Sunday Messenger

November 11, 2018

Ninth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Veterans Day

Holy Communion is the GREATEST GIFT
and both the Source and Summit of our Life.

Bestower of mercy, grant that I may come to You with orthodox faith, with good works and by the Communion of Your Holy Body and Blood. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

St Nerses Shnorhali (The Grace-Filled) from With Faith I Confess (Stanza 19)

What the Armenian Orthodox Church believes and confesses about Communion helps to understand why it is essential to encourage and oblige the faithful to frequent Communion. Very simply, we believe in the “Real Presence” and that it is in fact, the very real and life-giving Body and Blood of Jesus Christ which He gave to us for the forgiveness of our sins and for the assurance of eternal life. Simple logic, therefore, dictates that without Communion, we have no forgiveness and no promise, and like a tree cut from its nourishing roots, only to wither and waste away. In the Johannine discourse about the “real presence” Jesus said to them,

“Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6:53-58

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a central tenet of the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and so we believe that, in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is truly though mysteriously present.

This naturally speaks to the Christian responsibility of both parents with young children and Godparents who have pledged to encourage faith formation and church attendance, ideally by setting the example. Our church does not impose rigorous expectations but I truly believe that it should, not to make life difficult but to do everything to achieve the glorious conclusion which is the Life IN Christ. Recently, studies show that no more than half of people who identify as Catholics believe in the Real Presence. I wonder what statistics for Armenians would show? By the frequency of the reception of Communion, I would say we are in a very deep and catastrophic spiritual collapse. This is not only speaking of Rhode Island but for most of the Armenian Nation worldwide. Have you ever wondered what percentage of children being baptized in the church are actually brought up in the church and consistently nurtured with faith formation, and prayer, not to mention regular Communion?

I want to encourage you all to feel the urge, obligation, necessity, and privilege of frequent reception of Holy Communion in a worthy and faithful manner. This will mean preparation, fasting (if health allows) and a sincere confession with the examination. This is nothing unusual but was the norm from the earliest times universally and only got disjointed and broken with Ottoman oppression and persecutions.

We must take our responsibility to set the example to our children, grandchildren, and fellow baptized by our serious approach to the Life in Christ. We are not saved by historical knowledge, church membership, attendance at functions. We are saved by our faith, flowing with right and proper conduct as we are led by the Holy Spirit and regularly refreshed in the sacramental life. As a caution, verse 66 of the above passage shows that many of the disciples rejected Jesus’ invitation to eat and drink His body and Blood and no longer followed Him. Jesus did not call them back or force them in line and into “communion”, but asked those remaining, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” (John 53:67)

Beloved in Christ, once again, let us meditate and pray on the words of our Father, St. Nerses Shnorhali:

Bestower of mercy, grant that I may come to You with orthodox faith, with good works and by the Communion of Your Holy Body and Blood. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
St Nerses Shnorhali (The Grace-Filled)

Fr. Shnork Souin

Ephesians 5: 15-33 (page 177) New Testament
Luke 8: 49-56 (page 62) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 24: 1-12 (pages 700- 701) Old Testament

REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:

Suren Marukyan and Sofya Marukyan requested by the Marukyan Family.

For all deceased Veterans requested by the Primate and the Diocese.

“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1Tim 2:8). Please pray for Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin, Sam Silk, Doris Alahverde, Anto Vartanian, Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Armenoui Aznavuryan and Pearl Jamgochian for a return to better health and to feel the presence of God in their lives. Pray for our country and her leaders; and also for our children who have returned to school – that they may continue their education in a peaceful and safe environment. Continue praying for our sister churches in Kerala, India, and for those affected by Hurricane Florence.

