September 29, 2016

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia arrived to preside over celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of his enthronement as Catholicos of Cilicia. Celebrations were postponed last year in order not to conflict with the 2015 commemorations of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The delegation accompanying the Catholicos includes Very Rev. Fr. Housig Mardirossian, Director of the Ecumenical and Communications Department; Very Rev. Fr. Bedros Manuelian, staff bearer; representatives of the National Central Council, Dr. Drtad Manguikian, Dr. Jirair Basmajian, Mr. Hagop Yapoujian, Mr. Khajag Dikidjian, and Mr. Vahe Yacoubian.

His Holiness will preside over special services and celebrations in Los Angeles, Montreal, and New York/New Jersey. 

The more than two decades of visionary leadership of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, will be marked on Sunday, October 9. The celebratory day will begin with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey, celebrated by His Holiness. In the afternoon a special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion will take place at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, New Jersey, that will be followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration at the same venue. This event will be the one and only celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy. All Prelacy parishes will be closed on October 9 to permit the participation of our clergy and parishioners.
Sunday, October 9, 2016

10:00 am
Pontifical Divine Liturgy
Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church
461 Bergen Boulevard
Ridgefield, New Jersey 07657

1:30 pm
Cocktail Reception
Marriott at Glenpointe
100 Frank W. Burr Boulevard
Teaneck, New Jersey 07666

3:00 pm
20th Anniversary Program
Grand Ballroom

4:30 pm
Celebratory Dinner
Grand Ballroom

Contact the Prelacy for Reservations ($250 per person)

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Archbishop Oshagan will travel to Rhode Island this weekend where on Sunday he will preside over the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence.  Following the Liturgy, His Eminence will preside over the retirement banquet honoring Der Gomidas for his many years of service to the parish. The banquet will take place at the Crowne Plaza at the Crossings, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Last Sunday Archbishop Oshagan celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered his sermon at Holy Trinity Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, on the occasion of the parish’s 82nd Anniversary. Also celebrated was the 10th anniversary of the ordination of V. Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian and his recent elevation to Dzayakuyn Vartabed. During the luncheon that followed the Liturgy members of the parish’s Ladies Guild were honored with a collective award acknowledging the devoted service of the following: Mary Berberian, Rose Der Bedrosian, Florance Eknoian, Iris Gopoian, Lillian Gremo, Lucy Kaprielian, Eva Kopoyan, Cindy Mikitarian, Donna Mooradian, Joanne Surabian.

During the banquet, Hayr Sahag was honored on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his ordination. Members of the Ladies Guild were lauded for their dedicated service to the parish.
A scene from the banquet.

Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General, will attend the meeting of the Delaware Valley Armenian Health Professionals Organization tomorrow, Friday, September 30, at St. Gregory Church Hall in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, October 1, he will attend the 35th anniversary celebration of the Armenian Independent Broadcasting of Boston that will take place in Watertown, Massachusetts.

On Sunday, October 2, he will attend the special banquet honoring the retirement of Archpriest Rev. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, Rhode Island.


During a special visit to the ANCA offices yesterday, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, recognized the leadership of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), and bestowed the Knight of Cilicia medal on Executive Director Aram Hamparian, in honor of the ongoing and tireless work of ANCA leaders, workers, volunteers, and supporters across the United States. His Holiness said “the work of the ANCA is very close to our hearts, to our minds, and to our mission as a church.”

Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA is bestowed the Knight of Cilicia medal by His Holiness Aram I, in Washington.

His Holiness Aram I met with the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, today in response to the Minister’s invitation in Washington, D.C. Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Oshagan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy, Grigor Hovhannissian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, and Hagop Der Khatchadurian, member of the ARF Bureau. They spoke about issues concerning Armenia’s international relations as well as a number of concerns regarding Azerbaijan and Turkey.

From left to right: Hagop Der Khatchadurian, Edward Nalbandian, His Holiness, Archbishop Oshagan, and Grigor Hovhannissian

Bible readings for Sunday, October 2, Fourth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are, Isaiah 17:7-14; 2 Corinthians 13:5-13; Mark 11:27-33.

