November 9, 2017
This weekend Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Bethesda, Maryland, where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Soorp Khatch Church. On Saturday evening His Eminence will preside over the parish’s 53 rd anniversary banquet. Soorp Khatch Church was consecrated on October 10, 1964, by His Eminence Archbishop Hrant Khatchadourian. The current pastor is Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian. Previous clergy serving the parish have included Rev. Fr. Sempad Der Mekhsian, Rev. Fr. Keghart Baboghlian, Rev. Fr. Sahag Vertanesian, and Rev. Fr. Khoren Habeshian
Bishop Anoushavan will travel to Philadelphia where on Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon, and ordain ten acolytes and one sub-deacon at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church.
On the occasion of the 50 th anniversary of the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, issued an encyclical in the Prelate’s honor. The encyclical was read in Armenian during the banquet on Sunday, October 29, by His Eminence Archbishop Papken Charian, Prelate of Canada. In the encyclical His Holiness praised Archbishop Oshagan’s service at this important milestone of his service, noting that “during the past 50 years by way of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, you chose your life’s holy calling to serve God, our church and people. You traveled on the difficult road of service with deep faith and exemplary dedication with honorable faithfulness and complete love.”
His Holiness recalled their early days saying, “We have known you well from the beginning of your Seminary studies, to your monastic days, and later your many years of pursuing higher education in the United States, and your leadership duties as Prelate in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. We are familiar with your mission and zealousness for ecumenical relationships, as well as the working relationship between the two Pontifical Sees, and generally within the sphere of our Holy See’s life and witness. We are also aware of the important role you devoted to the translation of the Bible into modern Armenian…. On this joyful occasion, we extend to you our high appreciation and warm love and pray to Almighty God that the new era facing your life will be filled with new and plentiful deeds of service.”

Bishop Anoushavan and Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont with deacons, choir and altar servers after the Liturgy.
With the award winners, from left to right, Bishop Anoushavan, Lester Kindt, Apo Abrahamian, and Hayr Ghevont.
Last Sunday Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois, on the occasion of the 74 th anniversary of the parish. His Grace also presided over a luncheon following the Liturgy and awarded certificates of merit to two parishioners, Lester Kindt and Apo Abrahamian. 

Bible readings for Sunday, November 12 , Ninth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 24:1-13; Ephesians 5:15-33; Luke 8:49-56. 

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 got 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. (Luke 1:11-21).

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, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject to everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved 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. (Ephesians 5:15-33)

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

This Saturday, November 5, 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 considered to be 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:
St. Melitus of Antioch and St. Minas of Egypt, Monday, November 13
St. Demetrius , Tuesday, November 14
Deir Zor’s Armenian Genocide Memorial Church, named Holy Martyrs, was severely damaged during the last few years of the Syrian Civil War. According to latest reports the Church has now been liberated by Syrian Armed Forces. A number of photographs have been released by the Al-Masdar news agency that has been extensively reporting about the Syrian War. The Syrian Army, in cooperation with the allied and supporting forces, have accomplished the mission of fully liberating the city of Deir ez-Zor from ISIS, according to sources. The photographs show extensive damage to the Church, which was first targeted by ISIS militants on September 21, 2014. The Church was built in 1989-90, and consecrated a year later by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia. A genocide memorial and a museum that housed remains of the victims of the genocide were also built on the compound. Thousands of Armenians gathered each year at the memorial on April 24 to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Many thousands of Armenians perished in Deir Zor and the surrounding desert during the genocide. In the summer of 1916 alone, more than 200,000 Armenians—mostly women and children—were brutally massacred by Ottoman Turkish gendarmes and armed bands from the region.

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Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Checks payable to: Armenian Apostolic Church of America
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Thank you for your help.
Birth of Giacomo Gorrini (November 12, 1859)

Sympathies for the Armenian plight and cause were not a rare issue in Europe, frequently born from humanitarian concerns. One of those cases was that of Italian diplomat and historian Giacomo Gorrini.

