Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday Messenger

March 12, 2017

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The third Sunday of Great Lent is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. This parable of God’s forgiveness calls us to “come to ourselves” as did the prodigal son, to see ourselves as being “in a far country” far from the Father’s house, and to make the journey of return to God. We are given every assurance by the Master that our heavenly Father will receive us with joy and gladness. We must only “arise and go,” confessing our self-inflicted and sinful separation from that “home” where we truly belong (Luke 15:11-24).


  • 2Corinthians 6: 1-7:1 (pages 165-166) New Testament
  • Luke 15: 1-32 (pages 71-72) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

PRAYERS: “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 6:40) Praying is as vital to a faith community as breathing. It is one of the ways in which we communicate with God. We ask you to pray for those among who are facing medical difficulties: Larry Der Hagopian, Victoria Berberian and Anita Mirijanian. Please also pray for the unrest that is not only in faraway places but in our own country as well.

Saintly Women’s Day: At the conclusion of today’s Liturgy, Der Hayr will preside over a short service honoring the Saintly Women of Vartanantz, the theme of this year’s Saintly Women’s Day commemoration. Ten of our young mothers, led by Women’s Guild Central Council member Elizabeth Barone, will share information about the theme and present the voices of these courageous and forgotten women of faith. The red and white colors of the flowers carried by our readers have special significance: they represent the blood and water which poured out of the side of Christ on the cross, and they are the colors of the baptismal narod—red which symbolizes sacrifice and white which symbolizes purity.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12, 2017, so please remember to turn your clock forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. Remember: Spring forward, Fall back!

Today is the Annual Mitchink Luncheon to be served in our hall following the Saintly Women’s Day Service. Consequently the weekly coffee hour is cancelled this Sunday. There will be a few more reservations available at the door for interested parishioners. The cost is $15 for each guest.

PALM SUNDAY BANQUET: Sunday, April 9, 2017, is ACYOA DAY. Immediately following Church Services, ACYOA is sponsoring a Banquet. Donations: Adults $20.00 – Children ages 7 to 12 yrs. $8.00 – Children 6 and under Free. No tickets will be sold at the door. For reservations, please send in your check by the Deadline: March 26, 2017.

Focusing on Scripture during Lent: Each of our faithful (young and old) will receive a “40 Days of God’s Word” resource to use during Great Lent (which begins on Monday, February 27). The colorful four-page educational resource provides an inspiring Bible passage for each day of Lent and includes information about Lent and Holy Week in the Armenian Church. We encourage you to read the assigned passage, reflect on its meaning, memorize it and share it with someone during the day. Imagine having the Word of God in your head and in your heart as you go through your daily routine! The resource was produced by the Department of Christian Education of our Diocese. Copies will be available in the narthex and in the Church School office as long as supplies last.

Sunday Morning Educational Series: 10:00-10:30 in Sanctuary
March 19: Dn. Antranig Garibian
Bless this House: Home Blessing in the Armenian Church
April 2 Dn. Albert Keshgegian
Enter Our Hearts: The Opening of the Doors Service

BE AN ANGEL! Help our Church School students raise funds to help Syrian Armenian refugees entering Armenia. During the Sundays of Lent, our students will have “angels” available during Coffee Fellowship. For your kind donation in any amount, you will receive an angel which reads “I gave to help.” Simply sign your name, and we will post them in the Church school hallway with all the other angels. What a beautiful sight it will be as you walk pass our classrooms…and what a worthy cause you will be helping. THANK YOU! (You can also pick up an angel at the Church School office.)

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Knights and Daughters of Vartan: Have you ever wondered about the long history of Armenians in Philadelphia or been curious what DNA tests might tell you about your Armenian ancestors? If so, please join us during fellowship hour Sunday, March 19, 2017 with Special Guest Speaker Paul Vartan Sookiasian, Local Armenian Historian, Topic: Armenian Local Histories and DNA Mysteries. ALL ARE WELCOME.

FYI…Sunday Stats: Here are the monthly averages for attendance at Divine Liturgy. The numbers include worshippers, altar servers and choir. Look for more statistics in future issues of The Messenger.

January February
2007 90 75
2012 101 95
2017 109 102

Armenian Sisters Academy
Open House
March 15, 2017 9:00 -11:30 a.m. Join us for a look into the lives of ASA students. The open house will include a tour with our student ambassadors, followed by open discussion with faculty, staff, and parents. RSVP to

Armenian Sisters Academy: Will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary on Saturday 4/29/17. Event is at Presidential Caterers. Please RSVO by 4/1/17. Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated on 4/30 at St. Mark’s Armenian Catholic Church with a reception to follow.

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

  • Sunday March 12th: Mitchink Luncheon
  • Friday March 17th: Lenten Service & Dinner 6:30 pm
  • Saturday March 25th: Lenten Retreat 9:00 am
  • Friday March 31st: Lenten Service & Dinner 6:30 pm


  • Friday April 7th: Lenten Service & Dinner 6:30 pm
  • Sunday April 9th: Palm Sunday Banquet

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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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.