E-Newsletter Archive stmaryaac.orge

September 9

  No: 36/2022

St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church 
Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
Address: 4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 
Tel: 202-363-1923

From Symbol of Death to Promise of Life

We see it soaring atop church spires and standing solemnly over graves. It ornaments our places of worship and dangles from the neck to rest close to the heart. It flashes through our field of vision when an ambulance speeds by on a mission of mercy, and lends a reserved dignity to the crests of great universities.


It is the Sign of the Cross: the universal symbol of Christianity, which lends its eloquent simplicity of form to the distinctive virtues of our religion. Faith, hope, and charity. Righteousness, compassion, and mercy. Comfort in the trials of living, and the promise of life after death.


These are the impressions we take for granted after 2,000 years of Christian civilization. But it was not always this way. In ancient times, the cross was an object of fear and loathing—and in this guise, the cross was the instrument of painful death for our Lord, Jesus Christ. But the light cast by his resurrection gave the cross a new symbolic meaning.


Christ’s apostle St. James was the first to perceive the cross not with fear, but with reverence and awe. In raising up the cross, and bowing before it, St. James showed the world that Christ’s resurrection marked a decisive turning point in history. The old era’s symbol of death would henceforth be known as the Christian era’s symbol of everlasting Life.


This is one of the stories the Armenian Church will remember this Sunday on Khatchveratz: the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. As a major feast day of the church calendar, it’s the first of several celebrations in the season of our Lord’s Cross. Click here to view a Bread and Salt video on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

After the Badarak Anantasdan service (blessing of the fields) will be conducted during which the processional cross is adorned with basil (a symbol of royalty) and the four corners of the church will be blessed as a sign of the sanctification of the world. The association of this sweet-smelling plant with the celebration of this Feast is because basil in the early decades of Christianity was a symbol of royalty, befitting the Saviour who was crucified as a King.

Church traditions preserve also a beautiful story of the miraculous growth of basil on the ground at the foot of the Cross of the Lord after it had been removed from there. Basil, according to pious traditions, continued to grow on that ground despite the faithful cutting and taking it home.

September 11, 2022


Morning Service 

10:00 AM

Holy Badarak 

10:30 AM


Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan


All Ushers

Parish Council Members on Duty

All Parish Council Officers 


Mrs.Edita Kalayjian


Mrs. Karine Muradyan

Bible Readings: 

Isaiah 49.13-23

Galatians 6.14-18

John 3.13-21

To request a Hokehankist/Requiem Service 

Please contact the Church Office

by 12:00 Noon on Thursday


or Click here to see the form

Prayer of the Week

Lord, please keep watch over your faithful people, and protect the holy soil of Artsakh and Armenia—now and always. Foil every aggressor against our homeland. Defend the innocent and voiceless, Lord. Console all those who grieve, and remember those who sacrificed their very lives in your Name. Deliver your faithful children from conflict, and bestow your peace on all mankind.

     Guard us, O Christ our God, in peace under the shadow of your holy and venerable Cross. Deliver us from the visible and invisible enemy. Make us worthy to give you thanks and to glorify you together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always. Amen.

Please tune in to St. Mary YouTube channel for the upcoming services and Badaraks
Click Here to Access St. Mary YouTube Channel
Click Here to Access St. Mary Facebook Page

Join St. Mary's Prayer Group

We are initiating a new form of ministry at St. Mary Armenian Church. For parishioners who would like to make an electronic prayer request, they can do so by Clicking Here.

A group of volunteers will receive the request and pray at their earliest convenience. Additionally, a new physical prayer request box will be placed at the entrance of St. Mary Armenian Church with blank forms that anyone can fill out and drop in the box. These requests will be retrieved weekly and delivered to the members of the volunteer prayer group. If you would like to become one of the volunteers of the Prayer Group please email us. 

Please click on the link below to present your request. 

Click her to submit your request

Shnorhali school celebrates the “Day of Knowledge and Education”.

