On Sunday, September 11, we celebrated one of the five major Tabernacle (Daghavar) Feasts in the Armenian Church – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Khachverats or Veratsumn Srpo Khachi). on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Divine Liturgy includes an antasdan service (blessing of the fields) during which the processional cross is adorned with basil (a symbol of royalty) and the four corners of the church are blessed as a symbol for all the world. On the Saturday preceding the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, faithful members of the St. Thomas Armenian Church family traditionally decorate the pedestal for the Holy Cross. Mrs. Rosine Hovsepian and Taleen Torisian decorated the Holy Cross this year. “Today’s raising of the cross is just a reminder of our everyday reverence of it. It is the power of God.”
Sunday, August 14th, was a day of great celebration in the Armenian Apostolic Church. All around the world, and at St. Thomas Armenian Church, parishioners honor Mary, the Holy Mother of God, during one of the five main tabernacle Feasts of the Armenian Church. The traditional Blessing of the Grapes ceremony takes place after the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) in the Armenian church on this day. The grape is considered the queen of the fruits, and its juice symbolizes of the blood of Christ and Holy Communion. The church celebrates with the ceremony on this day and gives thanks to God for the blessings He bestows upon mankind.
On April 24, 2016, the Armenian Church will observe its first Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. A special service will be performed after the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) to pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, who died in 1915 while upholding their Christian faith. The martyrs had been canonized last year in a momentous ceremony at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. We celebrate these saints as they live eternally in the glory of God.
This past Friday, March 25, 2016, marked the day on which Christians remember Good Friday (Avak Oorpat). It is the day we remember the last moments of Jesus’ life. He was tortured…bleeding, until he reached his physical end. He accepted the whole human nature and became God and human at the same time, in order to heal the human nature through his Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection. His Crucifixion was for our sins and in our place, because humanity could not have saved itself from the eternal control of Satan, hell and death.
This past Thursday, March 24, 2016, marked the day on which Christians remember Holy, or Maundy, Thursday (Avak Heenkshaptee). St. Thomas Church was filled with parishioners who were family members of those participating in the Vodnluva (Washing of the Feet) service, and also those who wanted to participate in the solemn Khavaroom (Vigil of the Garden) service. The Vodnluva took place first, with almost 20 children participating in this act of humility with our Pastor, Fr. Papken.
St. Thomas Armenian Apostolic Church has had much reason to celebrate this past Palm Sunday weekend, on the 51st anniversary of its consecration. Taking into consideration the weekend, which began with the ordination of altar servers to acolytes, and all the events of Palm Sunday, there was so much vitality in the church on it’s 51st anniversary! In the words of his Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate, it was “an inspiring day” where the “legacy of our martyrs is being continued.”
On February 27, 2016, the sixth and seventh-grade bilingual students of the Kirikian Armenian School performed a play, thoughtfully written by our own Nazik Sesetyan, about the Vartanantz holiday. This was the last of a three-part celebration about Vartanantz thoughtfully prepared by the staff and students of the Kirikian School, and the celebration of the holiday concluded with enthusiasm!
On January 6th , the pews were filled with people as Very Rev. Father Papken Dz. V. Anoushian led parishoners in Christmas Day Badarak. This year’s Godfather of the Cross during the water blessing ceremony was Alex Giritlian. Church was immediately followed by a luncheon sponsored by the Kirikian Armenian School. 10 Year Service awards were given…
St. Thomas had its traditional Christmas Eve worship on the evening of January 5th. The youth of St. Thomas, instructed by Dr. Levon Capan, recited select passages of the Bible, followed by the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak)…