July 27, 2017


Today, Thursday, July 27, the Armenian Church commemorates the prophet Isaiah, who is best known for the longest prophetic book in the Old Testament (66 chapters) that bears his name. Isaiah foretells the birth of the Messiah by a virgin and describes the suffering of the Messiah’s church. Many of the New Testament teachings of Jesus refer to the book of Isaiah. Because of his clear foretelling about Christ the Savior, Isaiah is also recognized as an Old Testament evangelist. Although it is not recorded in the Bible, it is believed that Isaiah died a martyr’s death by order of the Hebrew king, Manasseh. Relics of the prophet are preserved at Mt. Athos in the Greek Orthodox Khilendaria Monastery in Greece.



Bishop Norayr Ashekian, a senior member of the Brotherhood of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, entered eternal rest on Friday, July 21. His Holiness Catholicos Aram I officiated the Extreme Unction and Funeral services that took place on July 24 in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias, Lebanon.


Bishop Norayr was born in 1956 in Kessab, Syria. He was ordained a celibate priest in 1976 and consecrated bishop in 2008. At the time of his passing Bishop Noryar was the director of the Catholicosate’s printing house and sexton of the Cathedral.


Requiem services will be offered in Prelacy parishes this Sunday, July 30. May his memory remain ever blessed.


Bible readings for Sunday, July 30, Second Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are Isaiah 3:16-4:1; 1 Corinthians 1:25-31; Matthew 18:10-14.

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-31)


“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:10-14)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings  Click Here.

This Saturday, July 29, the Armenian Church commemorates Saint Thaddeus, one of two apostles who preached in Armenia, and Saint Sandukht, daughter of King Sanadrouk, and the first saint of the Armenian Church. It is not an exaggeration to say that these two—Thaddeus and Sandukht—were pioneers in bringing Christianity to Armenia in the first century.

Princess Sandukht was converted to Christianity by Thaddeus, and she in turn converted many others. Her father tried to have her renounce her conversion and finally gave her a choice of the crown or the sword. She chose the sword and became the first witness for Christianity in Armenia and the first saint of the Armenian Church. Shortly after her martyrdom, Thaddeus was martyred at Artaz (in present day northern Iran). The Armenian monastery of St. Thaddeus is built on the apostle’s tomb. During the early 20th century the monastery was an important crossroads for travelers and pilgrims. A popular annual pilgrimage by Armenians from around the world takes place in July. During the four-day festival thousands gather in tents pitched on the monastery grounds.


On Monday, July 31, the Armenian Church commemorates St. Cyprian (Gibrianos), bishop of Carthage, and 45 martyrs. Cyprian was an important early Christian writer, and a major theologian of the early African church. Many of his works in Latin have survived.  One of his best known works is, On the Unity of the Church. Many of his epistles, treatises, and pastoral letters are extant. He urged Christians to recite the Lord’s Prayer every day, meditating on each phrase. He wrote a commentary on the Lord’s Prayer showing how it is the model for prayer.

Born in the year 200, he was the son of wealthy parents and became a teacher of rhetoric and literature. He converted to Christianity in his middle years and was ordained a priest and elected to serve as bishop of Carthage. He was subject to persecution after his conversion and in the year 258 was beheaded along with forty-five martyrs.

“When we pray, we should ensure that we understand the words we use. We should be humble, aware of our own weaknesses, and be eager to receive God’s grace. Our bodily posture and our tone of voice should reflect the fact that through prayer we enter God’s presence. To speak too loudly to God would be impudent; thus a quiet and modest manner is appropriate. The Lord has instructed us that we should usually pray in private, even in our own bedrooms. This reminds us that God is everywhere, that he hears and sees everything, and that he penetrates the deepest secrets of our hearts.”
(From “On the Lord’s Prayer,” by Cyprian of Carthage)

Also remembered this week:
Tuesday, August 1: St. Athenogenes the Bishop, ten disciples and five witnesses.


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.