August 28th marked the beginning of the new academic year and St. Mary Church’s Shnorhali School has once again opened its doors to the children in our Armenian community. The school’s Principal and staff of the school heralded the beginning of the school year with the celebrations of the Day of Knowledge and Education. Following the tradition, the school’s Administration and staff commenced the first day of the academic year by testing and evaluating the student’s knowledge of the Armenian language, history, and culture. Thereafter, the children and parents full of excitement and anticipation met with the teachers and spend a fun day getting to know each other.

The registration day concluded with the students and their parents’ participating in the Holy Patarag. During Patarag, Father Hovsep Karapetyan performed a special blessing ceremony, stressing the importance of religion, language, culture, and heritage in our lives. He also stressed the significance of the patriotic mission of teaching these values to our children and wished everyone wisdom to make the new academic year a successful year full of new achievements.

School's academic curriculum has been developed to serve the needs and demands of our community. School administration and teachers have painstakingly developed this specialized curriculum in order to provide each student with an individualized approach to learning. This year, a new learning platform, Conversational Armenian, has been introduced to the curriculum. This class will provide interested students with the opportunity to develop fluency in the Armenian language to and practice verbal communication with a native Armenian speaker. History lessons will be taught as a separate subject. And, since music and art are an integral part of our Armenian heritage and culture, the School will also offer music and art classes. Educating our children in religion, Armenian language, Armenian history and culture and the desire to raise and educate a new generation of Armenian students that will help to preserve our heritage and culture, is the primary mission and priority of Shnorhali school.

Click here to read in Armenian
Click here to view more photos 
Shnorhali School for School Registration form
Click here for Tuition and Registration info
Click here to see the 2021-2022  Academic Year Overview 

St. Mary ACYOA Juniors Upcoming Events

Sundays starting Sept 11 th at 11 AM: NEW Senior High Bible Study

A new Bible study for teens will be held on Sundays starting Sept 11th. Please come and join our leader, Zaven Kalayjian at 11 am in the office. Afterward, teens will volunteer to help the Shnorhali School during lunch hour. Sign up for the Bible Study via the Shnorhali school form by Clicking Here

Sunday, Sept 18 th at 12:30 PM: ACYOA Juniors Monthly Juniors Meeting

Please come to our first Juniors meeting of the year, where we will be talking about our plans for the year. Come to badarak to sing in the choir, serve on the altar, read the epistle lesson, or usher.  The meeting will be held in the office after badarak. We will have pizza, hear from a speaker, and hang out with friends. See you in the church office Sunday, Sept 18 th.

Sunday, Sept 18 th at 9:00 PM: ACYOA Juniors Parents Meeting

Calling all ACYOA Junior's parents. We will hold a short zoom meeting to discuss potential Fall events and event dates. Please join by Clicking Here


ACYOA Juniors is a church youth group for students 13-18 years old, who have not yet graduated high school. 12-year-olds may participate in local events.

For questions concerning any ACYOA Jr events please feel free to contact:  

Yn Jennifer Karapetyan ynjennifer@gmail.com or 202-509-5005

Becky Bagdasarian rebeccaBagdasarian@yahoo.com or 571-213-7035

ACYOA Circles of the Cross

Focusing on the five areas necessary for a complete youth ministry platform including worship, witness, service, education, and fellowship, the Cross of Circles ensures that the ACYOA provides well-balanced programming that continues to pursue its mission of bringing the youth of the Armenian Church closer to Christ.

Click Here to Learn more about ACYOA

Annual Food Festival Preparation 

The St. Mary Women's Guild is pleased to share that we will soon begin efforts to prepare for our Church's Annual Food Festival in the upcoming weeks. The Annual Festival is a wonderful opportunity for all in our community to unite in support of our beloved St. Mary Church!

All are welcome to attend our workshops and no previous experience in food preparation is required! Come and learn all the Armenian culinary treasures of our ancestors while having fun and supporting a great cause! 

