December 12, 2019
In Faith I Confess 12th Prayer - English

Read by Nate Schweitzer of
St. Gregory the Illuminator
Armenian Apostolic Church of Granite City, IL.
In Faith I Confess 13th Prayer - English

Read by Chris Tickner of
Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester, MA
Start off your Eastern Prelacy' Crossroads experience with a Prayer
 read by youth members of our Eastern Prelacy Parishes!

Today, December 12, 2019, in the afternoon, the U.S. Senate struck a historic blow against Turkey’s decades-long obstruction, unanimously passing a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide (S.Res.150). This resolution marks a shift in U.S. policy despite repeated objections from the White House.

The resolution, identical to a measure (H.Res.296) adopted 405 to 11 in the U.S. House on October 29, officially rejects Turkey’s denials of its genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christian nations. Passage of the resolution – spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) – marks the first time that the Senate has recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey’s lobbying efforts fell short on Thursday, when Sen. Menendez pressed for the adoption of the resolution and no senator objected. In three previous attempts, different senators had blocked the adoption through their single-handed objection.

The Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.Res.150) establishes, as a matter of U.S. policy, 1) the rejection of Armenian Genocide denial, 2) ongoing official U.S. government recognition and remembrance of this crime, and 3) support for education about the Armenian Genocide in order to help prevent modern-day atrocities.

Shortly after the recognition, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, received a call from Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), congratulating His Eminence for this important milestone. Archbishop Tanielian declared that this is not just an achievement for Armenians, but also represents a victory for human rights on the long road to justice and recognition.

His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian congratulated His Beatitude Patriarch Sahag II of Constantinople on his election to the highest office of the Armenian Church in Turkey.

“We received the good news of your election as the 85 th Patriarch at the historic See of the Armenian Church of Constantinople with infinite joy in our hearts,” the Prelate said in his message.

“On this joyous historic occasion, on behalf of the Religious Council and the Executive Council of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, we send you our heartfelt congratulations as well as to the Honorable Assembly of Delegates and the Religious Council and to the entire Armenian community of Turkey, praying that the Almighty will bless your ministry, giving you a healthy life and bestowing his wisdom on you, so you may lead for a long time the flock entrusted to you under the care of God, for we believe, as we did in the past, that your community   has a decisive role in the life of the Armenian nation.”

Bishop Sahag Mashalian was elected as the 85th patriarch with the votes of 102 delegates out of 119 at the end of an election process that began on December 7.

Patriarch Sahag, 57, succeeds Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan, of blessed memory, who passed away in March at 62 following a long illness that had incapacitated him since 2008.
Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, and Very. Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar, participated in an event organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia at the UN on the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. The event took place last Monday at the United Nations’ headquarters.

On Saturday evening, Archbishop Anoushavan will attend the 16th annual Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) fundraiser at Cipriani's in support of the various efforts of the organization in Armenia.
Following the Children of Armenia Fund Annual Gala, Archbishop Anoushavan will attend the "Club 27" holiday party at St. Illuminator's Cathedral.
On Sunday, December 15, His Eminence will preside over the Divine Liturgy at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Douglaston, NY. Following Soorp Badarak, St. Sarkis will host their annual Simply Christmas concert in the church sanctuary, marking the 10th anniversary of this warm tradition.

Archbishop Anoushavan joined by the dedicated altar servers and loving parishioners of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church of Granite City, IL.
Archbishop Anoushavan last weekend visited the Armenian community of Granite City, IL, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church on Sunday. Following the service, congregants gathered for a luncheon to mark the 65th anniversary of the church.

The Christian Education department of the Holy See of Cilicia, under the patronage of His Holiness, Aram I, is planning to provide aid to around 200 Lebanese Armenian families in need as the country is going through a period of turmoil.

The department is seeking to hand out canned food, vegetables, meat and cleaning supplies, among other necessity goods. The aid will be distributed during the Holidays as we share our joy with our brothers and sisters.

Just like last year, the chair of the Christian Education Department of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, has appealed to the Eastern Prelacy to ask our parishioners to support this humanitarian initiative, showing solidarity with the Lebanese Armenian community in these trying days. A $100 donation will provide the package of basic items described above to an entire family. You may also contribute other amounts.
This donation on occasion of the Holidays will be greatly appreciated.

Please send your checks to the following address:

Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39 th   Street, New York, NY 10016։
Please make checks payable to the Armenian Apostolic Church of America,
writing “Gift for the Needy” in the memo line.

Your donation is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

The Armenian Prelacy is proud to announce the 2020 Musical Armenia Concert , the thirty-seventh edition of the much-loved series that began in 1982. Our 2020 event showcases three outstanding artists who will present a stimulating and inspiring program. The concert will take place on Sunday, March 15 th , 2020 at 2:00 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall .

Musical Armenia, established by Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and the Prelacy Ladies Guild, is dedicated to promoting young Armenian artists and to the performance of music by Armenian composers. Over the past 38 years, many of our performers have established solid professional careers. The Prelacy thanks Musical Armenia’s devoted supporters for their contributions to this artistic development.   

Tatev Amiryan ’s compositions span the wide range from vocal and instrumental works and include pieces for symphonic groups and chamber ensembles. Her approach is underpinned by her love of improvisational performance and by the passion and energy of Armenian folk music. As a pianist Ms. Amiryan has presented both her own pieces and works from the classical and contemporary repertoires.

Vocalist Anna Hayrapetyan impresses audiences with her bright soprano and engaging characterizations and has performed as soloist and in ensemble events in Armenia, the United States, and throughout the world. As a student at Yerevan’s Komitas State Conservatory, she sang the roles of Gilda in Rigoletto , Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia , Tatyana in Eugene Onegin , and the title role in Tigranian’s Anush . At Musical Armenia, Ms. Hayrapetyan will perform Ms. Amiryan’s original works.

Cellist Laura Navasardian , a tenth-grade student at the Professional Children’s School, is in her third year at the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School. As a 2018 winner of the Kaufman Music Center Concerto Competition she performed with the Kaufman Music Center Orchestra, under the direction of Nathan Hetherington. In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Ms. Navasardian participated in the Perlman Music Program for gifted young musicians.

As in the past, Musical Armenia’s sponsors and supporters can make a key contribution to the development of these artists. Prospective sponsors may join any of these categories: diamond ($1,000 donation), platinum ($500), gold ($300), or silver ($200). Diamond, platinum, and gold sponsors will receive two complimentary tickets.

Tickets for the concert cost $25. For further information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Prelacy at 212-689-7810 or via e-mail at

Dr. Vartan Matiossian, editor and translator of "Gomidas - 150," delivers a vivid presentation on the contents of the new publication.
On Thursday, December 5, the Eastern Prelacy hosted a presentation of a new publication in Armenian and English, “Gomidas – 150,” at its headquarters. After introductory words by Ms. Mary Gulumian, Dr. Vartan Matiossian, editor and translator of this volume, introduced the book with an informative presentation about Gomidas’ life and work. Singer Vagharshak Ohanian gave a heartfelt performance of three classic songs by Gomidas (“Andouni,” “Groong,” and “Hayastan”). Archbishop Anoushavan offered closing remarks.

“Gomidas – 150,” published by the Prelacy, is an illustrated collection of articles, letters, memoirs, and studies by and about the Father of Armenian Music. Some of these materials, extensively annotated, have been collected for the first time in a book and they mostly appear in English for the first time.
Copies of the book are available from the Prelacy Bookstore. Call (212) 689-7810 and talk to Rita, or email .

Maestro Vagharshak Ohanian gives a stunning performance of various compositions by Gomidas Vartabed after the presentation of the book.
Prior to concluding the night, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan reflects upon a few passages from the newly published "Gomidas - 150," and offers the closing prayer.

The Eastern Prelacy will host a presentation of a new book The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek, by Michael Papazian on Thursday, December 19 at the Prelacy offices in New York City at 7 pm.

The author will be present and will speak about the genesis of his interest in the life of this Armenian poet and theologian, especially after Pope Francis named him a Doctor of the Church. Gregory has the distinction of being the only Catholic Doctor who lived his entire life outside the visible communion of the Catholic Church.

The Doctor of Mercy provides an introduction to Gregory’s literary works, theology, and spirituality and shows the contemporary relevance of his writings.

Dr. Papazian is Professor of Philosophy at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, since 1998 where he teaches a broad range of courses in philosophy as well as New Testament Greek. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. In order to research the early Armenian translations of and commentaries on Greek philosophical texts, he studied the classical Armenian language at Oxford University where he received a Master of Studies degree in classical Armenian in 1995. He has published many articles and studies on ancient Greek philosophy and medieval Armenian theology.

Copies of his new book will be available for purchase. Two earlier books, Light from Light: An Introduction to the History and Theology of the Armenian Church , and his translation of the Commentary on the Four Evangelists by Stepanos Siwnetsi will also be available.
For more information and to RSVP call 212-689-7810.

Bible readings for  Sunday, December 16, Fourth Sunday of Advent  are: Isaiah 38:1-8; 2 Hebrews 1:1-14; Luke 17:1-10.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”  (Luke 17:1-10)


Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire.” But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore, God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.”

But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?  (Hebrews 1:1-14)

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

This Saturday (December 14) is the Feast of St. James (Hagop) of Nisibis (Mdzbin). He participated in the first ecumenical council in Nicaea (325), where he earned great respect from the Emperor Constantine and the other attendees. He was born and died in the city of Nisibis located in what is now southeastern Turkey, an important early Christian center in Asia Minor and a transit point of the caravans traveling east and west.

