November 15, 2018
Fires continue to rage in California, spreading quickly and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. The town called Paradise is almost totally obliterated. Fire Fighters from other states are traveling to help fight what is being described as “one of the deadliest fires in California history.”
At this time, we do not even know how we can physically help. But surely we can help spiritually by praying to Almighty God to help California overcome this tragedy.

This weekend Bishop Anoushavan will travel to Dearborn, Michigan, where on Sunday His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Sarkis Church. Following the services a lavish mezze will be offered in the church hall in celebration of the parish’s 54 th anniversary at the current location and an opportunity to Meet and Greet Bishop Anoushavan.

Archbishop Papken and Bishop Anoushavan.
Last Friday, November 9, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian welcomed the visit of His Eminence Archbishop Papken Tcharian, Prelate of Canada, who officially congratulated Bishop Anoushavan’s recent election as Prelate of the Eastern USA Prelacy. Accompanying Archbishop Papken was Mrs. Danya Ohanian Karakashian, Executive Director of the Canadian Prelacy.
The two Prelates spoke about various joint programs and the completion of a number projects such as the publication of the New Testament and the Nareg Prayer Book, as well as religious programs for the youth, and other possible collaborations. At the completion of the brotherly visit, Archbishop Papken extended his good wish to Bishop Anoushavan for success and fruitful work.

Bishop Anoushavan, Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, and Robert Avetisyan, the Representative of Artsakh to the United States, surrounded by the choir, deacons, members of the board of trustees, Homenetmen executive, members, and scouts.
With students, parents and teachers of Hamasdegh Armenian School.
His Grace Bishop Anoushavan presided over the 54 th anniversary celebration of Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church last Saturday evening at the Arabian Community Center, Keshishian Hall in Bethesda, Maryland. Honorary chairpersons of the event were Mr. and Mrs. Shant and Hilda Kehyaian. During the evening Mrs. Sonia Mekerdjian, Mrs. Ojenee Tossounian, and Ms. Anahid Dardarian were honored for their years of service to Soorp Khatch Church. Ara Margarian, DMC Charge d’Affaires of the Armenian Embassy presented a service appreciation award to Dr. Zareh Soghomonian. Entertainment during the event was provided by the Levon Mikaelian Jazz Trio.

Bishop Anoushavan and Der Sarkis with the honorees.
Central executive and eastern region committee members of the Hamazkayin Cultural Association met with His Grace Bishop Anoushavan at the Prelacy offices. Visitors included (from L/R) Arevig Caprielian, eastern region, chair, Hrayr Baronian, central executive member, and Hasmig Aprahamian eastern region co-chair
Note: The deadline for donations and banquet reservations honoring His Grace Bishop Anoushavan is approaching. Please submit your donations and banquet reservations.
The Religious and Executive Councils of the Eastern Prelacy are pleased to invite the faithful to attend the morning Liturgy and the afternoon banquet, in celebration of the election of Bishop Anoushavan as Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy on Sunday, December 2. The deadline for reservations and donations in honor of Bishop Anoushavan is November 19. All donations will be acknowledged in the commemorative booklet that will be published on this occasion.
His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, on Sunday, December 2. The Liturgy will begin at 10 am. The banquet will take place at the Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, New York. The reception will begin at 2:30 pm, followed by dinner and program at 3:30 pm. For reservation or information contact the Prelacy by email ( ) or by telephone (212-689-7810).

Participants at last week’s session.
The third of a seven-part Bible study on the Book of Revelation took place last Thursday at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, and will continue on subsequent Thursdays, (excluding next Thursday which is Thanksgiving) from 7:00-8:30pm, with a light dinner at 6:30pm. Sponsored by the Eastern Prelacy and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, the Bible study is conducted by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, the Prelacy’s director of Christian Education. New attendees are welcome. For information contact St. Illuminator’s Cathedral by email ( ) or by phone (212-689-5880).
Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Director of the Armenian National Education Committee, traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to participate in the mini-conference of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), “Innovative Approaches to the History of the First Republic of Armenia, 1920,” that took place today, November 15, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio Hotel. Dr. Matiossian presented a paper entitled “The Recognition of the First Republic of Armenia in South America (1918-1920).” As a member of the Executive Council of the SAS, he also participated in the meeting of the Council and the Annual Meeting of the SAS, held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).

