Paregentan of the Fast of Exaltation

Sunday Messenger

September 9, 2018

Paregentan of the Fast of Exaltation

View the Invisible

A picture (it’s often said) is worth a thousand words. But some pictures do more than just speak to us. They invite us to become a part of the drama they depict. That’s the role icons play in Armenian Church spirituality.

Beginning with this edition of VEMKAR, you’ll learn how icons enrich our faith. Whether they’re found carved in stone or painted in manuscripts, adorning church walls or incised in stained glass, icons honor our Lord Jesus Christ and his saints, drawing us into the sacred events surrounding their lives. They remind us that God is alive and active in our world—and that we are participants in events that please God and can lead us to his kingdom.

The purpose of the icon—called սրբանկար (surpa-nugar) or “holy picture” in Armenian—is explained in a 7th-century document, The Defense of Images, by the Armenian monk and poet Vertannes Kertogh. It’s considered the first written explanation of sacred art in all of Christendom, in which Vertannes describes how such art functions in the Armenian Church, and how it relates to theology and worship.

“When we bow down before the Holy Gospel or when we kiss it,” he writes, “we do not bow down before ivory or lacquer … but before the word of the Savior written on the parchment.… [Likewise] it is not on account of the colors that we prostrate ourselves before images, but because of Christ in whose name [the icons] are painted.”

Naturally, icons existed long before Vertannes’ treatise. The Holy Cross is considered the very first icon, held in common by all Christians, whose image has dotted the landscape of our homeland since the 4th century.

Icon-creation was often the domain of clergymen, who would even sew icons into their vestments. They would strive to capture the holy image not merely with the physical eye, but more importantly with the “spiritual eye” that could convey the mystery of God’s presence to the beholder.

Whether its scale is miniature, life-size, or monumental, the icon is a visual language that translates the words of Scripture into a comprehensive image. As Vertannes put it, the icon helps us to understand the invisible through the visible. It is a window onto the kingdom of heaven. When we look at it, we honor the Savior in whose name it was painted.

By Fr. Garabed Kochakian


2 Corinthians 7: 4-16 (page 166) New Testament
Mark 7: 31-37 (page 39) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 13: 1-11 (pages 692-693) Old Testament

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

– FRANCESCA S. TORCOMIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life requested by the Torcomian Family.
– FRANCESCA S. TORCOMIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life requested by Steve and Linda Vosbikian and Family.

PRAYERS DESPERATELY NEEDED for one of our sister churches in the Oriental Orthodox community. As a result of the monsoon in Kerala, India, prayers are requested for all those who have lost family members (over 300 people to date) with a certainty for more to come, as well as those who have been displaced, with many of them currently homeless (over one million). This is a catastrophe of unimaginable scale.

“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1Tim 2:8). Please pray for Doris Alahverde, Anto Vartanian, Butch Kumkumian, Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Armenoui Aznavuryan, Pearl Jamgochian, & Albert Santerian for a return to better health and to feel the presence of God in their lives. Pray for our country and her leaders; and also for the children who will soon be returning to school that they may continue their education in a peaceful and safe environment.

ALTAR FLOWERS: are donated today by Steve and Linda Vosbikian and Family in loving memory of FRANCESCA S. TORCOMIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life.

SAVE THE DATE: A Banquet honoring The Deacons and Choir of Holy Trinity Armenian Church Sunday, November 18, 2018 immediately following Badarak Stay tuned for more information Contact Holy Trinity Office 215-663-1600or with questions.

Coffee Hour: is sponsored today by the Torcomian Family and many people that loved her in loving memory of FRANCESCA S. TORCOMIAN on the 40th Day of Her eternal life. All are welcome.

Starting 9/9/18 we will go back to the regular Fall Fellowship 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.

SPECIAL COLLECTION TODAY: As you may have heard, the region of Kerala, India fell victim to one of the worst floods in the past century. A monsoon submerged cities and villages in flood waters, and the destruction, displacement, and loss of life will likely grow worse. More than 300 people have lost their lives and one million people are now homeless.
We have been asked by our Diocesan Primate to hold a special collection today for this great need. Please be generous as we strive, together as a community of faith, to help those who are suffering as they try to rebuild their lives. Checks should be made out to Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Memo: Kerala

It is important for us to know that Kerala is the homeland of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church: one of the ancient Oriental Orthodox churches. The Armenian Church has been in communion with this sister church for centuries, and our Diocese maintains the closest of ties with its people and clergy. Kerala is the land evangelized by our Lord’s apostle St. Thomas, even as our own homeland was evangelized by St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew.

