October 24, 2019
For this week's Crossroads, the sixth prayer from St. Nerses Shnorhali's "Havadov Khosdovanim" is read by Sophia Soulakian, Acolyte of All Saints' Armenian Apostolic Church of Glenview, IL, and student of Taniel Varoujan Armenian Saturday School.
Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to Whitinsville, Massachusetts, where on Sunday, October 27 he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver his Sermon at Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church on the occasion of the parish’s 62 nd anniversary. His Eminence will preside over the anniversary banquet that will take place at The Highfields Golf and Country Club in Grafton, Massachusetts.

The deadline for reservations and donations for the November 17 th Thanksgiving Banquet is fast approaching. Don’t be left out, make your reservations and donations immediately as a “sold-out” audience is expected to attend this special first annual Prelacy thanksgiving day. 
Each year a special “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” will be celebrated honoring one aspect of the Prelacy’s multi-faceted mission. This year’s first “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” will take place on Sunday, November 17, 2019. The day will begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Anoushavan at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, beginning at 10:30 am. A Thanksgiving Banquet will take place after the Liturgy at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York. Cocktail reception will begin at 2 pm with dinner and program at 3 pm.
In a recent statement Archbishop Anoushavan explained that the “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” was conceived “in order to thank, without exception, our people for their unwavering dedication to all Prelacy sponsored programs. Therefore, every year we will spotlight a different program. For the inaugural event we have decided to celebrate and honor the services of the Prelacy’s charitable mission in Armenia and Artsakh through the Saint Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization ( Medzn Nerses ) that was established as the Prelacy’s charitable office in the homeland. Although the roots of this effort go back to the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, the formal establishment of this charitable office actually took place 25 years ago. Indeed, in 2018 Medzn Nerses marked its official 25 th anniversary. So, therefore, this year on November 17 we will be celebrating its 25 th +1 anniversary. In effect we are celebrating 26 years of love in action in Armenia and Artsakh,” the Prelate explained.

To make your banquet reservations and/or donate for the banquet booklet click here . Or if you prefer contact the Prelacy office (212-689-7810). 

This morning His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan welcomed leaders of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) to the Prelacy. The Prelate and visitors had a cordial visit with an exchange of ideas for working together for the betterment of the entire Armenian American community. In the photo, from left to right, are Mrs. Sona Khanjian, Mr. Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director and CEO of the AMAA; Archbishop Anoushavan, and Mrs. Berjouhi Gulesserian, and Mrs. Seta Nalbandian, both Board members of the AMAA.

Bible readings for Sunday, October 27, Seventh Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Discovery of the Holy Cross , are: Wisdom 14:1-8; Isaiah 33:22-34; 1 Corinthians 1:18-24; Matthew 24:27-36.

For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
“Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:27-36)

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)

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

On Saturday, October 26, the Armenian Church commemorates the Twelve Holy Teachers (Doctors) of the Church, namely: Hierotheus of Athens, Dionysius the Areopagite, Sylvester of Rome, Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephrem the Syrian, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Theologian, Epiphanius of Cyprus, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria.

This Sunday, October 27, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross ( Giut Khatchi ). Empress Helena, mother of Constantine and a devout Christian, wanted to visit the Holy Land and explore the sites Christ had walked centuries ago. She went to Golgotha (Calvary), which had become an obscure and neglected place. According to some chronicles, it was an informed Jew named Juda who pointed out the location. At her instruction, workers excavated the site and three wooden crosses were found. Which one was the True Cross? The three crosses were successively placed on the body of a youth who had just died. When one of the crosses was placed on him, the young man came back to life. This was determined to be the True Cross. The commemoration of this event takes place on the Sunday closest to October 26, and can vary from October 23 to 29.
The cross is a great source of pride for Armenians and they have created beautiful works of art using the cross. What once was a means of punishment and death became a symbol of salvation and victory.
“After the marvelous vision which the empress had, she began to search in Jerusalem for the precious wood of the cross on which the Messiah had been crucified. At her awesome command the Jews assembled and pointed out to her the precious wood of the cross which the Creator of creatures had ascended. The discovery of the holy cross in the holy place was accompanied by the spread of fragrance and the universe was filled with great gifts.”
(From the Canon for the Discovery of the Holy Cross, according to the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church)
Also commemorated this week:
Thursday, October 24, Kharitian Martyrs: Artemis, Christopher, Niceta, Aquilina.
Monday, October 28, St. Anastasius the Priest.
Tuesday, October 29, Sts. Severianus of Sebastia, Hipparchus and his companions.
Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, the Prelacy’s Director of Christian Education, will conduct a one-day seminar on “Baptism – Chrismation: The Foundation of our Life in Christ,” at St. Hagop Church in Racine, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 2. All are welcome. For information and registration: Mrs. Shirley Saryan, 414-282-1919.
Candle-lit cupcakes celebrate the Armenian alphabet.
A scene from the “Happy Birthday” celebration.
Taniel Varoujan Armenian school of All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois, celebrated the birth of the Armenian Alphabet, St. Mesrob Mashdots, and The Holy Translators on October 5. It turned out to be a very special day for the students, who participated in a short program reciting poems, parading around the hall with Armenian letters and singing Armenian songs. Later they enjoyed ice cream and cupcakes. A candle on each cupcake was lit so that each student could blow out his or her own cake. Students also enjoyed face painting their favorite Armenian letters on each other and having their own DJ playing Armenian music.

