December 13, 2018
“People’s Prelate” Honored at Gala Banquet in New York
By Florence Avakian

NEW YORK, NY—The weather outside on Sunday, December 2 was foggy, rainy, and cold, but the atmosphere and spirit inside the Terrace on the Park ballroom was full of light, sun, and energy.

More than 375 admirers of the new Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, were in attendance at this long-awaited event which had been sold out for several weeks. The attendees had come from several East Coast states as well as from Chicago, Detroit, Canada, Paris, and Lebanon.

The beloved Prelate, elevated from Bishop to Archbishop with an encyclical by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, had celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York that morning to a large assemblage of the Faithful. During the Divine Liturgy, Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian read the Encyclical issued by His Holiness that elevated the Prelate to the rank of Archbishop.

At the banquet hall, following a sumptuous reception, and the beautiful background music of violinist Arsen Kedikian, the attendees filed into an elegant ballroom decorated with white and lilac flowers gracing the tables, the colors symbolizing the clerical rank of the Prelate.

Archbishop Anoushavan offered the invocation, after which Susan Chitjian Erickson, Secretary of the Executive Council and Chair of the Banquet Committee, warmly welcomed the guests and led a celebratory toast to the honoree. . .

To read more click here.

To view Voice of Armenians TV coverage by Karine Kocharyan click here.

Continuing his visit to each church community, Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to Troy, New York, where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon.

On Friday evening he will attend the joint Christmas Party at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston of the parish’s Youth Ministry’s Salt and Light group and the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF).

On Saturday evening His Eminence will attend the Children of Armenia Fund’s (COAF) 15 th annual Holiday Gala that will take place in New York City.
Archbishop Anoushavan and Archpriest Fr. Nerses Manoogian with choir, altar servers, and faithful of St. Gregory Church.
Last Sunday Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of his goal to visit every parish this year.
St. Gregory parishioners during the Liturgy.

Deacon Haroutune Kazanjian was elevated to Archdeacon.
Archbishop Anoushavan and Der Nerses with members of the St. Gregory Ladies Guild.

Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian represented Archbishop Anoushavan at a 25 th anniversary Commemorative Liturgy at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, represented Archbishop Anoushavan at a 25 th anniversary commemorative Mass at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark in Jersey City, last Saturday, for the V. Rev. Fr. Hegumen Abdelsayed. Der Hovnan participated in the Divine Liturgy with a prayer and gave Holy Communion to the parishioners. Presiding over and blessing the service were Their Graces Metropolitan Benyamin of the Diocese of Manoufia and attached municipalities and Bishop David, Bishop of New York and New England and Patriarchal Exarch of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of North America.
Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian with His Grace Bishop David.
Archbishops Moushegh and Anoushavan at the Prelacy.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, visited the Eastern Prelacy yesterday. He was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Florence Parnagian of Fresno, California. The guests congratulated Archbishop Anoushavan on his election and elevation and met with the Prelacy staff before the two Prelates and guests met privately.
The Prelates flanked by Mr. and Mrs. Philip Parnagian with Prelacy staff.
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)

This Saturday (December 16) 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)
Also commemorated this week:
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Monday, December 17

The Christian Education Department of the Catholicosate of Cilicia is continuing a program of Christmas giving for more than 100 needy families in Lebanon that it started several years ago. A recent letter from Very Rev. Fr. Zareh Sarkissian, Director of the Christian Education Department, is requesting gifts from the faithful of the Eastern Prelacy to help fund this year’s initiative. Archbishop Anoushavan has assured Hayr Sourp of the Eastern Prelacy’s full support. Many of you will remember that Hayr Zareh served the Prelacy during the time he was pursuing higher education. A $100 donation will provide provisions for a family, as well as New Year gifts for young children, or you may make a donation in any amount you wish. Excerpts from Hayr Zareh’s letter to the Prelacy follows:
             “I greet each of you with Christian love, as the holy apostle wishes us to do. Traditionally, the Christmas season has served as a time for us to share our joy with others through the giving of gifts. With that in mind, the Christian Education Department of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, during the past years has worked very hard to reach the underprivileged.

               “I wanted to take this opportunity to wish the Armenian Prelacy of the Eastern United States a blessed new year filled with great accomplishments, service, happiness, and all of the Lord’s bountiful blessings. It was with sentiments of deep thankfulness that I received your promise for sponsoring this year’s Christmas project that extends help to more than 100 Armenian families in Lebanon. I am writing to you to express my deep gratitude for your generosity, which will benefit the meaningful work being undertaken by our department... I pray that the blessed light of our Lord’s countenance and the gift of the Holy Spirit fill your hearts and souls always. Thanking you beforehand for your holiday generosity, and wishing you the best during this holy time.” 

