Feast of the Catholic Church of Holy Etchmiadzin

Sunday Messenger

June 18, 2017

Feast of the Catholic Church of Holy Etchmiadzin
Father’s Day

With Der Hakob away leading a pilgrimage in Armenia, we welcome our guest clergy and good friend to our parish, Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian who will celebrate Badarak for us. Orhnya Der, Der Karekin.

Feast of the Catholicon of Holy Etchmiadzin

One of the most celebrated feasts of the Armenian Church is the day when the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was established, according to the inspired vision of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

According to tradition, and hagiographic sources, following the declaration of Christianity as the Official Religion of Armenia in 301 AD, St. Gregory has a famous vision, wherein the Only Begotten Son of God – Jesus Christ, descends from Heaven, his face lit aglow, and with the strike of a golden hammer designates the site where the Mother Cathedral for the entire Armenian nation is to be founded. Hence, the name of the spiritual center for the Armenians, “Etchmiadzin”, means “the Descent of the Only Begotten” (Etch – descent, mi – only, dzin – begotten.)

St. Gregory relayed the story about his vision to the Armenian King Tiridates, under whose royal auspices and support the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin was built. King Tiridates and Queen Ashkhen participated in the construction, as did the entire capital city of Vagharshapat by bringing stones from the biblical mountain of Ararat to lay the foundations. In the site marked by Christ, a Holy Altar of Descent was built.

According of Patriarch Malachia Ormanian, from the days of her establishment, the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin has been the residence of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Thus, it is the Mother See of the Armenian Church, and as such, her universal, spiritual and administrative headquarters.

Another title bestowed upon the cathedral is “Catholic” – not to be confused with the Roman Catholic faith. Catholic is a Greek word meaning “Universal”. Theologically, the cathedral has been called “catholic” as a description of the catholicity (universality) of the Church.

The feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin is celebrated 64 days following Easter. A Divine Liturgy is celebrated, and during services, a special hymn is sung, written by the eighth century Catholicos Sahak of Dzorap, telling of St. Gregory’s vision and the Cathedral’s construction.


  • Hebrews 9: 1-10 (pages 200-201) New Testament
  • John 10: 22-30 (page 95) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

Our Prayers Are Powerful. Let us emulate St. Paul, who said, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Eph 1:16). Pray especially for Doris Alahverde, Alyce Jilajian and John Arslanian. For those who are struggling with illness, hardship and grief, let us remember them in prayer. Pray for Der Hakob and those who are with him on a pilgrimage to Armenia. Continue to pray for the injustice and inhumanity that continues in the world. Indeed, our prayers are powerful.

No Services on Sunday, July 2, but the Church will be open between 11 am and 1 pm for prayers and lighting candles.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: Starting June 11 through Labor Day, our Coffee Hour will change for the Summer. We are going to have a “POT LUCK” Coffee Hour. The church will provide the coffee but we are going to rely on those who wish to enjoy refreshments with their coffee and chat with friends to please bring something for the buffet table (enough to serve 8 people), either homemade or store bought. You will not be asked to make a donation if you are kind enough to bring refreshment on any given Sunday.
This is being done in order to relieve the burden of the same few people making sure that we have refreshments every Sunday. We hope you will take this opportunity to share your bounty with our church family on these Sundays.

FAR Spotlight: A young war widow from the cross-border village of Movses with 3 children, Ruzanna was unable to supply her extended family with basic necessities. Through the Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program, Ruzanna received a sewing machine, 165 square feet of fabric and instruction giving her a new career. Ruzanna now heads her own business making more than $40.00 a month in profit and, most importantly, the ability to provide for her family. To learn more about FAR, its mission and programs, please visit http://farusa.org .

SIGN UP TODAY: Home Bible Studies! We are reaching out to those of you who have been unable to participate in our adult education initiatives due to work conflicts and/or travel distance. We will be hosting evening programs in three neighborhoods in June. For more details and to find a home near you, see flyer available in the narthex or the church lobby. Please remember to RSVP to your host—contact information is on the flyer.

June 21: At the home of Albert and Patrice Keshgegian
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Facilitator: Albert Keshgegian

ATTIC TREASURES: If you’re cleaning out your closets, we would greatly appreciate donations of your CLEAN & UNDAMAGED gently used items to be sold at the Attic Treasures table during the Harvest Bazaar. No toys, clothing or books (except cookbooks). Desired items are jewelry, women’s accessories, housewares, small furnishings, and more, more, more. Attic treasures can be left in the 1st room on the right down the Sunday School hall. Call Ayshe Chakmaklian for more info. at 610-828-2411. If you need a New Jersey pick up call Grace Meranshian at 856-217-9333.

MEN’S CLUB NEWS “200 CLUB” – Raffle Tickets for the upcoming 2017-18 season are now available. A one-time donation of $100 will entitle you to eight (8) monthly drawings, with five winners drawn each month. Your ticket number could be a winner more than once this coming season! The first drawing will take place in November 2017 and the last in June 2018. Prizes range from $100 to $1,000 and your chance of winning is much better than the Lottery! See Larry DerHagopian or Mick Paretchan after church service today.

VARIOUS DONATED ITEMS are available to anyone who may have a need for them. They include several walkers and a rollator (walker with a seat). Further information can be obtained by calling Craig Mirijanian at 818-618-9843.

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.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2 – Evening Bible Study
July 23 – Feast of Transfiguration
Aug 13 — Feast of Assumption – Blessing of Grapes

NEW in the Bookstore! Communicate in Holiness: Reflections on the Divine Liturgy by Deacon Albert Keshgegian. In his most recent book, Dn. Albert clearly and succinctly presents the whole process of our Divine Liturgy, as well as the meanings and messages that each part has for us. He has also included many important and beautiful descriptive pictures of the Liturgy. 78 pages, $10. (The Bookstore is open every Sunday after Liturgy—please stop in and browse.)

COUNTRY STORE: The Country Store is open every Sunday after church services in the kitchen. All are welcome.

If you know of anyone who is a shut-in, or ill and would like a visit from Der Hayr, please call the office and give their name to Maggie our church secretary.

CHURCH ETIQUETTE: We wish to remind you, our faithful, to please maintain a quiet and contemplative manner as you approach the chancel for communion. We especially ask that you refrain from conversation while waiting your turn for communion as well as afterwards as you return to your pew. Thank you.

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.