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question: answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer me.” And they argued with one another, “If we say ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From men’?”—they were afraid of the people, for all held that John was a real prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:27-33)


This is the third time I am coming to you. “Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient—since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have failed. But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect. So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:5-13)

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


Today, Thursday, September 29, the Armenian Church commemorates Princes Sahak and Hamazasb, brothers who challenged the Arab rule in Armenia. When they were captured, they were given the choice of renouncing their Christian religion or death. They refused to convert and were martyred.

This Saturday, October 1, the Armenian Church commemorates the 72 Holy Disciples of Christ. The reference comes from the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 10, Verse 1): “After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.” (Note: Some sources say 72 disciples; others say 70). These disciples remained true to the Lord and their calling, and spread the Lord’s message. They were not random choices, but rather true disciples whose labors carried the message of the Lord throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. All of the saints are remembered individually in the liturgical calendar of the church, but this day is set aside to remember them collectively.

This Monday, October 3, the Armenian Church remembers Saint Irenaeus, an early Church Father, martyr and bishop of Lyons in Gaul. He was born in Asia Minor and studied under Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna. He was appointed Bishop of Lyon in 173, remaining there until his death some twenty years later. Although under constant threat of persecution, he believed that the greatest danger to the church was heresy within its own ranks. His book, Against Heresies, in which he opposes Gnosticism, remains to this day the classic statement of the relationship of religion and nature. In keeping with the New Testament teaching of John, he emphasized the role of the Lord as the agent of creation.

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
The Occupation of Yerevan (October 1, 1827)
Capture of Erivan Fortress by Russia, 1827 by Franz Roubaud
The Russian vision of reaching the “hot waters” of the Mediterranean Sea, formulated during the reign of Peter the Great (1689-1725), achieved its initial objective in the period from 1804-1828, when the region known as Transcaucasia (now called South Caucasus) was conquered from Persia and incorporated with the Russian Empire. This included, indeed, Eastern Armenia.

The treaty of Gulistan (1813) incorporated the region of Gharabagh to Russia. The rest of Eastern Armenia was conquered during the Russo-Persian war of 1826-1828. With British financial support, Persian crown prince Abbas Mirza launched the hostilities without previous declaration of war in July 1826. After Persian initial success, Czar Nicholas I (1825-1855) sent General Ivan Paskevich (1782-1856), who had distinguished himself in 1807-1814 during campaigns against Turkey and France, as second in command. He took the chief command in early 1827 and the Russian troops started advancing in territory of the Khanate of Yerevan.  

In April 1827 the monastery of Holy Etchmiadzin was occupied without resistance, and Yerevan was first besieged from April to June. Paskevich joined Russian general A. I. Krasovky in June and occupied Nakhichevan. However, Krasovky was forced to raise the siege due to the condition of his troops. He left one regiment at Etchmiadzin and retired further north. 

Abbas Mirza attempted a counterattack, planning to take Etchmiadzin and Gyumri, plunder Tiflis and return to Tabriz via Gharabagh. Krasovsky was forced to return south in August to relieve the garrison of Etchmiadzin. Despite the inferiority of troops (2300 Russians against 30000 Persians), the Russians were able to cut their way through at the battle of Oshagan, losing half of their number. They relieved Etchmiadzin, while the Persians withdrew south with a loss of just 400 men. 
Paskevich returned to Etchmiadzin in early September. He moved east and, after capturing Sardarabad, he appeared before the walls of Yerevan on September 23. The fortress was located on a rocky shore of the Hrazdan River, and had double walls and a moat. After shelling the fortress, the Russian command suggested Persians to capitulate. The garrison and residents asked Hasan Khan to surrender, but the khan turned down the suggestion of capitulation, hoping to resist until the arrival of the Persian army.

After a week of siege, disorder broke out in Yerevan on the morning of October 1. The Armenian population of the city forcefully demanded that Hasan surrender the city. Armenian and Persian citizens took up arms and occupied the already destroyed part of the eastern wall. The Persian garrison refused to fight and Russian troops entered Yerevan. Hasan Khan and his army laid down their arms in front of the Russian before the main mosque. Four thousand prisoners were taken. 

