Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Sunday Messenger

September 16, 2018

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Armenians and Their Cross

As individuals, as a Church and as a nation Armenians take the cross very personally. Jerusalem’s Patriarch Torkom Koushagian once said

We Armenians have completely identified our cross with our soul….We have all shared in its experience and kept it alive throughout our existence. We have painted it with our own blood. As a result, just as the Bible was translated into Armenian, the cross has been “translated” directly into our hearts and into our spiritual life. It is truly us. Living with the cross in the 20th century—not living with it as if it were an object on a wall, or even an object of meditation, but as our own, now, is a vital part of our Christian practice.

Armenians believe that every race, nation and group of people has its own cross, uniquely expressive of its identity and faith experience. The Irish have a cross; the Germans have a cross; the Americans have a cross; the Lebanese have a cross. Your family has its cross; my family has its cross. Your parish has its cross; my seminary has its cross.

So it is no surprise that depictions of the cross are ubiquitous wherever Armenians have lived. The landscape of Armenia itself is sprinkled with carved standing crosses called khachkars. Thousands more are found decorating structures. Many serve as tombstones: as the sign of immortality, the cross identifies the space of death as being also the space of life.

Armenians are not shy about the cross. On the contrary. Where it is possible that a khachkar won’t be recognized from a distance, it is carved on a stone shaped like a cross and sited where it will be most visible.

The Armenian cross also defines space. Picture the cross as a flat carving; then in your mind expand it into a three-dimensional hollow structure twenty or thirty feet tall. Put a roof on it. And you have an Armenian church. You may play with the length of the cross’s arms, as Armenian architects have done over the centuries, but whatever the ultimate proportions, an Armenian church building is the cross as space set aside for the meeting of heaven and earth. To stand in the middle of the church, under the light of the dome, is to stand at the spot where the arms of the cross join. All formal Armenian prayer is prayed from within the cross. The cross as church has room within it for all who live or have lived or will live. In it is space to speak to and be heard by God.

May we as Adam’s present children be sheltered at the foot of our cross, whatever it is. May it come to be our reality. Through it may we in all our experiences of death also experience what it means to become part of the new humanity intended by God from the beginning. As the Jerusalem Patriarch from whom I quoted earlier said, Let us not live with the cross as if it were an object on a wall, or even an object of meditation, but as our own, now.

By Dr. Roberta Ervine


Galatians 6: 14-18 (page 174) New Testament
John 3: 13-21 (page 86) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 49: 13-23 (page 726) Old Testament

“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1Tim 2:8). Please pray for Doris Alahverde, Anto Vartanian, Butch Kumkumian, 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: A Banquet honoring The Deacons and Choir of Holy Trinity Armenian Church Sunday, November 18, 2018 immediately following Badarak Stay tuned for more information Contact Holy Trinity Office 215-663-1600or office@holytrinity-pa.org with questions.

  • The Basil used today in celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was donated by Alice and Karnig Torossian.

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.

Opioid and other addictions are a big problem in this country, affecting all of us, including members of the Armenian Church and our parish. Join us TODAY during Fellowship when we will hear a message from our new primate, Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, and see a video with Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, which includes a first-person account of addiction. Find out what the Church, and we as individual members of the Church, can do about this crisis: provide love, comfort, hope and God’s healing power.

Outreach Volunteers Needed: TODAY is the last day to sign up to help prepare and package meals for the elderly and isolated shuts-ins in the Delaware Valley area through the organization Aid for Friends. Join us at church on Saturday, September 22 @ 10 am to be part of this very rewarding experience. For students who would like to earn credit for a “Service Day,” an appropriate letter will be given for participation. Must know how many are coming which will determine how many meals we make, so please contact Jeanette Der Hagopian (choirboss@hotmail.com or 215-672-4188) TODAY

GIFT AUCTION: We are in need of donations for the Harvest Bazaar Gift Auction and are asking for your help. We will again feature our Raffle ticket items valued at over $100 and our silent auction for special items. Our goal is to obtain new gifts each in value of $100 or more but we are happy to accept gifts of various values that we can combine in our baskets. Gifts can be geared toward younger children like Star Wars, Spiderman, Pokemon, or other trending items for kids. For teenagers (movie theater basket) or adults (golf, tennis, restaurants, massage/beauty or home). Gift baskets and gift certificates are most appreciated. We also will have letters you can take to various businesses to see if they would provide a $20 to $30 gift certificate for free. If you own a business and are willing to donate, please let us know. Wine or liquor are popular items that we can combine with other items. For the special items we would look for large value items (over $200), liquor, jewelry, oriental rugs for home, car (new or used) and vacation houses. In addition, if anyone could lend us their beach house for a weekend or week, that would help to generate funds. Cash will also be appreciated to purchase desirable items. Please call or email Cece Garibian at 215-884-9292 or cecelia714@gmail.com OR Tanya Paretchan at 215-947-4394 or tparetchan@hotmail.com, for more details. Thank you in advance for all your generosity and support.

FAR UPDATE: Update: Sun observations and planet gazes were the must-do activities at Byurakan Science Camp this year. The summer camp held at Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory hosted 50 children (aged 9 to 14). FAR has supported the camp for five years. It enables children to combine study and leisure, art and science through different mediums. On one day, campers may hear lectures about astrophysics and civil rights. On another day, they may visit churches and castles, draw pictures or make videos. “We hope that the days spent here and the knowledge we deliver will encourage children to be interested in astronomy, or at least in science,” said Camp Coordinator Sona Farmanyan. To learn more, go to:http://farusa.org/2018/09/05/far-partnerships-camp-aims-to-develop-youths-interest-in-science-and-art/To support FAR’s youth and education programs, go to: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/armenianrelief/

2018 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
5 – 74 people $450.00
12 – 128 people $845.00
19 – 92 people $437.00
26 – 75 people $408.00

2 – ? people $226.00
9 – ? people $563.00

Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday September 16th: FEAST OF EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS & Coffee Hour Program on “Opioid Addiction, Families in Crisis, and the Armenian Church”
Saturday, Sept 22: Aid for Friends cooking session – volunteers needed!


Sunday, Oct 16: 2 pm Intercommunal at St. Gregory Illumimator
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 26, 27 & 28: Harvest Bazaar


Sunday November 18: Banquet

Men’s Club “200 Club” Ticket Information
The 2018 – 19 tickets have been mailed or are being distributed at church. Please submit your payments before the end of September. Note: We have six (6) tickets available for purchase. The first drawing of the season is scheduled for early November. Thank you & Good Luck!

ATTIC TREASURES will return again to the Harvest Bazaar this fall. With limited storage space available at church, we are more focused on items we can accept to be sold at the Attic Treasures table. Gently Used Items must be CLEAN & UNDAMAGED. Desired items are jewelry, women’s accessories, housewares, and small furnishings. Toys, clothing, books straw baskets & florist vases will not be accepted this year . Attic Treasures should be placed on the left side inside the coat room located in the lobby. This is a new location. Please, DO NOT LEAVE in the Sunday School area. 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.

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.

Would you like to:
– receive this Bulletin on Friday via email?
– request a Hokehankist, house blessing or hall rental information?
– 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.