May 2, 2019
The 60 th anniversary of the consecration of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, will be celebrated this Sunday, May 5. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by the Prelate, Archbishop Anoushavan, who will also deliver the sermon. Immediately after church services a banquet will take place in the parish’s Great Hall. The banquet was “sold out” weeks ago with a “waiting list” in case of any last minute cancellation. During the banquet four families who have remained faithful parishioners and supporters of the church from generation to generation will be honored. The honored families are the Sarajian, Najarian, Mirakian, and Garabedian families.

Rev. Fr. Stepan Baljian officiates the Divine Liturgy on April 24.
Last Wednesday, April 24, Rev. Fr. Stepan Baljian, pastor of St. Gregory Church in North Andover, Massachusetts, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York, with Archbishop Anoushavan presiding. Also participating in the Liturgy were Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis Church, Douglaston; Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, New York; Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian, Visiting Clergy at St. Stephen Church in New Britain, Connecticut.
Immediately after the Liturgy, a “March for Justice” took place to the Turkish consulate nearby on Third Avenue. The march was organized and supported by the Eastern Prelacy, the Armenian National Committee of New York, and the New York chapters of the Armenian Youth Federation. 

The Divine Liturgy was followed by a “March for Justice.”
Scenes from the Armenian Genocide commemoration march.
A scene of the annual gathering at Times Square, commemorating the 104 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
The annual gathering at Times Square attracted an impressive number of participants from the New York metropolitan area and beyond, as the 104 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was remembered with prayers, Armenian songs and dances, messages by a number of congressional leaders, and Armenian benevolent and political organizations. The Times Square event has been sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan since 1985 when it was first conceived and organized by the late Sam Azadian, who remained an active organizer and participant throughout the years until his death.
Congressional leaders who spoke included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair; and Congresswoman Carolyn Malone y (D-NY).
Archbishop Anoushavan delivered the invocation in which he said, “All merciful Lord, we seek the intercession of our precious Holy Martyred Saints of the Armenian Genocide to bless this gathering and all those in attendance. . . Strengthen in us the power of the cross, the spirit of “living martyrdom,” so that we may fulfill your holy commandments through such life and service that are instruments for your peace and justice in this earth’s struggle for freedom and human rights, which are your gifts to all your creatures.”

Click below to watch the Archbishop Anoushavan's invocation speech.
Archbishop Anoushavan with Senator Robert Menendez in Washington, DC, during the Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance, April 10 and 11. Senator Menendez is a faithful participant in the Times Square gathering.

The clergy and altar servers following the joint Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Martyrs that brought together four area parishes in New England.
A special joint Divine Liturgy took place on Sunday, April 28, on the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Martyrs, at St. George Armenian Church in Hartford, Connecticut. Participating in the service were the clergy and faithful of the parishes of Saint George, Hartford, Connecticut; Holy Resurrection, New Britain, Connecticut; St. Mark, Springfield, Massachusetts; and St. Stephen, New Britain, Connecticut.
Participating in the Liturgy were, left to right, Dn. Arman Galstyan, Der Vahan Kouyoumdjian, Der Kapriel Mouradjian, and Der Sevak Gabrielyan.

Archbishop Anoushavan, accompanied by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian visited His Eminence Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America on Tuesday, April 30. The clergymen met at the Mor Aphrem Center in Paramus, New Jersey.

Archbishop Anoushavan delivers the benediction at the Armenian Bar Association’s Public Servants Dinner.
Archbishop Anoushavan delivered the benediction at the annual Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association at the Yale Club in New York City on Thursday, April 25. Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), delivered the invocation at the start of the event. The Bar Association’s 2019 Public Service Award was presented to the Hon. Robert H. Tenbekjian, Administrator and Counsel of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Hon. Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Rosenstein’s remarks on this occasion were his first public remarks since the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Rosenstein’s keynote address drew a great amount of national media attention. Attending the dinner were 70 state judges, 15 current and former U.S. Attorneys, the Armenian Ambassador to the United States Varushan Nersesyan, and the Permanent Representative of Armenian to the United Nations Mher Margaryan.
In his closing prayer, Archbishop Anoushavan said, “Eternal and everlasting God, guide us and make us worthy of the challenges that continue to face us. Give us the ability to discern right from wrong and make us instruments of your mercy for those in need… Bless all those gathered here, brought together by the Armenian Bar Association. Give them the resolve to continue their service to humankind with truth and justice.” In a light-hearted moment, appreciated by all, His Eminence wished everyone “good digestion,” and a safe trip home.
Archbishop Anoushavan with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the Armenian Bar Association’s dinner last week.