Donations for this very worthy project during this Christmas season are very appropriate and will be appreciated. As noted above a $100 donation will provide provisions for a family, or you may donate any amount you wish. Please send your donations to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39 th Street, New York, NY 10016. Checks should be payable to “Armenian Apostolic Church of America,” with notation in the memo area “Gift for the Needy.” Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Volunteers box food staples for needy families. Volunteers administer this program so all donations are used for the distribution of food and goods.
Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian and Rev. Fr. Torkom Chorbajian with the choir and altar servers.
On the occasion of the 64 th anniversary of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Granite City, Illinois, Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon last Sunday. A banquet in celebration of the anniversary took place following the services.

Hayr Sahag speaks during the banquet celebrating the parish’s 64 th anniversary.

C. K. Garabed receives a certificate of appreciation from Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian. At left is Arevig Caprielian, a member of the Hamazkayin Executive that co-sponsored the event, and at right is Lucine Kasbarian, daughter of the lecturer.
Last Sunday a near-capacity crowd attended an illustrated lecture by writer and editor C.K. Garabed on the Etymology of Armenian Surnames. The event was co-sponsored by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the Hamazkayin Regional Executive – Eastern USA.

“We are honored and privileged to host this unique event,” said Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, who introduced Garabed on behalf of St. Illuminator’s and Hamazkayin. In sharing Garabed’s biography, Der Mesrob described how Garabed came to study and compile Armenian surnames –- first as a hobby and later in order to assist fellow Armenians in deciphering their own names.

In his talk, Garabed discussed the origins of Armenian surnames and the detective work involved in researching name derivations and deconstructing highly unusual ones. Using visual examples, Garabed defined a host of Armenian surnames, including those belonging to personalities familiar to the Armenians such as editor Aram Arkun, writer Eddie Arnavoudian, opera singer Lili Chookasian, General Drastamat Kanayan, celebrity Kim Kardashian, author David Kherdian, aviatrix Khatun Sebiljian (Sabiha Gökçen), patriot Dajad Terlemezian and academic Khatchig Tölölyan.

This lecture was organized to celebrate the online release of Garabed’s “Dictionary of Armenian Surnames” and the 30 th anniversary of his weekly column, “Uncle Garabed’s Notebook,” appearing in the Armenian Weekly.

In referring to the title of the talk, “What’s in a Name?” the New York Hamazkayin’s Dr. Herand Markarian remarked that “the answer to the question in the title of this talk is: the identity of the Armenian people.” Indeed, Garabed’s lecture shed light on how Armenians came to acquire their surnames, the definitions of which happen to cover the gamut of our ancestor’s life activities in the Old Country.

To close the event, Mrs. Arevig Caprielian of the Hamazkayin Regional Executive quoted the writer/ philosopher Voltaire: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

On behalf of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral Der Mesrob presented Garabed with a plaque for his “years of outstanding service, contributions and commitment to the Armenian community.” A lively discussion and reception followed the program.

Garabed’s presentation encompasses more than 40 years of research on the subject of Armenian surnames.

The Dictionary can be accessed online at:
Der Daron speaking to the Sunday School students last Sunday.

Sunday School students listen to the sermon.
Archpriest Fr. Daron Stepanian, pastor of St. Hagop Armenian Church of Racine, Wisconsin, delivers a children’s sermon on the second Sunday of each month. Last Sunday, Der Hayr’s sermon to the children was “How King Herod the Grinch tried to steal the first Christmas.”
Death of Nigoghos Sarafian
(December 16, 1972)
Nigoghos Sarafian is considered the first poet of the Diaspora in the sense that his creation reflected, from his first book, the aesthetic renewal and the issues of identity and rupture with the past that characterize diasporan sensitivity. He was a leading representative of the generation of French Armenian writers known as the “Paris school.”

Sarafian was born on April 14, 1902, aboard a ship going from Constantinople to Varna (Bulgaria). His parents had emigrated from the village of Lichk, in the district of Akn (Kharpert), after its population was decimated in the massacres of 1896. In Varna, Nigoghos—the youngest child in the family—first went to the “Jierjian” and National Armenian schools, and then to the St. Michel French lyceum. During World War I, he left with his elder brother first to Romania and then started a wandering life from Bucharest to Galatz, and then to the Russian cities of Odessa, Rostov, and Novorossisk until the Russian Revolution started. He crossed Romania on foot and returned to the family home in Varna. However, after the war ended, like many other Armenians, in 1919 the future writer moved to Constantinople, where he continued his education at the famed Getronagan School with such important writers as Hagop Oshagan and Vahan Tekeyan as teachers, and graduated in 1922.

Like several of his future colleagues in Paris, he rushed to flee Constantinople before the Kemalist army occupied the Ottoman capital in November 1922. After spending a few months in Bulgaria and Romania, in 1923 he settled in Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. After trying different jobs, he became a typesetter. He would personally type several of his books.

