Remembrance of the Prophet Elijah

Sunday Messenger

June 16, 2019

Remembrance of the Prophet Elijah

Father’s Day

Why does the Armenian Church have a designated day to remember the Prophet Elijah, the Sunday following the Feast of Pentecost? Elijah is one of the greatest and most remarkable prophets of the Old Testament, and even makes an appearance in the New Testament, when together with Moses he appeared at Christ’s Transfiguration. The person and ministry of Elijah points to Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophets who declared his mystery and foretold his coming as the Messiah. So much could be said about his magnificent life, but one can read an ode to Elijah in Wisdom of Sirach (48:1-12) from the Old Testament:

[1] Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire,
and his word burned like a torch.
[2] He brought a famine upon them,
and by his zeal he made them few in number.
[3] By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,
and also three times brought down fire.
[4] How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
And who has the right to boast which you have?
[5] You who raised a corpse from death
and from Hades, by the word of the Most High;
[6] who brought kings down to destruction,
and famous men from their beds;
[7] who heard rebuke at Sinai
and judgments of vengeance at Horeb;
[8] who anointed kings to inflict retribution,
and prophets to succeed you.
[9] You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with horses of fire;
[10] you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written,
to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,
to turn the heart of the father to the son,
and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
[11] Blessed are those who saw you,
and those who have been adorned in love;
for we also shall surely live.
[12] It was Elijah who was covered by the whirlwind,
and Elisha was filled with his spirit;
in all his days he did not tremble before any ruler,
and no one brought him into subjection.

What also makes the life of Elijah uniquely extraordinary is that that he did not experience death. The only other figure recorded as having done so is Enoch, who “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:21-24) And so for his life and for his ascent to God while still alive, we remember the Prophet Elijah. In II Kings 2:1-12, Elijah is conversing with his disciple, the Prophet Elisha when

Behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried,“My father, my father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”And he saw him no more.

In the hymn Ի վերինն, which is sung during our Hokehankeesd service, Elijah together with Enoch are described as dwelling in glory with the angels, returned to the harmony of Eden where they live agelessly like doves in unity with the merciful Lord. The choir sings:

In the supernal Jerusalem, in the dwellings of the angels, Where Enoch and Elijah live old in age like doves, Worthily glorified in the garden of Eden, Merciful Lord, have mercy on the souls of those of us who have fallen asleep.

The Prophet Elijah represents all those who are alive in Christ. In Christ, we are all «Աղաւնակերպ,» aging like doves. The symbol of God’s peace which brings unity, the dove is an image of what eternal life is like – ageless and in union with God. Every time we pray for the dead we are confessing our own faith in the risen Lord and his promise of eternal life. The life of Elijah offers us, in this life, the same hope of those who are at rest. As we pray for those who died, we are reminded that this life is transient and that we too are going to die. But the eternal and divine life of God is experienced and granted to us here and now. “Now is the day of salvation,” as St. Paul writes, and now is the time to practice repentance and to invite others to encounter the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

By Dn. Eric Vozzy


James 5: 16-20 (page 208) New Testament
Luke 4: 25-30 (page 56) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place” (2 Chron 6:40). Please pray for Merle Santerian, Steve Hovnanian, Alice Charles, Pearl Jamgochian and Ani Navasartian for a return to improved health and to feel the presence of God in their lives. Remember to pray for His Grace, Bishop Daniel Findikyan, as he continues his ministry as Primate of the Eastern Diocese. Pray for peace and harmony among all peoples.

NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.

THE SUMMER COFFEE HOUR is upon us and can only happen with faithful support from those who enjoy it, meaning different people volunteering each week to set it up and clean up afterward. Coffee will continue to be provided and bagels will be brought in whenever possible. We will depend on our parishioners to supply the “Pot Luck” refreshments each week. Please give serious consideration to volunteering your manpower which will enable us to continue providing this fellowship time that everyone enjoys so much. Call the church office and let Maggie know the Sunday that you would like to volunteer. It will be greatly appreciated.

Direct Outreach To Armenia: Der Hakob will be leaving soon as he leads another pilgrimage to Armenia. When he travels there, he tries to visit families who have suffered hardship and/or are living in difficult circumstances. He spends time with them in prayer and provides them with monetary assistance. If you would like to contribute to this worthy outreach for our brethren in Armenia, please mail or bring a check to church made out to Holy Trinity Armenian Church; Memo: Armenia. You will be blessed many times over for “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” (Matt 25:40). Deadline is June 16.

ATTENTION GRADUATES – The August issue of the Looys will feature information about all graduates and we look forward to including all of our graduates at any level. Write-up should include: full name, parents’ names, name of institution, grade level or degree achieved, activity involvement, and future plans (further education/ work). Please include a picture (in high resolution color), if desired. To be included, everything must be sent to no later than July 21st.

FAR UPDATE: Ayo!’s latest initiative aims to breathe some life back into Kond, one of Yerevan’s most historic neighborhood. “Kond that was, Kond to be” will support one local artist’s plan for revitalization. Once slated for total demolition, Kond receives little investment. Its buildings are crumbling, and most of the locals live without basic amenities, like indoor plumbing. Yet, it is still filled with historic charm. Sergey Navasardyan’s #YerevanTropics initiative aims to repaint some of Kond’s most desolate walls with unique street art. With help from five local painters and two international street artists, he will help draw greater positive attention to this neighborhood, spotlighting its need for revitalization and investment. Donating to Ayo!’s project will help support Sergey’s efforts to secure participation of the other artists for this project.

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.

2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:

7 – 108 people $583.00
14 – 180 people $858.00
21 – 236 people $1,968.00
28 – 75 people $460.00

5 – 80 people $380.00
12 – 66 people $260.00

Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

June 24th – Pilgrimage to Armenia begins
Sunday July 28th – Feast of Transfiguration
Sunday August 18th – Feast of the Assumption
Saturday September 28th – Fall Into Philly Kef @ Holy Trinity

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 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.