Octave of Easter (New Sunday)

Sunday Messenger

April 23, 2017

Decapitation of St. John The Baptist

The Saturday following the Holy Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Armenian Church commemorates the beheading of St. John the Baptist (also known as The Forerunner).

The writers of the Gospels, St. Matthew and St. Mark, have explained the history of beheading of St. John the Baptist, who had baptized Christ, and gave the good news of His Coming (Mt 14:1-12; St. Mk 6:14-29).

According to the Evangelists, King Herod arrests and imprisons St. John the Baptist as a result of John’s condemnation of the king’s marriage to Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. Herod wants to put John to death, but fears the Jews, because they considered John to be a prophet. On Herod’s birthday, fascinated by the dancing of the daughter of Herodias, the king makes an oath to give her anything for which she asks. Following her unforgiving mother’s instructions, she asks for the head of St. John the Baptist on a platter. The king, realizing he has been fooled, grants the request.

St. John the Baptist is one of the greatest saints in the Armenian Church. We entreat his name as an intercessor during the divine services, generally following the name of St. Mary.

According to tradition, St. Gregory the Illuminator, brings the relics of St. John to Armenia from Caesarea, and buries them near the town of Moush, after which the famous Monastery of St. John the Baptist is built. Tradition also tells us that the head of St. John the Baptist is buried underneath the Holy Altar of the Gandzasar Monastery in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh).

St. John the Baptist remains as one of the most popular saints among the Armenian faithful.


  • James 3: 1-12 (page 207) New Testament
  • John 1: 1-17 (pages 83- 84) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

REQUIEM SERVICES: Karasoonk (40th Day memorial Service) today will be for:

  • MGRDITCH TOROSSIAN & HAGOP BEZJIAN on the 40th Day of their eternal life requested by Karnig and Alice Torossian.

Hokehankist today will be for:

  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Gay, Tina and Marie Hagopian & Family.
  • ARAM HAGOPIAN, JAMES & SUSAN VOSBIKIAN and all deceased members of the HAGOPIAN, VOSBIKIAN, MOZIAN & GUREGHIAN FAMILIES requested by Gay, Tina and Marie Hagopian & Family.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Michael and Lynn Hajatian.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Michael and Ani Hajatian.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Alex and Alexis Topakbashian & Family.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Michael and Erika Torosian.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Vartanian.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by James and Aline Der Hagopian, Gary Der Hagopian & Nina Shahikian.
  • HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by Gary and Susan Der Hagopian.

ALTAR FLOWERS AND CANDLES: are donated today by Gay, Tina and Marie Hagopian in loving memory of HAIG HAGOPIAN (1st Anniversary of His eternal life).

ALTAR FLOWERS: are also donated today by Karnig and Alice Torossian in loving memory of MGRDITCH TOROSSIAN & HAGOP BEZJIAN on the 40th Day of their eternal life.

PRAYERS: “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2). We continue to ask for the prayers of our faithful, not only for their own loved ones, but for those among us who need intercession on their behalf. As you offer your prayers “like incense,” please remember John Arslanian, Larry Der Hagopian, Victoria Berberian, Anita Mirijanian, Armenoui Aznavuryan and Doris Alahverde. Pray also for our leaders in all areas, being mindful of the unrest that is in the world, both near and far away. Let peace reign among us.

Today’s Coffee Hour will take place immediately after church services and end at 1:15 pm. From there many of us are going to St. Gregory’s Armenian Church on Ridge Pike, Phila., at the invitation of the Intercommunal Committee of Philadelphia to celebrate the “FEAST OF THE HOLY MARTYRS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”. The program will consists of two speakers and songs performed by ASA students, ending with Refreshments. We encourage our members to attend and support this event which will start at 2 pm honoring our deceased ancestors.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Armenian Woman: Men and women from our community are invited to a conversation about the remarkable work Armenian women did in reconstructing their community in post-genocide Turkey. How can we honor their legacy in the Diaspora of the 21st century? The two-part program, being held on two Tuesday evenings—April 25 and May 9 from 7:00-8:30—is based on Dr. Lerna Ekmekcioglu’s book, “Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey.” Flyers with more info are available in the narthex and the church lobby.

“SAVE THE TOMB” & “SAVE THE DATE”: On April 30, at the direction of the Diocese, a special collection will be taken to help fund a portion of the restoration of Christ’s Tomb at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. For the Armenians, it has been an honor and a privilege to be recognized as one of the three major custodians of this site as well as many other sites in the Holy Land, dating back to medieval times. With that privilege comes the responsibility to help maintain these sites so that they remain a tangible presence for future generations. We ask for your generosity in helping to provide the funds necessary to fulfill this mission. Checks can be made out to our church, with “Save the Tomb” on the memo line. If you would like to present your check before then, we would be most appreciative. Also, please mark your calendars to save September 17 to enjoy a program which will give an in-depth presentation about the restoration of Christ’s Tomb and the importance of our presence in the Holy Land.

Mother’s Day Luncheon Reminder: Ladies, if you are interested in meeting us at the Apricot Stone for lunch on Sat, May 13, please see or call Liz Barone (610-449-2236). There are a few open seats.

YOUGHAKIN DONATION: Traditionally during Easter, gifts of oil, Youghakin donations are made to the Church. The notion is that by offering oil you keep the lamps of the church burning, these would always be resources in order to keep the doors of the church open. Your gift is gratefully appreciated.

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 Bookstore: The Bookstore is open every Sunday after Liturgy. Please stop in and browse.

COUNTRY STORE: The Country Store is open every Sunday after church services in the kitchen. All are welcome.

If you know of anyone who is a shut-in, or ill and would like a visit from Der Hayr, please call the office and give their name to Maggie our church secretary.

CHURCH ETIQUETTE: We wish to remind you, our faithful, to please maintain a quiet and contemplative manner as you approach the chancel for communion. We especially ask that you refrain from conversation while waiting your turn for communion as well as afterwards as you return to your pew. Thank you.

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 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.