February 28 - March 5, 2016
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our videos on YouTube
SUNDAY, February 28, 2016
Sunday of the Steward
Morning Service:          9:00 AM         
Sunrise Service:          10:00 AM
Divine Liturgy:            10:30 AM
Bible Readings:           Isaiah 56:1-57:21; Ephesians 4:17-5:14; Luke 16:1-31 
Sunday of the Steward
The fourth Sunday of Great Lent is called the Sunday of the Steward, and the message of the day comes from the Parable of the Unjust Steward. This Parable is mentioned only in the Gospel of St. Luke (16:1-13). In the Parable, a wealthy man learns that the steward of his house (the supervisor of his holdings) is squandering his possessions. The rich man, then, calls forth the steward and asks for an accounting of his possessions, having already decided to release him from employment.
The steward, realizing that he may soon be without work, begins to act properly so that in the near future, if he is indeed fired, others may accept him into their homes. He calls forth those men who are in debt to his employer and relieves them of certain portions of their debts. Upon learning of this ploy, the wealthy man praises the steward for his contrivance rather than chastising him for it.
At first glance, there appears a great contradiction in the master's commendation. But the unjust steward grants back to the debtors only that which he had added to the original debt owed his master for his own gain. Thus, the wealthy man is not injured by the actions of his steward. The master praises the steward for foregoing the gains he would have otherwise realized through these improper transactions. Here, high praise is given not only for the steward's just behavior but for his resignation and his abstaining from future sinful behavior, personal qualities that are at the heart of the self-sacrifice we make during Great Lent.
Thus, Lent teaches mankind about the ability we each have to resign ourselves from all forms of temptation, the beginning of which is self-control and self-denial, even if we have been living sinfully. Christ says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). This parable reminds every one of us that the journey towards salvation must include self-control and resignation. The allegorical meaning of the parable involves the wealthy man symbolizing God and the unjust steward symbolizing the sinner. For an extended period of time, the sinner carelessly wastes the graces granted by God until God finally calls him forth for an accounting of his life. The unjust steward symbolizes all of us who, upon regretting our own actions, forgive those who have sinned against us and become true seekers of righteousness and justice. 
Median Day of Great Lent (Meejeenk) 
As established by Archbishop Malachia Ormanian, the 24th day (or the fourth Wednesday) of Great Lent marks the halfway point of this most sacred season. From the halfway point forward, a number of hymns written by the composer Steghare sung during the Peace Service held in the evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Another Meejeenk custom involves a folk tradition in which the housewife of every household bakes an unleavened cake and puts a coin in it while baking. The rest of the year will be successful for the family member who finds this coin in his/her portion of the cake.
Commemoration of the Forty Holy Martyrs
The Forty Holy Martyrs who perished c. 320 AD were Christians from various towns and cities of Lesser Armenia. They served as soldiers in the royal regiment of Sebastia. Upon the decree of the Roman Emperor Likianos, interrogations were organized by Lucias, Duke of Caesarea, to discover the Christian soldiers. Forty of the soldiers remained steadfast in their faith, defied the judges by their brave answers and were imprisoned. On a cold winter night, the soldiers were thrown into a lake near Sebastia to freeze them to death.

At dawn, halos are seen encircling the heads of the soldiers. One of the guards charged with the execution of the forty, upon witnessing the holy phenomenon, accepts Christ and throws himself into the lake to be martyred along with the others. In the morning, it becomes apparent that through a divine miracle, the forty soldiers have been saved from freezing. This infuriates their captors who execute them thus making them martyrs. (One of the forty soldiers, being unable to endure the torments, comes out of the water and finds refuge in a bathhouse built on the banks. The lone soldier dies and is deprived of both earthly and heavenly life.)

The martyrs' remains are buried in Sebastia, where subsequently a forty-domed Cathedral is built. The Cathedral of Sebastia stood for nearly one thousand years until the invasion of Tamerlane and the Mongols at the end of the 14th Century. The name Forty Martyrs Cathedral has survived to this day.
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.

Arevagal: The Sunrise Service

By Fr. Zaven Arzumanian
Central Theme of This Service
It is exclusively the light. The word Looys (light) occurs in the Sunrise Service 32 times, of which 17 alone are part of the distinctive hymn which begins with Looys, Ararich looso, arachin Looys (Light, Creator of light, primal Light).

As an introduction the sunrise is proclaimed which is for sure the creation of the Creator. The background of the service being the physical light of the sun which shines both on the righteous and the sinners, and which makes manifest the deeds of men, good and evil alike, the essence of the Sunrise Service is the shining of the divine light through the three Persons of the divine light through the tree Persons of the Holy Trinity. This divine light is identified by St. Nerses Shnorhali as the "intelligible light" which becomes brighter and more meaningful to us on earth through the intercession of the saints.

Whereas the transitional theme of this service is found in the prayers addressed to the saints, the conclusive theme is a direction toward the way Janabarh, the Truth and Life. For a change this is the only service where we do not find a dichotomy of the two opposing forces: light and darkness; sinfulness and righteousness. There is only one use of the word Khavar (darkness) and one use of the word Meghk (sin), a case which makes the Sunrise Service the more pleasant, positive and sustaining service.

The intelligible light is its central theme, which is at the same time the light of God, above and beyond the sun light, both of which however make manifest our daily lives and our deeds, leaving behind no room for darkness, except of darkness becomes our choice. The central theme of the intelligible light is preceded by the profession of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and by the intercession of saints, and finally is concluded in the finding of the true way.
( 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.
Saturday Afternoon Worship Service
St. James Armenian Church cordially invites you and your family to  SATURDAY AFTERNOON WORSHIP SERVICE on March 19. 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.
Lending Help to Syrian Armenians  
Chicago Armenians undertook two projects last month to raise money and awareness about the plight of Syrian Christians. Local Armenian churches and the Armenian Relief Society hosted a "Night at the Theatre" event at Raven Theatre to raise funds for Syrian Armenians. Theater co-founder Michael Menendian donated proceeds from ticket sales to the relief effort.
St. James Church of Evanston also participated in the "Evanston Prayer for Christian Unity Service" at the Ebenezer AME Church, where the plate collection was donated to Syrian relief. 
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 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
March 9, Wednesday
March 11, Friday

March 13, Sunday
March 16, Wednesday 
March 18, Friday
March 19, Saturday
March 19, Saturday

March 20, Sunday
March 20, Sunday
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
Lenten Vigil  at St. James
Lenten Vigil at All Saints Armenian Church

Sunday of the Advent
Lenten Vigil at St. James
Family Lenten Dinner at AGBU
Acolyte Training
Saturday Afternoon Worship (in English)

Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday Luncheon


February 28- March 5   
Fourth Week of Great Lent. Fast

March 2
Median Day of Great Lent ( Meejeenk)

March 5          Commemoration of the Forty Holy Martyrs


Jeremiah 32:19-44

Job 38:1-39:36

Exodus 3:16-22; Joel 3:1-8

1 Corinthians 8:5-9:23

Deuteronomy 9:11-23;
Job 16:1-17:16;
Isaiah 43:22-44:8

Wisdom 3:1-8;
Nahum 2:1-4; Isiah 43:1-3; Ephesians 6:10-18;
Mathew 13:43-52

NAME DAYS celebrated this week: 

Mardiros, Martik, Manoug .

March 19
April 23
May 21

4:00 pm

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

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 

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

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

7248 North Harlem Ave Chicago
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


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