January 11 - 17, 2015
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sixth Day of the Nativity


Morning Service:
Divine Liturgy:
Bible Readings:
Blessing of Water
9:15 AM
10:00 AM
1 Thessalonians 4:12-17; John 11:1-46
Prayer of the Week

O Lord, come near us through your Holy Spirit and bless this water, that this may make homes prosperous, heal the sick, save souls as well as bodies, and be useful for fulfilling all needs. For you are merciful God who loves mankind. Let all who devise evil for your servants take flight from this. Let us call upon your great, glorified and wonderful name, O Lord, and raise to you blessing and glory to the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessing of Water 

In the Armenian Church, each year after Divine Liturgy on January 6, the Blessing of Water ceremony takes place as a symbolic commemoration of the Baptism of Christ. The ceremony, called Churorhnek in Armenian, was  originally performed in the Holy Land at the River Jordan on the Theophany, January 6. As word spread of this beautiful ceremony throughout the Holy Land, churches outside of Jerusalem began to perform it as well at various riverbanks and seashores. Later, because of Islamic prohibitions under the Ottoman Empire, this and other public outdoor Christian rituals were restricted to the confines of church courtyards.

To perform this sacred rite, first, a large basin of water is placed on a table in front of the altar. Then, to signify Christ's entry into the River Jordan, the celebrant immerses a cross into the water. Next, the water is blessed, and a silver dove-shaped container of chrism (muron) is brought forth in procession as the choir sings the hymn Looys ee Looso (Light of Light). The celebrant takes this dove-shaped container, raises it above the basin and dispenses a few drops of the holy oil into the water through the mouth of the dove. The muron is kept in a dove-shaped container to symbolize the peace and grace the Holy Spirit dispenses on those anointed by the sacred water at this ceremony.

Nativity Appreciation Luncheon
On Sunday, January 11- The Morning Service begins at 9:15 a.m., and the Divine Liturgy follows at 10:00 a.m. The "BLESSING OF WATER" ceremony will follow the Divine Liturgy. Mr. Simon Simonian and his sons Bob and Eddie will serve as "godfathers" of the Blessing of Water service.

Women's Guild of St. James invites everybody to their traditional NATIVITY APPRECIATION LUNCHEON to honor deacons, choir members, and outgoing Parish Council members.

Click here for more details.

Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ


Each year on January 13, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As the evangelist St. Luke writes in his Gospel, according to Jewish tradition, "On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise Him, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived" (2:21). Jesus is a Hebrew word meaning "savior." According to the Gospel of St. Luke, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary to give her the good tidings of the birth of the Son of the Most High, he told Mary that she was to name the baby Jesus: "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus" (1:31). Parallel to the name Jesus is the name Christ, which is a Greek word meaning "consecrated," corresponding to the Hebrew word messiah. 

On the Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all Armenian Churches. On the eve of this Feast, a special ceremony is also conducted following evening services.

Feast of the Birth of St. John the Forerunner (St. John the Baptist)

John the Baptist


The birth of St. John the Baptist is described in detail in Luke 1:5-25. One day, Zechariah, father of St John the Baptist, was doing his work as a priest in the temple and was burning incense at the altar. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and said that God had heard his prayer and that his wife would bear him a son. Zechariah was to name him John. Zechariah didn't believe the angel as he was an old man and his wife was old, too. As a result of not believing the angel, Zechariah became mute and remained silent until John the Baptist's birth.


St. John the Baptist, who would later baptize Our Savior, had become aware of and rejoiced the birth of Jesus even before His birth. According to the Evangelist, Luke, when St. Mary, Holy Mother of God, visited Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist, the latter, being filled with the Holy Spirit cried out, "Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord's mother comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness" (1:43-44).


Elizabeth is addressing all Christians throughout the world in her message on this feast day when she says, "How happy you are to believe that the Lord's message to you will come true!" (Luke 1:45). 

Gift of Love
Christmas Yughakin

In the Holy Season of Theophany, it has become tradition in our church to donate Theophany Yughakins as gifts of love in memory or in honor of our loved ones.  


The Yughakin tradition is an ancient custom that goes back to the Old Testament. The faithful would bring oil to the temple of God so that His servants would have enough to eat. Later on, this custom entered Christianity when the faithful would bring oil to church in order to illuminate it by lighting the lamps in the church. Yughakin in Armenian means "price of oil." 


In our churches today, we obviously do not burn oil in order to illuminate the sanctuary, but rather gas and electricity. Thus, Yughakin now is simply a donation made to cover operating expenses.


Let us continue the custom of Yughakin to keep the lights of St. James forever burning! Please use the special Yughakin form and envelope that have been created for your convenience.

Christmas Card. You may also make in lieu of Christmas card donation and have your name appear in our Christmas Sunday Bulletins and Deseelk (Vision) Newsletter wishing all of your friends at St. James Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Click here to donate online.

Home Blessing

One of the holy traditions of the Armenian Church is the Home Blessing Service, which according to St. Gregory of Datev was established by Our Savior Jesus Christ, when after His Resurrection He entered the upper room and blessed the disciples. When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews,Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." (John. 20:19). During the apostolic times, the twelve apostles of Jesus visited the homes of the faithful to bless them and to spread the good news of Christ's birth and His Resurrection. Likewise their followers - priests and bishops, entered the homes ofthe faithful on the occasions of Theophany and Easter (Holy Resurrection) to tell the good news of our Lord's Nativity and to bless them and their homes through a special Service.

Through the Home Blessing Service, the house of the faithful becomes a small church. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2). During the Service the priest prays to God and asks Him to keep the home, its inhabitants, and the children in good health, so that they live a devout life, glorify the name of Almighty God and heighten the Holy Church.

Love and peace are established in the sanctified home. Therefore, it is desirable that the faithful devoutly keep the graces from heaven, which filled their homes. But if sinful behavior dominates in the house it can never become a church inhabited by the Holy Trinity, saints and angels.

According to the sacred traditions of the Armenian Church, God's blessing is asked for homes on different occasions, like on the Nativity and the Resurrection of Christ, as well as on the joyous occasion of moving into a new home.

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.

Prayer and Worship Calls for Christian Unity

Congregations representing the diverse Christian churches and denominations in Evanston will come together on Thursday, January 22, 2015, for Prayer & Worship for Christian Unity. Hosted by St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Evanston, 1004 Greenwood Street, all are welcome to attend at 7:00 pm.

The theme for the 2015 observance is taken from the Gospel of John where Jesus said: "Give me a drink." (John 4:7) We are invited to try water from a different well and also to offer a little of our own. The Rev. Dr. Karen E. Mosby, pastor of Second Baptist Church, will preach. Special music will be provided by a combination of choirs and soloists from many congregations. Participating churches include: St. James Armenian, Fisher Memorial AME Zion, NU Alice Millar Chapel, St. Nicholas Catholic, New Hope CME, St. Mary's Catholic, Mt. Pisgah Ministry, St. Paul's Lutheran, Second Baptist, Northminster Presbyterian, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Ebenezer AME, Grace Lutheran, and First Presbyterian. 

Begun in 1908, celebrations calling for Christian Unity occur each year in cities and towns across the country and around the world. 

The public is cordially invited. Off-street parking is available at St. Mary's Catholic (entrance off of Maple Street) and First Presbyterian (entrance off of Chicago Ave.)

Click here to see the flyer.

Commemoration: The Armenian Genocide: American Response and American Philanthropy
Sunday, February 8

1:30 - 4:00 pm

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with a powerful symposium that examines the United States' response to the genocide through the lens of the Near East Relief, the first non-governmental, non-sectarian, ecumenical effort of its kind. Panelists: Dr. Stephen Smith, USC Shoah Foundation; Dr. Peter Balakian, Colgate University; Shant Mardirossian, Near East Foundation; and Omer Ismail, Enough Project and Darfur genocide survivor.


Co-presented by Near East Relief Historical Society/Near East Foundation, in partnership with Armenian National Committee of Illinois.


Click here to RSVP.

Altar Guild's Wish List

1. Two processional lanterns. $250 (each). Pledged

2.  Painting of St. Taddeus the Apostle. $1000. Pledged.

3. Painting of St. Bartholomew the Apostle. $1000. Not pledged.

4.  Painting of St. Stephen the Protodeacon. $1000. Not pledged.

5.  Priest's 'half-vestments'. $500. Pledged.

6.  Censer stand. $400. Donated.


Sunday School's Wish List

1.   Cabinet for storage of books and supplies. Not pledged.

2.   Room furniture for students and teachers. Not pledged.


Calendar of worship services and events at St. James

January 10

January 11

January 25

January 28

February 14

February 14

February 15

Saturday Evening Service-Kirakamtits (5:00 PM) 

Blessing of the Water and Appreciation Luncheon

Annual Parish Assembly

Midday Hour (11:30 AM)

Saturday Evening Service-Kirakamtits (5:00 PM) 

Poon Paregentan Dance

Poon Paregentan Sunday

St James steeple


January 13 - Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

January 15 - Feast of the Birth of St. John the Forerunner (St. John the Baptist)

January 17 - Commemoration of the Patriarch St. Peter, Bishop St. Vlas and Deacon Abisolom



StJames Sketch


12:30 PM


Please consider contributing to the historic purchase of our parish khachkar by January 31. Refer to the khachkar letters below or ask Der Hovhan or any Parish Council member.

Click here to read Der Hovhan's letter

Click here to read Parish Council's letter

Click here to print out the donation form.

A Celebration of Life and Love

Click here to see the flyer for details.

Click here for opportunities to showcase your business.

January 18th is the last day to buy tickets at discounted price.

To buy tickets online visit 



Friday, February 13, 2015 
7:30 pm

Click here for more details.

St. James has recently begun sending prayer cards requested by parishioners to mark occasions such as baptisms, weddings, bereavement and healing. A copy of the request form was sent to parishioners' homes. You can also pick up additional copies in the sanctuary or in Nishan Hall. Please see Der Hovhan if you have any questions. 

A reminder of our new initiative to reach those parishioners in need of assistance during times of illness, death and other life difficulties. Please bring to the Parish Council or Der Hovhan's attention when need arises, and as always, we are looking for volunteers to lend their time.

"Please help us collect materials for Open Books, a local non-profit working to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond! There will be a box in the church foyer to collect any new or used books in good condition as well as CDs and DVDs in playable condition. Examples of types of books include fiction, nonfiction, craft books, cookbooks, children's books, textbooks, encyclopedias, and more! Thank you for helping support literacy in our community!"

For more information contact 

Selena Groh.

There are still several dozen frozen dumplings left over from the recent Fall Food Bazaar, $10/dozen. 

Also we have some lahmajoon left for sale, $20/dozen.

Please see any Women's Guild or Parish Council Member to purchase.

Thank You!

Divine Liturgy
10:00 AM on Sundays

Morning Services
9:15 AM on Sundays

Midday Hour (Wednesdays)
January 28
11:30 AM

Vespers (Saturdays) Kirakamtits
January 10, February 14
5:00 PM



Please consider donating flowers to adorn the Holy Altar. You may either bring flowers or make a monetary donation towards the purchase.

Sign-up sheet is in the Nishan Hall.


Missed or accidentally deleted any of the previous E-Bulletins? 
You can read all our previous issues in the archive here.

Parking is FREE on Sundays at the parking garage on Maple street. Main entrance on Maple Avenue & Clark Street.

Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, Pastor
816 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60201