At the invitation of the Rev. Father Bedros Shetilian, pastor, and the Board of Trustees, Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education of the Eastern Prelacy, conducted a 3-hour seminar on the Nicene Creed at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Twenty-two people participated. The program began with a short prayer service led by Fr. Bedros. 
The Nicene Creed is the official profession of faith of the Church, formulated by the Holy Fathers of the first two Ecumenical Councils, Nicea in 325 and Constantinople in 381. Since the end of the 5th Century, the Creed has been recited during the Divine Liturgy ( Soorp Badarak ), immediately after the reading of the Gospel. 
Dn. Shant discussed the origin and the development of creeds in general and the Nicene Creed in particular, highlighting the purposes and functions of creeds within the life of the Church and the use of various creeds in the Armenian Church. As in the past, creeds today serve as tests for orthodoxy, as a badge of membership, as summaries of faith in an outline form, and as a syllabus for Christian instructions. Naturally, the textbook for the course of instructions is the Bible itself. At the end, Dn. Shant briefly presented a way of reading the Nicene Creed, an understanding that is true to the witness of the Bible. Throughout the interactive presentation, the participants engaged in lively discussions about these and other related topics.

Bible readings for Sunday, November 18, Tenth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Eve of the Fast of Advent), are: Isaiah 25:9-26; Philippians 1:1-11; Luke 9:44-50.

“Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thoughts of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”  (Luke 9:44-50)


Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more an d more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. ( Philippians 1:1-11)

The word apostle refers to the special inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, chosen by Jesus to accompany Him during His ministry, to learn from Him, follow His instructions and continue His work.
This Saturday, November 17, the Armenian Church celebrates two Holy Apostles, Andrew and Philip. Andrew was a Galilean fisherman and the first-called of the followers of Christ, along with his brother Simon, who was later called Peter. Philip was from Bethsaida and after he had been called to be an apostle he brought in Nathanael (later called Bartholomew).

This Sunday, November 18, is the Eve (Paregentan ) of the Fast of Advent ( Hisnag ). This is a week-long fast (Monday to Friday) leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, which is next Sunday.
Advent is the period that guides us to the birth and baptism of Christ. It begins fifty days before January 6. Advent is intended to be a solemn and quiet time for prayer, reflection, and meditation in preparation for the mystery of the incarnation.
Traditionally the entire fifty-day period of Advent was a period of fasting. Now there are three week-long fasts during Advent (along with the regular fasting days of Wednesday and Friday). The three week-long fasts are known as: The Fast of Advent ( Hisnagats Bahk ); The Fast of St. James ( Sourp Hagopah Bahk ); and the Fast of the Nativity ( Dznuntyan Bahk ).

On Wednesday, November 21, the Armenian Church commemorates the Presentation of the Holy Mother to the Temple ( Unsayoum Sourp Asdvadzadzini ), one of the eight feast days devoted to Mary in the Armenian liturgical calendar. The doctrine of the Holy Mother as “Mother-of-God” ( Asdvadzamayr ) and Bearer-of-God ( Asdvadzadzin ) was established in the fifth century at the Holy Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.

A scene from the Induction Service of the Board of Trustees .
From left to right, Dn . Hagop Tekeyan, advisor; Lorig Hamparian, vice chairman; Boghos Orangian, treasurer; Boghos Minoyan, chairman; Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian; Aida Gharibian, secretary; Michael Mirakian, advisor; Davit Ambartsumian, advisor. Not in photo: Aram Haroutunian, advisor; and Mher Azizian, advisor.
During the Divine Liturgy last Sunday, Induction Service took place for the newly elected members of the Board of Trustees of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. Seven of the nine members were present for the ceremony. Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz, congratulated the board members and wished them good health and success in their mission to serve for the prosperity of the church and the entire Sts. Vartanantz Church community.