Gorrini was born in Molino dei Torti, near Alessandria, on November 12, 1859. He graduated from the Scientific-Literary Academy of Milan in 1882 with a degree in literature and philosophy, and, after a competition, he entered the two-year advanced course at the Institute of Higher Studies in Florence. In 1884 he published his dissertation, Il comune astigiano e la sua storiografia. Saggio storico-critico (The Commune of Asti and Its Historiography: Historical-Critical Study). After studying for a year at Berlin University, in 1886 he won the concourse for the position of director of the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more than twenty years, Gorrini worked in the organization of the archives and published several collections of documents, as well as books and articles of his own derived from his work as a historical consultant. His initial interest in Armenians was reflected in a short study entitled Antichi diritti di casa Savoja sopra l'Armenia (Ancient Rights of the Savoia House over Armenia, 1895), where he outlined the relations between Armenia and the Italian ruling dynasty, and also made reference to Rome and Venice as “remarkable centers of Armenian culture and civilization.” His academic workload did not prevent him from continuing his studies. He obtained a second degree in law from the University of Napoli (1892) and a habilitation to teach modern history from the Institute of Higher Studies in Florence (1894) and the University of Rome (1900). In 1897 he became member of the Higher Council of the State and Kingdom Archives, where he would remain for almost forty years.

In November 1909 Gorrini was designated Italian consul in Trebizonda, but took his new position in September 1910. For the next five years—except for a hiatus due to the Italian-Turkish war of 1911-1912—he was actively involved in the promotion and teaching of the Italian language and the development of commercial initiatives. His reports followed the situation in the region, and also made reference to Armenians and Kurds, and their relations with the central government in Constantinople.

Italy was neutral at the beginning of World War I, but the worsening of relations between Italy and Turkey forced Gorrini to leave his post on July 23, 1915. He would reach Rome on August 19, two days before Italy declared war to the Ottoman Empire. The influential daily Il Messaggero published an interview with the former Italian consul on August 25, 1915, which was published in an English translation in Viscount James Bryce’s and Arnold Toynbee’s Blue Book in 1916. Gorrini was among the first witnesses to give a first-hand account of the massacres and deportations already carried out by the Ottoman government. The interview, revealed his horror and compassion for the victims. He returned to the Foreign Service, where he executed diverse and delicate administrative tasks until 1919.

He reached the rank of general consul in November 1919 and departed to Trebizond for a short mission in April 1920 to close his consular activities, which had been cut short five years before. Upon his return, he was informed of his new destination as Italian representative in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia. However, due to the political situation, he only reached Yerevan in April 1921, when the Soviet regime had already been installed. In June 1921 he obtained some railway and mineral concessions from the Soviet Armenian government and returned to Italy for consultations. However, he was ill with malaria and remained in Rome, where he still worked for two more years, until his retirement in January 1923.

He nevertheless continued his archival and academic work, and he also contributed scholarly articles and commentaries to newspapers and journals. He also continued supporting the Armenian Cause. In 1940, at the age of eighty, he published the book Armenia. Testimonianze (Armenia: Testimonies) on the anniversary of the first Armenian independence. He supported the right of the Armenians to an independent homeland, which was inscribed within a future redrawing of the Mediterranean territories according to the imperial goals of Benito Mussolini’s Italy.

Giacomo Gorrini passed away in Rome on October 31, 1950, at the age of ninety-one. Soil from his tomb was deposited in the “Memory Wall” of the memorial complex of Dzidznergapert, in Yerevan, on May 25, 2001.

  Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).

(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee)
What Does Rabiz Mean?

In the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, a certain kind of music style, called rabiz, surfaced in Armenia and started reaching out to the Diaspora. The Internet would turn it widespread and pervasive.

The word rabiz (ռաբիզ, also spelled ռաբիս/rabis ) does not have an Armenian origin, and does not appear in any Armenian dictionary, even those that include foreign loanwords. It is generally assumed to come from the abbreviation of two Russian words, either rab otniki is kusstva (“art workers”)—a Soviet organization founded in the 1920s aimed at integrating popular melodies into new compositions—or rab ochee is kusstvo (“workers’ art”), which designated an art that belonged to the working masses. Some people supposed that rabiz may have Turkish or Arabic origin, probably because the music itself has clear Middle Eastern affinities. Another theory, much less probable, is that Armenians use the Arabic word aziz in colloquial language, meaning “darling,” and its combination with Arabic rab, meaning “creator” or “god,” would have originated rab(az)iz, meaning “the beloved god.” If you are curious about how the word rab would have entered Armenian (Armenians in Armenia do not know Arabic), how rab and aziz would have become rabiz and not rabaz, and how “the beloved god” is related to music, those answers will be extremely hard to find, if they exist at all. Café theories of language are as wild as conspiracy theories.