SAVE THE DATE to join us for a Banquet honoring the Deacons and Choir of Holy Trinity Armenian Church on Sunday, November 18, 2018, immediately following Badarak. Contact the office at 215-663-1600 or with any questions. Reservations required by the deadline date of Friday, November 9, 2018. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

Coffee Hour. This year we are looking for individuals or families, to run a Coffee Hour each Sunday. (Those who have been running it, are overloaded with doing more than one job on Sundays.) There are sign-up sheets for the next 4 month of Sundays. Anyone wishing to sponsor a special Coffee Hour (Birthday, Anniversary, 40 Days or more, etc.) other than the normal Coffee Hour must contact Merle Santerian 215-205-1507, to make arrangements 2 weeks ahead of time. Under the new scheduling, if a Sunday has no one signed up on the Board, to run the Coffee Hour, there will be no Coffee Hour that Sunday. So, please volunteer and let’s fill all the Sundays in on the Schedule. It is not that involved, and Merle will explain what you have to do to run one. Any questions just see her on any Sunday or call her at the above phone number. Thanks, for your cooperation! We know how much everyone enjoys the Fellowship Hour and we would like to keep it going.

SCRIPTURE AND SHNORHALI REDUX: Our Adult Christian Education (ACE) ministry is pleased to announce another opportunity for our faithful to examine the writings of St. Nersess Shnorhali (the Grace-filled), one of the most beloved and celebrated saints of the Armenian Church. If you missed the introductory series back in July, don’t fret; that series was not a pre-requisite. We will meet at church on three consecutive Tuesday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30 beginning on November 6. Participants will discover the many biblical images and references that come alive in his work—most especially his popular hymns. Our guides will be Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan (who will be singing for us!) and Deacon Albert Keshgegian. We urge you to take advantage of this unique program and, as always, we encourage you to bring a friend. To register, contact Nancy Basmajian at 215-722-3369 or Flyers are available in the narthex and the church lobby.

FAR UPDATE: Ayo!’s latest project, Revive the Soil, aims to raise $25,000 to purchase a new tractor and a grain drill to benefit the 1,490 families of the Lori Berd Region and its nine surrounding communities. Lori Berd is the second poorest region of Armenia. While there’s fertile land in Lori Berd, much of it is just uncultivated because most people have insufficient agricultural tools which haven’t been replaced since the Soviet era. With the proper tools, more people will be able to grow crops for sale and consumption. “Often people face the choice to remain ‘unemployed’ and sit at home with little to do, or to leave their village and their family to search for work in places like Russia. Combatting this type of unemployment will help to mitigate the poverty faced by so many families in this area, ultimately alleviating their despair. It will also further deter people from leaving their homeland in search of a way to survive,” said Ayo! Programs Manager Laura Gevorgyan. To read more, go to: support Revive the Soil, go to:

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – There’s still one week left to fill a shoebox in order to bring Christmas joy to a child in faraway countries, including Armenia. Pick up a box today and bring it back no later than next Sunday, November 18, which is the final day for collection. For questions, contact Jeanette at 215-672-4188 or

As of now, the bridge reconstruction project at Tookany Creek Parkway and Ashmead Road has been postponed. When we get more details and a timeline, we will update everyone. For now, the roads to reach the church are NOT blocked.

2018 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
2 – 57 people $231.00
9 – 113 people $616.00
16 – 97 people $528.00
23 – 79 people $400.00
30 – 111 people $504.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Tuesdays 13, 20 (Tuesday mornings): Scripture and Shnorhali
Friday Nov 16 Shish Kebab Dinner & Hye Hold’em Tournament
Sunday Nov 18 Banquet

Sunday Dec 16 Lunch with Santa
Sunday Dec 30 Pomegranate Sunday

Men’s Club “200 Club” Ticket Update-WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Additional tickets are now available due to several senior parishioners returning their tickets. We now have nine (9) tickets available for purchase and looking for our younger members to participate. Our first drawing of the season is scheduled for early November and we need 100% sold. Please see/contact Mick, Larry, or Mike Tookmanian. Thank you!

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.

> Non-Disabled Persons parking spaces are designated with white lines.
> Disabled Persons Parking spaces are designated with blue lines and are reserved for vehicles with a State-authorized disability placard or license plate.
> No parking is allowed in the driveway nearest to the kitchen door.
THANK YOU for your cooperation!

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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– find in-depth information on our faith, our parish and our activities?
– sign up for an event online?
– If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at

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.