With the blessing of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Order of Last Rites for former Western Unites States Prelate Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian took place on February 1 at St. Mary’s Armenian Church in Glendale. He was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery on February 2.
The Order of Last Rites included a Divine Liturgy, viewing and funeral services, which were presided over by Western Prelate Bishop Torkom Donoyan, who was accompanied by visiting prelates from the Eastern United States and Canada, as well as other archbishop and cleric, in the presence of parishioners.
The viewing service which preceded the Divine Liturgy was led by Eastern Prelate Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielians, while the church service was led the Prelate of Canada, Archbishop Papken Tcharian, who also read the pontifical condolence letter. Very Rev. Zareh Sarkissian presented Archbishop Tabakian’s biography.
In his message, Bishop Donoyan reflected on Archbishop Tabakian’s selfless, courageous, brave and fearless, resilient and culture-loving spirit. Tabakian served as Prelate of the Western United States from 1977 to 1985.
The Prelate also spoke about the 50-year history of the Western Prelacy and prayed for future accomplishments, and stressed that the mission of the Holy See of Cilicia, with its Pontiff, Clergy and lay parishioners, is a mission of hope for all people of the nation and in accordance with a Pontifical Declaration, the Diaspora through internal revitalization is the strongest, unparalleled and most reliable ally of Armenia and Artsakh.
During the Divine Liturgy, the clergy offered their final respects to Arch. Tabakian by bowing in front of and giving what is known as the “final kiss” on his right hand, bidding him farewell on the path to join all the clergy of the Cilician Catholicosate who went before him.