February 21 - 27, 2016
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SUNDAY, February 21, 2016
Sunday of the Prodigal Son              

Morning Service:          9:00 AM         
Sunrise Service:          10:00 AM
Divine Liturgy:           10:30 AM
Bible Readings:           Isaiah 54:11-55:13; 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1; Luke 15:1-32


For the soul of Diramayr Sirarpi Nalbandian (40 days)
Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The third Sunday of Great Lent is called the Sunday of the Prodigal Son based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son told in the Gospel of Luke (15:15-32).  There was once a man who had two sons. Upon the request of the younger son, the man divided his property between his two sons. After a few days, the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away where he wasted his money in reckless living. Soon, he had spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country and he was left with nothing to his name.

In that time of trouble he remembered his father's house, began to regret his reckless living and soon returned to his father's home. Seeing that his younger son was repentant, the father received him joyfully. Seeing this warm homecoming, the elder son began to complain, saying that during all those years he had worked for his father like a slave and had never disobeyed his orders yet had never deserved such honor.

His father answered him, "My son, you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. But we have to celebrate and be happy for your brother was dead but now lives, he was lost but now he is found."

The elder and the younger sons allegorically represent our simultaneously righteous and sinful souls, and the father's receiving of his lost son represents God's acceptance of us as repentant sinners. Furthermore, in telling this story, Christ reminds us to guard against self-righteousness, and the Parable admonishes our self-conceitedness.

St. Grigor Tatevatsi (St. Gregory of Tatev), 1346-1409

This famous luminary teacher of the Armenian Church was born in the province of Vayots Dzor in the province of Syunik. His pious parents, who lost their young children, incessantly prayed to the Almighty to give them another child, appealing to the intercession of St. Gregory the Illuminator. When the child was born, he was named Gregory at baptism. 

At seven years old Gregory began his education and soon excelled in his knowledge of Scripture and began to interpret God's word to established scholars who came to him for guidance. He continued his education in the Tatev monastery, where he studied with St. Hovan Vorotnetsi (John of Vorotan).  

With his mentor in 1371 Gregory made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was ordained a celibate priest, and on the way back St. John gave him the crosier of vardaped. In 1380 they moved to Apracunis monastery, which Gregory headed in 1388, after the death of his teacher, but by the latter's blessing and popular vote. Two years later the saint returned to Tatev with his numerous followers. Remaining in constant ascension through prayer, St. Gregory, like the noonday sun, brightly illuminated with his radiance the Armenian Church. Many Greek and Latin orators came to listen to his speeches full of wisdom and broad knowledge. St. Gregory was called the second John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian. 

None of the infidels dared to harm him, because they saw the great miracles that God performed through this man. The saint healed the ailing by laying of hands, cast out demons. Exhausted by fasting and wearing sackcloth, being constantly belted with a rope, he killed himself for this world while still being alive, thus becoming a man of great virtue and holiness.

Before his death, knowing of his imminent passing, the saint celebrated the liturgy, blessed his disciples and gave up his spirit glorifying the Lord.

To this day generations of scholars and theologians study the literary heritage of Saint John of Tatev. Few of his numerous works have survived - "The Book of Questions", "Vosceporik", Summer and Winter volumes of "Book of Sermons", numerous commentaries, and other writings, as well as two Gospels illustrated by the saint.
Saturday Afternoon Worship Service
St. James Armenian Church cordially invites you and your family to  SATURDAY AFTERNOON WORSHIP SERVICE on February 20. Service will begin at 5:00 pm and will end at 5:45 pm sharp and will be conducted entirely in English. 

There will be no fellowship hour. 

Let us enjoy the gift of prayer with other families and our friends and share our worship time.
  Click here to see the flyer.

Arevagal: The Sunrise Service

By Fr. Zaven Arzumanian
The Sunrise Service is one of the seven services found in Armenian Church breviary ( Jamagirk): Kisherayin (midnight), Aravodyan (morning), Arevagal (sunrise) one unit; Jashu service at noon, and Yeregoyan (evening service)  Khaghaghagan and Hanksdyan services (Peace and Rest). The last two are specifically for Lenten season.