After this victory, advancing Russian troops crossed the Arax River and entered Persian Azerbaijan, seizing its capital Tabriz. Paskevich arrived later with the main Russian forces. Persia sued for peace, but the negotiations dragged on due to the beginning of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829. However, the Russian occupation of Ardabil and Urmia forced Fath-Ali Shah to accept all peace conditions, according to the Treaty of Turkmenchay (February 10, 1828). For the victory in the Russo-Persian war, Paskevich was awarded the St. George Order of the 2nd class and the title of Count of Yerevan. He also received a million rubles and a diamond-mounted sword. 

The khanates of Yerevan and Nakhichevan went to the Russian Empire, and Yerevan became the capital of the newly-created Armenian Province until 1840. After short-lived administrative changes, the Yerevan Governorate would be created in 1849, again with Yerevan as capital of a territory that included both Persian khanates.

Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC)
Twins Are Not a Couple

The number two is derived from an Old English word (twa), which comes from Proto-Germanic (the “mother” of all Germanic languages). The ultimate source is the Proto-Indo-European reconstructed word *duwo (“two”), which originated the same word in many other languages, such as duo in Latin (English words like duo, duet, duplicate, duplex, for instance, come from this Latin root).

Can you imagine that the Armenian word yergoo (երկու “two”) also comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root *duwo? It means, then, that there is a family relationship with two!

The relationship is complicated, but real, even though both words do not seem to have anything in common.
In linguistics, particularly, appearances tend to be misleading. As we have seen many other times, the relation of two words may be obscured by odd linguistic patterns and the passing of time. The Proto-Indo-European initial *p yielded Armenian h; the typical example is *pater > hayr (հայր “father”). Thus, in a similar fashion, *dw became erk (երկ) in Classical Armenian (now pronounced yerg / երգ in Western Armenian). Although none of the various explanations for the evolution *dw > erk has been universally adopted, the relation between both roots is generally accepted. 

Since two and yergu are far cousins, so are the words double (which has a French origin, but ultimately comes from the same *duwo) and grgeen (կրկին “double”). The latter is actually krkin in Classical Armenian (from erk + kin).

The relationship between two and yergu brings another interesting couple to the fore: twin and yergvoriag (երկուորեակ “twin”). Our interest derives from the fact that it is not uncommon to replace them in colloquial language with another, actually false couple: twin and zooyker (զոյգեր). 

True, zooyk (զոյգ) is a word relatively close to twin; it means “couple,” “pair,” “duo,” and also “double.” However, be advised that every time someone refers to a couple of twins as zooyker (զոյգեր), he or she is on the wrong track. Unlike twin, the word zooyk does not have the meaning of two people born together from the same mother, and the use of zooyker (plural of zooyk) looks like a literal copy of English twins. 

Incidentally, if you meet “two couples of twins” (i.e. four people) in a place, it would be ridiculous to call them… yergoo zooyk zooyker / երկու զոյգ զոյգեր. The only Armenian word for twin is yergvoriag, and thus, the accurate phrase would be yergoo zooyk yergvoriagner (երկու զոյգ երկուորեակներ).

In order to make it crystal-clear, a) if you get married, you form a zooyk; b) if you have twins, they are yergvoriagner. 


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Armenian Prelacy
138 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
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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. NEW TERM BEGINS SEPTEMBER 10.

October 2—Retirement Banquet in honor of Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, Pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan. Reception 2 pm; dinner 3 pm at Crowne Plaza at the Crossings, Warwick, Rhode Island. Donation $75 per person. For information or reservations contact Ramon Zorabedian at 401-884-6626 or Margaret Stepanian at 401-272-3183.

October 6 —Avak Luncheon, noon, Jaffarian Hall, St. Gregory Church, 158 Main Street, North Andover, Massachusetts; speaker, Ani Babaian, “Armenian Churches in Iran,” with slide show and commentaries.

