November 30, 2017
The World General Assembly of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia will convene next week in Antelias, Lebanon, starting Tuesday, December 5 through to Friday, December 8, under the presidency of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I. Clergy and lay delegates will be traveling from various parts of the world to attend the Assembly. Convened every four years, the Assembly will be attended by the Prelates serving under the Holy See of Cilicia, as well as more than 100 delegates and invited guests. Archbishop Oshagan is heading the delegation from the Eastern Prelacy.

A requiem service for Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, former Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, will take place this Sunday, December 3, at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City.

Archbishop Mesrob passed away fourteen years ago on December 2, 2003, during a visit to the United States. He served as Prelate for twenty years, from 1978 to 1998, after which he relocated to Armenia, where he directed the committee that planned the 1700 th anniversary of Christian Armenia. Later he organized innumerable charitable and educational programs to benefit the people in Armenia and Artsakh. May his memory be forever blessed.
Ordination of Acolytes at Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts.
Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts celebrated its 60th anniversary on Sunday, November 19 with the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, who celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon. His Eminence, ordained Charles Whittlesey, Bryan Der Kosrofian and Vahan Der Kosrofian to the rank of Acolyte during the service. At the conclusion of the Badarak, Archbishop Oshagan blessed and consecrated a painting depicting our Lord Jesus Christ, the 12 Apostles, and the Last Supper. 

His Eminence presided over the 60 th anniversary celebration that took place at the Highfields Golf & Country Club. Hagop Antranigian was the Master of Ceremonies, and Bill DiLuca, chairman of the Board, warmly welcomed everyone.

During the celebration, Archbishop Oshagan presented Certificate of Merit awards to recipients, Joanne Khoury, Nancy Moscofian, and Joseph & Margo Montecalvo for their years of dedicated service to the church. In his message Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, pastor, emphasized that "the community has to seize the opportunities that God presents and to work hard and love even harder in order for the church to thrive because we can't be for each other if we're not with each other." 

The Zulal a cappella trio performed a number of Armenian folk songs. The celebration concluded with remarks offered by Archbishop Oshagan, who congratulated the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church community on its 60th anniversary and prayed for the continued success and prosperity of the parish, stressing the fact that the "Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church community should strive to follow the Biblical family values that our parents followed 60 years ago."  
Archbishop Oshagan and Der Mikael with recipients of the Prelacy’s Certificate of Merit award.
Archbishop Oshagan and Der Mikael with members of the Board of Trustees
His Eminence congratulates Der Hayr and the newly ordained acolytes.
Archbishop Oshagan consecrates painting.
Bible readings for Sunday, December 3, Second Sunday of Advent, are: Isaiah 36:22-37:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-11; Luke 13:1-9.

At that very time were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the other living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

Then he told the parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13:1-9)


Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-11)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

This Saturday, December 2, the Armenian Church commemorates Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew, two of the twelve apostles who were the first evangelizers of Armenia, and were martyred there, giving the Armenian Church its apostolic identity and earning them the title, “First Enlighteners of Armenia.”

Thaddeus came to Armenia about 43 AD to preach Christianity. He was martyred in southeastern Armenia. His tomb lies in the Armenian monastery of St. Thaddeus (Iran) where a chapel was built in the third century. Bartholomew is believed to have arrived in Armenia about 66 AD. He was martyred in Hadamakert, southeast of Lake Van.

An apostle is “someone who is sent,”—an emissary or ambassador of the Kingdom of God, sent to announce the Kingdom’s coming in Jesus Christ, and authorized to claim men and women’s allegiance to him. “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God,” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Also remembered this week:
           St. Clement of Rome (November 30)
           St. Gennaro (December 4)
           St. Apkar, 1 st Christian King (December 5)
Bishop Anoushavan presided over the Divine Liturgy last Sunday at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey. His Grace delivered the sermon on this first Sunday of Advent on the Gospel reading of the day, Luke 12:13-31.

Dr. Vartan Matiossian at the co-sponsored conference “Transmitting Western Armenian to the Next Generation."
On Saturday, November 18, ANEC Director Dr. Vartan Matiossian traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the conference co-sponsored by the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) and the Department of Armenian Communities of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, “Transmitting Western Armenian to the Next Generation,” and held at the Marriott Wardman Hotel. The six papers presented at the conference elicited wide interest among the audience. Dr. Matiossian, as vice-president of the SAS, presented closing remarks at the conference, where he stressed the importance of Western Armenian in Armenian Studies.