James is one of the most beloved saints in the Armenian Church. He is also honored by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church, and the Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches. He was ordained Bishop of Nisibis in 320 AD.

St. James sought to find Noah’s Ark as proof for skeptics. On the eve of his ascent to the summit, an angel appeared and told him that he need not climb to the summit and gave him a piece of the Ark. The piece is kept at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The heavenly hosts rejoiced at the greatness of your feats by which you in the flesh became like the angels on high; we have you as intercessor for us before the Father in heaven. And we with a joyful voice celebrate your holy memory. O venerable witness of Christ, holy bishop James; we have you as intercessory for us before the Father in heaven. You decided on severe toils to see Noah’s Ark and from the angel’s hand received a portion of the wood which served the human race as salvation; we have you as intercessor for us before the Father in heaven.”

(Canon to St. James, Bishop of Nisibis, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
Saints also remembered this week:
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Monday, December 16

Students of Siamanto gathered with Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar, and Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy at the conclusion of a day of the academy (not pictured: Ms. Mary Gulumian, Director of ANEC).
Siamanto Academy students got together for the last class of the year at the Prelacy offices in New York last Saturday, with a program that included a main lesson about Gomidas Vartabed, an introduction to the Armenian New Year’s traditions and a short clip and prayer about the 1988 earthquake in Armenia.

Via a Skype connection with the Armenian Virtual College, Ani Degirmenjian spoke about the Armenian New Year tradition and how it has been celebrated from ancient to modern times in our homeland.

The lecturer of the day was Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Eastern Prelacy. Dr Matiossian discussed the life and work of Gomidas Vartabed, the 150th anniversary of whose birth we mark this year. With a powerful PowerPoint presentation, Dr. Matiossian elaborated on the work of the Father of the Armenian music, including a recording interpreted by Sergey Khachatryan.

The class had started in the morning on a somber note, with a short clip on the catastrophic earthquake that hit northern Armenia exactly 31 years ago, on December 7, 1988. Only a few seconds into the video it became hard not to notice some eyes filling up. Following the screening, Fr. Sahag Yemishian said a requiem prayer for the victims. The students have decided to donate savings from their stipends to one of the hardest hit schools in a poor area.

We missed Anahid Injigulian, yet for a happy reason. She was in Riga, Latvia, taking part in a music competition after winning the first prize at the Pearl of New York Festival.

The Siamanto Academy classes resume on January 11, 2020. 

Students of Siamanto perform a Christmas activity with the Armenian Alphabet.
The Eastern Prelacy's Christmas Tree adorned with Armenian Alphabet ornaments by the students of Siamanto Academy.
A close-up of the special hand-made Christmas Ornaments brought from Armenia to decorate the Christmas tree.
The director of the Eastern Prelacy's "Salt & Light" Youth Ministry program, Mrs. Annie Ovanessian, introduces its mission to the Watertown, MA community.
St. Stephen's Church, of Watertown, MA, last Sunday welcomed and introduced the “Salt & Light” program to its parish. Annie Ovanessian, Director of the Prelacy's Youth Ministry program, spoke to more than a hundred parishioners of all generations in the church hall following a hearty lunch hosted by the Board of Trustees. Ms. Ovanessian thoroughly presented the mission and goals of the program and its benefits in instilling faith in our children. Many were engaged in the question and answer session and at the conclusion of the presentation. Six mentors and 15 students signed up for the initial session. The parish plans to formally launch the program in the New Year.
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 Gor* who is sponsored by Nancy Tellalian-Schroeder & Bob Shroeder. 
Dear Sponsor,
This is little Gor. I am already two years and four months old. I don’t know the letters yet, that is why it is still my mom who writes instead of me. It has been one year since you became my sponsor. Although I don’t know you personally, but I know what you do for little children like myself and I thank you very much.

I live in my grandparents’ house in Etchmiadzin with my mom Zarouhi and my older brother Hayk. Although it’s been one year since my dad was killed during his military service, no day passes by without me missing him and remembering him – the games we played and the time we spent together.

My mom, grandpa, and grandma do everything to make my days happy and full of fun, but nobody will replace my dad.

I love to sing and to dance. I am not going to kindergarten yet. I love to play with my brother very much. He is six years old and he loves me too.

Thank you very much for being there for us and for helping children like me. May God bless you and your kind deeds.



* In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. You may also contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 
Rita Soulahian Kuyumjian
The figure and work of Gomidas (Komitas, in classical transliteration) remains very much alive in Armenian culture and popular imagination. His creative work was cut short by the Armenian genocide. After surviving exile, Gomidas developed a severe form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and spent twenty years in virtual silence in mental asylums.