The fifth and final session of the “Enriching Your Marriage” series at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, took place last Monday. As in previous weeks, the couples started off the evening engaged in fellowship with their children and friends while enjoying a homemade meal. This week's presentation by Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian, pastor of St. Sarkis, focused on commitment, specifically loving, respecting and cherishing each other. He explained that when we commit by saying "I do", everything is based on that answer. Love is not always contingent on being happy. Love is a choice in Christian marriage and that the sacrament of marriage is the beginning of the journey, with the end being eternal life.
Der Nareg encouraged the couples to imitate the love of God in their households and to live that love in their lives. This is not always easy, he noted, but with forgiveness and some thoughtful boundaries, people who want to be close to God have to be challenged to get closer to Him. Those who work on their awareness are more likely to acquire the skills and grace necessary for a successful partnership. 

Following a brief conversation where participants shared their thoughts about the course, it was clear that most felt this was a positive stepping stone in learning the key points to enriching a marriage. They felt the stories and examples that Der Nareg offered throughout the sessions, helped the couples understand how these principles apply. Amongst several helpful resources that were shared throughout the five weeks, Der Nareg and Yeretzgeen Annie generously gifted each couple with a copy of the book  The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work , to guide them further on their marital journey. At the evening's completion, Der Nareg thanked several individuals for their gracious contributions and the couples joined their children in the main hall for a group photo.

A scene from Armenian Fest 2018 organized by Sts. Vartanantz Church of Providence, Rhode Island
It is that time of the year when many of our parishes are hosting their annual Festivals and Bazaars. Perhaps one of the most ambitious such events is the annual Armenian Fest hosted by Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island, with its annual Armenian Fest that took place last weekend. More than 200 volunteers worked for many months preparing for this event that took place at the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet. The large enthusiastic crowds who came enjoyed the delicious meals and pastries offered to eat in or take home. Also enjoyed were the vendors on the second floor. The Hamazkayin Artsakh Dance Group performed both days to the delight of all and live Armenian music was provided, as well as activities for children. Armenian Fest has become one of Rhode Island’s largest indoor festivals, attracting more than 3,000 visitors and receiving a great deal of publicity around the state, including a cooking segment on the daily morning talk show, The Rhode Show .
Artsakh Dance Group performed Saturday and Sunday.
Birth and Death of Bishop Karekin Servantzdian
(November 17, 1840 – November 17, 1892)
Together with his mentor, Khrimian Hayrig, Bishop Karekin Servantzdian was a remarkable ecclesiastic who worked actively for the well-being of Armenians in their historical territories and even engaged in political activities. At the same time, he became a founder of sorts of Armenian folklore studies.

Servantzdiants was born in Van on November 17, 1840. He studied in his birthplace, and then graduated from the seminary at the monastery of the Holy Cross of Varak, where he was designated as teacher. When Khrimian became the superior of the monastery in 1858, he resumed the publication of his paper Ardzvi Vaspurakan, which had initially been printed in Constantinople (1855-1856), and named young Servantzdiants deputy editor of the weekly from 1860-1862.

Khrimian and the future ecclesiastic toured the Armenian provinces in 1860-1861. Servantzdian depicted the painful situation of the Armenian working class, subject to exploitation by Turks and Kurds. The Ottoman authorities took him under surveillance. He also collected samples of folkloric texts and sayings. His initiative contributed to the opening of schools in various places. In 1862 he became principal and teacher of the seminary attached to the monastery of Surp Garabed in Moush, and edited another publication by Khrimian, Ardzvi Darono (1863-1865), a biweekly. In 1866 he published a textbook, New Reader, in Constantinople.

In 1867 Servantzdian was ordained a celibate priest in Karin (Erzerum) and sent to Van as preacher. Soon he became general director of the schools of Karin, and two years later, he was designated deputy abbot of the monastery of Surp Garabed.

