September 13, 2018
His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian was elected to serve as the new prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America on Saturday, September 8, at a special session of the Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly that convened at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City with 62 duly elected delegates in attendance. The only agenda item was the election of a new prelate to succeed Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan who retired after 20 years of distinguished service as Prelate.

Bishop Anoushavan was elected on the first ballot from a slate of three candidates submitted by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia. Bishop Anoushavan received 39 votes; Bishop Shahe Panossian received 20 votes; Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian received 2 votes; 1blank ballot was submitted.

Archbishop Oshagan addressed the delegates after the vote. He congratulated Bishop Anoushavan and officially introduced him. The newly elected prelate humbly addressed the delegates expressing his thanks and asking for prayers.

The results of the election were immediately communicated to His Holiness Aram I, and a letter dated September 11, 2018 was received from His Holiness ratifying the election.

Read a short bio of Bishop Anoushavan here .
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan presenting the newly elected Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian at a special session of the NRA held at St. Illuminator's Cathedral on September 8, 2018.

Clergy, NRA Delegates and members of the Lay and Religious Councils gather to vote for the next prelate of the Eastern Prelacy.

His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan and the newly elected prelate Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian joined by Clergymen of the Eastern Prelacy Parishes.

Members of the NRA, Eastern Prelacy Clergymen, and Prelacy staff join Bishop Anoushavan and Archbishop Oshagan for a photo on this momentous occasion.
Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, newly-elected Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, will travel to the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, this Sunday evening, to meet with and ask for the blessings of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I.

Sunday morning His Grace will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and deliver the sermon at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.

A Hrashapar Service will take place next Saturday, September 22, in thanksgiving for the election of His Grace Bishop Anoushavan. The service will begin at 5 pm at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. All are invited to attend.
The Armenian liturgical chalice from the Church of Sourp Hovhannes Garabed located in Yalova in Asia Minor.
In the February 22, 2018 issue of Crossroads we told the story of two historic Armenian chalices that were rescued from oblivion. One of the chalices is now on its way to Antelias, Lebanon where it will become a part of the collection of historic chalices at the Museum of the Holy See of Cilicia. The chalices were purchased by Dr. Levon A. Saryan and Dr. Chuck Hajinian, both of Wisconsin.

On September 8, prior to the meeting of the National Representative Assembly in New York, Dr. Saryan presented his chalice to Archbishop Oshagan who will carry the chalice to the Holy See of Cilicia and present it to His Holiness Aram I. The chalice, dated 1860 originated from the Church of Sourp Hovhannes Garabed (St. John the Forerunner) of Yalova, Asia Minor. Yalova, a small town on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, north of Brusa, had an Armenian community until 1915. The intricate decorative work on the chalice depicts the four evangelists and their attributes seated in a garden. At the base is a lengthy Armenian inscription identifying the provenance of the chalice and the circumstances and date of its original donation to Sourp Hovhaness Garabed Church.
In presenting the chalice Dr. Saryan noted, “For the past half century I have collected Armenian artifacts (despite limited means). But there are unique items that I do not feel I have the right to own. As a deacon I know the importance of chalices and in my experience no two are identical. This is both a sacred object and a historical antiquity that tells a story. My friend and I were able to rescue it from oblivion. From the beginning I was anxious that it be returned to our nation via the Church and not remain in my private possession. So I am gratified that it will join the other 28 chalices in the Antelias collection where I am confident that it will be lovingly preserved.”

Dr. Levon and Mrs. Shirley Saryan present the chalice to Archbishop Oshagan. Dr. Saryan is a deacon of the Armenian Church and a member of the St. Hagop Church in Racine, Wisconsin. Mrs. Saryan is a delegate to the Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly.

