THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 15, 2019
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Faith and Forgiveness
The Disciples asked for more faith. But Jesus illustrates that faith is based on who God is, not on “how much” we believe. The Church does not venerate Saints because they happened to have more faith than you or I. They simply lived out the faith they had, qualitatively. In other words, there is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ when it comes to the faith that Jesus is talking about. True faith is how we see and experience the world, but not just with our rational minds.
By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. (Hebrews 11:3)
Christian faith is rooted in a living communion with God. By participating in the divine nature of God which he promises to those who love him, which we share in Holy Communion, we see ourselves, we see others, we see creation in the same manner as God. In other words, it takes faith to love as God loves. Thus, we are compelled to forgive, compelled to heal. With faith, it makes sense to forgive, to live humbly, to live and act like Jesus Christ.
What would our lives, our community look like if we allowed unforgiveness to continue, if we didn’t allow healing and reconciliation to take place? Faith cannot thrive in a worshipping community where unforgiveness is present. In fact, St. Gregory of Narek wrote that faith is a form of worship. In his 10th prayer he writes,
For if the faith of a mustard seed can cast a great mountain into the depths of the sea, then truly we should accept it as the first step toward eternal life. Faith, this simple and clear form of worship, means setting aside doubt to see the future and hidden with the eye of the soul.
Faith, gifted by God, sustained by the sacramental life of the Church, restores and heals us in order to live as we were created to live, as worshippers living in union with God and with one another. If we plant our faith as a mustard seed, which doesn’t seem like much to us, what will blossom is a community that preaches, teaches, and heals. A community focused on and doing the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. When our community is marked by faith as a form of worship, we become what the Church is meant to be. A house of mercy where fears are stilled, shame is removed, healing takes place, and sins are forgiven.
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
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: 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 (2nd Anniversary of Her eternal life) requested in loving memory by Jean Sarkissian, Paul Sarkissian & Roseanne Sarkissian.
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night…”(Nehemiah 1:5-6). Prayers are requested for Zevart Shakarjian, Rose Minassian, Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Jan Mirijanian, Merle Santerian, Alice Charles, Armen Mirakian and Pearl Jamgochian. We also give thanks to God for the long-awaited Resolution of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which was unanimously voted on in the United States House of Representatives within the last week. May the souls of all the martyred victims of the Genocide now rest in peace.
NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.
Coffee hour will be sponsored by Jean Sarkissian & Family in loving memory of their wife and mother, ALICE SARKISSIAN.
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.
An Advent Drive: Armenians in Northern Syria are in urgent need of our help–under brutal Turkish assault, they have been driven from their homes. There is dire need for food, clothing and other necessities as they repatriate to Armenia. The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) is asking for our assistance. During the Sundays of Advent, our ACYOA Juniors, partnering with our Adult Christian Education ministry, will be taking donations during Coffee Fellowship. We ask our community to respond by being generous during this most blessed of seasons. Christ is born and revealed. Blessed is the revelation of Christ.
January is designated FAMILY WORSHIP MONTH!
Under Fr. Hakob’s leadership, our Adult Christian Education (ACE) ministry will be sponsoring several learning opportunities in January. On January 19, a Simultaneous Translation of selected sharagans will be presented thus enabling our faithful to appreciate and grasp, not only the beauty of our music, but also the theological depth of the lyrics. At the close of Liturgy on that date, our annual Service of Remembrance and Lighting of Candles, honoring those who passed away this year, will be offered. And on January 26, a Question-and-Answer session will replace Fr. Hakob’s sermon. For more details, see the flyer available in the narthex and the church lobby.
CHURCH SCHOOL GOES TO BADARAK: Our Church School will be observing Family Worship Month by inviting families to participate in the Divine Liturgy together. Formal class instruction will not be offered during the month, but will resume in February.
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.
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and guests 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.
HELP WANTED: Jan Mirijanian is looking for someone who can cook and do light house keeping 3 days a week in the South Jersey area. If interested contact him at 856-848-1504 or cell 856-295-3119.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Sunday Dec 29 Pomegranate Sunday
Sunday Jan 5 Theophany Eve 3:00PM Liturgy, Christmas Pageant and Fellowship
Monday Jan 6 Feast of Theophany 10:30 AM Liturgy
Sunday Jan 12 Blessing of the Water
Saturday Jan 25 Marriage Evening Retreat: RSVP by 1/20/20
2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
3 – 82 people $504.00
10 – 94 people $486.00
17 – 82 people $567.00
24 – 90 people $525.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00
FAR Helps Boy with Cerebral Palsy Obtain Life-Changing Surgery – Six-year-old Davit Tashchyan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after his birth, making it extremely hard for him to control his legs and to balance. A few months ago, he was also diagnosed with spasticity disease, a related muscular condition that can interfere with normal movement and speech. While the condition requires corrective surgery his parents could not afford the orthopedic fixation device necessary to help him heal properly post-surgery. They were faced with the choice to either delay the procedure or apply for a loan to pay for it until they heard about FAR’s Transforming Children’s Health and Development Project. With FAR’s help, Davit was able to go to Yerevan for muscle-release surgery on his right leg and hip. He will have additional surgery in three months. This year, two other children like Davit have received healthcare services and surgical assistance thanks to Transforming Children’s Health and Development, which is implemented in Armenia’s Ararat and Aragatsotn provinces. To read more, go to: https://farusa.org/donate/
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.
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.