Please click on the signupgenius link below to learn more. Also, see the Upcoming events flyer by Clicking Here


Click Here to Sign up  
Click Here for Upcoming Events 

Save the Date

On the occasion of

the 90th Anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Community of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area,

the Pastor, Parish Council, and the Organizing Committee invite you to the Celebration Banquet, which will take place on December 10, 2022.

Details to follow.


Shnorhali Armenian School is looking for Armenian teachers

St. Mary’s Shnorhali Armenian School is looking for enthusiastic, self-motivated, and devoted individuals who have a love for the Armenian language and a passion for helping to educate our children.

For more information, please contact Shnorhali School’s Principal Nunik Nishanian at (703) 835-1181 or shnorhalischool@gmail.com

Armenian Speaking Caregivers Available

For information please contact the church office at 202-363-1923 or  stmarychurchdc@gmail.com

St. Mary Armenian Church
Legacy Brick Drive
Honor your loved ones with
a memorial that will last a lifetime

Buy a brick and leave your legacy at St. Mary Armenian Church.
When you buy a brick, it is then engraved with your specified words or message, installed in front of the church, and becomes
a memory to view for years to come.

Laser engraved bricks will be displayed in our Church plaza,
on both sides of our beautiful Khatchkar, and can be dedicated to those
you wish to remember, honor Loved Ones, commemorate a
a special milestone like a baptism or wedding, or
acknowledge an organization or business.
Buy a Brick and Leave Your Legacy at
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church

Bricks can be ordered and purchased by clicking below and
filling out a simple online order form.

You can choose to have a 4" x 8" brick
which includes your preselected
3 lines of 20 characters per line of text.

Or you can choose to have the
Armenian Cross artwork on the 4" x 8" brick
which includes your preselected
3 lines of 15 characters per line of text.

Order Today While Quantities Last!

Payment can be made with PayPal or a Credit Card.
Legacy Brick Donations are Tax Deductible.

Urging the World Council of Churches to Be “A Moral Organization”

In stirring words delivered before the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Eastern Diocese’s Legate and Ecumenical Director, spoke out passionately about the ongoing aggressions committed against Artsakh and the Armenian people.


“Why do we forget what is happening still in Armenia?” he said. “Every other week, one or two villages are occupied. What happened to the POWs—110 to 118 prisoners of war in the last two years? There is no government in the world that is pushing the Turkish and Azeri governments to free those young people. Where were we when 5,000 young people were killed?”


Archbishop Aykazian offered his remarks during the inaugural assembly session of September 1. He spoke in the broader context of the need for the WCC to take strong moral stances against injustice done to people anywhere in the world—and to hold government bodies accountable when they fail to defend the innocent against aggression and violence.


“This organization must be a moral organization,” he urged, “and care for every nation, every minority, every people that are suffering.”


Some 5,000 participants, representing 351 Christian churches and denominations across the globe, were present at the WCC gathering in Karlsruhe, Germany—the largest, most comprehensive assemblage of the ecumenical organization’s membership. The assembly convened from August 31 to September 8.


At the conclusion of the assembly, the WCC issued an official statement on the 2020 Nagorno-Karabagh war, which appeals for the immediate release of Armenian POWs, urges international bodies to protect the Armenian heritage in Artsakh, and enlists WCC member churches to stand in solidarity with their fellow Christians in Armenia and Arstakh.


At the same gathering, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, was elected as one of the eight presidents of the World Council of Churches, representing the Oriental Orthodox family of churches. Catholicos Aram has been a leading figure in the WCC and other international ecumenical bodies throughout his long, distinguished ministry.


In addition, the WCC central committee elected Archbishop Vicken Aykazian as one of its two vice moderators.


Archbishop Aykazian was part of the larger Armenian Church delegation representing the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, taking part in the WCC Assembly with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Also joining the delegation from the Eastern Diocese was Yn. Arpi Kouzouian of Cambridge, MA.


