THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
December 29, 2019
Sixth Sunday of Advent
A Very Happy & Healthy New Year to One and All
The Past and the Future
The name “January” comes from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces, one looking to the past and the other looking to the future. This is indeed a time to look back at the year that is ending and to look forward to the new year ahead of us. How did I spend this one year of my life? Did I use it to advance my goals and objectives in life? Could I have done better last year in the way I invested my time between the demands of work, family, friends and society, and the demands of my spiritual life?
Through soul searching questions like these we find that a review of the past year naturally leads to setting goals and resolutions for the new year. This is what St. Paul writes: “Brothers and sisters, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3:13).
We are called to focus our efforts toward our ultimate goal which is to get the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
For some people New Year resolutions are useless, however setting new goals and making resolutions can be viewed as necessary conclusion to our review of the past year. And we certainly do need to review our lives from year to year because, as Socrates says, the unexamined life is not worth living.
Christ our Lord and Teacher tells us not to look back and be overwhelmed by it, only learn from the past and press forward by following Him and His footsteps. Yes, we do not know what the future will bring but we know this: Christ is going to be with us every step of the way and he is going to lead us by giving us the right direction and guidance.
May each one of us have a happy, healthy and blessed New Year filled with joy, peace, love and harmony. May all of us, with God’s help be able to map out this new year with a great Christian spirit of determination and right resolutions which will eventually lead us to get “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
Hebrews 7: 11-25 (pages 199-200) New Testament
Luke 19: 12-28 (pages 75-76) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
Isaiah 41: 4-14 (pages 716-717) Old Testament
“LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night….” (Nehemiah 1:5-6). Prayers are requested for Rose Minassian, Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Jan Mirijanian, Mary Yeretzian, Merle Santerian, Alice Charles, Armen Mirakian and Pearl Jamgochian.
NEW COMMUNION PROCEDURE – Before gathering for confession, please allow time for the Choir Members to come down and join us before we begin.
ALTAR FLOWERS are donated by Jeanette Der Hagopian and Family in loving memory of Larry Der Hagopian on the second anniversary of his eternal life.
POMEGRANATES ARE DONATED TODAY BY Lenna & Grace Vartanian.
POMEGRANATE BLESSING SERVICE – In the Armenian tradition, the pomegranate as a national symbol reflects the meaning of life, prosperity and abundance. In the Christian symbolism the pomegranate represents the blood shed by Jesus Christ, symbolizing also the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and the diversity of God’s grace. In the interpretations of our church fathers, the pomegranate is presented that the church members are as diverse as the granules of the pomegranate but the pomegranate is covered by a solid peel, all being united in one Church. This blessing service was directed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and should be conducted within 30 minutes of the new year. However, for the sake of convenience, we will be conducting this thanksgiving service following Badarak today.
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.
An Advent Drive: Armenians in Northern Syria are in urgent need of our help–under brutal Turkish assault, they have been driven from their homes. There is dire need for food, clothing and other necessities as they repatriate to Armenia. The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) is asking for our assistance. During the Sundays of Advent, our ACYOA Juniors, partnering with our Adult Christian Education ministry, will be taking donations during Coffee Fellowship. We ask our community to respond by being generous during this most blessed of seasons. Christ is born and revealed. Blessed is the revelation of Christ.
January is designated FAMILY WORSHIP MONTH! Under Fr. Hakob’s leadership, our Adult Christian Education (ACE) ministry will be sponsoring several learning opportunities in January. On January 19, a Simultaneous Translation of selected sharagans will be presented thus enabling our faithful to appreciate and grasp, not only the beauty of our music, but also the theological depth of the lyrics. At the close of Liturgy on that date, our annual Service of Remembrance and Lighting of Candles, honoring those who passed away this year, will be offered. And on January 26, a Question-and-Answer session will replace Fr. Hakob’s sermon. For more details, see the flyer available in the narthex and the church lobby.
CHURCH SCHOOL GOES TO BADARAK: Our Church School will be observing Family Worship Month by inviting families to participate in the Divine Liturgy together. Formal class instruction will not be offered during the month, but will resume in February.
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.
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS: In an effort to inform parishioners and guests when a Holy Trinity church service or program needs to be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather or other reasons, we request that you check our website (www.holytrinity-pa.org) or facebook page (www.facebook.com/holytrinitypa) for the most accurate information.
HELP WANTED: Jan Mirijanian is looking for someone who can cook and do light house keeping 3 days a week in the South Jersey area. If interested contact him at 856-848-1504 or cell 856-295-3119.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
Sunday Dec 29 Pomegranate Sunday
Sunday Jan 5 Theophany Eve 3:00PM Liturgy, Christmas Pageant and Fellowship
Monday Jan 6 Feast of Theophany 10:30 AM Liturgy
Sunday Jan 12 Blessing of the Water
Saturday Jan 25 Marriage Evening Retreat: RSVP by 1/20/20
2019 Attendance: Plate/Candle Collection:
3 – 82 people $504.00
10 – 94 people $486.00
17 – 82 people $567.00
24 – 90 people $525.00
Weekly Expenses: $6,000.00
NEW IN BOOKSTORE: With pride, we are pleased to announce “Acoustic Armenia,” a CD by a devoted member of the Holy Trinity family, Karinné Andonian. The music of this album is meant to revere the spirit of Armenian music. The Armenian heart has always sung, and here it sings simply and organically, intending to bring a sense of togetherness and home just as it was when it was created generations ago. Available in Bookstore $12.
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 often sung after the Gospel is read from the altar. Occasionally, it will be 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 Jeanette Der Hagopian at 215-672-4188.
Would you like to:
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– 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 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.