It is almost here. The much-anticipated “Armenia!” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is set to open to the public on September 22. Members Preview day is Friday, September 21, 10 am to 9 pm.
The following is taken from a press release recently issued by the Met:

This is the first major exhibition to explore artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries—from the fourth century, when the Armenians converted to Christianity in their homeland at the base of Mount Ararat, to the seventeenth century, when Armenian control of global trade routes first brought books printed in Armenian into the region.
Through some 140 objects—including opulent gilded reliquaries, richly illuminated manuscripts, rare textiles, cross stones ( khachkars ), precious liturgical furnishings, church models, and printed books—the exhibition demonstrates how Armenians developed a unique Christian identity that linked their widespread communities over the years.
Representing the cultural heritage of Armenia, most of the works come from major Armenian collections including, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; the Matenadaran (Ancient Manuscripts); the National History Museum in the Republic of Armenia; the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Lebanon; the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem; the Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice; the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon; the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) in New York; the Armenian Museum of America in Boston; and the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum in Michigan.
Almost all of these works are on view in the United States for the first time; some have not travelled abroad for centuries.
Helen C. Evans, curator of the Armenia! Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum lectured at the Prelacy in May in anticipation of the exhibit.
Bible readings for Sunday, September 16, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 49:13-23; Galatians 6:14-18; John 3:13-21. 

“No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (John 3:13-21)


May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen. (Galatians 6:14-18)

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

This Sunday, September 17, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross ( Khachverats ), which is the last of the five Tabernacle Feasts observed by the Armenian Church during the liturgical year. The Exaltation celebrates the transformation of the cross as an instrument of punishment into a venerated symbol of life and victory. A sacred religious symbol that was now exalted and glorified.

This holy day is commemorated by most Christian churches on September 14. The Armenian Church celebrates it on the Sunday closest to the 14 th . It is the oldest of the feasts devoted to the cross. The cross, once a means of death for criminals, became the dominant symbol of the Christian world, an object of reverence and worship, and symbol of triumph over death. Christ’s apostle James, Patriarch of Jerusalem, elevated the Holy Cross during a religious ceremony chanting the hymn, “ Khachee oh Krisdos Yergeer Bakanemk ,” (To Your Cross We Bow),” thus accepting the cross as a symbol of salvation and an object of utmost veneration. James was later martyred in Jerusalem, and upon his grave stands the expansive Armenian monastery of St. James in Jerusalem.

There are four feasts devoted to the cross in the Armenian liturgical calendar, with the Exaltation being the most important. The other three are: Apparition of the Holy Cross; Holy Cross of Varak; and Discovery of the Cross. Each of these four holidays devoted to the Holy Cross are related to the life and the salvific work of our Lord.

The ceremony for the Exaltation begins with the decoration of the Cross with sweet basil ( rehan ), a sign of royalty, and also as a symbol of the living cross that is carried around the church in a procession led by the priest, and followed by deacons and altar servers. After the Bible readings, the officiating priest lifts the Cross and makes the sign of the Cross, and blesses the four corners of the world ( Andastan service), asking God’s blessing and bounty for the prosperity of the Armenian Church and for the fruitfulness of the land, and all the holy places and inhabitants thereof.

The Khachveratz ceremony was prepared by Catholicos Sahag Dzoraporetsi (677-703). He also composed the hymn that is sung on this day. As with other Tabernacle Feasts, the Exaltation is preceded with a period of fasting (Monday to Friday), and followed by a memorial day ( Merelotz ).  The Eve of this Feast is also celebrated as Feast of the Dedication of Churches ( Navagadik ), and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, following memorial day, are feast days dedicated to the Holy Church. Name day commemorations this Sunday include: Khatchadour, Khatchig, Khatcherets. Rehan, Khatchkhatoun, Khachouhi, Khatchperouhi, Khosrov, Khosrovanoush, Khrosrovitoukhd, and Nshan.
The day after the five Tabernacle Feasts is a Memorial Day in the Armenian Liturgical Calendar. Traditionally the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on this day and the faithful go to the cemeteries where graves are blessed to honor the memory of their departed loved ones. Remembering the dead is an important ritual for the living. In a sense it is an act of faith and love, not meant necessarily to achieve understanding or bring healing. It is simply to remember.

