March 26, 2020
This story has been the subject of countless science-fiction films and TV series, but it is no longer fiction. The memory of the H1N1 pandemic of 1918 (the so-called “Spanish flu”), with 500 million people infected and 50 million victims worldwide, has only survived in the work of historians and scientists. For the first time in living memory—perhaps ever—a large part of the world is quarantined. Humankind, misled by the experience of millennia into believing that it is unstoppable, has come to a sudden halt. A microscopically tiny yet deadly virus, invisible yet omnipresent, has us locked up in our homes, only venturing outside to buy the essentials, many of us wearing protective masks and gloves.
Yet as a church and a nation, we shall emerge stronger in our faith from this test. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair,” as we read in 2 Corinthians 4:8.
If history is any guide to the present, we Armenians have learned to find strength in adversity. Faith is our indestructible rock. In every calamity that has befallen us, faith has been the source of our rebirth as individuals and as a nation.
And now the coronavirus finds the entire world in the same predicament. One lesson this calamity may teach humanity is how irrelevant are the artificial divisions we create when our lives are endangered by the same threat. The Bible offers the key to understanding a reality that at times may appear incomprehensible and overwhelm us: “For whatever was written in former days for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
As the Spanish saying goes, hope is the last thing lost. We shall overcome.

The pastors and boards of trustees of all the parishes affiliated with the Eastern Prelacy are committed to supporting our community against the unprecedented threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. We are sure that our elderly enjoy the love and care of their immediate family, but if they live alone and need help to buy food, medicine or other items, we urge them to call their local church.
Prelacy pastors will provide spiritual nourishment to our faithful with daily reflections that will be streamed on our website and Facebook page every day at noon (12:05 pm ET). You can watch the daily reflections here .
As Holy Liturgy and church services are being held behind closed doors and our religious education programs are suspended, we are pleased to report that:
Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York), will be doing online Bible studies every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm. You can follow them here .
Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, the Director of AREC will conduct educational sessions on Exploring Tools for Prayer every Thursday evening at 7:00 pm, starting April 2.
We also inform you that the Salt & Light Youth Group has begun to hold its meetings online. We urge the youth of our parishes to take advantage of these technological resources and enthusiastically take part in these online gatherings and enjoy a spiritual renewal.
We are glad to inform you that Ms. Haigan Tcholakian (Michigan), has initiated a Children Bible Story time, every day 3:00-3.15pm. It will be shared on our Facebook page.
We all need to pray, without exceptions. Nevertheless, those who wish a personalized prayer may request it by emailing us at
With God’s blessing, and the cooperation of all of us we will defeat this deadly calamity.

With fatherly love and prayerfully,
Eastern United States

Bible readings for Sunday, March 29, Sixth Sunday of Great Lent, Sunday of Advent are: Isaiah 66:1-24; Colossians 2:8-3:17; Matthew 22:34-23:39.
(Colossians 2:8-3:17)

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 22:34-23:39  

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which commandments in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? They said to him, The son of David. He said to them, How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son? No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father, the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them.   Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’   You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred?   And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’ How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it;   and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it;   and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.   So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets.   Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.   Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.'
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Sunday, March 29, is the sixth and final Sunday of Great Lent, known as Sunday of Advent ( Kalsdyan Giragi ). On Advent Sunday we are asked to ponder the mystery of the first coming of Christ and especially his second coming which is a fundamental tenet of our Christian faith, and which is mentioned in the hymns sung this Sunday. Christ came to the world for the salvation of humanity. We are told to be ready at all times because He will come again for the judgment of sinners, and when the righteous will become worthy of entering the Kingdom of God. “Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. He will send out his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” (Mark 13:26-27)
Advent Sunday has its own special hymn, which proclaims that the prophets knew the mystery of the advent of Christ. The story of the expulsion from paradise is repeated and an appeal is made to Christ to ask the Heavenly Father to establish peace on earth. Sunday of Advent is in preparation for next Sunday, Palm Sunday, which is the celebration of the glorious entry of our Lord into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week.

The terrible manifestation of your glory which will be in your second coming David foresaw and announced beforehand by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, God will come openly, fire will burn before him. Then, O Jesus, spare us, have compassion, O Christ and have mercy.

Mother of God unwedded, bride of heaven on earth, when in the sight of light you sit at the right hand of your only-begotten beseech him for us to deliver us from the awful flame, to number us with the righteous that we also may sing glory with the heavenly ones.

(Canon for the Sixth Sunday of Great Lent from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
During Great Lent, saints are commemorated only on Saturdays. During the remainder of the year saints can be honored on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays (except during Eastertide where there is not any commemoration of saints).
This Saturday, March 28, the Armenian Church celebrates one of the three days in its liturgical calendar devoted to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint of the Armenian Church. The three days are: Descent into the Pit, Emergence from the Pit, and Discovery of his remains. This Saturday is the commemoration of his commitment to the Deep Pit ( Khor Virab ).
Gregory maintained his faith and refused to renounce Christ. As a result he endured many tortures and his final punishment was banishment into a deep pit where he remained for a period of thirteen or more years. Miraculously he survived, thanks to his faith and according to tradition an angelic woman (identity unknown) who lowered food and water into the pit.
The Monastery of Khor Virab is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who visit Armenia. The monastery was built on the exact location where St. Gregory was imprisoned. The pit is accessible, and it is possible for visitors to climb down the ladder (27 steep steps) into the pit. The church, named Sourp Asdvadzadzin, dates to the 17th century. The area is one of the most beautiful in Armenia and provides stunning views of Ararat. The area surrounding Khor Virab is the site of the ancient Armenian capital, Artashat, founded by King Artashes I about 180 BC.
Come, let us exalt on this day the spreader of the spiritual light to us who sat in darkness, the holy patriarch Gregory. Come, let us exalt on this day the distributor to the sons of Torkom of the undefiled gifts of the Holy Spirit who gave us a new birth as sons of the light. Come, let us exalt on this day the proclaimer of the divine word in the land of Armenia. On this day the Church and her children sing with the angels, on this day of memory of the enlightener ascribing glory to God in the highest.
(Canon to St. Gregory the Illuminator, Commitment to the Pit, from the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
As school activities have been canceled, the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC) is sharing with Armenian schools this list of digital resources that may help as teaching aids of Armenian, including apps for learning Armenian while playing; writing in the Armenian alphabet; grammar; general culture; history, and book downloads, as well as websites for songs and dictionaries, apps and YouTube addresses.

This list of apps is not exhaustive:

1: Gus on the Go
An app for those with no knowledge of Armenian and its alphabet:

An app for learning the colors, shapes and numbers in Armenian as well as the alphabet.

A monthly-fee-based site for learning Eastern Armenian, including lessons, books, worksheets, audiobooks and games.

5:  Ptit app
An app for learning Western Armenian (short stories, fables, jokes, riddles, educational games to hone language, math and logic activists).

6:  Mashtots
An app for learning Western Armenian (games, quiz questions, audio and grammar tips).

An app to help little children familiarize themselves with the Armenian alphabet and learn it.

An app to help little children learn the Armenian alphabet.

A Western Armenian word puzzle app for both kids and adults.

Digital and Audiobooks

1: St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES, Watertown, Ma.) teacher Alik Arzoumanian has started producing virtual Armenian language storytime sessions on YouTube.

Following the coronavirus outbreak and the quarantines across the world, VLUME, the largest Armenian online library of audiobooks and ebooks is offering for free all the ebook and audiobook titles for children, in addition to the large selection of other free books. 


“Nayiri” has 122 Armenian, Armenian-English, English-Armenian, Armenian-French, and French-Armenian dictionaries.


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 Angelina* who is sponsored by Noubar and Anie Megerian.  
Dear Sponsor,
This is the mother of Angelina. We are very happy that you are by our side. We are very grateful for your assistance.
Angelina is a very beautiful and lively child. She is the youngest child in our family. She has three sisters and three brothers. Angelina goes to kindergarten. She is very smart. She loves to draw pictures, listen to the fairy tales, and play with her siblings.
We thank you for your support. May God bless you and give you tenfold.
With lots of love from all of us,
Angelina and Family
* In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.

The St. Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization’s orphans’ sponsorship program now has two branches:
a.      Minors up to the age of 18.
b.     Orphans who upon turning 18 continue their studies at a higher education institution.
If you would like to sponsor a child on the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program, please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. Alternatively, for the sponsorship of both minors and university students you may also contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810). 

Annie Seropian

This is a colorful children’s book to celebrate Armenian holidays for the entire year. The background and features of the major religious and national celebrations are explained. Key Armenian words and names are also introduced. The volume is delightfully illustrated and sprinkled with recipes and pictures. It’s a beginner’s book to educate the young ones about the Armenian heritage.
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore (   or 212-689-7810)
Birth of Parsegh Tuglaciyan (April 1, 1933)
Parsegh Tuglaciyan (known in Turkish milieus as Pars Tuglaci) had an extensive production in Armenian and Turkish linguistics and philology as the author of many dictionaries and encyclopedias, as well as a scholar of the cultural and public role of Western Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

He was born in Istanbul on April 1, 1933. After elementary school at the New School, founded by educator Hovhannes Hintlian, he continued his studies at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Cyprus. Following graduation in 1951, he went to the University of Michigan, which he finished in 1955. That same year, he went to work at the military academy of Ankara as teacher of English and French.

In the 1960s, Tuglaciyan started publishing various bilingual and multilingual dictionaries about different scientific disciplines, which were well received and sometimes went through several editions. In 1971-1973 he published the encyclopedic dictionary “Okyanus” in ten volumes, which was the most extensive monolingual dictionary of Turkish published at the time (it had reached its sixth edition in 1982).

Besides many other works written about Turkish subjects, Tuglaciyan realized some of his most durable works within Armenian Studies. He usually wrote in Turkish, and sometimes in Armenian and English. One of his important works was “The Period of Westernization of Ottoman Architecture and the Balian Family” (1982), a sizeable work in Turkish, where he highlighted the contribution of the Balian family in the history of development of the architecture of the Ottoman Empire, breaking the wall of denial around it. This book was also published in English in 1990 with the title “The Role of the Balian Family in Ottoman Architecture.” He also wrote other works on Armenian subjects: “Aivazovski in Turkey” (1983, Turkish), “The Princes’ Islands of Istanbul throughout History” (1989), and “The Armenian Churches of Istanbul” (1991), both in Armenian, Turkish, and English.

In the 2000s, Tuglaciyan published a four-volume work in Turkish, “Western Armenians throughout History.” Each volume, averaging 900 pages, chronicled in full detail the role of Armenians from 289 A.D. until 1966, underscoring their role before 1915 and their absence after that year. The last volume (1923-1966) was published in 2009, but illness did not allow the author to complete his magnum opus with the last volume, which would have encompassed the period 1966-2010.

Tuglaciyan also made translations from French into Armenian (Prosper Mérimée and Guy de Maupassant), and published novellas and short stories in the Armenian press of Istanbul.

He passed away on December 13, 2016, in Istanbul. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ). 
 In the summer of 1977, Charles Aznavour was one of the first (perhaps even the first) international entertainer to return to perform in Beirut during a relative lull in the civil war. He hoped that others would follow his lead to restore Lebanon to its pre-war status as one of the entertainment capitals of the world. Karekin Sarkissian had been elected catholicos coadjutor of the Holy See of Cilicia just a few months earlier. During his trip, Aznavour visited the Catholicosate and met with Catholicos Khoren I and Catholicos Coadjutor Karekin II. This photo was taken during his visit to Antelias. Aznavour and His Holiness Karekin II share their hopes for a renewed and healed Lebanon as they tour the catholicosal complex.
Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Tuesday evenings.
All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should be emailed to . Please send also your inquiries and comments (English and/or Armenian) to the same email address.

 ( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
April 25—CANCELED —Armenian Genocide Commemoration at the House Chamber of the State Capitol of Connecticut, at 11:00 am. Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, President Emeritus of American University of Armenia (AUA), will speak about “Education as the cornerstone of building resilience among the Armenian youth and advancing Armenia.”
May 13-16   —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic 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 17  —Save the date. Following Divine Liturgy, St. Illuminator’s Cathedral will host a talk by academic and author Rubina Peroomian.
May 31   —Save the date. St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Douglaston, New York, 30th Anniversary Banquet.
June 28—July 5   —St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program: the 34th annual Datev Summer Program for youth ages 13-18 will take place at the St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). For information, please click  here  or contact the AREC office—212-689-7810 or   .
October 4 —Save the date. St. Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church of New Britain, CT, 95th Anniversary Banquet.
October 17 —Hye Kef 5 Annual Dance, presented by the Armenian Friends of America, Inc.. Featuring: Steve Vosbikian Jr., Mal Barsamian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian and Jason Naroian. At the DoubleTree Hotel in Andover, MA. For details, visit or call Sharke at 978-808-0598
November 15   —Save the date. The Eastern Prelacy's Annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
November 28   —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church 80th   Anniversary Celebration. Under the Auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island. More details to follow.
Follow us on Social Media
The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email:

Visit the Catholicosate webpage at