THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
March 25, 2018
DIVINE LITURGY CELEBRANT today, we welcome as Celebrant of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Ecumenical Director and Diocesan Legate, Asdvadz Oknagan Srpazan Hayr, yev Paree Yegak.
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ (Mt 21:10)
“Who is this,” the amazed crowds asked as Jesus made his final trip to Jerusalem. From the very first ‘Palm Sunday,’ up until today, there are no simple answers to this simple question. This is a king with a great following, who claims his kingdom is not of this Earth. This man Jesus speaks with the authority of God but was from the backwater town of Nazareth. He inspires great devotion from his supporters who spread their jackets and palms before Him, but in a week’s time will be executed by those who fear him.
“Who is this,” the crowds asked. One of Narek’s favorite Armenian books might shed light on this question. Its title is an Armenian proverb; “Ըսէ՛ ով է ընկերդ, ըսեմ ով ես դու | Tell Me Who Your Friends Are, I’ll Tell You Who You Are.” In other words, you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep, so perhaps we can learn who Jesus is by looking to his friends.
Who are our Lord’s closest friends? They are mostly ignorant fishermen, who throughout the Gospels, don’t understand their leader, and in a few short days—to the last man—will abandon him. Either Jesus is the worst leader that ever lived, or He chooses these humble and disobedient ones to show that no one is great until God makes them great. If you have been humbled this Lenten season, by your ignorance, by your weakness, by sickness or pain, may God’s glory show greater in you for your humility. For Jesus is a friend of the humble.
Who else are Jesus’s friends? The sinners; the unfaithful and the addicted as well as the broken and the prodigals. None of the righteous want much to do with Jesus. Indeed they openly criticized him, saying why are you keeping company with sinners? Jesus response, as often, turns conventional wisdom upside down; “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Mk 2:17).” If you have fallen short before God and others this Lenten season, may Jesus the physician make you whole, spiritually, mentally and physically. For Jesus is a friend of the sinner.
Only for Jesus is the ironic saying about friendship literally true, “with friends like this who needs enemies?” Because the truth is that with the race of men, Jesus’ friends and enemies are often ones and the same. The hearts of men are fickle, and we are reminded especially so this week. For on Palm Sunday, the same crowds shouting “Blessing in the highest,” would by week’s end be shouting, “Crucify him.” And all of us know, from even the slightest bit of Lenten self-reflection, that we have a foot in each crowd. For just as soon as we worship, we profane, as soon as we love, we betray; and yet through all this, Jesus knows our struggle and remains our friend.
By FR. HOVNAN DEMERJIAN
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
Philippians 4: 4-7 (page 180) New Testament
Matthew 20: 29-21:17 (pages 20- 21) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Song 1: 1-2:3 (page 608)
Zechariah 9:9-15 (page 926) Old Testament
Procedure for Confession and Communion – Today please remain in your seats for confession and participate by praying the general form of confession which can be found on pages 48-49 in the Pew Book. (Pages 48-49 in the front of the book will be in Armenian; and Pages 48-49 in the back of the book will have the English and transliteration.) In an effort to maintain the solemnity of the sacrament, we ask you to not enter the center aisle until your row is called by a member of the Parish Council. We believe this will enable all who are partaking of Communion quiet time for continued reflection.
“Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”(1 Kings 8:28b). Let us be as servants before God today as we pray for our sisters and brothers: Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian, & Albert Santerian. We especially ask you to pray for the victims, families and students of the tragic school shooting in South Florida who are suffering in countless ways. May God be a strong presence in their lives.
PALM SUNDAY PALMS and PALM SUNDAY FLOWERS are donated by:
• Florence Boyajian in memory of Janice Boyajian Pinkerton
• Donna Sarkisian in memory of Nicole Der Hagopian
• John Terzian in memory of Yolanda Terzian
Choir Collection will be taken today. Thank you for your support.
PALM SUNDAY BANQUET: TODAY is ACYOA DAY. Immediately following Church Services, ACYOA is sponsoring a Banquet. No tickets will be sold at the door.
PALM CROSSES – A sincere thank-you to Alice Torossian who hand made the Palm Crosses that are being distributed today.
YOUGHAKIN DONATION: Traditionally during Easter, gifts of oil, Youghakin donations are made to the Church. The notion is that by offering oil you keep the lamps of the church burning, these would always be resources in order to keep the doors of the church open. Your gift is gratefully appreciated.
