “It is dark.” However, if you wanted to be less colloquial and a little more literary, you might use the word խաւար ( khavar ), which means both “darkness” and “dark.” If you wanted to translate “In the Darkness,” you could either say «Մութին մէջ» ( Mootin mech ) or «Խաւարին մէջ» ( Khavarin mech ).

The word khavar, already recorded in the fifth century A.D., probably comes from an Iranian source (for instance, we have Middle Persian xvarvaran and Farsi xavar ), meaning “west.” The West is where the sun goes down (Armenian արեւմուտք/arevmoodk ) ; therefore, the idea of “west” would normally be associated with darkness.

The word khavar may remind you of one of the highlights of the Holy Week, as celebrated by the Armenian Apostolic Church: the Խաւարում ( Khavaroom ). During this ceremony, held on Maundy Thursday, the twelve candles lighted in the church are put out one after the other, symbolizing the abandonment of Jesus by the twelve Apostles—including the black candle representing Judas—after the Last Supper and his prayer at the garden of Gethsemane. The church remains in the dark, while the poignant hymn Where Are Thou, My Mother? ( Ո՞ւր ես, մայր իմ / Oor es, mayr eem ) is sung. The action of darkening is called խաւարել ( khavaril ), but there is not an exact term in English to translate khavaroom, and thus the Latin translation tenebrae is used.

There is another khavaroom that became fashionable this week, after the total eclipse of the sun recorded on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Khavaroom is the Armenian word for “eclipse” (from Greek ekleipsis “fail to appear”), and, as we may notice, whoever created the Armenian equivalent did not care about a literal translation, but applied the concept of darkening also used in the Holy Week.

To end this small note on astronomy, let us remember that, if it is a solar eclipse like this one, we call it արեւի խաւարում (arevi khavaroom ), while the moon eclipse becomes a լուսնի խաւարում ( loosnee khavaroom ).
Get your vocabulary ready for the next total solar eclipse in seven years!

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( ).


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





Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Syrian Armenian Relief)

Thank you for your help.
Death of Silva Kaputikian (August 25, 2006)

Silva Kaputikian was one of the most popular Armenian women writers of the twentieth century, as well as a long-time political activist.

She was born Sirvard Kaputikian in Yerevan on January 20, 1919. Her parents were survivors from Van. Her father Barunak (1888-1919), a teacher and member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, died of cholera three months before her birth. She was raised by her mother and grandmother. She published her first poem in 1933, when she had adopted the first name Silva, and she attended the Faculty of Armenian Philology at Yerevan State University from 1936 until her graduation in 1941. In the same year, she became a member of the Writers Union of Armenia. By that time, she had already married another poet who would become well-known, Hovhannes Shiraz (1915-1985). They would have a son, the prominent sculptor Ara Shiraz (1941-2014), and divorce later.

Kaputikian joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1945. In the same year, she published her first collection of poetry, With the Days. It included a poem, “Words to My Son,” that would make her famous as one of the most recognizable poems dedicated to the Armenian language and an assertion of national identity. From that very first book until the end of her life, her writing would focus around two subjects, national identity and lyric poetry, where she also reflected traces of her personal life.

She studied at the Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow (1949-1950). She established herself as a significant literary figure in Soviet Armenia by the 1950s. She was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1952. During sixty years of publishing activity, she authored over sixty books in Armenian, including poetry, travelogues, and essays, and several in Russian. Her works were translated into Russian by well known poets like Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Andrei Voznesensky, Bulat Okudjava, and others. She earned the title of Honored Cultural Worker of Soviet Armenia (1970) and Soviet Georgia (1982).

In the 1960s-1980s Silva Kaputikian traveled widely throughout Diaspora communities in the Middle East, North America, and South America. She published travel books about those visits, where she focused on Armenian history—with some one-sided views—and an optimistic picture of the future. Since the 1960s, she was an advocate of national causes. She was an active participant in the April 24, 1965, demonstrations on the fiftieth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and later criticized the Communist Party for its failure to properly address the anniversary. For decades, she went on a tightrope between Armenian nationalism and Soviet internationalism, but was one of the most outspoken intellectuals on issues of public concern, from the genocide to Soviet language and nationalities policies to environmentalism. In early 1988 she was a member of the first Karabagh Committee, together with fellow writer Zori Balayan and activist Igor Muradyan, among others. In the same year she won the Armenian SSR State Prize.

