February 7 - 13, 2016
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SUNDAY, February 7, 2016
Eve of Great Lent(Poon Paregentan)

Morning Service  9:00 AM
Sunrise Service   10:00 AM
Divine Liturgy    10:30 AM
Bible Readings:  Isaiah 58:1-14; Romans 13:11-14:23; Matthew 6:1-21

Eve of Great Lent (Poon Paregentan)
Poon Paregentan  is the last Sunday preceding the six-week, forty-day period of Great Lent.  It falls seven weeks prior to the Resurrection (Easter Sunday) and, along with the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter), is a movable feast within an interval of thirty-five days between February 1 and March 7.  The theme of Poon Paregentan is recalling man's life of perfect harmony with God in the Garden of Eden before his fall from grace.  The hymns and odes of the day recall the story of God creating mankind in His image and likeness, placing man sinless in a bountiful garden paradise and allowing him to share in His divinity. The Lenten period of strict fasting, penance and reconciliation ultimately prepares us for Easter-the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 
In the Armenian Church, all Lenten Sundays have a particular theme. The Church provides these themes for the purposes of communicating the teachings of Christian life and of preparing the penitents for communion with Jesus Christ.  
First Sunday Sunday of the Eve of Great Lent
Second Sunday Sunday of the Expulsion
Third Sunday Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Fourth Sunday Sunday of the Steward
Fifth Sunday Sunday of the Judge
Sixth Sunday Sunday of the Advent
Great Lent Begins on February 8
This year, the Armenian Church calendar designates Monday, February 8, as the first day of Great Lent: the season when Christians consciously turn away from worldly matters and make the effort-through prayer, fasting, study, and introspection-to prepare for the spiritual drama of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

The Scriptural basis for Lent resides in the 40-day period Christ spent in the wilderness following his baptism. In the words of St. Matthew's Gospel (4:12): "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry."

During Lent we are called to follow the Holy Spirit to confront our own "inner wilderness"-the realm of spiritual emptiness engendered by sin, laziness, and vanity. Through prayer, fasting, Bible-reading, and self-examination, we are given an opportunity to renew our commitment to God, and gain the strength to work at being more loving, humble, and gentle.  Click here to learn more about the Armenian Church traditions concerning Great Lent.
The Closed Altar (Pagyal Khoran)
Today is the first Sunday of  Great Lent (Medz Bahk) in the Armenian Apostolic Church. Thus, the altar curtain was drawn last night during Saturday evening vespers and will remain closed for the forty days of Great Lent. It will not be reopened until Palm Sunday, which this year falls on March 20. In addition to the drawn altar curtain, Holy Communion will not be offered during Divine Liturgy until Palm Sunday. (Should anyone desire Holy Communion during Great Lent due to illness or some other emergency, please contact Father Hovhan for special dispensation.)
In addition to these two major changes, the following changes will also take place during the celebration of Divine Liturgy throughout the period of Great Lent:
  • There will be no Kiss of Peace.
  • The Holy Gospel Book will not be venerated after service.
  • The organ will not be played as congregants are departing from the sanctuary at the end of service.
  • Congregants will remain silent when exiting the sanctuary after worship to respect those who remain to offer devotional prayers.
Finally, weddings will not be celebrated during Great Lent.
Why Does Our Lent Begin on a Monday Instead of Ash Wednesday?
All the ancient churches observe Lent ( Medz Bahk , meaning "Big Fast") over a period of forty days. The Latin name  Quadragesima corresponds to the Armenian  Karasnortats Bahk ('Fast of Forty Days'). The traditions differ in how to calculate the forty-day period.
In the Western Church Lent originally began six weeks before Easter. Since Sundays during that period were not fasting days, the Quadragesima was four days short. As a result, four days were later added and the beginning of Lent was set on Ash Wednesday, which is six-and-a-half weeks before Easter.
In the Eastern churches the forty-day period is calculated differently. Holy Week, which immediately precedes Easter and is a period of fasting, is not included as a part of Lent but as a separate unite of time. Lent in our tradition begins six weeks prior to Palm Sunday, and is actually of forty-two days duration. The first Sunday of Lent is Poon Paregentan ('Good-living Day'). All the curtains in church must be closed on the Saturday evening preceding Poon Paregentan.
From Frequently Asked Questions about The Armenian Church,
by Very Rev. Fr. Krikor Maksoudian
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.
Ordination of Priests in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On February 2, the Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia, the sacrament of ordination and consecration of priests was offered in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin during the celebration of Divine Liturgy.

The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan, Primate of the Diocese of Aragatsotn;  who anointed and ordained twelve deacons into the Holy Order of Priesthood.

At the end of the ordination ceremony, the newly ordained priests conveyed their first blessings to the attendees.

Click here to read more.
Levon Aronian: Armenia's "David Beckham of chess"
(CNN) When Levon Aronian walks down the street in his native Armenia he's met by cheering crowds; restaurants insist he eats for free; new parents name their babies after him.

Aronian isn't an actor, activist, or astronaut. He's a chess player - the fourth best in the world, to be precise. And in this tiny, ex-Soviet, chess-obsessed country, that means he's also a national hero.

"The first time my fiancĂ©e arrived in Armenia we stopped at one petrol station and they said, 'OK, we're not going to charge you,'" says the 33-year-old dubbed "The David Beckham of Armenia" by the foreign press.

"So for her this is pretty shocking - but that happens all the time," he adds, referring to his Australian girlfriend Arianne Caoili, an international chess champion in her own right whose good looks have spurred the nickname "The Anna Kournikova of Chess."

Click here to Sheena McKenzie's article published by CNN.
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.
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 7, Sunday
February 8, Monday
February 10, Wednesday
February 12, Friday
February 14, Sunday 
February 17, Wednesday
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
Poon Paregentan Sunday                               
Great Lent begins                                    
Lenten Vigil at St. James
Pilgrimage to St. Gregory (Lenten Vigil)
Presentation of the Lord to the Temple. Dyarunaraj. "Open" Badarak
Lenten Vigil at St. James
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


F ebruary 8- February 13
First Week of Great Lent. Fast

February 13    Commemoration of St. Theodoros the Captain


Isaiah 1:16-20

Ezekiel 18:20-23

Exodus 1:1-2:10; 
Joel 1:14-20

Romans 6:3-14

Deuteronomy 6:4-7:10;
Job 6:2-7:13; Isaiah 40:1-8

Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-9:5. Isaiah 62:6-9. Romans 8:28-39. Matthew 10:16-22

NAME DAYS celebrated this week: 

Theodore, Theo, Theodoros
FEBRUARY 6, 2016


at Monty's Elegant Banquets

703 S York Rd,
Bensenville, IL 60106

Click here for more details.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lenten Dinner
6 p.m.
Peace/Rest Service 
7:15 p.m.

Join Fr. Hovhan and 
St. Gregory  Parish for hour of worship and fellowship.


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
Then & Now;
From the perspective of a Dzaraquyn Vartabed"

St. James' Zadig Youth Choir  will perform
under the directions of 
Dn. Kavork Hagopian

Armenian Evangelical Church of Chicago
905 W Golf Rd, 
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
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

February 12 - 14 
at Camp Hickory

Registration deadline in Feb 5.

Click here  for more details. 

Contact Der Hovhan to receive a registration packets.

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
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