Great Barekendan

Sunday Messenger

February 19, 2023

Great Barekendan

Scripture and Feast Day Notes

From Today’s Readings

Matthew 6:1-21 In His ‘sermon on the mount,’ Jesus teaches the virtue of humble, private acts of righteousness: giving without fanfare; praying privately, using humble words Jesus provides (the Lord’s prayer); being generous in forgiveness; fasting without anyone knowing; and treasuring what is eternal in value, not what will rot and rust. Discuss/reflect: Jesus calls us to a higher morality, one that asks us to do the right thing not for public approbation, not to please people, but to please God.  In what specific ways can doing this make for a better, happier life?

Romans 13:11-14:25 St. Paul urges his listeners to clothe themselves in Christ, living in ways that honor Him. And whatever holy disciplines they choose, whether it is setting aside a day as holy, fasting, or even not fasting, they should do so respecting others’ feelings and needs. “Let’s stop passing judgment on one another or putting obstacles in another’s way…” (14:13) Discuss/reflect: Instead of judging, what should occupy our energy? Review 14:13, 17-18 and look ahead to 15:2 for answers.

Is 58:1-14 With a typical prophet’s passion, Isaiah shares God’s ire with a people who approach Him “as if they were a nation that does what is right…” (v.2) God demands an answer: Is fasting just a matter of sackcloth and ashes? Or is true piety about lifting up the oppressed, feeding the hungry and clothing the poor? This piety will touch God’s heart and then you will find “joy in the Lord…and He will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land.” (58:14) Discuss/reflect: What a ride that will be! Are you engaged in the god-pleasing acts of verses 6-7? If not, what can you begin to do so that your faith is more than ‘empty pious gestures?

Today is Poon Paregentan! Tomorrow is the first day of Great Lent
Poon Paregentan  does not actually fall in Great Lent. However, it is traditionally counted as the first step on the Lenten journey. Poon means ‘real’ or ‘true.’ Since every fasting period begins with a festival day or paregentan, this one is marked as the ‘true’ one, the most important, since it precedes the greatest feast of the church, Easter. This ‘day of good living’ is often observed with festivities, dancing, and a carnival atmosphere to remind us all of the joy and vitality of Paradise and life itself. It also was the day to feast on and finish up all non-Lenten foods such as meat, dairy products, and fish. The sharagan (hymn) of the day sings of our earthly nature made glorious in the ‘garden of delight’ but also reminds us that even Adam and Eve had to exercise control and, sadly, failed to do so. Great Lent begins in the Armenian Church on Monday, the day after Poon Paregentan.

Department of Christian Education/ Diocese of the Armenian Church of America/ (Eastern)/

LENTEN SERIESOur Adult Christian Education ministry has planned an enlightening and diverse program for its 2023 series; flyers with details about the hybrid (Zoom and In-Person) initiative are available in the narthex. As in the last two years, the series begins with a Zoom Rest Service featuring the penitential and eloquent “I Confess with Faith” prayers of St. Nersess Shnorhali. The 24 prayers will be read by several Holy Trinity married couples led by Fr. Hakob and Yn. Anna.  The service will be held via Zoom on Friday evening, February 24 at 7:00. Those who wish to attend the Zoom programs are asked to contact in order to receive the link.

ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: Scheduled for March 5, 2023 with alternate snow date of March 12, 2023.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

  • Sunday February 19 – Poon Paregentan
  • Sunday March 5 – ACYOA Soup Sunday and Parish Annual Assembly
  • Sunday March 12 – Snow date – Parish Assembly
  • Sunday March 19 – Mitchink luncheon and guest speaker

Poon Paregentan Celebration Luncheon: Today following services in the church hall. Adults are $10.00 per person, children (ages 5-17) are free. RSVP by February 12,2023. Everyone is welcome.

Our congregation has been asked to please hold special collections in order to send aid to help ameliorate the suffering of the Earthquake Victims. A collection will be taken on Sunday, February 19. Checks can be made to Holy Trinity – Memo:  Earthquake..

SAVE THE DATE if you would like to help us prepare meals for the isolated and elderly shut-ins serviced by the Caring for Friends organization.  With hopeful hearts, we will be gathering on Saturday, March 11 @ 10 am to reach our goal of 200 meals.  With your help, we can do it.  For students who would like to earn credit for a “Service Day,” an appropriate letter will be given for active participation. Please RSVP to Jeanette Der Hagopian by March 1 @ 215-672-4188 or

BOOKSTORE NEWS: As we approach the holy season of Great Lent (which begins on Monday, February 20), we are pleased to announce that “My Lenten Journal: A Spiritual Journey to Easter” by our senior deacon, Albert Keshgegian is now available at our bookstore for $10. Originally published by the Diocese in 1997, it has recently been re-printed for a new audience.  A perfect companion for Lent, the journal moves us day by day through Lent by offering meditations based on the biblical reading of each day. It also offers simple, heartfelt prayers, anecdotal information on Scripture and the Armenian Church and reflection questions that help us apply spiritual lessons to our everyday lives.  The bookstore is open every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy.

Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person.  For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @

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 greeting 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.

EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and friends when a Holy Trinity church service or program needs to be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other reasons, we request that you check our website ( or facebook page ( for the most accurate information