On Sunday, November 19, Dr. Matiossian visited the Hamasdegh Armenian School, which functions within the Soorp Khatch Church of Bethesda, Maryland, under the jurisdiction of ANEC. He met the new principal, Mrs. Janet Peltekian, and also had the opportunity to visit the upper grades (six, seven, and eight). 
Dr. Vartan Matiossian with the participants of Assembly in Canada. 
Dr. Vartan Matiossian traveled to Canada over Thanksgiving. On Saturday, November 25, he lectured at a one-day assembly of the Armenian Prelacy of Canada, presided by Archbishop Papken Tcharian, Prelate, and held at the Marriott Delta Waterfront Hotel in Kingston (Ontario). The assembly gathered close to sixty members of the Executive Council, Parish Councils, and NRA representatives coming from the different communities of the country. Dr. Matiossian’s talk, entitled “Notes on Our Identity within the Current Diaspora Situation,” generated an interesting dialogue and was very well received by the audience.

Death of Tigran Yergat (December 1, 1899)

A short-lived and forgotten name of Armenian letters and political struggle in the late nineteenth century, Garabed Bilezikji was born in Constantinople from a Catholic family of amiras (upper class merchants) in 1870. His father died at the age of 28 and his mother, who belonged to the well-to-do Tingir family, returned to her father’s home with her children.

Little Garabed was given private lessons of Turkish and Armenian, and learned Greek through his nanny. In 1880 he moved to Paris with his mother and entered the boarding school of the Dominican fathers in Argueuil. He graduated in 1887 with honors. After spending a year in the United States, where he studied American literature and perfected his English, he came back to Paris in 1889 and took a modest position at a bank, while devoted to literary and political activities, and adopted the pseudonym of Tigran Yergat.

He maintained close relations with Emile Zola, Jean Jaures, Maurice Barres, and other remarkable figures of French intellectual life, which opened the doors of the press to him. He published many articles in French journals about the peoples of the Orient, Oriental life and customs, and the Armenian Question. He contributed to Nouvelle Revue , Le Figaro , and other publications, and was a much-sought lecturer.

In 1893 the Tingir family lost most of its fortune due to the economic crisis in Turkey, and Yergat was forced to return to Constantinople. He taught French and clandestinely contributed to Revue des Revues with patriotic poems by Kamar Katiba in French translation and articles denouncing the anti-Armenian policies of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. He also wrote articles calling for revolutionary action in the newspaper Hairenik of Constantinople. In August 1896, when the Armenian Revolutionary Federation executed the occupation of the Ottoman Bank, Tigran Yergat’s brother, Mardiros Bileziji, a bank employee, was persuaded by the leaders of the group, Armen Garo and Hrach Tiryakian, to write in Turkish the famous warning to the sultan by the Armenian revolutionaries. Yergat would tell his mother: “They entered the bank like heroes, but they should have exploded the building rather than leaving it like that, without any result. Would my brother have been lost there? Who cares, it would have been for the glory of Armenia…” 

Tigran Yergat also showed his capacities for political and lobby efforts. He was in close contact with Patriarch Mateos Izmirlian (1892-1896), who was finally exiled to Jerusalem by Hamid due to his continuous protests against the “Red Sultan.” He also was the subject of persecution, which forced him to leave Constantinople in October 1896 with help from the secretary of the British embassy.

He went to Greece, where he would mostly spend the next years. He actively cooperated with the Crete rebellion of 1897 and the subsequent Greek-Turkish war, becoming a member of the political organization “Eteria” and working to create a rapprochement between Greek and Armenian revolutionaries. In 1898 he took upon himself the organization of a French military expedition to Cilicia, which remained unfinished due to his death. In fact, his health took a fast turn to the worse early that year. He was forced to move to Cairo, near his brothers, looking for a recovery. During his short sojourn in Egypt, he became a member of the A.R.F.

However, in the spring of 1899, upon his mother’s entreaties, Tigran Yergat returned to Constantinople, physically devastated. He was taken to the hospital, where he passed away on December 1, 1899. An obituary published in the A.R.F. organ Droshak stated: “The storm of revolution, the adoration of epic feats existed in Tigran Yergat as an embodiment of protest, framed within a tender smile. Alas! A wild disease, tuberculosis, destroyed that kind and honorable life.”

 Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).
Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee
How Spray Became Part of a Diaspora?

One way or another, most people spray something every day, while many young children watch the channel Sprout and millions of people everywhere in the world prepare spread sheets in their offices.

All of them use words that are connected to each other, even though the three words seem to have nothing to do with each other. It is true that the three words in question come from different Proto-Germanic sources, but it is also true that the ultimate source for all of them is one tiny Proto-Indo-European word: *sper “to strew.”

The same word *sper is also the source for an Armenian verb: սփռել ( sprel “to scatter, to strew”, to be pronounced suprel ). The original word for spr-el was սփիռ (spir), which later became սփիւռ ( spiur ). (Interestingly, unlike sprel, we pronounce spiur as its English cognate spray , with a schwa before the s .)
A few decades ago, spiur became the source for the neologism ձայնասփիւռ ( tzaynaspiur ), the Western Armenian word for “radio,” composed by the words ձայն ( tzayn “sound, voice”) and spiur. Thus, tzaynaspiur means “to scatter sounds,” which is exactly the function of a radio.

Much older than that, spiur turned to be the root of սփիւռք (spiurk), the Armenian translation of the Greek (now English) word diaspora (δῐᾰσπορᾱ́ ), meaning “dispersion” ( dia “across” + speiro “I sow”). The word spiurk was composed with the addition of the suffix ք (k), which indicates both plural ( գիր /kir “letter” > գիրք /kirk “letters; book”) and place ( հայ /hay “Armenian” > Հայք /Hayk “Armenia”).

If you spray, you disperse something, and this is exactly what a diaspora is, the same as the Armenian Spiurk : a place of dispersion.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner: are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).

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The Cathedral of St. James, the principle church of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The Prelacy is pleased to announce a 14-day pilgrimage to Jerusalem beginning on April 2 through April 15, 2018. Departure is on Monday, April 2, the day after Easter in the U.S. Because Jerusalem follows the Julian (old) calendar, pilgrims will celebrate Easter in Jerusalem on Sunday, April 8.

First of its kind; No other like it. Created and developed by two educators, the set includes: 1 game board, 2 pawn s, 1 black, 1 white; 1 gold treasure coin; 1 spinner; 26 bonus cards (red); 12 destination cards (blue); 4 moves cards (orange); and information sheet. Enjoyable for all ages, six and above. A great gift. $30.00 plus shipping & handling.

To order contact the Bookstore by email ( ) or by phone (212-689-7810).
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..

November 30 —Final session of four-part Bible Study on “The Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians,” at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York, presented by Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education at the Prelacy, sponsored by the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC) and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm , Light Dinner; 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Bible Study. 

December 2 —ANCA Eastern Region Gala, International Place, Boston, Massachusetts. For information: .

December 3-10 --“Harry L. Koundakjian: 50 Years of PhotoJournalism,” hosted by St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City, in John Pashalian Hall. Opening reception Sunday, December 3, 1-5 pm. The exhibit can also be viewed December 4 to December 10, from 12 to 4 pm Monday to Friday and 11 am to 2 pm on Sunday.

December 3 --63rd anniversary celebration of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois.

December 5-8 —World General Assembly of the Great House of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon.

December 9 —Men’s Club Christmas Party, St. Gregory Church Hall, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, 6:30 pm. Delicious appetizers, food, drinks, desserts and DJ Haig Arakelian. Adults $15 (includes food and 1 drink); Children $5. For information: 413-543-4763.

December 10 —St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan, 85 th Anniversary of the St. Sarkis community and 55 th Anniversary of the current church structure and campus. Soorp Badarak will be celebrated by Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian. Lavish mezza reception in the Lillian Arakelian Fellowship Hall; Armenian sacred music performed in the church sanctuary by special guests, Soloist Onnik Dinkjian, accompanied on the organ by Ara Dinkjian.

March 18, 2018 —35 th Musical Armenia Concert presented by Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Prelacy Ladies Guild. Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57 th Street at 7 th Avenue, Sunday, March 18 at 2 pm.

May 9-12, 2018 —Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly, hosted by St. Gregory Church, North Andover, Massachusetts. The one-day clergy conference will take place on Wednesday, May 9. The full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 10, at 11 am and will conclude on Saturday, May 12, at noon.

October 20, 2018 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring world famous Onnik Dinkjian and the All Stars. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. Details to follow. .
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