While a champion of popular education and culture, Servantzdian did not shy away from engaging in more difficult tasks. In 1872 he participated in the foundation of the clandestine political group “Union and Salvation,” created in Van. He was designated vicar of the diocese of Van in 1879. Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian sent him to tour the Armenian provinces in 1879-1880 and prepare exhaustive reports about the situation of the population. At the same time, he also recorded many samples of oral literature and described rites, customs, and beliefs. 

By then, Servantzdian was actively publishing his findings. His book of 1874, Գրոց ու բրոց ( Krots oo prots, loosely “From Written and Oral Sources”), consecrated his name as the discoverer of the Armenian national epic David of Sassoon. The young priest recorded for the first time an account of the epic, which has been regarded as one of the best among 150 recorded published and unpublished accounts. He published another book of written texts, From Old and New, in the same year. New books appeared in the next decade: Manna (1876), where he included folkloric material and the description of the neighborhoods and historical monuments of Van; Toros Aghpar (1879), where he spoke about the economic situation of the country, and the Armenian emigration; and With Taste and Smell (1884), which included a description of Armenian places, historical monuments, and weather, and also literary sketches of various figures of the past and popular tales.

In 1881 Servantzdian participated in the organization of another patriotic secret organization, “The Black Cross,” and by order of the government had to leave Van. He became vicar of the diocese of Bitlis and then took the same position in Kharpert. He traveled to Echmiadzin in 1885 and was ordained bishop the next year. Then he was designated primate of Trebizonda and then of Daron, at the same time becoming abbot of Surp Garabed.

Servantzdian’s patriotic activities and stance triggered the displeasure of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Consequently, Patriarch Haroutioun Vehabedian (1885-1888) fired him from his positions in Daron and had him sent back to Constantinople. Under strict surveillance, he worked as preacher at the Holy Trinity Church of the district of Pera, teacher at the Getronagan School, and chairman of the Religious Council. His contributions to the fields of ethnology and archaeology earned him an honorary membership in the Imperial Academy of Archaeology of St. Petersburg (Russia).

After a long illness, Bishop Karekin Servantzdian passed away on the day of his fifty-second birthday, November 17, 1892. His legacy became a stepping stone for the development of Armenian ethnology and folklore studies in the twentieth century.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).
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.
Maestro Sergey Smbatyan, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, will embark on a tour across the United States with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate the Orchestra’s 50 th anniversary. Maestro Smbatyan will lead the Orchestra in three concerts at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on November 27, the Music Center at Strathmore near Washington, DC, on November 29, and Carnegie Hall in New York City on December 1.
Malta Philharmonic has allocated free tickets for each concert to be distributed to the members of the Armenian communities in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York. If you wish to attend one of the concerts, email your name and the names of your guests to by November 23. The number of tickets is limited and you will need to reconfirm your attendance closer to the concert dates. Tickets will be held under your name at the Will-Call windows of the concert venues (photo ID needed)

We would love to know your thoughts about and suggestions for our weekly Crossroads electronic publication, and we have set up a special e-mail address for your comments. Write to us at .
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).

November 16 and 17 —Annual Food Festival at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Open Friday at 4 pm with dinner being served from 5 pm to 8 pm and Saturday opening at 10 am with dinner being served from noon to 4 pm. Join us for kheyma, shish kebab, losh kebab, or chicken kebab dinners or try our new vegetarian meal. Visit our Country Store and Bake Table. Stock up on choreg, katah choreg, porov kufta, simit, baklava, yalanchi, toorshi and much more. Free admission and free parking. For information: 508-852-2414.

November 18 —56 th anniversary of St. Sarkis Church in Dearborn, Michigan, Celebrant, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Prelate. Followed by Lavish Mezza in church hall and “Meet and Greet” Bishop Anoushavan.

December 2 —Banquet in honor of His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, newly-elected Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy at Terrace on the Park, 52-11 111 th Street, Flushing Meadows Park, New York. Reception 2:30 pm; dinner and program 3:30 pm.

December 9 —“What’s in a Name? The Etymology of Armenian Surnames,” a lecture by writer and editor C. K. Garabed, 1 pm in Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, sponsored by Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society—Regional Executive and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Light refreshments; free admission.

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

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.

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

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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