The graduates with, left to right, Mrs. M. Arthur, Mrs. A. Megerdichian, Principal Houry Boyamian, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian, and Ms. L. Strasser.

St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES), in Watertown, Massachusetts successfully completed its 33rd academic year in June. The graduation ceremonies took place on June 15 (K) and June 16 (Elementary). In her remarks the Principal, Mrs. Houry Boyamian, focused on the 14th Graduating Class Trip to Armenia and the Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Week and the Science Fair.

She thanked the faculty, the administrative staff, the PTO, the parent volunteers, the school board and committees, the St. Stephen’s Church board of trustees, Rev. Fr. Archpriest Antranig Baljian, as well as all the organizations and individuals that contribute to the advancement of the school.

On June 15, Mrs. Boyamian honored Mrs. Svetlana Vehapetian with the golden logo of the school for her 15 years of dedicated service in the preschool and on June 16, she honored Mrs. Lili Barsoumian with the Award of Ambassador of Armenia (from the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia) for her 32 years of dedicated service as music teacher.

This year, the Preschool-Kindergarten, as well as the Elementary graduation programs were dedicated to Renewal, as His Holiness, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia declared 2017 the Year of Renewal.

On both days, Archpriest Fr. Antranig Baljian expressed his appreciation to the administration and faculty for their dedication and effort.

Students graduating from Kindergarten are: Siran Arakelian, Aiki Arzoumanian, Vatche Balikian, Lila Degermenci, Olivia Dimopoulos, Lori Garabedian, Leanna Iskenderian, Garen Keledjian, Josephine Keumurian, Eva Khalarian, Arda Mahserejian, Fiona Manguikian, Sarina McCarthy, Aline Mikaelian, Arame Minassian, Christian Salibian, Lukas Stamatakis, Anthony Papazian, and Gizelle Tarabelsi.

Students graduating from the Elementary School are: Maral Abrahamian, Serena Antoine, Alina Chaparian, George Chapian, Krikor Iskenderian, Michelle Joubanian, Sarah Joubanian, Antrias Kahvejian, Naera Margios, Talar Markarian, Zepure Merdinian, Andre Monreiro, Aren Panian, Sienna Soghomonian, Bianca Tamburrini, and Gregory Tinkjian   

Fourth and fifth grade students performing.

Graduating class performing an Armenian dance.

Birth of Alice Sapritch (July 29, 1916)

Alice Sapritch (her name was originally spelled Sapric, the Turkish spelling of the Armenian word saprich/սափրիչ “barber”), was a French actress of Armenian origin with a forty-year career in cinema, theater, and television.

She was born in the Istanbul district of Ortaköy on July 29, 1916, and had a childhood that she qualified as unhappy. Her family had serious financial problems due to the gambling debts of her father. She abandoned Turkey at the age of thirteen with her family and continued her studies in Brussels before moving alone to Paris. She entered the Cours Simon, one of the oldest courses of theatrical formation for professional comedians, and then the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique. Her theatrical career, mostly in dramatic and tragic roles, would span over thirty-five years (1949-1984).

At the end of the German occupation, she met writer and actor Guillaume Hanoteau, whom she married in 1950. The same year marked her debut in the movies with Le tampon du capiston (The Captain’s Buffer), on a script written by her husband. For the next thirty-five years she would appear in some 40 movies, including François Truffaut’s Tirez sur le pianist (Shoot the Pianist, 1960), where she played along Charles Aznavour. In the 1960s she had remarkable roles in several TV adaptations of novels by French authors like Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Honoré de Balzac, and François Mauriac. She divorced in 1970, and her great breakout came a year later, at the age of 55, when she made a lasting impression with two roles, one comic and the other tragic, in the feature movie La folie des grandeurs (Delusions of Grandeur), along with  two great actors, Yves Montand and Louis de Funès, and the TV movie Vipère au poing. However, throughout the 1970s, she took roles in a series of French-style comedies qualified with the colloquial word nanar (movies that were so bad that they were good). She mostly abandoned this genre in the last years of her career and returned to dramatic roles in André Téchiné’s Les Soeurs Brontë (The Bronte Sisters, 1979), as well as in a TV film, L’affaire Marie Besnard (The Affair Marie Besnard, 1986), which earned her the prize “7 d’or” for best fiction comedian. Her last role in cinema was in an American film, Amy Heckerling’s National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985).

She played her first and last role in TV films as Catherine de Médicis (queen of France in the sixteenth century), both in 1961 and in 1989. She wrote many autobiographical works (Alice, My Dinners in the City, Public Woman: My truth, and Unfinished Memoirs) and a novel (An Endangered Love, 1973), all in French. 

She remained quite close to the French Armenian community, and participated in many of their gatherings. A year before her death, her life was the subject of a documentary, Le passé retrouvé: Alice Sapritch (The Past Retrieved: Alice Sapritch), by Mireille Dumas (1989). She passed away in Paris on March 24, 1990, and was cremated in the cemetery of Père-Lachaise, in Paris, with her ashes being spread over the Seine River.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web page (www.armenianprelacy.org).


Each year we publish some impressions from students attending the St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute. This week and next we will publish a number of the impressions. Here are some for this week.

I enjoy being here at Datev. I love the times when we have Bible Study because it teaches us about the meaning of Bible verses. It also teaches us how to be a family and no one gets left out. If I could change anything about Datev, I would put clocks in the rooms. (Neena Takvorian, first year)


Datev is a great place to worship and learn how to properly obey God. I like going to the chapel because we sing hymns and listen to sermons. Datev puts us on a path to enlightenment. I would definitely attend Datev again because of its friendly atmosphere, long activity-filled hours and spiritual journey. (Nareg Kassardjian, first year)


Datev is a very nice and cheerful place to come and visit. I made many new friends here. I can’t wait to come back next year. (Natali Petrosyan, first year)


I was initially overwhelmed when I came to Datev, but over the course of the week I have learned that everyone here is family. I had to get used to a lot at first like being away from home but I really enjoyed the classes, especially the Badarak Hymns and Armenian Church History classes. I also liked getting to know everyone here at Datev. (Arsen Cunningham, first year)


My first year at Datev was great because I got to spend time with my friends, playing board games, cards and volleyball. I liked that we had a roommate, so that we wouldn’t be lonely. I like the rule of having our phones only for an hour a day because we get to meet more people and spend more time with friends. (Anna Tekeyan, first year)


I have been going to Datev for 3 years now and it is always something I look forward to each year. Datev is a place where you can have fun with your friends while learning about God and the Bible. Just going to Datev is such an enjoyable experience that is always so rewarding in the long run! (Margaret Jemian, third year)


I learned about the Bible, and how things are represented in parables. I also learned what different meanings the Feast Days have in our church. I learned about our church’s history, such as saints and how we changed over hundreds of years. (Angela Trozzo, third year)


I look forward to coming to Datev every year. It’s very fun. My favorite part this year is going to the creek and paddle boating with my friends. The discussions we have are very interesting and enlightening. Everyone should come back. (Anoosh Kouyoumdjian, post graduate)


Survival Pictures will donate 100% of its proceeds from the home release sales of The Promise to organizations devoted to Armenian Genocide education initiatives in the United States. Digital downloads via iTunes and Amazon Prime are available, as well as the Blu-ray and DVD versions. You must use the special links so that all sales and downloads can be tracked and proceeds redirected to the designated Armenian charities. Purchases made directly from Amazon or iTunes without use of the unique URLs noted below will not benefit Armenian Genocide education.

The two specials links are:





For forty years the annual Prelacy raffle has benefitted the various religious and Armenian education programs sponsored by the Prelacy. As in previous years, the winners were drawn at the conclusion of the National Representative Assembly that took place on May 19, 2017, in Glenview, Illinois. We express profound thanks to the 2017 co-chairmen, Antranik Boudakian and Noubar Megerian, and to the many people whose annual support of the raffle campaign has made it one of the most enduring and successful fundraising efforts for the Prelacy.