Sunday School students enjoyed their “Bring a Friend Ice Cream Day” at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey on October 13. Current students were encouraged to bring a friend.
The Sunday School of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey enjoyed its traditional “Bring a Friend Ice Cream Day” on Sunday, October 13. Everyone enjoyed a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings. This annual event is sponsored by Mr. Noubar Boyajian and the students and staff members look forward to it each year because it helps to introduces the Sunday School to potential new students and creates new friendships.
The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads .
This week’s letter is from GAYANE*, who is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Vahe Dombalagian. The Dombalagians started out years ago with multiple sponsored children. They are currently sponsoring 150 children through the Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program.

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

This is Gayane… I live in Yerevan with my younger brother and my grandmother. My brother is two years younger than I am, and my grand-\mother is seventy-eight years old.

I am seventeen years old. I am a third year Management Faculty student in Yerevan’s N. Adjemian State College. This will be my last year in this school after which I would like to continue my education in a university. Besides my studies, I try to handle our everyday needs and help out my family any way I can.

When I have spare time, I like to draw, read, and watch movies. I try to use my time in a meaningful and useful way and that’s why I prefer to read non-fiction books related to my profession.

My parents died many years ago and since then my grandmother raises us and is our legal guardian.

Sincerely, (signed) Gayane

Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. You may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 

A rchbishop Anoushavan with parishioners of St. Hagop Church.
Last weekend was memorable one for Racine’s St. Hagop Church. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon and consecrated the newly installed stained-glass windows on the east side of the church.
The new stained-glass windows were donated by Julie Der Garabedian, Dn. Sam Buchaklian, Lucy Buchaklian, and Helen Nelson. The Prelate also presided over the parish’s anniversary dinner and the 25 th anniversary of Der Daron’s ordination to the priesthood. During the banquet Mr. Sam Samuelian was honored with a Certificate of Merit from the Prelacy. 

The Prelate consecrates the new stained-glass windows.
Birth of Fr. Hagopos Dashian (October 25, 1866)
The Viennese branch of the Mekhitarist Congregation, founded in 1811, has been remarkable for its erudition, as reflected in its publications and particularly its journal Handes Amsorya, which has been continuously published for over one hundred and thirty years since 1887. One of the main names of that “golden age” of the Vienna Mekhitarists was Fr. Hagopos Dashian, who enriched Armenian Studies with his important publications over a span of forty-five years.

Born Franciscus Tashjian in the village of Ardzati, in the province of Karin (Erzerum), on October 5, 1866, he learned the first letters in the parochial school of Erzerum. In 1880 his parents sent him to the seminary of the Mekhitarist monastery in Vienna. Three years later, he took the vows as a novice and adopted the name Hagopos, and in 1885 became a member of the congregation. In 1889 he finished his studies and was consecrated priest. In the same year, he became a teacher of philosophy and Armenian language at the monastery. After signing his first works as “Tashjian,” in 1890 he adopted the Armenian surname Dashian .

An iron will of learning endowed Fr. Hagopos Dashian with comprehensive knowledge of the Armenian language, as well as history, geography, and literature. This included a well-rounded command of almost a dozen ancient and modern languages. As his younger colleague, Fr. Nerses Akinian wrote, “he did not go to schools of higher education, but his knowledge bewitched university lecturers and professors.”
From 1893-1909 he visited Venice, Berlin, Constantinople, Smyrna, and Erzerum. From 1909-1912 he was the abbot of the Mekhitarist convent of Constantinople. Returning to Vienna in 1912, he was a member of the Administrative Council of the congregation.

