Great Barekendan

Sunday Messenger

February 11, 2018

Great Barekendan

Great Lent: Season of “Stillness”

This year, the Armenian Church calendar designates Monday, February 12, as the first day of Great Lent: the season when Christians consciously turn away from worldly matters and make the effort—through prayer, fasting, study, and introspection—to prepare for the spiritual drama of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

The Scriptural basis for Lent resides in the 40-day period Christ spent in the wilderness following his baptism. In the words of St. Matthew’s Gospel (4:12): “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.”

During Lent we are called to follow the Holy Spirit to confront our own “inner wilderness”—the realm of spiritual emptiness engendered by sin, laziness, and vanity. Through prayer, fasting, Bible-reading, and self-examination, we are given an opportunity to renew our commitment to God, and gain the strength to work at being more loving, humble, and gentle.


Romans 13: 11-14:25 (page 148-150) New Testament
Matthew 6: 1-21 (page 5) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 58: 1-14 (pages 733 – 734) Old Testament

“Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.” (1 Kings 8:28b). Let us be as servants before God today as we pray for our sisters and brothers, especially Alyce Jilajian, Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian, & Albert Santerian. Remember to pray for the many countries where unrest and inhumanity linger. Pray for those who are without homes especially as the weather temperatures turn frigid. And pray for our people to know God in a personal way.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: There will not be a Fellowship hour today due to Church School’s Poon Paregentan Celebration.
Marriage Renewal Sunday: Today, married couples of all ages will be participating in a brief blessing service in the sanctuary following Badarak. The ceremony is intended to rededicate the relationship of husband and wife to God and his sacred purposes. We encourage our entire church family to be present to witness the ceremony and join us afterwards for our Church School’s Poon Paregentan celebration.

A Lenten Prayer: As we embark on this year’s Lenten journey, here is a prayer from the Diocesan publication, Here I Am, Lord on which to reflect during this season of introspection and self-examination. While we usually think of the Lenten period as an opportunity to “give something up,” this prayer reminds us of a deeper spiritual opportunity.
Lord, I’m not giving anything up this year.

I will have a beer, eat dessert, watch TV.
This year I’m trying something new.
When I have an unkind remark ready to fly,
I will still its wings and keep it caged.
When I’m about to write someone off as a waste of time,
I’m going to remember how precious he or she is to you.
When I’m pulling out my wallet to buy another
treasure or add to my possessions (of designer sneakers,
clothes, jewelry or whatever),
I’ll remember what you said:
“Where your treasure is, your heart is.” And
I’ll think: Is this where I want my heart?
And I will cultivate the fruits of the Spirit:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Lord, I’m not giving anything up this Lent.
This Lent, I will become someone new. Amen.

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.

ELEVATOR FUND UPDATE: The good news is that the installation of our elevator is complete; we are simply waiting for the inspection approval. However, we are $10,000 short of our goal and are still accepting donations. If you wish to contribute, see Merle Santerian.

Great Lent: Believe it or not, the first program in our 2018 Friday Night Lenten Series is a mere 5 days away! On Friday evening, February 16, Leslie Movsesian, a member of our Adult Christian Education team, will present “A Lenten State of Mind.” Her audio-visual presentation will help you understand the reason for the season, how to make it a meaningful experience and leave you humming a tune as a reminder of your commitment to this period of renewal. The evening begins with worship at 6:30 followed by a traditional Lenten dinner prepared by Berjoohy Murray and Anne Terkanian. To reserve a spot, go to the sign-up sheet in our lobby. We ask only for a free-will offering.

Merle Santerian is seeking parishioners to help her by taking over, preparing and serving at the Sunday Fellowship Hour once a month. A husband and wife team would be nice, or any two parishioners who wish to do it together. Merle would prepare a schedule for those who are interested, where once a month they would run a regular Sunday Fellowship Coffee Hour. Please contact Merle at Coffee Hour, or by cell phone, 215-205-1507; home phone, 215-947-3777, to let her know you are interested and willing to take on this job. She will be happy to fill you in on what the job involves.

FAR UPDATE: Meet Anna Avetyan, a singing teacher and school choir director in Armenia’s Tavush Province where Fund for Armenian Relief implements its Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP). Since starting at the school, Anna has helped students to develop their musical skills. “It was FAR that extended us a helping hand and provided the kids with some tools to learn music and song. Now, thanks to FAR, we have learned how to read sheet music, but first and foremost, my students have built inner confidence,” she said. BCPP funds more than 14 extracurricular activity groups and Sunday schools in Tavush’s Berd Region. To read more, go to FAR’s blog: To support programs like BCPP, go to

Anniversary Celebration – This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the consecration of our beloved St. Vartan Cathedral in New York. Plans are underway to charter a bus for those interested in attending Badarak on Sunday, May 6, at the Cathedral. Departure would be from our church parking by 7:30 am on that day and returning about 7 pm. Cost per person, round trip will be approximately $35.00. Complimentary refreshments will be served after Badarak. If you are interested in being a part of this celebration, please contact Jeanette Der Hagopian at 215-672-4188 or Seats are limited. In order to reserve the size bus that we need, we ask for your response no later than March 4, 2018. UNLESS WE HEAR FROM YOU, NO BUS WILL BE RESERVED.

Armenian Sisters Academy

Open House
March 15, 2018 9:00 -11:30 a.m. Join us for a look into the lives of ASA students. The open house will include a tour with our student ambassadors, followed by open discussion with faculty, staff, and parents.
RSVP to or 610-687-4100

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Feb 11 Poon Paregentan & Marriage Renewal Sunday
Feb 16 Lenten Program: Leslie Movsesian
Feb 18 Annual Parish Assembly (snow dates 3/4 & 3/11)
Feb 23 Lenten Program: Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian/Seminarians
Feb 24 ACYOA Retreat
Feb 25 Guest Celebrant: Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian
Fellowship Program: St. Nersess Seminary

Mar 2 Lenten Program: V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan
Mar 9 Lenten Program: V. Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
Mar 16 Lenten Program: Ani Peckjian
Mar 23 Lenten Program: Holy Jeopardy
Mar 25 Palm Sunday: ACYOA Day/ Palm Sunday Banquet

INCLEMENT WEATHER NOTICES – When bad weather occurs, we try to make the best decision for the safety of all: servers and parishioners alike. We also recognize that because our membership comes from many varied areas, bad weather conditions may not be the same in all places. However, we do our best to reach as many as possible – by sending an email as soon as a decision has been made, posting on Facebook and by calling several of our older population who do not use computers and asking them to spread the word. We ask YOU to check with a friend when you are unsure about whether church will be open in such conditions. And if all goes well, we’ll have an early Spring!

A GENTLE REMINDER – We wish to remind our parishioners that, by order of the Fire Department, no parking is allowed in the Fire Lane, which is the area next to the lawn and the building in the parking lot. In addition, we have noticed cars who have no handicapped placard or identifying license plate parked in the handicapped spaces, especially behind the building, We ask for your courtesy in respecting the rules and leaving the handicapped spaces for those who truly need them.

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.

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– If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please visit our parish website at

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.