THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
February 12, 2023
Fifth Sunday after the Octave of Theophany
Scripture Notes for Today’s Readings
John 7: 37-52 During the important Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, Jesus has been teaching the crowds and the Temple authorities. He speaks of the “living water” that will flow from those who believe in him (meaning that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit). People ask one another if he is indeed the Christ. The Temple guards, transfixed by his words, feel powerless to intervene. Discuss/reflect: Why were the guards unable to stop Jesus from speaking (vv 45-46)? In what ways would the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life be like “flowing water?”
Titus 1:1-11 St. Paul advises his protégé Titus to discourage wrong teachings and to carefully consider the qualities of those appointed elders of the community. Discuss/reflect: What are the qualities St. Paul considered important to those who lead a Christian community? (vv 6-9) Why do you think these are mostly about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’? What would you add to the list?
Is 63:18-64:12 Israel continues its frank admission of sinfulness and pleads for God’s merciful intervention. Discuss/reflect: Meditate on 64:8; pray the verse several times slowly. Imagine yourself as soft clay on a potter’s wheel with God’s hands poised to shape you. What do you feel? Do you trust him to shape you?
Presentation of the Lord to the Temple
On February 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple. Dyarn-unt-arach, or Candlemas as it is known in the West, symbolizes the presentation of the 40 day-old Christ Child to the Temple in Jerusalem.
In accordance with the Law of Moses, the infant Christ was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph and presented to God. A man named Simeon was there, to whom it had been revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord. Simeon held the infant in his arms, blessed God, and said, “Lord, let your servant now depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your Salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people. A Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
In the tradition of the Church, Evening Services (Nakhatonak) are conducted on the night preceding the Feast Day. At the conclusion of the service, the priest lights a candle from the Holy Altar, and distributes the flame to all present. With great care, the faithful take the lit candles home to their families.
The morning of the Feast Day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Armenian Churches throughout the world. The hymn offered during the Liturgy commemorating Dyarnuntarach glorifies Simeon’s articulation of “a Light to lighten the Gentiles”. The hymn praising Simeon also lauds the Mystery of the Incarnation.
Many additional customs have been inherited from the past, including the blessing of the four corners of the world in the Andastan Service, the blessing of newlywed couples, as well as offering prayers for the crops and fertility of the fields.
One of the traditions of this Feast Day is “Jumping the Fire” and will take place following Badarak, weather permitting.
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
- MARTHA JEAN KOUZOUYAN requested in loving memory by Hagop, Sonia, Huri, and Shant Ergenian, Loli, Samuel, Johnny, and Sophia Kouzouyan, and her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.
Church School Communion Sunday: Fr. Hakob in today’s sermon will be addressing our Church School students, who will also be receiving communion. As has been our custom, a special “Children’s Confession” will be read by one of our students. We are always enriched by the presence of our children in the sanctuary. Parishioners are encouraged to simply listen attentively or follow the Confession in the Pew Book found on page 48.
Blessing of Marriages: Today married couples of all ages are invited to participate in a brief blessing service after Badarak. The ceremony, which has become an annual tradition at Holy Trinity, is intended to honor the relationship of husband and wife and is an opportunity for couples to rededicate that relationship to God and his sacred purposes. We look forward to seeing our entire church family present to witness the ceremony.
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: Scheduled for March 5, 2023 with alternate snow date of March 12, 2023.
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ email@example.com.
Poon Paregentan Celebration Luncheon: February 19,2023 following services in the church hall. Adults are $10.00 per person, children (ages 5-17) are free. Everyone is welcome.
BOOKSTORE NEWS: As we approach the holy season of Great Lent (which begins on Monday, February 20), we are pleased to announce that “My Lenten Journal: A Spiritual Journey to Easter” by our senior deacon, Albert Keshgegian is now available at our bookstore for $10. Originally published by the Diocese in 1997, it has recently been re-printed for a new audience. A perfect companion for Lent, the journal moves us day by day through Lent by offering meditations based on the biblical reading of each day. It also offers simple, heartfelt prayers, anecdotal information on Scripture and the Armenian Church and reflection questions that help us apply spiritual lessons to our everyday lives. The bookstore is open every Sunday following the Divine Liturgy.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Sunday February 12 – Blessing of Married Couples
Sunday February 19 – Poon Paregentan
Sunday March 5 – ACYOA Soup Sunday and Parish Annual Assembly
Sunday March 12 – Snow date – Parish Assembly
Sunday March 19 – Mitchink luncheon
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 greeting 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.
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and friends when a Holy Trinity church service or program needs to be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other reasons, we request that you check our website (www.holytrinity-pa.org) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/holytrinitypa) for the most accurate information