She continued her literary and public activities in post-Soviet times. She was elected a full member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences in 1994. She became critical of the first two governments of independent Armenia, especially of President Robert Kocharian. She was awarded the Mesrop Mashdots Medal (1999) by the latter, but she returned it in 2004 after the violent crackdown on the opposition on April of that year.

Silva Kaputikian passed away in Yerevan on August 5, 2006, and was laid to rest in the Komitas Pantheon. In 2007 a school of Yerevan was named after her, and in 2009 a house-museum dedicated to her was opened. The street on which the museum is located (formerly known as Baghramian Lane 1) was renamed Kaputikian Street.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web page ( ).

September 9 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, opening of Nareg Armenian School.

September 10 —St. Sarkis Church Annual Picnic, 38-65 234 th Street, Douglaston, New York. Armenian BBQ and desserts; Live Music; Kids Zone and Family Fun. Starts at 1 pm until evening. Information: 718-224-2275.

September 10 —Church Picnic, St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain, Connecticut, in church hall and outside lawn. Enjoy good food, music and fellowship. Music by DJ Ara Stepanian . Roast Chicken, Lu-Le Kebab, Hot Dogs, Pilaf, Salad, Dessert Table .

September 10 —St. Gregory Church of Merrimack Valley, Picnic-Festival on the church grounds, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts, 12 noon to 5:30 pm. Featuring Armenian music by Leon Janikian (clarinet); John Berberian (Oud); Jason Naroian (dumbeg, vocals); John Arzigian (accordion, vocals). Shish, Losh, Chicken Kebab dinners, pilaf, salad, pita bread. Vegetarian dinners, Armenian pastries. Games and activities for all. Free parking. For information : 978-685-5038.

September 14 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 15th Annual Golf Classic.

September 17 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, opening of Sunday School.

September 23 —Celebratory Concert dedicated to the 26 th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia. Shnorhali Chorus and Hamazkayin Arekag Chorus with special guest appearance by SIBIL, At Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by ARF Dro Gomideh, AYF Arsen Chapter; ARS Agnouni, Bergen County, Shake, and Spitak chapters of New Jersey, and Hamazkayin and Homenetmen of New Jersey. Admission: $35 and $45. Proceeds will benefit Sts. Vartanantz Church. For tickets: or 201-470-4780.

October 2-6 —Clergy Conference for Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will take place in Montreal, hosted by the Prelacy of Canada.

October 7 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey presents “The Battle of the Bands.” Dance all night with two bands featuring Onnig Dinkjian and Kevork Artinian. Mezza and Dessert tables. For information and reservations contact: Bea Movsesian 201-445-6867; Lynn Mahlebjian 201-739-6217; Silva Kouyoumdjian 201-779-6744.

October 7-8 —50th Anniversary Weekend, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Saturday evening: “Golden Evening Kef Celebration,” featuring the Vosbikian Band. Sunday, Golden Anniversary Banquet, following the Divine Liturgy. 

October 14 —Armenian Friends of America, Inc., present “Hye Kef 5,” a five hour dance featuring Onnik Dinkjian with John Berberian (Oud); Mal Barsamian (Clarinet); Ara Dinkjian (keyboard); Ron Tutunjian (Dumbeg), at DoubleTree by Hilton, 123 Old River Road, Andover, Massachusetts. Tickets: $55 (before September 1); $65 (after September 1); $50 for students 21 and under. Continuous buffet 7:30 to 9:30 pm; coffee and dessert will follow. Advance tickets only. Proceeds will benefit five Armenian churches. For information: Sharke Der Apkarian 978-808-0598.

October 29—CHANGE OF DATE / SAVE THE DATE . Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, under the auspices and presence of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27th Street, New York City, at 10 am. Followed by reception and dinner at The New York Palace, 455 Madison Avenue, New York City.

November 3 & 4 —St. Stephen's Church (Watertown, MA) 61st Annual Church Bazaar will take place Friday-Saturday, November 3-4 at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (47 Nichols Ave, Watertown). Come by with family and friends for delicious chicken, beef, and losh kebab, kufteh and kheyma dinners, mouth watering pastries, and specialty gourmet items. We'll showcase our hand made arts and crafts, the treasure-finding White Elephant table. This is an annual event not to miss. Come reconnect with parishioners, friends and support the future of our Church. Visit our website for information on menus, pastry and gourmet items, and gift shoppe. items!  

December 5-8 —World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.
The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email:

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at