THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 16, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Advent
St. Nicholas of Myra
St. Nicholas of Myra (270-343), also known as Santa Claus, was one of 318 bishops who attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. The council was called together to discuss the beliefs of Arius. While Arius was defending his teachings of Christ being created by God the Father and thus, being lesser and inferior, St. Nicholas, being filled with the love of Christ, arose from his seat, approached Arius and smacked him across the face.
The bishops present, stunned by the actions of St. Nicholas, stripped him of his episcopal symbols, namely the Gospels and the omophorion (an episcopal vestment) and then Emperor Constantine placed him in prison. During the night, in a dream, St. Nicholas was visited by Christ, who asked him, “Why are you here?”
St. Nicholas responded, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.” Christ then gave him the Gospels and then Mary, the Mother of God, bestowed upon him the omophorion. The next morning, when the bishops gathered together to discuss how they slept, one recalled a dream he had. In it Christ and the Mother of God granted the imprisoned St. Nicholas the Gospels and the omophorion. Upon hearing this, another bishop said he had the same dream. Then another and another until they realized that all the bishops had the same dream.
Recognizing the miracle that took place, they raced to the prison to find the sleeping St. Nicholas in his jail cell with the Gospels and omophorion placed neatly at his side. Emperor Constantine freed him from prison and the bishops reinstated him to his episcopate.
The slap that St. Nicholas laid on Arius’s face was one of the first times a Christian would defend the Christian faith with his hands – and it would not be the last. Throughout history, especially Armenian history, Christians have defended their faith so that future generations could worship the Holy Trinity. From the battle of Avarayr and the Genocide to the War for Artsakh and the present day war in Syria, Christians use their hands to defend their faith and the Gospels.
Yet how many of us defend our faith or are willing to protect it? How many of us sit back and let others disgrace and ridicule our faith? How many of us watch and wait for others to defend it, while Christ is waiting for us to defend Him? We are called to be preachers of the Gospel and also defenders. Let us make an effort, in the coming new year, to stand up for Christ, the Gospels and our faith and let us also follow St. Nicholas’s example and words that he uttered to our Lord, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.”
By Fr. Ghevond Ajamian
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
Hebrews 1: 1-14 (page 196) New Testament
Luke 17: 1-10 (page 73) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 38: 1-8 (page 714) Old Testament
REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:
– ARAM ‘BUTCH’ KUMKUMIAN on the 40th Day of His eternal life requested by The Wiker, Kumkumian, Bokas, Jerrahian and Murray Families.
Hokehankist today will be for:
– SERAK & GLADYS ASLANIAN and CHARLES & ALICE BASMAJIAN requested in memory from their loving family Steven, Dorie, Megan & Danny Aslanian. – ALICE SARKISSIAN (1st Anniversary of Her eternal life) requested in loving memory of his wife and their mother Jean Sarkissian, Rosanne & Paul Sarkissian.
– LARRY DER HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life), ANN (10 years) & DERAN (31 years) CHOPOORIAN requested in loving memory by Jeanette Der Hagopian and Family.
– MURAD MURADYAN and SHOGHIK EPREMYAN requested by the Marukyan Family.
ALTAR FLOWERS: are donated today by Rosanne and Paul Sarkissian in loving memory of their mother ALICE SARKISSIAN on the 1st Anniversary of Her eternal life.
“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1Tim 2:8). Please pray for Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin, Anto Vartanian, 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. Pray also especially for the families of the more than fifty people who have lost their lives, as well as their homes, in the deadliest of fires in California history. Include in your prayers those firefighters who have been risking their lives to help contain the fires. “Spread your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” (Ps 5:11)
CHURCH POINSETTIAS DONATED BY MERLE SANTERIAN
FELLOWSHIP HOUR: NO coffee hour today due to Lunch with Santa.
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.
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.
We Need Your Help! Imagine children and teens sitting in a classroom wearing coats and scarves because they have NO HEAT. That’s the reality for the 130 children and teens who attend the Sunday school of Soorp Asdvadzadzin in Vardenis, Armenia. The school, which serves an impoverished region, may need to close its doors in the coming months. As it is, their devoted pastor has done his utmost out of his own funds to see that they get to the church center and have a pleasing room to gather. For $6800, a permanent heating system can be installed. The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) has asked Sunday schools across the Diocese for help. During this holy Advent and Christmas season, when so much is spend on so many who have everything, please think of those who are struggling and give generously! Checks, payable to Holy Trinity Church School, can be given to Merle Santerian or Nancy Basmajian. (Please write “Vardenis” on the memo line. We thank you for your kindness and your open heart!)
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.
2018 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
4 – 123 people $660.00
11- 80 people $392.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Sunday Dec 16 Lunch with Santa
Sunday Dec 30 Pomegranate Sunday
Saturday Jan 5 Theophany Eve and Fellowship
Sunday Jan 6 Feast of Theophany / Blessing of Water/ Christmas Pageant
Sunday Jan 13 Simultaneous Translation of Selected Hymns Day of Remembrance
Sunday Jan 20 Tour of Sanctuary with Fr. Hakob
Sunday Jan 27 Instructed Liturgy
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.