(Of course, if you thought about that for a second, forget any relation between the words rabiz and R & B , except that they sound somewhat similar.)

Rabiz music was quite ubiquitous in Soviet Armenia from the 1960s on, but in an underground form, as it was only accessible in certain restaurants and copied in domestic cassette recorders. The intelligentsia referred to that type of music as a low cultural phenomenon, related to Turkish, Arabic, or Azerbaijani music, which might be linked to the working class formed in the cities after the emigration of rural population.
There is also a certain subculture linked to that type of music, considered tasteless and vulgar by educated people. A definition of rabiz found on the Internet establishes it as “a slang word describing a social class of Armenians that exhibit socially questionable behaviors.” Some stereotypical characteristics listed for those “typically dubbed ‘rabiz’ by the Armenia community,” also called “hillbilly subculture,” are: materialistic flamboyancy; sunglasses regardless of weather conditions; “men in black” clothing consisting of imitation leather shoes, slacks, and collared silk shirts; blend of Russian and Armenian slang words; use of the homonymous music; strong body odors; over-confidence about picking up girls; overstressed masculinity

Interestingly, rabiz music does not have lyrics in slang, but in standard Armenian, even though characterized by their unimaginative and repetitive fashion. As a marginal note, its ubiquity has allowed the song «Մի՛ գնա» ( Mi gna ), performed by a singer called SuperSako, to become a phenomenon transcending borders. Versions by Lebanese, Jewish, and Turkish singers have come out. While the first two perform the song Versions by Lebanee, Jewish, and Turkish singers have come out. While the first two perform the song in Armenian, the Turkish translation of the Armenian song allows one to appreciate how deeply non-Armenian the song and the entire rabiz style of music are.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).
Cartoonist and journalist Lucine Kasbarian will offer a lecture and PowerPoint presentation in English and Armenian this Sunday, November 12, at 1 pm sharp at St. Illuminator Cathedral’s Pashalian Hall, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. Lucine will discuss the origins of political cartoons, the use of humor or sarcasm to diffuse difficult topics, how hot-button issues have been (and are) being raised by Armenian and non-Armenian cartoonists, and why she began cartooning. Copies of her new volume of cartoons, “Perspectives from Exile” will be available. Light refreshments will follow. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Regional Executive of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational & Cultural Society and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.

There are still a few days left for the ARS Global Auction, with more than 290 items available, including vacation getaways, antiques, electronics, and art. Shop for your favorite things and help the ARS help those in need. The auction benefits the Armenian Relief Society, Inc. Endowment Fund VISION 2020. To view and bid on auction items visit HTTPS:// . You may also contact the ARS committee at .

This Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day commemorating the end of the Great War we now know as World War I. More than 10 million soldiers died by the time the armistice was declared on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and an estimated 20 million were wounded, many maimed for life by the prevalent use of chemical weapons (mustard gas).
During the 1950s there was a movement to change the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans, living and dead. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made it official by signing a bill designating November 11 as Veterans Day. In 1968, during the era when holidays were moved to Mondays to create long weekends, Veterans Day was changed to the fourth Monday of October. There was a great outcry of protest from veterans and civilians alike because the significance of the Armistice and the number 11 was now totally lost. Ten years later Congress returned the observance to its traditional date, November 11, where it remains.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ( Joseph Campbell)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, one of the world’s most prestigious museums, is presenting an exhibition about the historical and cultural heritage of the Armenian people from the 4 th to 17 th centuries. The official opening of the exhibition is scheduled to take place on September 21, 2018. Dr. Helen C. Evans, head of the Byzantine Section of the Department of Medieval Arts and The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum recently provided some details about the exhibition.