Death of Armenag Shahmuradian 
(September 14, 1939)
Opera singer Armenag Shahmouradian, labeled “the Armenian Caruso,” was one of the most famous representatives of the musical current embodied by Gomidas Vartabed.

He was born in Mush on April 7, 1878 in the family of a blacksmith. He entered the church choir at the age of eight, while he continued studying at the local school. However, the death of his father interrupted his studies due to lack of resources. The intervention of Bishop Nerses Kharakhanian, prelate of Mush, was providential. He sent the young boy to study at the seminary of the famous convent of Surp Garabed. The new student could not adapt himself to the atmosphere of the convent and returned to Mush pretty soon. This time, the bishop sent him to Echmiadzin with a letter of recommendation. The future singer was admitted to the Kevorkian Seminary, where he had writers Avetik Isahakian and Derenik Demirjian, and musician Grigor Suny among his classmates.

Shahmouradian became soloist in the choir of noted composer Kristapor Kara-Murza, who was a music teacher at the seminary. His extraordinary voice and highly qualified interpretation attracted the attention of Kara-Murza’s replacement, the young Gomidas Vartabed, who took the youngster under his wings. Shahmuradian developed as a singer and musician under Gomidas’ supervision for the next year and a half.

However, he was soon expelled from the seminary for having participated in a student protest against the conservative and retrograde methods applied there. Thanks to the intervention of Catholicos Mgrdich I (Khrimian Hayrig), Western Armenian students like Shahmouradian were admitted to the Nersesian Lyceum in Tiflis to continue their studies. There, he attracted the attention of Makar Ekmalian, the music teacher. He graduated in 1896 and participated in a wave of protests in Tiflis against the savagery of the regime of Abdul Hamid in the Ottoman Empire. He was arrested by the Russian police, sent to the prison of Metekh, and then, as an Ottoman subject, delivered to the Turkish government. He remained in the prison of Kars for eight months. His voice went through the walls of the prison and reached Turkish consul Fuad bey, who sent him to Mush as a free exile.

After two years teaching at the seminary of Surp Garabed, Shahmouradian moved to Erzerum, where he taught music, Armenian language, and Armenian history for four years at the local school, where he also created and directed a choir. Through the intervention of the school authorities, he obtained a Lebanese passport with the pretext of going there for medical reasons. However, he embarked on a French ship and went to Paris instead of Beirut in 1904. In the French capital, he studied for two years with world-famous singer Paulina Viardot, and afterwards he entered the Conservatory of Paris.

In January 1911 Shahmouradian debuted at the Grand Opera of Paris with the role of Faust in Charles Gounod’s homonymous opera. The performance was so successful that, at the request of the press and music aficionados, it continued for a month. In 1912-1913 he toured in Cairo, Tiflis, Constantinople, Baku, and other cities with a repertory of Armenian traditional and popular songs. He moved to the United States in 1914, where he gave concerts in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, and Fresno, and later performed in Europe (London, Manchester, Brussels, Antwerp, Geneva, Zurich) and Asia (Tehran, Baghdad, Calcutta). He recorded many of his songs in 78 rpm records that became a fixture in Armenian homes around the world.

In 1930 Shahmouradian, in precarious health and equally precarious finances, returned to Europe and settled in Paris. Here, he went to see his great master, Gomidas, who was already at the psychiatric clinic of Villejuif. He sang Armenia, Paradise Land (Հայաստան, երկիր դրախտավայր), one of his classical interpretations, and for a few moments Gomidas reacted and recognized his beloved disciple. And that was all.

Like his teacher, Shahmouradian, who had earned the label of “nightingale of Daron,” also passed away in the clinic of Villejuif on September 14, 1939. William Saroyan, who devoted a poem to him, four decades later wrote in Obituaries : “Shah-Mouradian was one of the truly great tenor-baritones of all time, somewhat like John McCormack, a star in Paris and New York, and around the world in opera.”
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( ).

