Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God

Sunday Messenger

August 18, 2019

Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God

Offering Our First Fruits

On this feast day, following Badarak, we celebrate a ceremony of blessing grapes called Khaghoghorhnek. Traditionally, our ancestors conducted this blessing whenever grapes were ripe and harvested in Armenia, and so it is not originally or directly associated with the veneration of the Mother of God. It echoes the ancient Law of Moses which required the people to sacrificially offer the finest portion of their first fruits as thanksgiving to God from whom all gifts are given.

Just as grapes were the most precious of crops in Armenia, we offer what is most precious to us – our lives. The love of Christ knew no limits. His death on the Cross was because of our own sin and ugliness, and so we don’t offer just a portion of our lives, but our lives in their entirety, our very being. As we bring to God abundant clusters of grapes, we give thanks and acknowledge our dependence on God for everything, knowing that “all good gifts and all perfect bounties come down from above” (p. 53) as the people sing together at the end of Badarak, itself a “Eucharist,” a thanksgiving offering.

In another way, grapes remind us of the Holy Communion we share with God by way of his Body and Blood, the flesh of humanity that Jesus took on through the Virgin Mary. Just as we offer grapes to God and receive them back as blessed, the gifts of the bread and wine are brought to the holy altar, offered to God on behalf of the people so that he will bless them and give them back to us as his own Body and Blood. As a community, we essentially bring to God our selves, our most basic needs to sustain our lives (symbolized by wheat and grapes), and ask him to take us, change us, to bless us by giving himself back to his people for forgiveness, healing, and salvation.

On this feast day, the Church also gives thanks to God for the gift of his Mother and her gift to the Church and to the world. She set aside her agenda and aspirations for her own life, and instead offered herself fully to God for his will and work in the world, as should we. Like the grapes, like the bread and wine, we too are gifts offered to God, and so we offer ourselves as disciples for doing his will and work in the world. Let us remember her example, not just through our beautiful ancestral customs, but through authentic Christ-infused living. On this day, let us remember the Mother of God as did St. Gregory of Narek when he referred to her as a “blessed cluster of grapes from ancient days.”


Galatians 3: 29-4:7 (page 172) New Testament
Luke 1: 26-38 (page 51) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 7:10-16 (pages 687-688) Old Testament

“I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:1-2 NLT).  Please pray for Merle Santerian, Steve Hovnanian, Alice Charles,Armen Mirakian and Pearl Jamgochian for a return to improved health and to feel the presence of God in their lives.Please also keep in your prayers the leaders and well-being of both the United States and Armenia.

NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.

Did you knowthat when we participate in Soorp Badarak (Divine Liturgy), we are also being invited to a meal (communion) offered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As such, we should dress in a manner worthy of that invitation.  We ask our faithful to dress appropriately for worship.  Please, no very short dresses, shorts or bare shoulders. Thank you.

2019 Attendance:        Plate/Candle Collection:
7 – 42 people             $235.00
14 – 49 people             $359.00
21 – 27 people             $121.00
28 – 98 people             $801.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

August 18th– Feast of the Assumption/Blessing of the Grapes

Sunday September 15th-Church School Registration
Saturday September 28th- Fall Into Philly Kef @ Holy Trinity

25, 26 & 27: Harvest Bazaar

NO COFFEE HOUR TODAY – Because Hall is Rented

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 inboldface type.

THE NICENE CREED/ HAVADAMK – This is the Profession of our Faith which is often sung after the Gospel is read from the altar. Occasionally, it will be 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 Jeanette Der Hagopian at 215-672-4188.

Would you like to:

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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 www.holytrinity-pa.org

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.

On the occasion of the Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rite of the Blessing of Grapes, the following  have made donations to our Church:

* Grapes donated and prepared by Alice and Karnig Torossian
In memory of Diramayr Hripsime Ayvazian and Maxim Torossian
* In honor of DIRAMAYR MARO
* Sarkis & Katie Hashas.
*Richard and Linda Vishab
*Ayshe Chakmaklian
*Victoria Shakarjian
*In memory of ARMEN J. ALAHVERDE SR. by Doris E. Alahverde & Family
*In memory of MARGUERITE ARSLANIAN by George Arslanian
*In memory of Anna & Haroutune Kazigian, Mugerdich Kazigian, Vera Kazigian,Victoria & Yeznig Kazigian
Richard Kazigian, Florence & Charles Altoonian, Hripsima & Hagop Altoonian,
Ike Altoonian, Joseph Carr by Gary and Eileen Altoonian
* In memory of the BANDAIAN FAMILY by John S. Bandaian Sr.
*In memory of JOHN D. MIRIJANIAN by Jan D. Mirijanian
*In memory of BOYAJIAN FAMILY by Florence Boyajian
*In memory of CHARLES DONOIAN by Marguerite Donoian
*In memory of ALBERT & NAOMI KAPEGHIAN by Janice & Robert King Family
*In memory of HELEN VISHAB by Jack Vishab
*For a Special Thanksgiving by Ms. Angel Tookmanian
*In memory of  DAMERJIAN & HINTLIAN FAMILIES by Robert and Lorraine Damerjian
*In memory of ANTRANIK HACIKIAN & SAHAK MARKARIAN by Vartouhi Hacikian
by Stephen and Nancy Hovnanian
*In memory of HAIG HAGOPIAN by Gay, Tina & Marie Hagopian
*In memory of ARSEN & KATHERINE KASHKASHIAN by Ronald A. Kashkashian
*In memory of SOOREN & MARY PARETCHAN by Michael and Tanya Paretchan
* In memory of MARY MIRAKIAN, on her name day, by David and Marta Brann.
*In memory of ELIZABETH & SOUREN SADJIAN by Ernie & Chris Sadjian-Peacock
*In memory of MIKE & ROSE KARABIAN & FLORENCE DANDEGIAN by Ms. Alice Karabian.
*In memory of GARABED & ELIZABETH TOOKMANIAN by Brenda & Hank LeCompte
*In memory of SOUREN & ELIZABETH SADJIAN by Dave and Terri Mears
*In memory of DIRAMAYR SERPOUHI ARZOUMANIAN by Hagop Arzoumanian
*In memory of JOHN & ROSE SERABIAN by Merle Santerian
*In memory of HAYARPIE GARIBIAN & JEAN QUINN by Dr. and Mrs. Garo & Cecelia Garibian
*In memory of JEAN MARDIGIAN by Mr. H. Mardigian
HELEN VISHAB by Greg and Diane Yazujian
*In memory of EDWARD ZARZATIAN by Rosemarie Zarzatian