The winners of the 2017 raffle are: First Prize, Mr. Hagop Tekeyan, Suffern, New York; Second Prize, Mr. & Mrs. Sarkis Sarkisian, Andover, Massachusetts; Third Prize, Mr. & Mrs. Richard Shahtanian, Andover, Massachusetts; Fourth Prize, Mr. Shant Hagobian, Little Neck, New York; Fifth Prize, Mrs. Zivart Balikjian, Oradell, New Jersey.


(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee)

A Complicated Word

The word բարդ (part) is an interesting term that, despite how it sounds for a Western Armenian speaker, has nothing to do with part. (In Classical and Eastern Armenian, it is pronounced bard.)

We do not know for sure what the origin of the word is. The oldest meaning attested, “pile, heap” (as in a heap of wheat or a pile of papers), is in the fifth century A.D. translation of the Bible. Later on, the verb partel (բարդել “to pile”) appeared too. It seems that the idea of items gathered together brought forward the specific meaning “compound (word)” that appeared in the histories transmitted under the names of Agatangeghos and Pavstos Buzand, also written in the fifth century. Later on, a kind of flower that flourished at the beginning of the spring was also named part.

The original meaning “pile, heap,” although still appears in contemporary dictionaries, seems to have lost much of its use.

Today, we have the following meanings related to part in Modern Armenian:

բարդ (part) “complicated”: Բարդ անձնաւորութիւն մը (part antznavorootioon muh “a complicated personality”)

բարդ (part) “complex”: Բարդ մեքենայ մը (part mekena muh “a complex machine”)

բարդ (բառ) (part parr) : “compound (word)” (for instance, օդանաւ/otanav “airplane” is a part parr)

բարդ (part) “battery”: Ելեկտրական բարդ (yelegdragan part “electrical battery”)

We also have some derivative words, such as:

բարդացնել (partatsunel) “to complicate”: Խնդիրը բարդացաւ (khuntiruh partatsav “the issue became complicated”)

բարդել (partel) “to pile”: Թուղթերը բարդեց (tooghteruh partets “s/he piled the papers”)

բարդութիւն (partootioon) “complication”: Բարդութիւններ եղան (partootioonner yeghan “there were complications”)

բարդոյթ (partooyt) “complex”: Ստորակայութեան բարդոյթ (usdoragayootian partooyt “inferiority complex”). This is a relatively new meaning, but only used in a psychological context.

Beware: if you translated terms like “military compound” or “sports complex” into Armenian by using part, nobody would understand you. (You would be using an adjective to translate a noun.) For that, you will have to learn another word: համալիր (hamaleer). For those who have been to Yerevan and have heard of the Hamaleer, there you have it: the sports-musical complex (մարզա-համերգային համալիր/ marza-hamerkayeen hamaleer) located in the hill of Dzidzernagapert, opposite the Մեծ Եղեռնի յուշարձան (Medz Yegherni hushardzan “Great Genocide memorial”) that commemorates 1915. 

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


Last Sunday’s Reflection was offered by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, director of the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council.

Click here to watch.


August 6—Annual Picnic of St. Stephen’s Church at Camp Haiastan, Franklin, Massachusetts, under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate. Lunch (delicious kebabs) beginning at 12 Noon. Blessing of the Grapes and Madagh at 3 pm.

August 13—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York City, Episcopal Divine Liturgy, Blessing of the Grapes, and Luncheon on the Feast of the Assumption . Divine Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General. Luncheon, organized by the Ladies Guild, is $25 per person (free under 12). For information: email@stilluminators.org or 212-689-5880.

August 13—Annual Church Picnic at Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. Liturgy begins at 9:30 am under the auspices of Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate. Lunch served beginning at 12 noon on the church grounds. Enjoy shish, chicken, losh kebabs or a vegetarian dinner. Music by DJ Shaheen, tavloo tournament, Bouncy House for children. Traditional blessing of the grapes at 1 pm. Free admission and free parking.

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 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 29CHANGE 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.

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: email@armenianprelacy.org

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/en/