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(Prepared by Armenian National Education Committee)
Old Words that Took a New Life

From the sixth century B.C. to the beginning of the nineteenth century, Armenia was under Iranian domination for lengthy periods of its history. The kingdom of Armenia even had a dynasty of Iranian origin, the Arshakuni or Arsacids, for almost four centuries (I-V centuries A.D.). Therefore, it is not casual that Armenian vocabulary conserved many words of Iranian origin from different periods of its history, both in written and colloquial language.

Some of those words reached our times and took new meanings. One such case is that of the word նախարար (nakharar). During ancient and medieval times, it designated a hereditary title of highest rank given to members of the nobility. Its source was an Iranian term, nāfaδāra, meaning “chief or head of the clan.” The Iranian f would give h in Armenian, and thus, the Armenian term should have been նահարար (naharar). However, sometimes people think of words as having a different meaning than the one existing in dictionaries or established knowledge. Sometimes, that different meaning imposes itself. The word naharar was confused with nakharar and thought to have the meaning of “first of assets or properties.” This happened because the word nakh, another loan from an Iranian source, means “first, original.” In the end, nakharar imposed itself.

The interesting point is that nakharar took a new life in modern times, when Armenian nobility had disappeared. It adopted the meaning “minister,” as in տնտեսութեան նախարար ( dundesootian nakharar “minister of Economy”). However, this meaning was disputed in Eastern Armenian, where the loanword from Russian մինիստր ( ministr ) was used until the end of the Soviet Union. After the new independence of Armenia, nakharar displaced the foreign word and now it is used everywhere in Armenia. This also includes the word նախարարութիւն (nakhararootioon ), which was մինիստրութիւն ( ministrootioon ) in the past.

The word nakh is frequently used in Armenian for many compound words, like նախագահ ( nakhakah ), which literally means “first seat” or “first throne.” This word also comes from Classical Armenian and in modern times it took a new meaning: “president.” It also became the basis for the verb նախագահել ( nakhakahel “to preside”), which does not necessarily mean to have the functions of a president. However, the meaning of the word was again disputed in Eastern Armenian, which adopted the loanword պրեզիդենտ ( prezident ) from Russian. [1] Like nakharar, also nakhakah made a came back after the end of the Soviet Union, and since 1991 we have had several nakhakah in the newly-independent Republic of Armenia.

[1] Much of Russian specialized vocabulary derives from Western European languages, especially French, and that’s why you see words like minister or president with a look very similar to the English word.

Previous entries in “The Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( ).
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey.
New term begins on September 22, 2018.
For information: or 212-689-7810.

September 16 —St. Stephen’s Church of Hartford-New Britain, 167 Tremont Street, New Britain. Annual Picnic, 12:30 pm in church hall and backyard tent. Shish & Lu-lu Kebab, Roasted Chicken, Hot Dogs, Pilaf, Salad and Pastry table. Raffle and Armenian music. Rain or shine.

September 22 —Hrashapar Service for the newly-elected Prelate, His Grace Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, at 5 pm at St. Illuminator Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York. All are welcome.

September 22, to January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

September 29 —Special Live Concert featuring Arsen Grigoryan, sponsored by Philadelphia’s Artemis Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society, at 7:30 pm in Founders Hall of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, 8701 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. The concert will benefit the ARS’s “Sponsor a Birth” program in Gyumri, Armenia. Donation $50 (includes hors d’oeuvres and desserts). For tickets: Elizabeth Dramgotchian (215) 920-6054; Madonna Kzirian (215) 760-4106; Rima Chapanian (856) 981-8203.

October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring Onnik Dinkjian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian, Mal Barsamian, and Jason Naroian. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. For information: .

November 4 —The Anthropology/Armenian Museum partnering with the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) will present the films “The Promise” and “Intent to Destroy” at 5 pm. Joe Berlinger, Director of “Intent to Destroy” will be the speaker at the Q&A. Tickets to view both films are $15 per person. Access to visit the exhibits at MOMI is included. To order tickets call 718-428-5650.

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