October 6 Shadoyan Fashion Show “Exclusive Collection” of Evening Gowns and “Reincarnation” Armenian National Costumes. Cocktails at 6:30 pm; fashion show at 8 pm; dinner to follow. Sponsored by ARS Eastern USA. Seasons Catering, 644 Pascack Road, Township of Washington, NJ. Donation: $100 (receives a raffle ticket). For inform ation/reservations: Diana, 201-790-0397 or enter Shadoyan.

October 9 Eastern Prelacy celebrates the 20th anniversary of election and consecration of His Holiness Aram I. Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, with participation of regional parishes. Special cultural program prepared specifically for this occasion at the Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey, followed with a banquet and anniversary celebration. This event will be the singular celebration honoring His Holiness within the Eastern Prelacy.

October 9 —Anniversary Dinner & Program of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois, hosted by the Ladies Guild.

October 14 —Concert by classical pianist Karine Poghosyan, sponsored by St. Hagop Church Cultural Committee, 7 pm, at the Siena Center, 5635 Erie Street, Racine, Wisconsin, in an All-Khatchaturian concert. Freewill donation will be accepted. Public is invited. For information: Shirley Saryan at or 414-282-1919.

October 15 —St. Gregory Church, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, 11 am to 6 pm. Delicious homemade Armenian food and pastries; shish kebab and chicken kebab dinners; also available lahmajun and vegetarian plate. Raffles. Take-out available. Free admission and free parking. For information: 413-543-4763.

October 15—Annual Golf Outing, St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Granite City, Illinois.

October 22Celebration of 40th anniversary of the Hovnanian School at Rockleigh Country Club, 26 Paris Avenue, Rockleigh, New Jersey. Entertainment by Elie Berberian and Ensemble, featuring Steve Vosbikian and Raffi Massoyan. Honoree: Mr.  Aso O. Tavitian.

October 22—Armenian Friends of America presents Hye Kef 5, a 5-hour dance, 7 pm to midnight with buffet; Andover Windham, 123 Old River Road, featuring musicians Onnik and Ara Dinkjian, Johnny Berberian, Mal Barsamian, Jason Naroian and Paul Mooradian, with proceeds benefiting area Armenian churches. Advance tickets before September 1, $55, call either John Arzigian (603) 560-3826; Sharke Der Apkarian, (978) 808-0598; Lucy Sirmaian, (978) 683-9121, or Peter Gulezian, (978) 375-1616.

October 23 —Opening reception of joint photograph exhibit titled, “East Meets West,” compiled by Tom Vartabedian and Sona (Dulgarian) Gevorkian, featuring eclectic pictures of Armenia and Artsakh, 2-5 pm, at Armenian Museum of America (AMA), 65 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, co-sponsored by Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives. Exhibit will be displayed through November.

November 4 & 5St. Stephen's Church (Watertown, MA) 60th Annual Church Bazaar will take place Friday-Saturday, November 4-5 at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (47 Nichols Ave, Watertown). Come by with family and friends for delicious chicken, beef, and losh kebab, kufteh and kheyma dinners, mouth watering pastries, and specialty gourmet items.  We'll showcase our hand made arts and crafts, the treasure-finding White Elephant table, and ever popular silent and live auction items. This is an annual event not to miss. Come reconnect with parishioners, friends and support the future of our Church. Visit our website for information on menus, pastry and gourmet items, gift shoppe, and live and silent auction items!

November 4, 5, 6 —Annual Bazaar and Food Festival of Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey. Live entertainment Friday and Saturday; children’s activities; vendors; homemade Manti, Kufte, Sou Buereg, Choreg, and more. Traditional Khavourma dinner on Sunday. Extensive Messe and dessert menu for your Thanksgiving table available for take-out.

November 12 and 13 —Armenian Fest 2016, Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church, Providence, Rhode Island, presents Armenian Food Festival at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Broad Street, Cranston, Rhode Island. Chicken, losh, and shish kebab 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, noon to 9 pm; Sunday, noon to 8 pm. For information: or church office, (401) 831-6399.

The Armenian Prelacy 
Tel: 212-689-7810 ♦ Fax: 212-689-7168 ♦ Email: