LA CRESCENTA—After receiving the blessings and words of encouragement from Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirosian, the Crescenta Valley Church pastor and the members of the parish council— based on the mission and goals of the church bylaws—coordinated and organized a worship service for children with special needs on Sunday, July 28.
The service was organized in partnership with Armenian Autism Outreach Program and help from Homenetmen Hrashq volunteers. The worship service allowed the opportunity for the children with special needs and their parents to enrich their spiritual demands and be integral part of the community in a welcoming atmosphere.
The first worship service took place on the Feast of Transfiguration of Jesus, also known as Vartavar. Hymns and religious songs were performed by the choir members. Reverend Ghevont Kirazian delivered the sermon, where he explained the meaning of Vartavar and prayed to God to bless and extend a ray of light from the brightness of His transformation unto the children and their family members. The Rev. gave an in-depth interpretation of the tradition of spreading water, which has roots in our pagan history, and has extended to our present day.
The children had the opportunity to play with water-filled balloons on the church grounds symbolizing the tradition of Vartavar.
Attendees left the church premises with great satisfaction and with hopes of reuniting again for future gatherings. The upcoming two worship services for the year are scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 18 and September 15, respectively.
Sunday August 18, is the Feast of Assumption of Saint Mary, Mother of Jesus. After the worship service, the faithful will join in the ritual of blessings of the grapes.
Sunday September 15, on the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross, following the worship service the attending parishioners will participate in the traditional procession, during which basil leaves will be distributed.
These two upcoming one-hour worship services will start 9 a.m. at 6252 Honolulu Ave, La Crescenta, CA 91214.