November 5, 2020
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On Sunday, October 25, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I issued a call to arms to Armenians all over the world. In his message, His Holiness spoke about the sacrifices of the armies of Artsakh and Armenia as they fight against the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression. 
1.     “The Armenian army continues to defend heroically the free and independent Republic of Artsakh and, by way of Artsakh, the security of Armenia and, by way of Armenia, the firm existence of the entire Armenian nation. This is how the Artsakh war must be seen. Therefore, this is not a conventional war: it is a war that will determine the fate of the Armenian nation and homeland.” He added that fighting for the homeland is not only a duty, but an honor and a reason for pride.

2.     Turkey stands next to Azerbaijan in this war, the Catholicos said. Turkey, he said, is trying to expand its presence from the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe through a newly reformulated pan-Turkic project. “This is why the Artsakh war must be contemplated with a broader view beyond Artsakh, within the framework of the long-term objectives that drive Turkey.” Unfortunately, he added, “the Armenian people pay the price of all this.”

3.     “Where is the world, and in particular the West, in view of Turkey’s racist, genocidal, imperialist and pan-Turkic policy?”, wondered His Holiness. “Indeed, when we talk about the Genocide of 1915, we often wonder where the West was when a nation was subjected to extermination plan of Ottoman Turkey.” One hundred and five years later, we wonder again “where is the international community, when the same author of the Genocide, pursuing a new genocide, roams freely far from its immediate borders?”
Catholicos Aram added that it was “clear that enormous states are in practice participating in different manners in the war unleashed against our small nation.” He went on to quote the father of Armenian history, Movses of Khoren, recalling the heroism of the Armenian soldiers in Artsakh, consciously sacrificing their lives to protect our homeland. 
“The people of Artsakh has asserted its self-determination right with independent statehood,” he said. “The self-determination of a people is one of the fundamental principles of international law.” There can be no retreat from that, His Holiness said.
“Therefore, from the Mother Monastery of Antelias we issue a call to arms in which every Armenian must take part, bringing their contribution in different manners to the sublime war for the independence and security of Artsakh,” he said. 
In this regard, he urged Armenia to coalesce around it all organizations from Armenia and the Diaspora to overcome the existential danger posed by this war to Artsakh and Armenia. 
The Diaspora, His Holiness said, has an important role in the call to arms, contributing its potential in terms of networking, outreach, recruitment and material support. It must also help towards the recognition of the Artsakh Republic by the international community. 
He concluded his message by calling on Armenians to “think, plan and act in defense of the independence of Artsakh, a thriving Armenia and the eternity of our nation.” 
On Sunday, November 8, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, will preside over the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at St. Illuminator's Armenian Cathedral of New York, NY. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Our faithful may follow the ceremony via live streaming.

Our faithful can watch the Livestream this Sunday morning by visiting
Dear brothers and sisters,

It has been forty days since the government of Azerbaijan unleashed a war on September 27 against our Artsakh homeland, and our people keep fighting with an epic spirit against this aggression, which counts with the full support of the Turkish army and the participation of thousands of mercenaries and terrorists. As worthy of condemnation as this plan of a second genocide against our people is, it is as painful, if not more, the silence of the entire world, because of a variety of reasons, in the face of this diabolical crime against humanity perpetrated in the twenty-first century. 

For forty days, every day and hour the Armenian soldier has been defending the Armenian soil, the Armenian faith, the Armenian identity and the rights of Armenians with its most precious blood. In the bloom of youth, more than a thousand promising young man have given their lives on the altar of freedom. Hundreds of young men are in pain with their injuries while others are held in captivity by the enemy and ruthlessly tortured.

Therefore, following Divine Liturgy, on Sunday, November 8, a forty-day mourning requiem will be held for the fallen heroes in every church of the Eastern Prelacy. 

In the spirit of the prayer dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, we repeat: “Oh Holy Mother of God, supplicate the Son of God, your son by birth, for wars to end, for enemy attacks to cease, and for love and justice to prevail in the land.”


Prelate, Eastern Prelacy of the United States
Today on the eighth Sunday of the Feast of the Holy Cross, our Scriptural reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke. Our Lord frequently uses parables to make simple His teaching and to reveal eternal truth. Following a series of parables in reference to the Kingdom of God, Jesus says, “Nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything that is secret that will not become known and come to light” (Lk 8:17). The first principle of the Creation as we learn from the Book of Genesis is visibility. God first created light as the precondition of life, to assure that Man, the crown of His creation, should be transparent in his relationship with God and the world.

As the carriers of God’s image, we were designed to radiate light, and to be free of all negative things that create barriers, worries, and deceit. Yet, because of the Fall, our divine-like identity was corrupted. It is true that human beings often shield their thoughts, intentions, and emotions from each other, but nothing may be hidden from omniscient God.

