THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
April 22, 2018
By decision of the synod of bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church, under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the countless martyrs of the Genocide of the Armenians were formally recognized as martyrs and canonized as saints of the Armenian Church on April 23, 2015. On the annual day of the commemoration of the Genocide Martyrs the Armenian Church will henceforth pay tribute to the new saints as it does every other saint of the church: by means of dedicated hymns, litanies and prayers that recall the saints and their example, honor them, and ask for their intercession.
Faithful Christians look to the saints and martyrs with hope and joy because by the unshakable faith that they manifested during their earthly lives, they become witnesses to the truth of the Gospel and to the eternal promises Jesus Christ has made to those who follow him. Through them we perceive the highest ideals of the Church: who we aim to be, what we believe, what our priorities are, and what our mission is. The saints are our witnesses to that ideal, but they should also challenge the Church and every one of its members to grow toward the ideal that they embody. The saints provide a useful gauge for the Church to refine its work and commitments, to reform itself where necessary, in order to remain faithful to its sacred mission.
Who are Martyrs?
At the very heart of the Christian faith is the conviction that at a certain time God the Father sent his Son into this fallen world to heal it by becoming a human being through birth to Mary the Mother of God and by experiencing for himself the fullness of human life. The fullness of human life includes especially our travails, suffering and dysfunctions. Jesus the Savior redeemed the world by entering the human condition and identifying himself completely with it, to the point of death (see Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus Christ the Son of God “emptied himself” fully and died. On the third day he rose from the tomb, thereby triumphing over death and evil. In so doing he became the ultimate witness to God’s eternal power, over which no pain, no injustice, no fear, not even death itself can prevail.
Christians martyrs are those people who, in the face of death, imitate Jesus Christ in the certain conviction that no power, no affliction, not even death can separate us from the divine and eternal life that God has promised to those who love him. In this way they became witnesses to the truth of Jesus’ promise to raise to new life those who come to know him and follow him. A more authentic Armenian word for “martyr” is նահատակ / nahadag. Even more expressive is the word vgah / վկայ, which means “witness.” They are witnesses who provide the strongest possible testimony to the truth of what we believe as Christians. Their extraordinary faith and devotion to Jesus Christ are manifested in how they lived their lives. When we study the lives of the saints of the Church, our own faith is strengthened. The saints therefore become paramount witnesses to the truth of God’s Word, the truth of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Christian faith. In the saints we have proof positive that the Christian faith is true.
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
1Peter 5: 1-14 (page 211) New Testament
John 5: 19-30 (page 88) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant…” (Daniel 9:17a). Please pray for Butch Kumkumian, Annabelle Alexanian, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian, & Albert Santerian for a return to better health and to feel the presence o God in their lives. Pray also for our country and her leaders during these trying times; and let us ask the Lord to keep our children in their schools free from further violence and hatred.
NO COFFEE HOUR TODAY
DUE TO A PRIVATE PARTY
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: Just six years old, Hovsep Hajian has already been through 12 surgeries on his hands and feet. Hovsep was born with arthrogryposis, a muscular-skeletal disease, which is pronounced in the deformity of limbs, and the insufficient development of joints and muscles, among other things, and makes it difficult and painful for him to walk. In 2017, he underwent surgical treatment on his foot with assistance from Fund for Armenian Relief’s Child Poverty Reduction Program. FAR’s support also helped Hovsep’s family afford a metallic foot fixator, which helps with rehabilitation and recovery. Last year, 24 children received health care services and surgical assistance thanks to the program.To read more, go to [LINK: http://farusa.org/2018/04/04/far-health-programs-far-project-helps-one-little-boy-to-walk-again/ ] To support FAR’s healthcare projects like, go to [LINK: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/armenianrelief/
Support Me in the Walk to Stop Suicide : Please support me as I walk from dusk till dawn in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk on June 16, 2018. Help end the silence surrounding suicide and depression.ToDonateVisit:TheOvernight.org/participant/Maggie Miller or I have donation forms in my office that can be mailed in or you can send me a check or cash and I will make the donation for you in your name. Please consider helping me reach my donation goal for this very important event. Thank you! Maggie
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.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
April 22 10:00-10:30 “Get Me to the Church on Time” (Brian Hoyle)
April 29 10:00-10:30 “My Faith Pilgrimage to Jerusalem” (Yn. Anna Gevorgyan) & Film “Women of 1915” (following Liturgy)
May 3-5 Diocesan Assembly
May 6 Badarak at St. Vartan Cathedral
May 10 Feast of the Ascension
May 20 Pentecost/ Church School Closing Program
June 13 7:00 pm Home Bible Study in Bucks County
June 20 7:00 pm Home Bible Study in Newtown Square
June 27 7:00 pm Home Bible Study in South Jersey
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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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.