At the age of twenty-five, in 1891, he published the catalog of manuscript of the Royal Library of Vienna, followed by the catalog of manuscripts of the Mekhitarist Congregation of Vienna (1895), which he compiled in two years, including 571 manuscripts with detailed information of encyclopedic character about each unit. The mode of cataloging received the name of “Dashian style” in Armenian philology.
Two years later, in 1897, he completed and prepared for publication the study on the Armenian Divine Liturgy, compared with the Greek, Syrian, and Latin liturgies, which his predecessor Fr. Hovsep Katerjian had left unpublished.

After that, he took over the publication of another unpublished work written three decades before, Fr. Kerovpe Spenian’s Study of the Armenian Classical Language. To this end, he submerged himself into a study of the origins of the Armenian people and many historical and linguistic issues related to it. This resulted into the publication of the 700-page book in 1920, with a posthumously published continuation, Hittites and Urartians (1934).

Dashian was an indefatigable researcher, publishing studies on Agatangeghos (1891), the Life of Alexander by Pseudo-Callistenes (1892), Armenian paleography (1898), authors of the early centuries of Armenian literature (1898 and 1901), and many other issues. He translated into Armenian books by eminent foreign scholars of Armenian Studies, such as Heinrich Hübschmann, Heinrich Petermann, Paul Vetter, Friedrich Müller (from German), Frederick Conybeare (from English), Nikolai Marr (from Russian), and others. He was the point person for any Armenian or non-Armenian scholar who had a query about issues related to the discipline.

The shock that he suffered after learning the fate of his people in 1915 brought him to deal with contemporary subjects too. In 1921 Dashian published a collection of German documents on the genocide in Armenian translation ( The Deportation of the Armenian Nation according to German Documents ) and a demographic study, The Armenian Population from the Black Sea to Karin . The latter was published in French in 1922.

This fecund Armenologist passed away on February 3, 1933, at the age of sixty-six. Fifteen years later, his study The Western Frontier of Ancient Armenia (1948), came out of the presses of the Mekhitarist Congregation.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
What Does Surpazan Mean?
The rank and file of the Armenian Apostolic Church has different titles for its married and celibate priests. Both categories receive the title of Տէր ( Der “Lord”), as in, for instance,
Տէր           (name)        քահանայ          (surname)
Der         (name)        kahana               (surname)
for married priests, and
Տէր          (name)       վարդապետ      (surname)
Der         (name)        vartabed            (surname)
for celibate priests.

The title Der is preceded by honorific denominations for married priests ( արժանապատիւ/arzhanabadiv ) and celibate priests: հոգեշնորհ/hokeshnorh for an apegha and vartabed; գերապատիւ/kerabadiv for a dzayrakooyn vartabed, and գերաշնորհ/kerashnorh for a yebisgobos (bishop) and arkebisgobos (archbishop).

While we call married priests Տէր Հայր ( Der Hayr ), which literally means “Lord Father,” we use Հայր Սուրբ ( Hayr Soorp ), literally meaning “Saint Father,” for the lower ranks of celibate priests, be them apegha, vartabed, or dzayrakooyn vartabed, reserving Սրբազան Հայր ( Surpazan Hayr ) for bishops and archbishops. (*)
What does Surpazan Hayr mean? We intuitively understand the word surpazan to be related to soorp (“saint, sacred”). Literally, surpazan means “sacred,” but what does zan mean?
It is a word quite frequent in Armenian, as in terms like զանազան (zanazan “various”), կռուազան ( gurvazan “rowdy”), այլազան ( aylazan “diverse”), զարմանազան ( zarmanazan “amazing”), and many others. If we analyze one of these words, like aylazan, we find out that ayl means “other,” and zan should mean “way, form” (“diverse” = other way). This guessing is confirmed by Farsi, since both Armenian and Farsi have inherited the word zan from the older Iranian term zana “way, type.”

Therefore, the word surpazan etymologically means “in the form or the way of a saint.” The names for the ecclesiastics grow in meaning in the same way that their rank. That’s why when an archbishop become a catholicos, he is called Vehapar Der, with vehapar literally meaning “majesty.”

