Hollywood–The 30th anniversary of St. Garabed Church in Hollywood was celebrated Sunday, November 18th, with Divine Liturgy celebrated by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, who also conducted the ordination of deacons. Reverends Muron Aznikian and Barthev Gulumian, along with parish pastor Reverend Viken Vassilian, assisted the Prelate at the altar. Reverend Nareg Shrikian, the first pastor of the church, also participated in the Liturgy.
Four stole-bearers were ordained as deacons during Liturgy by the Prelate. The ordained were Setrag Hovannessian, Shant Manjelikian, Suren Hazarian and Manuk Chulyan. As the newly ordained deacons ascended the altar on their knees, the Prelate blessed them and asked the congregation to join in the prayers. The Prelate also granted Hovig Kabakchouzian the privilege of bearing a stole.
The Prelate began his sermon by thanking the Lord and blessing the memory of all those who, thirty years ago, had the vision to establish St. Garabed Church for the spiritual nourishment of the community. The Prelate then congratulated the deacons, advised them to live a virtuous life and to serve the church and the Lord devotedly and called on them and the parishioners to live according to the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. The Prelate concluded his sermon by praying to the God to keep the newly ordained deacons and all the faithful strong in their faith so that they may live righteously and glorify His name.
Following services a banquet and candle-lighting ceremony took place at Karapetian Hall with the participation of Religious and Executive Council members, Board of Trustees, delegates, Ladies Auxiliary, Godfather Mr. and Mrs. Vahe Karapetian, church benefactress Flora Shahverdian, A.R.F. Central Committee member Karekin Khanjian, A.R.F. Karekin Njdeh representatives, Rose and Alex Pilibos Principal Dr. Viken Yacoubian, representatives of A.R.S. Mayr Chapter, Homenetmen Los Angeles Chapter, Raffi Cultural Association, Daron-Dourouperan Compatriotic Union, Sahagian Shool of Aleppo, choir and youth group and Bible Study members, and over three hundred faithful.
The official program began with the invocation by the Prelate. Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Misak Barsamian delivered welcoming remarks. During the banquet, the Board of Trustees honored a devoted servant of the church. This year, Rev. Vassilian was honored on his 25th anniversary of ordination, and as pastor of St. Garabed Church for the past nine years. Rev. Vassilian thanked the Prelate, Board of Trustees, and Ladies Auxiliary then presented the remodeling plans of the church and thanked Hagop and Haigouhi Taghlian for taking on the cost of the renovation.
In his closing remarks the Prelate congratulated the church members on their 30th anniversary, the pastor for his 25 years of priesthood, the church’s benefactress, Godfather, and the Taghlian family for their benevolence, as well as the banquet organizing committee. The banquet concluded with the Prelate’s benediction and "Giligia".