Click the following links to:

  • WATCH a recording of Archbishop Aykazian’s remarks.
  • READ an extensive article, with links to photos and more.
  • READ the WCC statement on the 2020 Artsakh war.

A Solemn Prayer, 21 Years After 9/11

Sunday will mark the passage of 21 years since the infamous day of September 11, 2001. Across our nation, people will solemnly commemorate the anniversary this weekend. As the day approaches, we offer prayers to God for His mercy, protection, and remembrance:


Lord Jesus Christ our God, twenty-one years ago, in a dark hour for our beloved country of America, at a time of fear and turmoil, we turned to you for strength, understanding, and guidance. And again today, we ask you to hear our prayers.


Remember the souls of all those who perished in the terrible calamities of September 11, 2001, in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Receive them into the peace of your heavenly kingdom, and never cease to console their loved ones, who will always look back with grief upon their losses.


Bless, too, those who lost their lives or their loved ones in the two decades since that dreadful day. Tragically, casualties of injury, death, and misery have continued up to the present, and we pray fervently for an end to violence everywhere, and the establishment of your peace among humankind.


Click here to read more.


This year, the anniversary coincides with the Armenian Church’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. To read a reflection on September 11 and the meaning of Christ’s Cross, click here.


Above: Steel beams fused together into the "Hero's Cross," which remained standing upright amid the wreckage of the Twin Towers, in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York.

IN-PERSON EVENT: Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble 30th Anniversary

The Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble of St. Vartan Cathedral of New York will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m., with a performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ.


For this exceptional event, the Shushi Ensemble will be joined by award-winning Armenian artists from Armenia, Artsakh, and Canada—including Sirusho, Andre, and Elie Berberian—in a showcase of patriotic songs and dance, under the direction and choreography of Seta Paskalian-Kantardjian.


For tickets call (972) 674-8744Click here to view a flyer.



“Safe Shelter” for Residents of an Armenian Border Village

“Safe Shelter” is the name of the latest project of the Fund for Armenian Relief’s crowd-sourcing platform, Ayo! It is so named because the effort focuses on protecting the safety of small children attending the Nerkin Khndzoresk daycare facility in Siunik, a region near the border with Azerbaijan.


With their village situated a mere 600 meters from the border, the children of Nerkin Khndzoresk—in addition to other local residents—must huddle in the center’s basement for safety, given the ever-present reality of the hostile attack. However, without proper ventilation, toilets, or doors, the basement is unsafe.


Project “Safe Shelter” aims to transform this space into a suitable bunker, where children and adults will be able to remain protected for any duration of lockdown. Click the link to learn more, and to support the project, on the Ayo! website.


September 11

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 21

Armenian Independence Day


Armenian Cultural Month

October 7-8-9

Fall Food Festival

October 23

Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross

November 21

Presentation of the Holy Mother-of-God to the Temple

November 24

Thanksgiving Day

December 3

St Mary's 90th Anniversary Banquet 

December 4

St Mary's 90th Anniversary Celebration

December 9

Feast of the Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary


Anne Andonian, Aram Andonian, Hripsime ApkarianLucy Badalian,  Allison BajgerEllen Boudreau, Mari Dogum, Anahit Greene, Antaram Grigoryan, Susana Grigoryan, Simon Gukasyan, Karen Hatchik, Charles Hoke, Tamara Hramushina, Takvur Hubi, Jo-Anna Jacob, Edward Jamgochian, Yn. Anahid Kalayjian, Meline Kaehn, Michael Kolenick, Jack Kooyoomjian, Anahid Ghazarian Luka, Queen Manoogian, Susanna Mkrtchyan, Haik Nalchaian, Armen Mark Nostrant, Hacik Ozdul, Mary Levon Panossian, Robert Schlee, Tamara Shatvoryan, Bob Semonian, Mihran Tavoukjian, Tonyan David