EASTER SERVICES 2018
March 29 – Holy Thursday:
– Washing of the Feet 7:00 PM
– Betrayal and Passion of Our Lord 8:00 PM
March 30 – Holy Friday
– The Entombment of Our Lord Jesus Christ 7:00 PM
March 31 – Holy Saturday/Easter Eve
– Divine Liturgy 7:00 PM
– Home Blessing/Fellowship 8:00 PM
April 1 – Easter Sunday
– Morning Services 10:00 AM
– Divine Liturgy 10:30 AM
Please support the Annual Church School Lenten Drive that benefits the needy in both America and Armenia. The students are raising funds two ways. One; by asking for sponsorships for the angels they are decorating. These angels are being hung in the Church School classroom hallway. It would be lovely if the hallway was filled with angels. Second; by putting their weekly collection into a jar marked for this fundraiser. We have placed a tub in the church foyer for you to help. Please be generous. If you would like to sponsor an angel, stop by the Church School office with your donation. Thank you for your support of this worthy cause.
Merle Santerian is seeking parishioners to help her by taking over, preparing and serving at the Sunday Fellowship Hour once a month. A husband and wife team would be nice, or any two parishioners who wish to do it together. Merle would prepare a schedule for those who are interested, where once a month they would run a regular Sunday Fellowship Coffee Hour. Please contact Merle at Coffee Hour, or by cell phone, 215-205-1507; home phone, 215-947-3777, to let her know you are interested and willing to take on this job. She will be happy to fill you in on what the job involves.
Support Me in the Walk to Stop Suicide : Please support me as I walk from dusk till dawn in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk on June 16, 2018. Help end the silence surrounding suicide and depression.ToDonateVisit:TheOvernight.org/participant/Maggie Miller or I have donation forms in my office that can be mailed in or you can send me a check or cash and I will make the donation for you in your name. Please consider helping me reach my donation goal for this very important event. Thank you! Maggie
Using the Pew Book: In order to enrich understanding of the Divine Liturgy, we encourage our faithful to follow along in the large two-part Pew Book. Part One includes the classical Armenian used in the Liturgy; the facing page is the translation in modern Western Armenian. Part Two contains the transliteration of the classical Armenian; the right-hand page has the English translation. This Pew Book includes the prayers of the celebrant usually offered inaudibly. The prayers offered aloud are indicated in boldface type.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Mar 25 Palm Sunday: ACYOA Day/ Palm Sunday Banquet
Mar 29 Holy Thursday: Washing of the Feet Service and Vigil
Mar 30 Holy Friday Burial Service
Mar 31 Easter Eve Liturgy / Community Fellowship Meal
April 1 Easter Sunday
April 2-10 Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
April 8 Guest Celebrant: V. Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian (Diocesan Vicar)
April 15 10:00-10:30 “All Good and Perfect Gifts” (Emily Movsesian0
April 22 10:00-10:30 “Get Me to the Church on Time” (Brian Hoyle)
April 29 10:00-10:30 “My Faith Pilgrimage to Jerusalem” (Yn. Anna Gevorgyan) & Film “Women of 1915” (following Liturgy)
A GENTLE REMINDER – We wish to remind our parishioners that, by order of the Fire Department, no parking is allowed in the Fire Lane, which is the area next to the lawn and the building in the parking lot. In addition, we have noticed cars who have no handicapped placard or identifying license plate parked in the handicapped spaces, especially behind the building, We ask for your courtesy in respecting the rules and leaving the handicapped spaces for those who truly need them.
THE NICENE CREED/ HAVADAMK – This is the Profession of our Faith which is recited every Sunday moments after the Gospel is read from the altar. Sometimes it is sung, but more often it is recited by the Deacons and/or the Choir. We invite you to affirm your own “Profession of Faith” by reciting along with us. God longs for all of us to express our faith and devotion to Him.
THE KISS OF PEACE: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greetings says, Kristos ee mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.
Anyone who wishes to request any Requiem Services MUST inform the office by 1:30pm Wednesday the week before. If you also want to sponsor the Fellowship Hour you MUST call Merle Santerian at 215-947-3777.
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WE ASK THAT EVERYONE KINDLY TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES and all other such electronic devices prior to entering the sanctuary out of respect for the sanctity of our services.