The exhibition will present the history and culture of the Armenian people starting from the early Middle Ages up to and including the 17 th century, covering the adoption of Christianity, the creation of the Armenian Alphabet and its impact, with examples from the era of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, manuscripts from different centuries, and the first print books in Armenian.

The exhibition will bring together artifacts from the Museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Matenadaran in Yerevan, St. Hakobyants Church of Jerusalem, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Mekhitarist Congregation, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and private sources.

Լեռնա Գարագիւթիւք
Երթաս բարով (Yertas Parov)
Իսթանպուլ, (Istanbul) 2017

This is the first book of poetry from this author hailing from Istanbul. Lerna Karakutuk’s poems have the flavor of immediacy. They touch upon personal feelings, but also social issues. They are written in a free style, expressed with real and metaphorical images.
126 pages, softcover
$10.00 plus shipping & handling

To order contact the Prelacy 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 2, 9, 16, 30 —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. Register by email ( ) or phone (212-689-5880).

November 1-12 —Global Online Auction to benefit the Armenian Relief Society, Inc. Endowment Fund VISION 2020. To view and bid on auction items visit HTTPS://
You may also contact the ARS committee at

November 10, 11, 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Annual Bazaar and Food Festival, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Featuring on Friday and Saturday, Chicken, Luleh, and Shish Kebab dinners and traditional Sunday Khavourma luncheon. Dessert Table, Armenian delicacies, Live Music, Upscale Chinese Auction, Raffle Drawing, Children’s Game Room, Boutique Booths, and so much more. Friday 5-10 pm; Saturday 5-11 pm; Sunday noon to 4 pm. For information: 201-943-2950.

November 11 —Trivia Night event, organized by “Holy Seraphim” Choir of St. Gregory Church, Granite City, Illinois.

November 11 and 12 —Armenian Fest 2017, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Featuring chicken, losh and shish kebabs and kufta dinners. Armenian delicacies, dancing to live music, arts and crafts, flea market, gift baskets, children’s corner, country store, jewelry, hourly raffles. Armenian Dance Group will perform on Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm. Armenian food and pastry available all day. Saturday from noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: Go to www.armenianfestri/ or 401-831-6399 .

November 12 —[ note corrected date ] PowerPoint presentation in English and Armenian on “Armenians & Political Cartoons,” by cartoonist and journalist Lucine Kasbarian, 1 pm at Pashalian Hall at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. Sponsored by Regional Executive of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society and St. Illuminator’s Cathedral.

November 12 —The ARS Mayr Chapter is hosting a fundraising luncheon for The Wounded Soldiers in Artsakh, at Almayass Restaurant, 24 E. 21 st Street, New York City, at 2 pm. Donation $75; Children 6 to 12, $25; under 5 free. For reservations: Anais 917-225-4326 or Ani 516-784-0740.

November 16 — Join Armenia Tree Project and Paros Foundation for a fundraiser to support kitchen renovations, beautification and environmental education at the school in Rind, Vayots Dzor. Featuring live performance by singer/songwriter Hooshere and silent auction featuring fine art and luxury gift items. Almayass Restaurant, 24 E. 21st Street, New York. 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Donation: $100 in advance, $125 at door. To buy tickets or to make a donation, please visit: . For more information, please contact .

November 17 & 18 —Annual Food Festival at Holy Trinity Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. Open at 4:00pm Friday with dinner served from 5pm to 8pm and Saturday open at 10am with dinner being served from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. 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, much more. Free admission and free parking. For information: 508-852-2414.
November 19 —60 th anniversary of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts. H.E. Archbishop Oshagan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, ordain acolytes, consecrate paintings, and preside over the Diamond Anniversary Banquet at Highfields Golf and Country Club, Grafton, Massachusetts.

November 19 —Thanksgiving Luncheon and Celebration of the 107 th anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society, Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church, Shahnasarian Hall, 1701 North Greenwood, Glenview, Illinois.

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

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 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. Food and refreshments in the Lillian Arakelian Fellowship Hall; Armenian sacred music performed in the church sanctuary by special guest, Onnik 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 Armenian Prelacy 
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