Prelate’s New Year and Christmas Message: Towards the Light of Knowledge

On the threshold of the year 2006–the Glorious Birth and Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ once again fills our collective lives with spiritual joy.

2006 years ago–the Divine light of our Heavenly Father shone upon a humble manger in Bethlehem and good tidings spread to all mankind. Through the preaching of the Apostles–this same tiding and light also reached Armenia and illuminated our homeland. For centuries–the rays of this Divine light still shine and renew our faith–and our vows of peace and goodwill.

The Christian world joyously welcomes the celebration of the Epiphany of Christ with hymns and songs unique to this special occasion. We join the angels and sing in harmony–proclaiming to the world:

"Glory to God in the Highest And on earth Peace, Goodwill toward men." (Luke 2:14)

Every year–the Christmas season brings us not only messages praising the Lord and encouraging us to live a peaceful–God pleasing life–but also offers us the opportunity to reinvigorate our religious and national traditions with renewed faith–hope–and devotion. It has been this way in the past and it continues to this day.

Dear Faithful,

The Feast of Epiphany is a time of inspiration for the Armenian people and especially for our Prelacy friends and faithful. As we welcome the new year–we ponder about the past year’s events and build on the experiences and graces we have received.

Indeed–we will always remember the year 2005 as a historic period in the annals of our Prelacy in light of the Pontifical visit of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. During the Pontifical visit we received the blessing of His Holiness and together celebrated the 10th anniversary of His enthronement–the 1600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet–and somberly marked the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Through these events–we strengthened our ties and allegiance to our previous generation of leaders and martyrs. Our community members were given the opportunity to hear the various spiritually uplifting messages of His Holiness–which in essence embodied the rich history and traditions founded by our forefathers–and encouraged us to continue on the path that they have paved for us.

This is why the year 2005 will not be just another year that has passed but a historic one that we will remember for years to come. The events of 2005 will not be remembered in passing but rather will be the force that will guide us on our individual and collective paths and the light that will brighten our lives. The Pontifical proclamations of previous years–such as "The Year of the Family" and "The Year of the Holy Bible and Nareg" were enlightening occasions in our lives and they will always maintain their significance.

Dear Loved Ones,

It is with this spiritual wealth and merriment that we greet you today with wishes of a happy new year and a Merry Christmas–and invite you all to live your lives in accordance with the spirit of the greatest gift offered to us–the miracle of the Birth of our Savior–and proclaim:

– "Glory to God in the Highest" By giving glory to the life He has granted us By expressing our gratitude and thanks for His blessings By Promising love and servitude to His Glory.

– "And on earth Peace" By becoming soldiers of the Prince of Peace By longing for tranquillity in our spiritual lives By obeying the Lord’s will and sowing the seeds of peace.

– "Goodwill toward men"

By leading our church in love and harmony By keeping the Lord’s image intact and holy By renewing our lives with justice and goodwill.

With these expectations–we wish that the devoted servants and parishes of our Prelacy continue their service to our church and our people.

May 2006 be–for our schools and educators–a year that will give new impetus to the legacy of St. Mesrob Mashdots–and let our students and youth grow mentally and spiritually with this nourishment and by keeping the Lord’s image intact.

May 2006 bring additional strength and invigoration to all our organizations–whose daily endeavors and efforts–as in the past and also today–contribute to the blossoming and flourishing of our society.

We pray to our Lord to grant peace and prosperity to our homeland–Armenia and Artsakh–and also to all Armenian communities in the diaspora–granting wisdom and guidance as we continue on our mission in fulfillment of a common goal.

Finally–may all mankind hear the Lord’s message and obey His will for peace by providing an environment far from war–devastation–and violence–so that the Divine gifts granted to the world by the Birth of Christ may lead mankind to goodness–perfection and to the light of knowledge.

Happy New Year to all Christ is Born and Revealed Blessed is the Revelation of Christ

Prayerfully–

Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Prelate Western United States

New Year and Epiphany–2006

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