LITTLE ARMENIA—On Sunday, January 13, in observance of the name day of St. Garabed Church of Hollywood, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian celebrated Divine Liturgy, delivered the sermon, conducted the blessing of madagh, and presided over the traditional luncheon. Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian and deacons assisted at the altar.
Among the faithful in attendance were Central Executive member Gaidzag Zetlian, Executive Council Chair Garo Eshgian and members Dr. Navasart Kazazian and George Chorbajian, and representatives of the “Karekin Njteh” Gomideh, Rose and Alex Pilibos School, Mary Postoian Pre-School, Homenetmen Los Angeles Chapter, ARS “Mayr” Chapter, Raffi Romanian Armenian Cultural Association, Daron-Dourouperan Compatriotic Union, Armenian Ecclesiastical Brotherhood, Asbarez newspaper, church consecration godfather Vahe Karapetian and altar sponsor Mr. and Mrs. Hagop and Haigouhi Daglian.
At the start of his sermon the Prelate noted that the day marked the eighth day of the feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the feast of His naming and this year coincided with the name day celebration of St. Garabed Church.
The Prelate centered his sermon on St. John the Forerunner’s pious life and service dedicated to the Lord, who paved the way which leads to the Lord’s kingdom and as the angel announced to his parents Zacharias and Elizabeth, would “go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
“St. John the Baptist, by the example of his life, invites us to positive living in our personal, family, and national life, with mutual respect and tolerance, guided by goodness and the Light of our Lord. Thus, it is my prayer and hope for all to be honorable, dutiful, and faithful children of God, to live a life characterized by love, harmony, and righteousness, always seeking that which is good and just and preparing ourselves for His second coming,” stated the Prelate.
In conclusion, as the first session of Armenia’s National Assembly was to convene the following day, Arch. Mardirossian prayed for the Lord to inspire our nation’s leaders to serve in the spirit of justice and accord.
During “Der Voghormya,” prayers were offered for all who are ailing, in particular for the health of church and ARF Central Committee member Garo Ispenjian recovering from heart surgery.
At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, requiem prayers were offered for all departed church servants and sponsors, followed by the madagh blessing.
The traditional celebratory luncheon followed at “Karapetian” Hall. True to a time-honored tradition, this year the parish honored longtime community member Hagop Arakelian for his service to the church, Homenetmen Los Angeles Chapter, and Raffi Romanian Armenian Cultural Association.
During the luncheon, guests enjoyed a rich cultural program of traditional song, dance, and poems by Sunday School and Pilibos School students.
The Parish Pastor commended the students’ performances, which he regarded as testament that the Armenian Church and School is a cornerstone of the upholding of our heritage. He presented a brief overview of Arakelian’s service and invited Board of Trustees Chair Mardig Bouldoukian to join him in awarding a plaque of commendation. Homenetmen L.A. Chapter Chair Onnig Berberian praised Arakelian’s contributions as a founding member of the chapter, and presented a memento. The honoree’s daughter Louisa Golshen spoke of her father’s service and the importance of recognizing hard work.
The Prelate began his message by commending the Parish Pastor, Board of Trustees, and program participants, as well as all servants and sponsors and in particular the day’s honoree, to whom he bestowed a letter of blessing and commendation. In his letter, the Prelate lauded Arakelian’s over half-century of God-pleasing service beginning in his birth place of Romania to Los Angeles, his valuable input in the formation of St. Garabed Church, Pilibos School, and local Homenetmen chapter, his leadership roles, and sponsorships locally and in Armenia and Artsakj. “Above all, he served with the faith and conviction that our churches, schools, and community organizations have an unparalleled role in the preservation and advancement of our nation,” stated the Prelate.
Arakelian expressed thanks for the honor and awards and shared that faithfulness to our nation is what inspires his service.
The program closed with the benediction and “Cilicia.”