Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Sunday Messenger

September 15, 2019

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.

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

“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.

ALTAR FLOWERS: are donated today by Kim and Gena Willard in loving memory of their grandparents, Ann and Deran Chopoorian

We thank Alice and Karnig Torossian for donating the Basil for today’s Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

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 know that 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.

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. The drop off area will be in the hall next to the bar area. Also, we are only accepting items for two weeks, beginning on the Sunday of Church School registration (9/15) and the following Sunday (9/22). The contact number is Sue DerHagopian at 609 280-6047. Were not picking up from people. There won’t be any returns of donated items. Unsold items will be donated to charity.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – it’s not too soon to start shopping for great fillers for your shoeboxes. You’ve done it before and you know how it works! More details will be forthcoming. So….On your mark, get ready, start shopping!!!

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 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: FAR Initiative Encourages Interaction Between Youth and Elderly – Hasmik, 72, Aregnas, 85, Lesing, 80, Roza, 76, and 92-year-old war veteran Mekhak are people who battle loneliness on a daily basis and who could often use a helping hand with maintaining their households. It was a big surprise for them when, one morning, their doorbells rang and they each found a group of 22 young people from FAR’s Mardigian Child Protection Center ready to go to work. Each had volunteered to help local elderly with their gardens and to clean their houses as part of the Center’s new initiative called, “You Are Not Alone,” which aims to not only help older people with their households, but to also facilitate intergenerational interaction between youth and the elderly. Ultimately, the day proved to not only be just about housekeeping but also about sharing some special experiences.Read more here: https://farusa.org/2019/08/22/bcpp-new-mardigian-center-initiative-encourages-interaction-between-youth-and-the-elderly/ To support FAR’s child protection and development projects, go to: https://weareayo.org/donate

2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:

4 – 92 people $457.00
11 – 85 people $366.00
18 – 90 people $495.00

Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday September 15th – Church School Registration
Saturday September 28th – Fall Into Philly Kef @ Holy Trinity (deadline for advanced sales is tonight Sunday)!

25, 26 & 27: Harvest Bazaar

NEW IN BOOKSTORE: With pride, we are pleased to announce “Acoustic Armenia,” a CD by a devoted member of the Holy Trinity family, Karinné Andonian. The music of this album is meant to revere the spirit of Armenian music. The Armenian heart has always sung, and here it sings simply and organically, intending to bring a sense of togetherness and home just as it was when it was created generations ago. Available in Bookstore $12.

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.
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.

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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.