Prelacy’s Christmas Banquet Promotes Tradition and Message of Church


MONTEBELLO–The new year celebrations culminated last Sunday at Baghramian Hall with the traditional annual Armenian Christmas dinner-banquet organized by the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church and under the auspices of Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian. The sold-out event attracted more than 650 community members–in what has become a traditional–family-oriented gathering.

The Consul Generals of Armenia and Lebanon had accepted the gracious invitation of Bishop Mardirossian and were present at the gathering–along with representatives of community organizations and leaders–as well as members of the Prelacy Executive Council and all Prelacy-affiliated bodies and groups.

In his remarks to the gathering–the Prelate expressed special gratitude to well-known benefactors Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan for their generous donation of $50,000 for the establishment of a religious publication fund at the Prelacy. Furthermore–the Prelate also thanked Tony and Jack Keusseyan–whose generous $25,000 contribution will be allocated toward various Prelacy activities. Just recently–the Carolans also made another donation of $50,000 to the Armenian Cultural Foundation–continuing their tradition of generosity toward that organization and the Armenian-American community. The prelate also thanked Mr. & Mrs. John and Asdghig Bedrossian for generously sponsoring the dinner and banquet costs.

The Prelacy Christmas banquet began with the procession of clerics–led by Bishop Mardirossian–following which the traditional blessing of holy bread and wine ceremony took place.

Master of Ceremonies Rev. Ardag Demirdjian welcomed the guests and invited Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary Guild member Dzovig Zeitlian to make the opening remarks.

Pastor of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Encino–Rev. Razmig Khachadourian read the message of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–on the occasion of Christmas.

During dinner–the Armenian Traditional Instrumental Ensemble performed Armenian folk and traditional songs–following which Prelacy Executive Council chairman–attorney Arsen Danielian presented his remarks.

He emphasized the important role of the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia in the everyday life of the Armenian community and praised the Prelacy for its continuing efforts to meet the spiritual needs of the community.

The cultural program for the evening was enriched by the participation of Holy Cross Cathedral and St. Mary’s Church choir members Rima Garebedian and Heghine Harboyan–who performed traditional Christmas carols and religious songs. The two were accompanied by Prof. Levon Abrahamian on the piano. The Hamazkayin Ani Dance Troupe presented three dances based on the traditional religious message of the day. The surprise of the evening was a series of recitations by Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School students Valentina Ogarian and Ara Tovmassian. Young singer Ani Maldjian also performed for the crowd.

In his closing remarks–Prelate Mardirossian thanked the Ladies Auxiliary Guild for its support and assistance to Prelacy activities.

The prelate also highlighted the 1700th anniversary activities–which dominated the cultural and religious life all Armenia’s throughout 2001 and urged the community to heed the message the celebration brought.

He also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Catholicos Aram I for his leadership and efforts to highlight the important role of the Armenian church.


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