THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
September 12, 2021
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
COVID UPDATE: August 23, 2021, The Montgomery County Office of Public Health advises that masks should be worn in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. Please exercise your best judgment and caring for everyone in our Church community. Thank you
On Saturday, September 11, we remember and reflect upon the twenty years that have passed since terrorists flew multiple planes into the Twin Towers in New York, Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon in our nation’s capital….the worst disaster in our country’s history. Nearly 3,000 people were killed at the three sites, and many more rescue workers as a result of the recovery process. Please offer a prayer for the souls of those who perished and for the countless families who lost their loved ones in a senseless act of hatred.
Scripture and Feast Day Notes
From Today’s Readings
John 3:13-21 The Pharisee Nicodemus has privately sought Jesus to learn more and just heard what it means to be born again in the Holy Spirit, into a new life. Here Jesus tells him that God the Father sent His Son into the world not to condemn it but to save it, so that all who believe in Him might have eternal life. Light has prevailed over darkness and all are invited to live in that light for God’s glory. Discuss/reflect: Imagine that who you are is like a dark room and God’s bright light reveals all its hidden places. What would it disclose?
Galatians 6:14-18 St. Paul declares that the cross is the only source of pride and joy to him and that in Christ the world has been crucified to him. His past, his “tribe,” his earthly affiliations mean nothing – he has been made new in Christ (v.15). Discuss/reflect: Prayerfully read verse 14 as if you were making this declaration. Read and re-read. Is it as true for you as it was for St. Paul? If not, describe what it would mean in your life if it were.
Isaiah 49:13-23 A refrain of joyous comfort from God who declares that His people will never be forgotten. “Lift up your eyes and look around” the Lord declares (v.18). Even if they feel forsaken, in ruin, God reminds them that His love is more powerful than that of a mother for her child. The analogy of a mother’s love in verse 15 is another example of God’s tenderness expressed in female imagery Discuss/reflect: Why is it hard to remember God’s love and blessings in the midst of difficulty? What might it take for you to “shout for joy”?
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is one of the five major feasts (daghavars) of the Armenian Church, observed on the Sunday nearest September 14. On that day, there is a procession and an antasdan service, which is the blessing of the fields, popularly known as the four corners of the world.
In early times, the most important church in Jerusalem was named the Church of the Holy Cross. It had been built over the place where Jesus was crucified. Every year, the bishop would take out a relic of the cross and elevate it over his head for the people to honor and venerate. This ceremony is the origin of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Traditionally, we connect another story to this Feast Day. In the 7th century, the Persians captured the cross of our Lord after devastating the city of Jerusalem. Emperor Heracles fought a battle against them (in which Armenian troops participated) and liberated the cross. Upon his return, he exalted it in Christian lands, including Armenia, through which the victorious army carried it back to Jerusalem. Activity: On this feast day, put a small cross in your pocket and reflect reverently throughout the day on Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice changed your life now and for all eternity.
Department of Christian Education Diocese of the Armenian Churchemail@example.com
“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” (1 Tim 2:8). Prayers are requested for the families of the soldiers killed in the 44-day Artsakh war, the soldiers who are struggling through catastrophic injuries suffered, and those who are still being held as prisoners of war all these months later; Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles, Larry Grocott, Doris Alahverde and Genevieve Miller.
Today’s basil (rahan) is donated by Jeanette Der Hagopian and Family in memory of their beloved parents and grandparents, Ann and Deran Chopoorian.
SPECIAL EVENT – Please make sure you don’t miss the deadline to reserve your place to attend the Celebratory Banquet honoring His Eminence, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, on October 17. Deadline to reserve is September 24. Reservations can also be reserved online at www.holytrinity-pa.org/Vicken50. Any questions can be directed to the Church Office @ 215-663-1600.
COUNTRY STORE IS OPEN AND READY FOR BUSINESS: We are well stocked in our store and invite you to come in after church most Sundays or place an order for pickup with Lorraine Damerjian @ 215-572-8465.
HOLY TRINITY ZOOM BOOK CLUB will meet on Thursday, September 16 at 7:00 pm to discuss “Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover. The conversation will be facilitated by Nancy Hovnanian. All those interested are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link.
Message from Montgomery County: Our community is stronger when we’re all protected. The best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and widely available. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death; and protects vulnerable people in your community who can’t get the vaccine. A healthier community starts with you. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, call the Montgomery County Office of Public Health at 610-278-5117 or visit https://www.montcopa.org/3660/COVID-19-Vaccine.
DIVINE LITURGY IN YOUR HOME
Since we do not stream services at our church every week, we invite you to click on one of the following links to partake of Badarak at any of the following:
https://www.facebook.com/SSSMAAC/live/ (St. Sahag & St. Mesrob Armenian Church)
http://www.stleon.org (St Leon Live Stream)
https://www.facebook.com/stvartancathedral (St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral)
http://www.holy-martyrs.org (Holy Martyrs Live Stream)