THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
January 20, 2019
First Sunday after the Octave of Theophany
Marriage, the Great Mystery of God’s Love
When we come to the New Testament, we find that marriage is elevated to a level not even known among Jews. John, in his Gospel, tells us the famous the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana. As the wedding celebration is moving along, something disastrous takes place. The wine runs out! But Jesus rescues the situation. He instructs them to fill six large jars with water, then draw some out, and take it to the host. That party not only resumed, but was dignified, and not with just any wine, but an exquisitely fine wine.
Jesus’ presence at the wedding in Cana affirms marriage as a good thing, a holy thing. When the wine runs out, it’s Jesus who perpetuates the celebration! Furthermore, it’s notable that Jesus chooses a wedding as the occasion for His very first miracle, which underlines the importance, beauty, and centrality of marriage from a Christian perspective. By changing common water into the finest wine, Jesus elevated marriage from a common, utilitarian practice, a civil affair into a profound sacrament. In fact, marriage is the only sacrament of the Church that is referred to as a “sacrament” in the Holy Scriptures. In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul refers to marriage as a great “mystery.” The word mystery— khorhoort—means “sacrament.” (Traditionally, the Orthodox Churches refer to Sacraments as “Mysteries”).
The marriage of a man and a woman is nothing less than a reflection of God’s love for His people, a force that is so potent that its end result is unity, oneness. In that same passage from Ephesians, which we read at every Armenian wedding service, St. Paul explains that the mystery of two becoming one flesh refers to Christ and the Church. When we celebrate the crowning of a man and a woman, we celebrate Christ’s marriage to the Church. So marriage is a Holy Communion. In other words, Holy Communion is not just something placed on your tongue during the Badarak. It’s the essence of the Gospel: “Emmanuel, God with us.” And that is to what the miracle at Cana points. The Kingdom of God is here, present, in a person, in whom we become one with Him and with each other – the Church, the Body of Christ.
How can God’s relationship to the Church help us understand the holiness and goal of marriage? Is marriage something that can help us draw closer to God and come to a better knowledge of Him? Perhaps we know of an example of a marriage that points us to Christ. Do we understand marriage as spending the rest of our lives with a best friend, or as something more? Do we understand it as salvation, as life-giving, as drawing us closer into life in God, thus choosing a spouse accordingly?
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
1 Timothy 1: 1-11 (page 188) New Testament
John 2: 1-11 (page 85) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 54: 1-13 (pages 730-731) Old Testament
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
– MARGUERITE ARSLANIAN requested by George Arslanian and Family.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” (Romans 15:30) Prayers are requested for Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin, 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 so that peace and kindness will prevail; for our children in their schools – that they may continue their education in a safe environment. As we approach a new year, pray that the “goodwill toward men” that is shown during the Christmas season will carry over into 2019 and beyond.
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.
A NEW ROLE FOR OUR PASTOR: Tour Guide! While at Badarak, from time to time, your eyes may have wandered around our sanctuary and taken in the visual beauty of our stained-glass windows and paintings of saints and scenes and symbols of our faith. You may also have wondered who or what they represent. Today, Fr. Hakob will use his sermon time to give us an informal “tour” of the sacred space that is our light-filled sanctuary. And yes, he will answer questions.
Learn about the Liturgy: January 27: Have you ever wondered about some of the words and actions of the Badarak or been curious about Der Hayr’s elaborate vestments? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then attending The Instructed Liturgy next Sunday, January 27 is a must! This program, being offered at Holy Trinity for the third time, is a unique educational opportunity to help the faithful grow in their knowledge and experience of the Divine Liturgy at the most effective time—as it is unfolding before them. The commentary, which will be offered by Garen and Diana Boghosian, will interrupt the Badarak in progress several times in order to explain what is happening and why.
PLEASE NOTE: Because the introduction is the longest and most informative section of the commentary and comes at the very beginning of Badarak, we must stress the importance of being prompt. It is crucial that you be present for the entire Liturgy, which will begin at 10:30 and end at the usual time.
January is designated FAMILY WORSHIP MONTH!
Under Fr. Hakob’s leadership, our Church School and our Adult Christian Education ministry have partnered to plan a month of educational opportunities for children and adults designed to enrich understanding of the faith. The sacred space of our sanctuary will become a classroom, and EVERYONE is invited! Each Sunday will provide a different experience – we’ll hear a translation of selected sharagans, receive a guided “tour” of the sanctuary, and see the Badarak interrupted with commentary that promises to deepen our knowledge of the Liturgy. You won’t want to miss this! You can pick up a flyer in the narthex or the lobby.
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: Scheduled for February 10, 2019 with alternate snow dates of February 24 or March 10, 2019.
FAR UPDATE: Just a few weeks ago, Tehmine Araskhanyan and her family celebrated a very long-awaited event: the completion of an addition of two new rooms onto their house. This was made possible by FAR’s recently-launched initiative called Assistance to Parentless Children and Youth, which has already supported more than 45 orphanage alumni, orphans and resettled Syrian-Armenian families and youth in myriad ways. The program supports vulnerable young people in need of educational assistance, rent assistance, home construction and/or renovation, as well as access to daily basics. “We hope that this program will provide vulnerable and needy youth with an opportunity to overcome certain barriers and ease their burdens, which have escaped the notice of many institutions for years, and to give them hope for a better life,” said FAR Science and Education Programs Director Eduard Karapetyan. To read more, go to: https://farusa.org/2018/12/14/far-social-programs-new-program-helps-family-improve-their-living-situation/
REMINDER: According to the Diocesan Bylaws, membership dues are to be paid no later than December 31st each year in order to be a member in “good standing” and to be eligible to vote at the annual assembly. Any monies received after that date will be applied to the new year. For any questions regarding your status, please call the church office.
Mark Your Calendars to attend a concert on January 27 by the EAST WEST TRIO, international artists, who will perform a variety of works from many different genres and cultures. Their most recent performance took place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and their performance with us is sure to entertain. Concert will be held in our Sanctuary beginning at 2 pm. No reservation necessary.
2018 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
2 – 68 people $400.00
9 – 75 people $547.00
16 – 120 people $800.00
23 – 115 people $580.00
6 – 207 people $1180.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Sunday Jan 20 Tour of Sanctuary with Fr. Hakob
Saturday Jan 26 – Casino Night
Sunday Jan 27 – East West Trio Concert
Sunday Jan 27 Instructed Liturgy
Sunday February 10th: Annual Parish Assembly (snow dates 2/24 & 3/10)
Sunday February 17 – Blessing of Married Couples
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.
PARKING REMINDER –
> 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.