THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
January 8, 2017
Third Day of the Octave of Theophany
Nativity and Theophany of our Lord
The Armenian Church celebrates the holy birth (Sourp Dznount) of Jesus Christ on January 6. In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also His baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which follows the Divine Liturgy on January 6.
On the eve of the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jrakalouyts Divine Liturgy (the lighting of the lamps service) is celebrated in honor of the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God (theophany). It is custom for the faithful to hold lit candles during this special service.
On the following day, the mystery of our Lord’s baptism in the River Jordan is remembered in the ceremony of the Jurorhnek, or the “Blessing of Water.”
In ancient times, this ceremony was celebrated by the riverside or sea shore, but, for various reasons, it was later confined to the interior of the churches. During the ceremony, the cross is dipped in water, recalling Christ’s immersion in the Jordan River. Blessed oil, or Holy Chrism (Muron), is poured into the water from a dove-shaped container, symbolizing the appearance at the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father proclaiming to all that Jesus is His Son.
The Holy Chrism is prepared in Holy Etchmiadzin and is blessed by the Catholicos assisted by the bishops. Muron contains olive oil, balsam and the essence of forty different flowers and herbs. At the end of the ceremony, members of the congregation are given the blessed water to drink, thereby sharing in the life giving act of Christ. As water is essential to the life of the body, drinking the blessed water is a reminder that participation in the acts of Christ is essential for eternal life.
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
- Hebrews 1: 1-12 (page 196) New Testament
- Matthew 2: 13-23 (page 2) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
PRAYERS: In this season of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we give thanks for the many blessings that we enjoy. Nevertheless, there are many among us in ill health, grieving the loss of loved ones, and living in difficult circumstances. Beyond our community, the world has much unrest, and peace is not as we know it. As we enjoy the happiness and joys of this time, we ask that you please keep in your thoughts and prayers those who suffer in any of these circumstances. “Answer me when I call to you…..be merciful to me and hear my prayers” (Ps 4:1).
Coffee Hour: is co- sponsored today by Greg Meranshian, “God Father of the Cross”, and the Parish Council.
Blessing of the Water: Sunday January 8, 2017, the Godfather of Water Blessing this year is going to be Greg Meranshian.
CHOIR PLATE COLLECTION: On this day of Water Blessing, the Choir will have a plate collection.
Vanadzor is the old age home in Armenia and it can use financial help from us. The Ladies of Holy Trinity have again placed a container in the Nartex for your loose change. We will accept your loose change every Sunday until Armenian Christmas. Your donations will be sent to Armenia soon thereafter. We appreciate your support & generosity.
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: Scheduled for February 19, 2017 with alternate snow dates of March 5 or March 12, 2017.
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.
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.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
- Sunday January 8th: Service 10:30 am followed by Blessing of the Water
- Sunday January 15th: Day of Remembrance
- Sunday February 19th: Annual Parish Assembly (snow dates 3/5 & 3/12)
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.
Would you like to:
- receive this Bulletin on Friday via email?
- request a Hokehankist, house blessing or hall rental information?
- 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.