The Sunrise Service is traditionally performed during Lent on Wednesday and Friday mornings for six consecutive weeks. For the sake of convenience, in the United States we perform the Sunrise Service on Sundays following the closed Badarak. The purpose of the Lenten Sunrise Service is to celebrate Christ bringing Light to the world to rid it of its dark evils. However, the traditional title of the service prescribes tells us that the Sunrise Service is addressed specifically to the Holy Spirit in celebration of Christ's Resurrection and appearance before his disciples.

The first mention of the Sunrise Service in the Armenian Apostolic Church was by Catholicos John of Otsoon, the Patriarch of the Armenian Church during the 8th century, who reported that one of his immediate predecessors, Catholicos Ezr of Paraznakert, had initiated the Sunrise Service during the 7th century. Its present structure and form, however, is the one set by St. Nerses Shnorhali, the talented 12th century Armenian Catholicos who enriched both the hymnal and breviary of the Armenian Church.

To render the history of the Sunrise Service more complete, we may look into the causes which brought about its formation and canonization. In my opinion, St. Nersess Shnorhali was reacting to the activities of a certain sect, known as the Arevordik ("sons of the sun"), who claimed to be Christians but who emphasized sun worship. They were the remnants of the early medieval Paulician and Tontrakian sects and were not in communion either with the Armenian or Byzantine Orthodox Churches because they rejected the sacraments of the church, the priestly orders and the apostolic succession.

St. Nerses, in fact, included in his famous collection of encyclicals, Indhanrakan, the possibility of the conversion of the Arevordiks. My opinion has even more validity when we consider the fact that a group from this particular sect had requested that Catholicos Nersess receive them back into his flock. Subsequently, besides formulating the conditions for the lapsed to return canonically to the Armenian Apostolic Church, St. Nersess composed this beautiful Sunrise Service, including its inspiring music, as a substitute for the Arevordiks' worship practices as a compromise to win back those who had gone astray. He simply juxtaposed the Son of God with the sun of the universe and emphasized the shining of Christ's intelligent light above and beyond the physical light of the sun in a deeply spiritual perspective.
( To be continued)

Armenian Lenten Services
The Peace Service, Rest Service and Sunrise Service are performed more often during Great Lent than at other times of the year.  (Usually, Peace and Rest Services are performed only on Friday evenings.)  These three services are part of the Church's cycle of seven daily worship services but are of particular significance during Great Lent because they are penitential in nature and remind us of the effort we are making to restore our pure and joyous relationship with God.
The evening Peace Service consists of prayers for peace to end each day.  These prayers remind us that God is with us even in the face of trial and temptation.
The Rest Service, which comes just before retiring for the night, asks God's continuing care through the night. It includes the prayer of St. Nersess.
The Sunrise Service, performed first thing in the morning, reminds us that God is the giver of the light of morning and the light of salvation. Its beautiful prayers and hymns reflect the fresh and serene quality of the most beautiful time of day. This service is performed in our churches before or after Sunday morning liturgy.
Calendar of Worship Services during the Great Lent
February 10, 17, 24 March 2, 9, 16
7:00 PM
Morning Service- 9:00 AM
Sunrise Service - 10:00 AM
Divine Liturgy - 10:30 AM
Pilgrimages to the local Armenian Churches and to the Shrine of all Saints at St. Martha Catholic Church 
will  be organized on Fridays during the Great Lent. Please check the Parish Calendar.

Click here to see the flyer in Armenian and in English.
Supreme Spiritual Council Meets at Holy Etchmiadzin 
Meeting at Holy Etchmiadzin this week under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Supreme Spiritual Council is reviewing last year's worldwide church-related commemorations of the Armenian Genocide centennial, discussing financial matters, and receiving reports from Diocesan Primates. 