"No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.  John 3:13-21

Արդ, ոչ ոք երկինք չի ելել, եթէ ոչ նա, որ իջաւ երկնքից՝ մարդու Որդին, որ երկնքից էր։ 14Եւ ինչպէս որ Մովսէսը անապատում բարձրացրեց օձը, այնպէս էլ մարդու Որդին պէտք է բարձրանայ, 15որպէս¬զի, ով նրան հաւատում է, յաւիտենական կեանքն ընդունի. 16քանի որ Աստուած այնքան սիրեց աշխարհը, որ մինչեւ իսկ իր միածին Որդուն տուեց, որպէսզի, ով նրան հաւատում է, չկորչի, այլ ընդունի յաւիտենական կեանքը. 17որովհետեւ Աստուած իր Որդուն չուղարկեց աշխարհ, որ դատապարտի աշխարհը, այլ՝ որպէսզի աշխարհը նրանով փրկուի։ 18Ով նրան հաւատում է, չպիտի դատապարտուի, եւ ով նրան չի հաւատում, արդէն իսկ դատապարտուած է, քանի որ Աստըծու միածին Որդու անուանը չհաւատաց։ 19Եւ դատաստանը այսպէ՛ս իսկ է. որ լոյսը եկաւ աշխարհ, սակայն մարդիկ խաւարն աւելի սիրեցին, քան լոյսը, որովհետեւ իրենց գործեր ը չար էին. 20որովհետեւ, ով չարիք է գործում, ատում է լոյսը եւ չի գալիս դէպի լոյսը, որպէսզի նրա գործերը իր երեսովը չտան։ 21Իսկ ով կատարում է այն, ինչ ճշմարիտ է, գալիս է դէպի լոյսը, որպէսզի նրա գործերը յայտնի լինեն, թէ Աստուծով կատարուեցին»։  Յովհաննէս 3:13-21

Please Stay Current with Your Membership
St. Mary Church brings us together to worship, educate, and serve, yet we need your help to sustain this mission. We call upon you to renew, or become a new member, because dues are the largest part of our church income to help keep our beloved parish doors open.
Your Membership 
Help us fulfill our mission to sustain and grow our ministries, worship programs and activities to strengthen our church family for generations to come. Thank you for your generosity and support. To Learn More About Membership 

To Become A Member 
Our gift shop is furnished with distinctive and unique items from Armenians all over the world. Some of the items are Armenian crosses, jewelry, paintings, religious tiles and tapestry icons, children and adult books, T-shirts, hats, bags, Armenian CDs, Armenian artwork, and much more. 
The Gift Shop is open every Sunday after Church services and by appointment, call the church office at 202-363-1923 or send an e-mail to stmarychurchdc@gmail.com
Please check out newly arrived Armenian Souvenirs directly from Artsakh at our Gift Shop.
Before COVID 19 and before the 2020 aggression against free and democratic Armenian Artsakh, the number of tourists visiting our second Armenian homeland was nearing 50.000 tourists per year. Today, during the first six months of 2021, the number was less than 1.500. Artsakh’s economy has suffered significantly because of the war. At st Mary’s gift store, we sell souvenirs that arrived directly from Artsakh. By purchasing gifts from Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, we help the people of our homeland; we highlight that our solidarity.

Please visit our store or contact us if interested. We receive coffee-jazzve, souvenir-plates, souvenir magnets, and many more directly from Stepanakert.
St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church 
Serves the Greater Washington, DC and Baltimore communities. Our mission is to proclaim and grow together in our Apostolic Faith in Christ Jesus and to sustain our Christian Armenian identity. We celebrate our long and enduring legacy, 
the beautiful traditions of our religious and national heritage, with Christian servitude, and with love and reverence towards our Church. 
We invite you and welcome you to be a part of our church,worship with us, and experience the true love of Christ as we grow together as a community.
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St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church relies on the generosity of individual donors so that it may continue ensuring service to God and fellowship to the Armenian Community. Your support is deeply appreciated.
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St. Mary Armenian Church, Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Pastor
4125 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC 20016 | stmarychurchdc@gmail.com
| 202-363-1923 | www.stmaryaac.org
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