Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, and conducted the blessing of madagh at St. Garabed Church in Hollywood on the occasion of the parish’s name day. Archpriest Vicken Vassilian assisted at the altar. The celebration took place on Sunday, January 19.
In attendance were Central Executive Council member Vahe Yacoubian, Executive Council members Dr. Navasart Kazazian and George Chorbajian, representatives of the ARF “Karekin Njteh” Gomideh, Rose and Alex Pilibos School, Mary Postoian Pre-School, ARS “Mayr” chapter, Homenetmen Los Angeles chapter, Raffi Romanian Armenian Cultural Association, Daron-Dourouperan Compatriotic Union, Armenian Ecclesiastical Brotherhood, St. Garabed Church consecration godfather Vahe Karapetian and Veronique Monique, altar sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Haigouhi Daglian, members of the parish family, and sponsors.
The theme of the Prelate’s sermon was a passage from the hymn dedicated to the feast, “From the heavens above come to our aid, O St. John, apostle and prophet, forerunner and baptizer of the Son of God. We beseech your intercession before Christ.” Prelate Mardirossian stated that St. John faithfully, obediently, and humbly fulfilled the mission entrusted to him by God. Armed with the Holy Spirit, he heeded his calling and committed his life to leading individuals to Christ. He never wavered from this mission and his purpose, remaining faithful and obedient to God until his martyrdom.
Prelate Mardirossian then spoke on St. John’s mission, stating that he was the greatest of the prophets, the preparer of Christ’s path, and the ray of the Sun who “made straight the way of the Lord” and invited individuals to the one and true path. “In the example of St. John, may we be upright and honorable in thought, word, and deed, and advocates of truth,” stated the Prelate, and concluded by beseeching the intercession of St. John so that we, as faithful, may find remission from our sins and return to God as His beloved children.
At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, requiem prayers were offered for all departed church servants, sponsors, and faithful, followed by the madagh blessing.
The annual celebratory luncheon, organized by the Parish Pastor and Board of Trustees, followed at “Karapetian” Hall.
The program began with welcoming remarks made by Board of Trustees member Deacon Suren Hazarian, after which the Prelate delivered the invocation.
During lunch, guests enjoyed a cultural program of recitations, songs, dances, and musical performances by Sunday School and Pilibos School students.
In keeping with a time-honored tradition where an individual is honored for his or her service to the church and community, this year, the parish honored altar server and community activist Artur Artenyan.
Fr. Vicken introduced Artenyan’s biographical details and record of service and, alongside members of the Board of Trustees, presented a plaque to the honoree. Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu presented a certificate of commendation on behalf of the City Council.
Prelate Mardirossian was then invited to deliver his message. He first commended the members of the parish and school family for their dedicated service and thanked the sponsors for their generosity – thanking in particular the Church consecration godfather and luncheon sponsor, Vahe Karapetian and Veronique Monique. He especially commended the day’s honoree for his faithful service to St. Garabed Church and our community and presented a letter of blessing and commendation which was read by Fr. Vicken. In the letter, the Prelate had noted, that “Mr. Artenyan’s life and service is a concrete and beautiful testament to his merit as a fine Armenian and a faithful Christian. He has served not only the Armenian Church but the community at large, and has continuously offered his moral and financial support to a number of organizations.” Prelate Mardirossian also highlighted Artenyan’s significant role in the Hawaii State Senate’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2015.
Following the benediction, the celebration closed with the singing of the Armenian national anthem.