Sunday of the Steward

Sunday Messenger

March 19, 2017

Sunday of the Steward

Sunday of the Steward

Commemoration of St. John the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Armenian Patriarch St. John of Otzoon, St. John of Vorotan and St. Gregory of Datev

St. John (Hovhannes) of Otzoon, who has also been recognized as “the Philosopher”, is one of the greatest fathers of the Armenian Church. According to hagiographers, he possessed both spiritual and mental brilliance. During the 11 years of his reign (717-728), Catholicos Hovhannes managed to withstand Byzantine and Arab pressures and incursions, while struggling mightily against sects.

Hovhannes of Otzoon endowed to us a rich and priceless literary legacy. His work entitled “Canons of the Armenians” is the first voluminous collection in Armenian history, which contains ecclesiastical canons and laws. He is also famous as the author of numerous sermons and church hymns. Among the most important initiatives undertaken by Catholicos Hovhannes of Otzoon, is the church council convened in Dvin in 725, with the aim of reforming the Armenian Church. He also convened the meeting in Manazkert in 726, dedicated to the goal of strengthening the union of the Armenian and Assyrian Churches. The tomb of Catholicos Hovhannes is in the Church of Srbanes (St. Hovhannes) in the village of Ardvi, near his birthplace of Otzoon.

The church has remained a sanctuary for the faithful of the Armenian Nation. The names of Vartabeds (church divine or archimandrite) St John (Hovhan) of Vorotan (1315-1388) and St. Gregory of Datev (1346-1410) are closely interrelated.

Gregory of Datev, the greatest Vartabed and theologian of the Armenian Church, studied under Hovhan of Vorotan, and later raised the famous school founded by his teacher in the Monastery of Datev. Gregory of Datev authored numerous significant theological works. Included in his literary legacy are the “Book of Questions” and the collections of his sermons. He is closely associated with Hovhan of Vorotan, because as a result of the notes and records made by Gregory, a portion of the literary legacy of Hovhan has survived to this day.

Finally, the blessed memory of St. John the Patriarch of Jerusalem is commemorated on the same day, along with the aforementioned three fathers of the Armenian Church. St. John was Patriarch of Jerusalem in the 4th Century. He is remembered to this day as being a great orator and a defender of Christianity through his sermons.


  • Ephesians 4: 17-5:14 (pages 176-177) New Testament
  • Luke 16: 1-31 (pages 72-73) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)

REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:

  • Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian (1st Anniversary of His eternal life) requested by the Parish and the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church.

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.

FELLOWSHIP HOUR: 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.

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.

An Introduction to Prayer: Join us on Saturday, March 25 for an informative program on the topic of prayer, a crucial part of the Christian life. Rev. Fr. Arshen Aivazian and Yn. Sirarpi Aivazian will take us on a journey of discovery as we examine how and when (and why) Jesus prayed. We will also explore how the early church fathers and mothers emulated Christ in their prayer lives. And, most importantly, we will learn how to pray with Scripture. To attend, go to the sign-up sheet in the church lobby or contact Please be gracious and respond by March 20 so we can plan meals accordingly. Everyone is welcome!

Clothing Drive Reminder: We remind our parishioners that the Church School’s Clothing Drive to benefit Syrian Armenian refugees entering Armenia ends on Sunday, March 26. On that date, we ask that you bring your clean, gently-used clothing, shoes, linens, purses, coats and stuffed animals to the church lobby for collection. Because we have no storage space, this is the only drop-off date available (tax receipts will be provided upon request). Clothing, etc. may be packed in any bag; however, bags are also available in the Church school office. The Church School staff and student thank you for your donation.

ATTENTION GRADUATES: On May 21 our church will be conducting a Blessing Service following Badarak for all those who will be graduating from high school, college and advanced degrees in Spring, 2017. A celebratory continental breakfast will follow for all graduates. We invite you (or someone you know) to be a part of this special service recognizing your achievement and ask that you forward your information to Jeanette Der Hagopian at as soon as you are able and no later than April 20, so that we can follow up with you.

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.)

CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)

  • Friday March 17th: Lenten Service 7:00 pm & Dinner 7:30 pm
  • Saturday March 25th: Lenten Retreat 9:00 am
  • Friday March 31st: Lenten Service 7:00 pm & Dinner 7:30 pm


  • Friday April 7th: Lenten Service 7:00 pm & Dinner 7:30 pm
  • Sunday April 9th: Palm Sunday Banquet

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.