We learn from the Bible that when our fore-parents failed in observing God’s commandment, when Cain killed his brother, and when Rachel laughed to herself at the promise of the Angel that she will bear a child (Gen 18:12), also in the New Testament when Joseph planned to dismiss Mary quietly (Mt 1:19), or when the Pharisees or Sadducees maliciously questioned Jesus, in all cases we witness that God, as the Psalmist says, “knows the secrets of the heart” (Ps 44:21), and accordingly He acts.

This solemn statement of our Lord Jesus Christ is eternal truth which applies to individuals, groups, and nations. Its validity does not depend upon human understanding or interpretation. Human beings may ignore and deny it, yet it is not possible to bury it; thus, sooner or later, it comes on the surface.

We witnessed the saddest evidence of this truth globally when the imperative character of the pandemic was undermined. Thousands of innocent lives and billions of dollars in monetary losses might have been spared if only along with all the uncertainties and threats of the Covid-19 virus, the prevention and preventive methods had been prioritized. As Armenians we experienced a more deplorable tragedy when, after an attack on Armenia early in the summer by the Azeri army, on September 27, a larger scale, premeditated war was launched against Artsakh by Azerbaijan, with the full support of Turkey, joined by thousands of terrorist mercenaries. Over the past five weeks, it has become obvious that the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide in 1915, and later the Armenian genocide in Shushi in 1920, had advanced not only with modernized sophisticated military weapons, but also in their nature of lying, falsifying and denying the truth. Having purchased their way into the international media, they unceasingly attribute their atrocities to the victims.

As much as it is abhorrent to witness in a civilized world such barbaric actions, it is more deplorable to realize that the so-called civilized world consciously prefers to be blind, deaf, and dumb toward the truth. There are few noble leaders whose hearts are beating for true justice and peace, but the majority remains silent and validates the ongoing usage of all non-conventional weapons to exterminate an entire population from their ancestral lands.   

The foundations of a strong and great country lay not only in economic and military superiority, but on holding values upon which this blessed country was built by our forefathers. By promoting justice, we will fulfill our mission transmitted to us and entrusted to us by God, who showers His blessings unconditionally. Let us therefore be faithful in our call and be champions of the Truth, and strive to make the world a better place to live and inherit the eternal life, and praise the Almighty Lord. Amen.

Prelate, Eastern Prelacy of the United States
Please help us sustain our mission in this time of need. We at the Prelacy have redoubled our efforts to serve our faithful in every parish under its jurisdiction and our nation in a year that has seen so many unbearable losses to the Covid-19 pandemic and now to war against our historical enemies. More than ever in our living memory, we need your support. Please give as generously as you can, “remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
Please help us keep alive the huge achievements we have attained with our joint efforts. We will emerge stronger with the hand you lend us.

Click the image above to make your contribute to the Eastern Prelacy.
As of today, the Eastern Prelacy fundraising for our brothers and sisters, thanks to the generous donations of our faithful and the cooperation of our clergy, has reached the amount of $365,259. Your contribution is distributed to our brothers and sisters by the Lebanon Central Coordinating Committee headed by Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate.
To see the thirteenth list of donations, click here.
To see the general list of donations, click here.
Bible readings for Sunday, November 8, Ninth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 24:1-13; Ephesians 5:15-33; Luke 8:49-57.
Luke 8:49-57
While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore. But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.” And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she get up at once; and he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed; but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
Ephesians 5:15-33
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleaned her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. 
For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.
This Saturday, November 9, the Armenian Church commemorates the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The word “angel” (hreshdag) means messenger. Archangel is a title given to an angel of high rank in the celestial hierarchy. Michael and Gabriel are the only angels given the title archangel in the Bible.
Michael (Hebrew meaning “Who is like God”) is the prince of all angels and the leader of the celestial armies. He is regarded as the protector of Christians in general and soldiers in particular, and the guardian of the orthodox faith and defender against heresies.
Gabriel (Hebrew meaning “Strength of God”) is one of God’s chief messengers. He was God’s messenger to Daniel to explain his vision (Daniel 8:16-26) and prophecy (Daniel 9:21-27). He foretold the birth of John the Baptist and was the messenger announcing the forthcoming birth of Christ (Luke 1:11-21).
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
Also commemorated this week:
November 7: Bishops Metrophanes, Alexander, Paul and Scribes Marcian and Martyrius.
November 11: Sts. Meletius of Antioch and Minas of Egypt.
November 12: St. Demetrius.
St. Illuminator’s is delighted to announce that it has received a generous gift of $20,000 from Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Louise Tashjian. The funds will be used for Artsakh Relief. The Tashjian family's relationship with St. Illuminator's stretches back 66 years, to when the Tashjians were married at St. Illuminator's by Archpriest Fr. Arsen Simoniantz. Also, two of their three children were baptized at St. Illuminator's. In his letter to Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Mr. Tashjian wished Der Hayr and St. Illuminator's success in their charitable endeavors. 
"We are very grateful to the Tashjian family for their most generous donation. The money will help provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to the people of Artsakh and Armenia at one of the most critical times in our history. So much of what we have accomplished throughout our history as a people acting within our church communities we could not have accomplished without the selflessness and generosity of our fellow Armenians. This most recent donation from the Tashjian family is yet another example of the faithfulness of our Cathedral family," said Der Mesrob.
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 children addressed to their actual or potential sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads.