His first book, The Conquest of a Space (1928), already revealed the originality of his poetry and his departure from the aesthetic canon that ruled over Western Armenian poetry. He would join the group of “Menk” gathered around the homonymous journal from 1931-1933, while contributing poetry and essays to the main literary journals of the Diaspora. His thoughtful style, however, would remain far from the emotional outbursts of Shahan Shahnour and the passionate rebukes of Vazken Shoushanian. After his second book of poetry, 14 (1933), he published the short novel The Princess (1934), and would incursion in the novel with several works published in various journals during the 1930s and 1940s, which were never turned into books.

His poetry, published in limited editions, would not gain public favor, because it was ahead of his time, as the volume Ebb and Flow (1939) showed. Armenian institutional culture ignored him for decades, especially because his poetry was hardly understandable to traditionalist circles in the Diaspora and incompatible with the official criteria of Soviet Armenia. It combined elements reflecting European literary movements with the natural function of thinking that it is part of poetical art, which led to his classification as a “cerebral” poet, somehow leaving him on the margin of the literary canon.

Sarafian published two more volumes of poetry in his lifetime, Citadel (1946) and Mediterranean (1971). His rediscovery started in the sixties, when a generation born and nurtured with diasporan sensitivity had reached the majority of age. He passed away in Paris on December 16, 1972.

In a famous piece about Easter, he wrote:

“We wait for something.

“We reach little by little to a truth above intelligence. As a matter of fact, it is not possible to find a bigger force than the piety of the one who looked with compassion at the armored and burly horsemen surrounding his cross, at the high priests believing themselves to be wise and brave, and at the judges who just carried a stone instead of a heart, a stone that, however, is destroyed soon.

“It is not possible to find something stronger in man than that noble selfishness, which rejects vulgar egotism and injustice, jealousy and malice, tyranny and judgment, arrogance and savagery.

“The Armenian has the heart capable to feel all these, although that heart is fatigued from clashing with the stones, it is grievous and wandering. He waits for all that. We know that we cannot answer to evil with goodness anymore. But all those are the needs burning our intestines.

“We know that all beautiful words pass. But we love all beautiful things.”

Several volumes of Sarafian’s writings, both of poetry and prose, have been collected and published since the 1980s. One of his most influential essays, The Bois of Vincennes, first published in the monthly Nayiri of Beirut in 1947, was posthumously reprinted as a book in 1988. Since then, it was first translated into French (1993) and recently into English (2014) by Christopher Atamian. 

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).
By Aline Kamakian and Barbara Drieskens

The authors traveled through Cilicia where many of the recipes in this book originated. There they gathered stories, recipes, and beautiful color photographs that make this book a joy to peruse.

Hardcover, 366 pages, $55.00 plus shipping & handling.
By Mari A. Firkatian

This book is part memoir and part cookbook. One complements the other, and preserves recipes from the author’s family collection, primarily from the region of Bursa.

Softcover, 347 pages, $45.00 plus shipping & handling.
Coordinated by Diana Kaprielian Sarafian

The recipes in this fine book are presented geographically from historic Armenia and the current Republic of Armenia and Artsakh.

Softcover, 152 pages, $25.00 plus shipping & handling.

This one is an “oldie” and a “goodie.” Originally printed in 1949 by the Detroit Women’s Chapter of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, this pioneer Armenian cookbook has gone through more than 30 printings and still counting.

Softcover, 126 pages, spiralbound, $20.00, plus shipping & handling.
To order these or other books contact the Bookstore by email ( ) or by telephone (212-689-7810).
The fighting and bombs have stopped. Now the difficult process of rebuilding has started.
Please continue to keep the Armenian community in Syria in your prayers and pocket books.


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

Thank you for your help.
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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.

Now through January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

October 25 through December 13 (Thursdays) —Seven-part Bible Study on The Book of Revelation, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). For information please contact the church office by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-5880).

December 16 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Sunday School Christmas Pageant in Arakelian Fellowship Hall, following church services.

December 23 —Annual Ladies Guild Christmas Bake Sale at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Granite City, Illinois.

December 31 —New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance (BYOB) sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey to welcome year 2019. Celebration begins at 8 pm, with Champagne celebration at midnight. Entertainment by Jaq Hagopian, Vicken Makoushian and Paul Maksoud. Adults $85; Children 7-15, $35; under 7 free. For more information and reservations contact church office: 201-943-2950.

January 5 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, Family Worship, Armenian Christmas Eve.

January 26 —Screening of the Armenian movie, “The Line,” about the Artsakh War, Community Center of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois.

March 17 —Annual Musical Armenia concert sponsored by Eastern Prelacy, 2 pm, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Watch for details.

May 5 —60 th anniversary of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey. SAVE THE DATE.
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