        (*) While it is common to hear the word Surpazan alone when addressing them, such a use is inaccurate. It would be like calling Der a married priest, instead of Der Hayr, or Soorp a lower ranking celibate priest, instead of Hayr Soorp.
Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Column” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).

Concert pianist Karine Poghosyan will return to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Monday, November 4 celebrating the release of her new “Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky” CD. The concert will feature works of both composers as well as others and a CD signing will take place after the concert.
Karine was one of the featured artists in 2004 at the Prelacy’s annual Musical Armenia concert at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. The award winning pianist has been widely praised for her ability to get to the heart of the works she performs. Tickets available at Carnegie Charge: 212-247-7800.

This week’s archive photo goes back to the mid-1980s. For some time it was known that the Prelacy building on 39 th Street needed a total renovation. The building had outgrown its capacity to adequately serve the needs of a growing community. The National Representative Assembly of 1986 voted in favor of immediate renovation. The building was vacated on August 1, 1986, and renovations began. The Prelate’s office was relocated to St. Illuminator’s Cathedral. Other personnel were moved to rented office space in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Dedication of the renovated Prelacy building took place on May 1 & 2, 1987. After ten months of intense work the renovations were complete and with the slogan, “Our address is the same, but we’ve changed” the Prelacy informed everyone of the completed task. Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian and Very Rev. Fr. Anoushavan Tanielian are with a group of guests and benefactors at the new façade of the Prelacy building. The exterior was stripped and the interior gutted to develop new configurations, as well as expand the rear of the building.
Thirty-two years later we are at that crossroads again with the Prelacy building in need of repair and expansion. 

Please send your inquiries and comments (English or Armenian) to  Crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
October 26 —One day conference during the “Year of the Armenian Press” and celebrating the 120 th anniversary of the establishment of Hairenik and the 85 th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Weekly will take place in Pashalian Hall of St. Illuminator Cathedral in New York City.

October 26 —85 th Anniversary of Sts. Vartanantz Mourad Armenian Saturday School under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan at the Marriott Downtown Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island. Dinner at 6:30 pm. For information/reservations: Talene Bagdasarian (401) 230-0021or by email

October 27 - 62nd Anniversary of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church, Whitinsville, Massachusetts. H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, deliver the sermon and preside over the Anniversary Banquet, at Highfields Golf and Country Club, Grafton, Massachusetts.

November 1 & 2 —St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 63 rd annual bazaar at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC), 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown.

November 1-3 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, annual Food Festival. For information: 201-943-2950. 

November 9 and 10 —Armenian Fest 2019, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Saturday noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. For information: 401-831-6399.

November 10 —Thanksgiving Luncheon hosted by ARS Mayr Chapter, New York, to benefit the ARS Medz Tagher Kindergarten in Artsakh. Byblos Restaurant, 80 Madison Avenue, New York City, 2 to 5:30 pm. Donation: $75. For information/reservations Mina (917-741-2966); Anais (917-225-4326).

November 16 —New England Regional Deacons’ Retreat and Seminar at Holy Trinity Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts; 9 am to 5 pm, for all ordained deacons and sub-deacons serving in the New England area Prelacy churches.

November 17 —Eastern Prelacy’s first annual Special Thanksgiving Banquet at Terrace on the Park, Flushing, New York, at 2 pm. Honoring the 25 th + 1 anniversary of the charitable work of the Prelacy’s St. Nerses the Great Charity Program: 26 Years of Charitable Giving in Armenia and Artsakh.

November 23 - Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Sunday school, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 5 p.m. in the church hall. For information/reservations please call 508-234-3677.

December 5— Presentation of the book “Gomidas-150” at the Armenian Prelacy. Save the date.

December 7— Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar in Whitinsville, Massachusetts at the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church Hall, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, 10:00-4:30, dinners served at 11:30. 

December 19 Book presentation of "The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek," by Michael Papazian. Newly published by The Liturgical Press. Presentation at 7 pm at the Prelacy offices, 138 E. 39th Street, New York City. Author will be present and books available.  

December 31 —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, New Year’s Eve dinner/dance.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“Faith Building Women 2020 Symposium,” A daylong conference to heighten awareness of women in the Bible, organized by the Adult Christian Education department of St. Peter Armenian Church. The Symposium will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian. 

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia. The Clergy Conference will begin on Wednesday, May 13; the full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 14 and conclude on Saturday, May 16.
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