This week’s letter is from Erik* who is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Vahe Dombalagian.

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
Dear Sponsor,

This is Erik. I live in the Bazoum district of the city of Vanadzor. There are three of us living in our small apartment: my mother, my sister, and I. My sister and I are students in Vanadzor’s public school #25.

When my sister or mother smile, they make me the happiest person in the world.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I follow all the rules and stay home. Our little family spends a very fun time in the evenings playing educational games.

When I graduate from high school, I want to become a lawyer. To help people to defend their rights.

My deepest gratitude to you for helping our family.
We have:
14 children in the Orphans’ Sponsorship Program without a sponsor 
9 children in the College Sponsorship Program without a sponsor
32 orphans in the waiting list of the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program.
Each of these 55 children needs your sponsorship. They need it now!

Click here for online sponsorship of minors up to the age of 18.

Click here for online sponsorship of orphans who become students at a higher education institution upon turning 18.

You can always contact the Prelacy by email ( or telephone (212-689-7810) for the sponsorship of both minors and university students in the program of the St. Nerses the Great Organization in Armenia.
After the 2016 four-day war, the National Assembly of Armenia passed a law on compensation for loss of life and injuries sustained by soldiers, following which the Insurance Foundation for Servicemen was set up in 2017.

The goal of the foundation is to provide help, with steady, long-term and fair insurance compensation to soldiers who were injured or declared handicapped in the defense of their nation as well as to their families, including those of soldiers who fell in the line of duty.

The foundation’s funding is mainly drawn from the salaries of public and private workers in Armenia and Artsakh in the form of monthly 1,000-dram payments, as well as donations received from both Armenia and the Diaspora.

The foundation is endowed with a capital of 31 billion dram and has paid 2.5 billion drams in compensation to 416 soldiers and their family members. Obviously, the foundation will also pay compensation to the soldiers who lost their lives or were left handicapped by this war and to their families.

The foundation pays out upfront 10 million drams ($20,200) to soldiers with first-degree handicaps and for those who lost their life, followed by 200,000-300,000 drams over twenty years. Soldiers with second-degree handicaps are paid 5 million drams, followed by 100,000-200,000 drams over twenty years.

The foundation not only welcomes one-time donations, but it also encourages monthly donations of at least $2 (equivalent to 1,000 drams). Donations can be made through the website.


Robert Fisk

Well-known British journalist Robert Fisk, who sadly passed away a few days ago, was a relentless pursuer of the truth, in particular about the Armenian Genocide. In this book, reaching back into the long history of invasion, occupation and colonization in the region, Fisk sets forth this information in a way that makes clear how a history of injustice “has condemned the Middle East to war.” He lays open the role of the West in the seemingly endless strife and warfare in the region, traces the growth of the West’s involvement and influence there over the past one hundred years, and outlines the West’s record of support to some of the most ruthless leaders in the Middle East.

Fisk interweaves this history with his own vividly rendered experiences in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. The book includes a forty-page illuminating chapter on the Armenian Genocide, entitled “The First Holocaust.”
Copies of this book may be purchased from the Prelacy Bookstore
( or 212-689-7810)


Birth of Vanush Khanamirian (November 5, 1927)
Vanush Khanamirian has been one of the foremost figures in the development and diffusion of Armenian choreography in the 20th century, particularly after serving for many years as the artistic director of the Armenian state dance ensemble.

Khananirian was born on November 5, 1927, in Yerevan. His father was executed during the Stalinist purges. He studied at the Stepan Shahumian high school and simultaneously he pursued studies at the institute of dance arts of Yerevan from 1935-1941.. After his graduation, he joined the Alexander Spendiarian opera and ballet theater, where he was a solo dancer until 1971. His first major role came with the staging of Charles Gounod’s “Walpurgis Night”. He danced as well in Aram Khatchatourian’s “Gayane” and “Spartacus,” Alexander Spendiarian’s “Khandut” and “Almast,” and Edgar Hovhannisian’s “Marmar” ballets, as well as the dance fragments of Armen Tigranian’s “Anush” opera, among others. He was either the leading dancer or the choreographer of every opera staged in 1941-1969. 

