Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian presided over Divine Liturgy and conducted the ordination of deacons at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale on Sunday, bestowing the rank of deacon upon four longtime parish servants Haroutiun Ohanessian, Melvin Arzoumanian, Koko Kazanjian, and Vahik Yeghiayan.
Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Movses Shannakian. Archpriest Vazken Atmajian, Archpriest Gomidas Torossian, and Rev. Ardak Demirijan assisted at the altar and in the ordination ceremony.
The ordination ceremony began with the four candidates ascending the altar as the choir sang the hymn “Oorakh Ler.” Placing his hand on their heads, the Prelate beseeched the Lord to cleanse and purify them, fortify and fill them with the Holy Spirit, strengthen them in good works, augment in them love and faith, make them worthy to fulfill the rank of deacon by serving the Holy Altar of God with purity, and to keep them unshaken in the order to which they are called. The candidates then faced westward, with their hands by their ears, and pledged to dedicate themselves to their calling.
The ceremony continued before the “Kiss of peace” as the Prelate granted them the special privileges of the deaconate. He congratulated the newly ordained deacons and wished them fruitful service with integrity, humility, love, and obedience.
Citing the passage from 1 Timothy 4:7 – 8, which was read during the ordination ceremony: “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come,” the Prelate stated that spiritual health is as important as physical health. “Spiritual health comes from living a life of worship, and worship begins with love. The greatest love we have is that of Christ, who came to serve lovingly and selflessly. God has planted seeds of love in the heart of each person, and that love should impel all to goodness and inspire others to a life of love and worship,” stated Prelate Mardirossian. Addressing the deacons, he once again urged them to serve with love, devotion, discipline, and a great sense of responsibility, to always heed God’s commandments and follow Christ’s example so that they become an example to others with their exemplary life of faith. He concluded by blessing and congratulating the parish family and wishing all continued success in their service.
Following the service, the Prelate presided over a luncheon dedicated to the feast of the Holy Translators at “Armenak Der Bedrossian” Hall, organized by the Prelacy Bible Study groups. St. Mary’s Church Parish Pastors and Board of Trustees members were in attendance.
Brother Krikor Misserlian delivered welcoming remarks, in which he thanked the Prelate for his continuous support and encouragement of the Bible Study groups from the onset.
The Prelate commended Brother Krikor’s three decades of dedicated and faithful service and, speaking on the Bible, stated “the Bible is a bottomless fountain; however much you read it, you become that much that enriched. Thus, let us arm ourselves with God’s Word and make the Bible the foundation of our daily lives.”
Brother Krikor presented a plaque to the Prelate on behalf of the Bible Study groups, as well as to those who have served for many years in this mission.