A Commitment Service for Christian Education: Today marks the beginning of a new Church School year for the children and young people of our parish. At the conclusion of today’s Divine Liturgy, we ask our community to participate in a special service of commitment to the faith formation of our students. Please pick up a copy of the service as you enter the sanctuary and be prepared to rise and respond as Fr. Hakob addresses specific questions to staff, parents, students and all our faithful men and women. This is an affirmation of our commitment to the Christian education of Holy Trinity’s children! Thank you.

FAR UPDATE: In early childhood, Armenak Minasyants realized his purposes in life: to become a diplomat and to learn how to play tennis and speak English. At age five, the latter seemed the logical means to an end. “I always associated diplomatic careers with tennis and Great Britain,” he said. Since 2009, Armenak has run the External Relations Department of the Constitutional Court of Armenia.Armenak is a recipient of FAR’s Armine and Garabed Zambak Scholarship Program, which enabled him to pursue a master’s degree at Yerevan State University. “FAR’s scholarship eased my family’s financial burden. I don’t know what would have happened to me if not for this scholarship,” he said. “The scholarship opened a door to FAR’s small, yet unique family.” : To learn more, go to: to:

GIFT AUCTION: We are in need of donations for the Harvest Bazaar Gift Auction and are asking for your help. We will again feature our Raffle ticket items valued at over $100 and our silent auction for special items. Our goal is to obtain new gifts each in value of $100 or more but we are happy to accept gifts of various values that we can combine in our baskets. Gifts can be geared toward younger children like Star Wars, Spiderman, Pokemon, or other trending items for kids. For teenagers (movie theater basket) or adults (golf, tennis, restaurants, massage/beauty or home). Gift baskets and gift certificates are most appreciated. We also will have letters you can take to various businesses to see if they would provide a $20 to $30 gift certificate for free. If you own a business and are willing to donate, please let us know. Wine or liquor are popular items that we can combine with other items. For the special items we would look for large value items (over $200), liquor, jewelry, oriental rugs for home, car (new or used) and vacation houses. In addition, if anyone could lend us their beach house for a weekend or week, that would help to generate funds. Cash will also be appreciated to purchase desirable items. Please call or email Cece Garibian at 215-884-9292 or OR Tanya Paretchan at 215-947-4394 or, for more details. Thank you in advance for all your generosity and support.

Opioid and other addictions are a big problem in this country, affecting all of us, including members of the Armenian Church and our parish. Join us on September 16 during Fellowship when we will hear a message from our new primate, Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, and see a video with Fr. Yeprem Kelegian, which includes a first-person account of addiction. Find out what the Church, and we as individual members of the Church, can do about this crisis: provide love, comfort, hope and God’s healing power.

Outreach Volunteers Needed: An in-service day has been scheduled for Saturday, September 22 @ 10 am to prepare and package meals for Aid for Friends, the organization that provides meals to the elderly and isolated shut-ins in the Delaware Valley. See flyer around the church & contact Jeanette Der Hagopian ( or 215-672-4188) by September 16 so that we know how many “cooks” we’ll have! We hope you will reserve this date on your calendar to join us in being part of a rewarding experience.

2018 Attendance: Plate Collection:

22- 53 people $321.00
29 – 73 people $451.00

5 – 74 people $450.00
12 – 128 people $845.00
19 – 92 people $437.00
26 – 75 people

Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

Sunday September 9th -Sunday School registration in church lobby from 10-11:30
Sunday September 16th: FEAST OF EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS & Coffee Hour Program on “Opioid Addiction, Families in Crisis, and the Armenian Church”
Saturday, Sept 22: Aid for Friends cooking session – volunteers needed!

Sunday, Oct 16: 2 pm Intercommunal at St. Gregory Illuminator
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 26, 27 & 28: Harvest Bazaar

Sunday November 18: Banquet

ATTIC TREASURES will return again to the Harvest Bazaar this fall. With limited storage space available at church, we are more focused on items we can accept to be sold at the Attic Treasures table. Gently Used Items must be CLEAN & UNDAMAGED. Desired items are jewelry, women’s accessories, housewares, and small furnishings. Toys, clothing, books straw baskets & florist vases will not be accepted this year . Attic Treasures should be placed on the left side inside the coat room located in the lobby. This is a new location. Please, DO NOT LEAVE in the Sunday School area. Call Ayshe Chakmaklian for more info. at 610-828-2411. If you need a New Jersey pick up call Grace Meranshian at 856-217-9333.

Men’s Club “200 Club” Ticket Information: The 2018 – 19 tickets have been mailed or are being distributed at church. Please submit your payments before the end of September. Note: We have six (6) tickets available for purchase. The first drawing of the season is scheduled for early November. Thank you & Good Luck!

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.

> 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

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.