In 1953, when Yervand Kochar was making the famous statue of David of Sassoun now placed near the train station of Yerevan, he was impressed by the brilliant rendering of Davidt of Sassoun by Khanamirian in Spendiarian’s “Khandut” ballet and then decided to model the face of the hero based on him.
Khanamirian was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Armenia in 1963. After a short transition as ballet master of Tatul Altunian’s dance and song ensemble, in 1968-1992, he became the artistic director of the state dance ensemble of Armenia. The transition from classical ballet to popular choreography was completed with brilliant results. 
By representing the aesthetics of the Armenian popular dance on stage, Khanamirian revealed the Armenian dance to the world. After 1962, he toured many countries throughout the world, especially with the dance ensemble, which sometimes offered sixty performances in sixty days. He staged dozens of works: “Gayane,” “The Fountains of Bakhchisaray,” “Spartacus,” “Sako of Lori,” “Raymonda,” “Khandut,” “Swans’ Lake,” as well as dance numbers, including “Festive suite,” “Caravan,” “Immortality,” Komitas’ “Vagharshapat Dance,” Aram Khatchaturian’s “Enzeli,” “Tulips,” a series of national dances, etc. Many of his creations performed by the dance ensemble became the staple of Armenian dance groups throughout the world.

He worked with students and followers in different Diaspora communities to develop Armenian dance. In 1998, Khanamirian was decorated with the medal “Movses Khorenatsi,” Armenia’s highest state award for contributions to Armenian culture. In 2000, he founded and led until his death the Union of Choreographers of Armenia. In 2004, he founded the “Vanush” ensemble of veteran dance teachers, and in 2010 the “Bardiner” dance group.

Khanamirian passed away on October 5, 2011, in Yerevan. Several academies of dance in Armenia and the United States bear his name, as well as the Union of Choreographers of Armenia. 
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( 
Heroes in All Times
Our history has been heroic from the very beginning. More than forty-five centuries ago, if we believe the Armenian traditional chronology, Haig the Hero defeated the Babylonian tyrant Bel and founded Armenia.

In those legendary times, heroes were not just those people who made the ultimate sacrifice or went through suffering for the sake of a higher ideal. Hercules, Achilles, and many other familiar names of Greek mythology were also heroes, since they were half-gods. Movses Khorenatsi, the Father of Armenian history, calls him a դիւցազն (tiootsazun), which means “hero” in Armenian. It is a compound word derived from tik (“god”) and azun (“lineage”). The word and its derivations, like the adjective դիւցազնական (tiootsaznagan “heroic”) and the noun դիւցազներգութիւն (tiootsaznerkootioon “epic”), are in use until today. The great poet Siamanto (1878-1915), a victim of the Armenian Genocide, published his first book in 1902 with the title Դիւցազնօրէն (tiootsaznoren “heroically”).

However, tiootsazn belonged to Classical Armenian. A new word was borrowed by the modern language and it has overtaken the ancient one in colloquial use: հերոս (heros). Here, the paths of Armenian and English have converged. The ultimate source for both languages is the Greek word heros. The difference is that Armenian borrowed it directly from Greek—although there is also the Modern French word héros—while English loaned it from Old French heroe, which at its turn had Latin heros as source.

Thus, a heros in Armenian performs a heroic action (հերոսութիւն/herosutiun) and engages in heroic battle (հերոսամարտ/herosamard). This is what our soldiers are doing while putting their lives on the line of combat every day in Artsakh. An unequal struggle, like the ones that Haig, and so many Armenian heroes after him, have fought throughout our history.
Previous entries in “Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( 
The Prelacy’s 2021 pocket diary is already on its way. It is dedicated to the hundredth anniversary of the final exile of Armenians from Cilicia, forced by the massacres of the Kemalist troops that occupied the region after an agreement with France. The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia was also uprooted from its historical see of Sis in this process. Catholicos Sahag II Khabayan would carry on with his duties in the next nine years of uncertainty until he finally resettled the see in Antelias, then a suburban area of Beirut (Lebanon), in 1930. The cover reproduces the picture of Catholicos Sahag II, with the images of Sis and the monastery of Antelias in the back. The pocket diary contains a useful mix of information about the Armenian Apostolic Church and other materials.

The Prelacy has been publishing the pocket diary continuously since 1974. Thank you for your support and encouragement through the years.
Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
(Memo: Lebanon Relief Fund)

Crossroads welcomes your letters (English and/or Armenian), as well as parish news, photographs, and calendar items. The deadline for submitting items is Tuesday evenings. Please write to
(Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style)
October 14—December 2: Bible Study on St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:00 pm (EST), conducted by Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of Christian Education (Eastern Prelacy). To register, please email your name, email address, and phone number to

November 21—Annual Armenian Food Drive-Thru Festival at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts. Details to follow.

December 6 Sixty-six anniversary of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Granite City, Illinois, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan.
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