Also unveiled was a new service to be performed on April 24: a service of intercession by the Holy Martyrs of the Genocide, which will replace the requiem services held prior to their canonization.
Other agenda items include a proposed visit to Armenia by Pope Francis; the Ecclesiastical Representative Assembly scheduled for later this year; and a National Ecclesiastical Assembly scheduled for 2017.
This week's meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council is being  jointly chaired by Archbishop Aram Ateshian, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, and Archbishop Hovnan Derderian. AGBU President Berge Setrakian is also attending the meeting.  Click here to read more in Armenian.
Home Blessing
Holiday season is the time when homes are blessed by the Pastor. All parishioners who wish to have their homes blessed on the occasion of the Feast of the Theophany and Nativity of Christ should call Der Hovhan (847) 644-7389 to make arrangements. Have a piece of bread, dish of salt and glass of water available for the blessing.

Click here to read more about home blessing.
Click here to watch new Episode of the Eastern Diocese's Video Series
Calendar of Worship Services and Events at St. James
February 19, Friday
February 19, Friday
February 20, Saturday
February 20, Saturday

February 21, Sunday
February 21, Sunday  
February 24, Wednesday
February 26, Friday
February 27, Saturday

February 28, Sunday
February 28, Sunday
February 28, Sunday

March 2, Wednesday
March 4, Friday
March 5, Saturday
March 6, Sunday
March 6, Sunday
Pilgrimage to All Saints (Lenten Vigil)
Family Lenten Dinner at AGBU
Acolyte Training
Saturday Afternoon Worship (in English)

Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Vartanantz Commemoration (Armenian Evangelical Church)
Lenten Vigil at St. James
Pilgrimage to St. Gregor (Lenten Vigil)
Regional Saintly Women's Day (St. Gregory)

Sunday of the Steward
St. James Women's Guild Baking
Cultural Event at AGBU

Lenten Vigil  at St. James
Lenten Vigil at All Saints Armenian Church
ACYOA Seniors Retreat at St. James
Sunday of the Judge
Meejeenk Luncheon


February 21-February 27 
Third Week of Great Lent. Fast

February 27    
Saints John the Patriarch of Jerusalem, John of Otzun the Patriarch of Armenia, John of Vorotan and Gregory of Tatev


Colossians 2:8-3:4

Hebrews 11:1-31

Exodus 2:23-3:15;
Joel 2:21-32

Isaiah 45:17-26;
Ephesians 3:14-4:13

Deuteronomy 8:11-9:10; Job 21:1-13:6; Isaiah 42:1-8

Proverbs 20:6-22;
Baruch 4:21-24 ; 
2 Corinthians 4:1-11;
John 9:39-10:10

NAME DAYS celebrated this week: 

Hovhannes, Hovhan, Ohan, John, Datev.

February 20
March 19
April 23
May 21

4:00 pm
Sponsored by the

Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Featured Speaker

Very Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian
Pastor of All Saints Armenian Church of Glenview
"The Spirit of Vartan in Today's Life"
Armenian Evangelical Church of Chicago
905 W Golf Rd, 
Mt Prospect, IL 60056

Hosted by the Women's Guild of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church

February 27, 2016
11:00 am

Commemorating St. Mary, the Mother of God

Click here  for more information.
by Zabel Yessayan
translated into English Edited by Judy Saryan

February 28, 2016
2:00pm meet & greet
2:30pm presentation by Judy Saryan
reception to follow
AGBU Chicago Center
7248 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60631

Click here to see the flyer
Piano Forte Foundation Presents


"Folk Inspirations"
Works by Grieg, Liszt, Komitas and Stravinsky.

Saturday March 12, 2016 
at 7:00 PM
Admission $20

1335 Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605


All young adults ages 18 to 30 are welcomed to participate.

Register by March 20 to secure 
a discounted rate of $1975.00.

For more information visit or contact Jennifer Morris at 
or at 248-648-0702.

July 2-17, 2016

Click her for more details.


Click here  to access our recent 
E-bulletin: Youth Issue 
featuring numerous programs (camps, retreats, training, scholarships, etc) made available to you by our parish, the Diocese, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and the AGBU.

Every Third Friday 

February 19, 2016
March 18, 2016
April 15, 2016
May 20, 2016

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

7248 North Harlem Ave Chicago

Click here for more details

Click here  to read the  latest eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese.
Please park on the street or in the Maple Street Parking Garage at the west end of Clark Street which is free on Sundays.  Thank you.

Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, Pastor
816 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Tel:  847-864-6263