Members of the Agnouni chapter of the Armenian Relief Society of New Jersey visited the Prelacy this afternoon and met with the Prelate. The ARS representatives congratulated the Prelate on his election and elevation and presented him with a plaque in honor of his service to the community. They also had the opportunity to exchange ideas about the community and future plans.

A Note about the Readings:  Beginning Monday (April 29) and continuing until Pentecost (June 9) each day the four Gospels are read in the following order: 1) Morning—Luke; 2) Midday—John; 3) Evening—Matthew; 4) Evening dismissal—Mark. By Pentecost the four gospels are read up to the passion.

Bible readings for Sunday, May 5 , Sunday of the World Church ( Green Sunday) , are: (1) Luke 6:12-49 ;( 2) Acts 9:23-31; 1 (Peter 2:1-10; John 2:23-3:12; (3) Matthew 8:18-9:8; (4) Mark 3:6-12.

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10)

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone, for he himself knew what was in everyone.
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” (John 2:23-3:12)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
Easter Sunday is followed by a period of fifty days ( Hinook ). This period from the Resurrection to Pentecost ( Hokekaloost ) is dedicated to the glorification of the Resurrection. Each of the seven Sundays of Hinook has a special name. This Sunday (May 5) is Green Sunday ( Ganach Giragi ), also called Sunday of the World Church ( Ashkharhamadoor ), that commemorates the establishment in Jerusalem of the first Christian church where Christ met with the Apostles in the upper room.
Green Sunday most probably originates from an ancient holiday celebrating spring. Our forefathers, seeing mother earth bloom after long winter months, glorified the Creator with an act of thanksgiving and celebrated by decorating the church and themselves with greenery. The reawakening of nature is symbolic of the Resurrection. Green is the color of life, freshness, and promise. After a barren winter and with the Resurrection we are filled with hope, life, and love.
Green Sunday is the perfect time for us to remember and strengthen our obligations as good stewards of the earth and caretakers of the gifts given to us by God.
You nations, made worthy to be called to give glory to Christ our God, come, sing to the Lord a new song, rejoice and praise his name with a new praise with the voice of Joy. O Christ, we who believe in you with true confession bless the mystery of your divine, life-giving economy glorifying your wonderful and terrible name. O Lord, Lord great over all the earth. Holy Church, bride initiated into the heavenly mystery, rejoice to the glory of the all-Holy Trinity who has adorned you with all its gifts and who is to crown you with glory the divine light with all his saints.
(Canon of Green Sunday, Sunday of the World Church, according to the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)

The Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly (NRA), hosted by St. Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, will convene May 16 to 18. The Clergy conference will begin on Wednesday, May 15. Concurrent with the Assembly, the annual conference of the National Association of Ladies Guilds (NALG) will take place.
The NRA is the highest ecclesiastical and administrative body of the Prelacy. It is composed of a ratio of one-seventh clergy and six-sevenths lay delegates. The clergy delegates are elected by the Clergy Conference and the lay delegates by their respective parishes. The number of delegates from the parishes depends on the number of parish members. The minimum number of delegates for a parish is two and the maximum is seven.


We are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the 33 rd annual St. Gregory of Datev Institute Summer Program, a unique Christian educational program for youth ages 13-18. Sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), the weeklong program will be held at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from June 30 to July 7, 2019. For information and registration, please click here .

The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors.

The letters are delightful to read. Occasionally, we like to share some of these letters through Crossroads. This week’s letter is from Aram, who at the time of the writing was nearing age 18 and would no longer be in the orphans’ program. At 18 he would go into mandatory service in the armed forces.

My dearest Sponsor,
               I hope you’re doing well. This is my last thank you letter to you and that is why I really hope that I will be able to at least partially express my enormous gratitude for your kindness and support. I always wrote my letters to you with love, always waited for those moments when I will be able to write to you. Every time, I thought long before writing and expressing my thoughts and feelings, and they always were genuine. I told you lots of things about me and I shared lots of dreams and aspirations. What really impressed me is that you have been helping me and reached out your kind hand without even knowing me personally. I understand that generous people always feel the need to help out more unfortunate ones, but it still touched me enormously and taught me good lessons.
               May God always protect you and give you so much more so that you’re able to continue your wonderful deeds and help out those who need it, especially children. I always believed that parents are a child’s hope and faith: father is the hope, and mother is the faith. And the child is the love.
               It seems that life ends with childhood, but that’s not true, of course: life starts and ends with every day. We should always remember that there is end to life, otherwise it will lose all sense. Despite difficulties and hardships, I think I had a nice childhood and I came out of it ready to face life.
               I am now writing to you as an adult, a person who should be now responsible for his actions and his livelihood. I will learn those soon enough, and I think that my service in the army will teach me lots of lessons towards at least one of those goals. I am proud to be able to serve my country very soon.
               It was a joy to be your friend and to write to you these letters. I am very grateful for everything you did and still doing for me. May all the good things come your way always and may God always bless you.
              With lots of love, I want to wish you the best for the coming New Year and Christmas. May God bless you and your family with health and success.
Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810, ask for Sophie).  

Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian celebrates the Easter Liturgy at St. Stephen’s Church of New Britain, Connecticut.

Arpi Nardone’s Shadow Tole Art, based on a 17 th century art technique, will be on exhibit at the Prelacy’s Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian Hall in New York City. Seen above is Nardone’s Shadow Tole Art of the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus by Vartkes Surenyants.
The opening reception of an exhibit of the Shadow Tole Art of Arpi Nardone will take place tomorrow, May 3, from 7 to 9 pm. Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, the event is hosted by the Hamazkayin Educational & Cultural Society of New York, and will take place at the Prelacy’s offices at 138 East 39 th Street in New York City.
Arpi Nardone and her art have achieved international recognition, especially her creations of Anton Pieck paintings of Dickens’ England, which were exclusively distributed by Alfred Dunhill of London. Her works have been exhibited at Cartier International, as well as private galleries in New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Beverly Hills.
The exhibit will be open to the public on Thursday, May 2, from 6 to 9 pm; Friday, May 3 from 5 to 9 pm; and Saturday from 2 to 8 pm.
Death of Grigor Ghapantsian (May 3, 1957)

Grigor Ghapantsian was one of the most influential names in Armenian linguistics and ancient history in the first half of the twentieth century.

Born on February 17, 1887, in Ashtarak, he received his elementary education in his hometown. Afterwards, he went to St. Petersburg, where he was admitted to the Russian gymnasium (high school). After graduation, he entered the section of Armeno-Georgian philology in the Faculty of Oriental Languages of the local university. There, he was a student of the famous Georgian linguist and Armenologist Nikolai Marr.

Ghapantsian graduated in 1913 and returned to Armenia. He became a teacher of Armenian Studies at the Gevorgian Seminary in Holy Echmiadzin, and in 1914 he participated in the archaeological excavations of Ani, led by Marr. In the same year he published his first book,  Linguistic Disciplines and Language  (in Armenian). When the Seminary was closed in 1917, he settled in Yerevan. In 1918 he participated in the battle of Sardarabad.

In 1921 Ghapantsian was invited to teach at the University of Yerevan, where he worked until the end of his life and directed the chair of General Linguistics until 1954. He taught Classical Armenian, compared grammar of the Armenian language, Urartian, general linguistics, and prepared specialists in those different fields.

In 1932 he was given the grade of professor and in 1942 he earned the doctorate of philological sciences without defending a thesis. In the same year he was designated Emeritus Scientific Worker of Soviet Armenia. He became a founding member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences in 1943 and was elected academician secretary of the section of Social Sciences. He directed the Institute of Linguistics “Hrachia Ajarian” from 1950-1955.

At the time, Ghapantsian was one of the few experts in dead languages of Asia Minor, like Hittite, Urartian, and Hurrian, bringing an important element to the study of Armenian ancient history and language. His most productive period started in the 1930s, when he published several books in Russian and Armenian:  Chetto-Armeniaca  (1931, in Russian); “ Common Elements of the Urartian and Hittite Languages  (1936),  The Hittitle Gods among the Armenians   (1940),  The Historico-Linguistic Meaning of Ancient Armenian Placenames  (1940),  The Adoration of Ara the Beautiful  (1945), et cetera.

Ghapantsian’s linguistic interests, combined with his erudition as a historian and archaeologist, brought him to the forefront of important discoveries in his field. He condensed many of his conclusions in several influential monographs, such as  The History of Urartu  (1940),  Hayasa, Cradle of the Armenians  (1948, in Russian), and  History of the Armenian Language: Ancient Period  (1961). In his studies, he portrayed the existence of two different layers in the Armenian language, one Indo-European and the other local (languages of Asia Minor and the Caucasus). He also dealt with issues of general linguistics, publishing the book  General Linguistics  (1937, 1939).
Ghapantsian passed away on May 3, 1957, in Yerevan. There is a school named after him in Ashtarak, with a museum dedicated to his scientific career. His bronze bust is placed in the entrance of the central building of Yerevan State University, symbolizing his importance as scholar and teacher in the development of academic studies.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).

We remind everyone that the deadline to receive copy and photographs for publication in Thursday’s Crossroads electronic newsletter is Wednesday at noon. Your cooperation will permit us to issue Crossroads on a timely schedule.

The Armenian Highland
Western Armenia and the First Armenian Republic of 1918
By Matthew Karanian
This special commemorative edition is the latest volume photographed and written by Matthew Karanian. Like his other books and guide books it is beautiful to look at and beautiful to read. The text is as lush as the photographs. The name “Armenian Highland” refers to the ancient homeland of the Armenians, including the lands of Western Armenia and the First Armenian Republic of 1918. Armenians first settled on this land more than three millennia ago. They lived there until 1915 when the Turkish extermination of the Armenians began.

Hardcover, 312 pages; 207 color photos and maps; 42 antique and never-before published photos.
$65.00 plus shipping and handling.
Only a few copies available of an earlier work by Matthew Karanian:
Historic Armenia after 100 Years
Ani, Kars, and the Six Provinces of Western Armenia
By Matthew Karanian
Published four years ago this guide to cultural sites of the ancient Armenian homeland describes the history and culture of Armenian monuments and artifacts.  The photography documents the current condition of these sites, and wherever possible images from 100 years ago are included. The six Armenian provinces of the Ottoman Empire are featured.
Softcover, 176 pages; 125 color photos and maps.
$39.95, plus shipping & handling.
To order these or other books contact the Prelacy Bookstore by email ( ) or telephone (212-689-7810)
( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
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.
May 3 —Opening reception of exhibit of Arpi Nardone’s Shadow Tole Art, 7 to 9 pm, at the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39 th Street, New York City, hosted by Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society of New York. The exhibit will be open to the public Thursday, May 2, 6 to 9pm; Friday, May 3, 5 to 9pm; Saturday, May 4, 2 to 8pm.

May 4— “Prayer—Personal and Communal,” a seminar conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, director of the Prelacy’s Christian Education, at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, from 10:30 am to 2 pm (Lunch at noon). For information and registration contact the church by email at or phone at 413-543-4763.

May 5 —60 th anniversary of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ. “60 Years from Generation to Generation,” honoring Garabedian, Mirakian, Najarian, and Sarajian families. Banquet in grand hall. Information: 201-943-2950. ( SOLD OUT).

May 5— 93 rd anniversary of St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain). Rev. Fr. Dr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian will be the celebrant of the Divine Liturgy. A banquet will follow at The Wethersfield Country Club.

May 5— Mothers Day luncheon honoring Sonia Bezdikian, by Armenian Relief Society, NY Mayr Chapter, at Manor, Douglaston, NY, at 3 pm. Information/reservations: Mina Hovsepian (917)741-2966.

May 11 —Mother’s Day Dinner Dance, 6:30 pm at the Crowne Plaza, Warwick, Rhode Island, honoring Mother of the Year Maro Dionisopoulos. Reservations and Information:

May 16-18 —National Representative Assembly of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, hosted by St. Asdvatzadzin Church of Whitinsville, MA.

June 30-July 7 —33 rd St. Gregory of Datev Summer Institute (ages 13-19) at St. Mary of Providence Center, Elverson, PA. Sponsored by Eastern Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Information: or 212-689-7810.

October 9-12 —On the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Translators a joint clergy conference of the Eastern, Western, and Canadian Prelacies will convene in Montebello, CA.

October 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, NJ continues celebration of 60 th anniversary with Elie Berberian and his band. Information: 201-943-2950.

October 19 —Armenian Friends of America Annual Hye Kef 5 Dance, featuring The Vosbikians, at Double Tree by Hilton, Andover, MA. For information: Sharke’ Der Apkarian at 978-808-0598; John Arzigian at 603-560-3826.

November 17 —SAVE THE DATE for 150 th anniversary of birth of Gomidas Vartabed, organized by the Eastern Prelacy. Details will follow.
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