In this thoughtful biography, based on extensive archival research, Rita Kuyumjian examines three seldom-addressed aspects of the composer’s life: his relationship with Armenian singer Margarit Babayan; his mental illness, and his relationship with the Armenian Church.

Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore (  or 212-689-7810)
(DECEMBER 16, 1919)
He has been considered the founder of Armenian realist sculpture. Andreas Ter Maroukian was born on March 23, 1871, in Yerevan. His father, an office employee, passed away a few years after his birth, leaving five boys and two girls under his wife’s sole care.

The future sculptor graduated in 1890 from Yerevan’s Russian gymnasium (high school). From 1892-1894 he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, Sculpture, and Architecture in Moscow. He moved to St. Petersburg in 1894 and then he settled in Paris. Here he worked and took preparatory classes at the studio of painter and sculptor Alexandre Falguiere (1831-1900), and later he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where he studied for four years. In 1899 he submitted his work “Muse,” in which Armenian poets received the laurels of poetry, to the Salon of French Artists.

He soon had several of his works displayed in places like Nor-Nakhitchevan, (a bust of Raphael Patkanian, 1830-1892), Rostov (a bust of Mikayel Nalbandian, 1829-1866), and elsewhere. In the salon of 1905 he exhibited a bust of Catholicos Khrimian, which was bought by the Armenian community of Paris and offered to the monastery of Holy Echmiadzin, and a bust of actor Bedros Atamian (1849-1891). A year later, he exhibited a bust of singer Pauline Viardot.

In 1913, he presented the bust in marble of Bogdan Doloukhanian and a fragment of his monument to Khachatur Abovian, the founder of Eastern Armenian modern literature and his most important and well-known work. Ter-Maroukian had won a competition to erect Abovian’s statue in Yerevan. To that end, he had gone to his birthplace in 1911 to do the necessary research, and two years later the statue was ready. However, there were no funds to transport it from Paris to Yerevan.

Ter-Maroukian passed away in Paris on December 16, 1919, and the statue remained in the French capital until 1925. The Soviet Armenian government made funds available and the statue was sent to Yerevan but mistakenly ended up in Tiflis. It was on July 6, 1933, when the statue was settled near the actual “Moskva” movie theater, on Abovian Square (now called Charles Aznavour Square).

The odyssey of the Abovian statue would not end there. Due to the reconstruction of Abovian Street, the statue was first moved near the circus of Yerevan in 1950 and then, in 1953, to the hill of Tzitzernakaberd, more than a decade before the construction of the monument to the Armenian genocide. There was a new move in 1957, this time to the Abovian Park near the Children’s Railway, until 1964, when it was finally erected in Abovian’s birthplace of Kanaker (nowadays Abovian), near his house-museum.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 
In the photo, left to right: Mrs. E. Doumanian, Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, Dr. Vartan Gregorian, the keynote speaker, Mr. Cleveland E. Dodge, and Dr. Ara Doumanian.
This week’s archive photo goes back to 1982, when the Prelacy celebrated the 50 th anniversary of the Seminary of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. The anniversary was celebrated throughout the Eastern United States and Canada, on February 14, 1982 that was proclaimed “Seminary Day,” the culmination of a yearlong celebration.

In New York City, a Jubilee Banquet honored Cleveland E. Dodge, who served as president and chairman of the board of the Near East Relief. The Catholicasate’s highest award, Prince of Cilicia, was bestowed on him. Mr. Dodge, at that time 94 years old, was a founding benefactor of the Seminary and was the sole surviving member of the original board of directors of the Near East Relief. The home of the Cilician See occupies a site that was formerly a Near East Relief orphanage in Antelias, Lebanon, where thousands of orphans were gathered as remnants of the Armenian nation. Also honored on this occasion were Mrs. Dolores Zohrab Liebmann, and Dr. and Mrs. Ara Doumanian, generous benefactors of the Seminary.
Please send your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian) to . Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to .

Comments received may be shared from time to time. We are looking forward to yours.
( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
December 15 —Presentation of the newly published book, “Praying with the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church,” by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, immediately after the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City.

December 19 —Presentation of newly published book “The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek,” by Michael Papazian. Details will follow.

December 22 —Christmas Concert at 2 pm, organized by the Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, featuring Anahit Zakaryan, Hayk Arsenyan, and Anahit Indzhiguyan.

December 31 —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, New Year’s Eve dinner/dance.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“Faith Building Women 2020 Symposium,” A daylong conference to heighten awareness of women in the Bible, organized by the Adult Christian Education department of St. Peter Armenian Church. The Symposium will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian.

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.

May 31, 2020 —Save the Date. St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston, New York, 30 th Anniversary Banquet.
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