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TOP STORY                                                         March 31, 2016

Easter at St. Vartan Cathedral

Easter at St. Vartan Cathedral  

As many as 2,000 people participated in Easter services at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York on Sunday, March 27. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered the Easter homily.

After the Divine Liturgy, the Primate led a procession to the cathedral plaza, where 12 doves were released, symbolizing the dispatching of the 12 apostles. Renowned Armenian-American artist Michael Aram and church benefactor Sandra Shahinian Leitner were the godparents of this year's doves ceremony. Mr. Aram's sculpture "Migrations" provided a majestic backdrop to the ceremony. The monument, honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, was installed on the cathedral plaza last fall as part of the Armenian Genocide centennial. The Shushi Dance Ensemble of St. Vartan Cathedral, in traditional Armenian costumes, performed dances on the plaza following the "Release of Doves" ceremony.

A reception and program followed in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium, where Archbishop Barsamian officiated over a home-blessing service.

Click on the following links to read more about Easter and Holy Week at the cathedral, and to view photos from Easter Sunday and Holy Thursday. For the first time this year, St. Vartan Cathedral’s Easter Sunday Divine Liturgy and “Release of Doves” ceremony was broadcast live over the Internet. Click here to view a recording of the full broadcast.


Easter Across Parishes

Parishes Observe Easter and Holy Week  

For the past week, local Armenian churches have been alive with the services of Holy Week: the most important week of the Armenian Church calendar. A number of parishes have submitted photos of their observances. Click here to view our Easter photo gallery.

Scripture of the Week

Acts 5:34-6:7
Jas 3:1-12
Jn 1:1-17

Prayer of the Week

You created the visible light, separated the day and night, shed forth on us, O Lord, by night the rays of spiritual light. Give us at all times the shadow of your protecting hand, that by day and by night we may give you glory incessantly. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

April: Octave of Easter (New Sunday)

7 April: Annunciation to the Virgin Mary



Easter Across the World

Armenians Worldwide Celebrate Christ's Resurrection

At Holy Etchmiadzin, the Mother See of the worldwide Armenian Church, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Easter Sunday.

Present for the occasion was Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan and other government officials. A number of Armenians from across the diaspora also took part in services at Holy Etchmiadzin.

In his homily, His Holiness stressed that the message of Easter should continue to be the guiding force for the Armenian people. “In our efforts of strengthening our homeland, building and empowering our national life, as well as confronting the challenges before us today, we have the faith and light of Christ’s resurrection leading us,” the Catholicos said.  

Click on the following links to read His Holiness Karekin II’s message and to view a video of Easter services at Holy Etchmiadzin. Click here to view photos of Easter celebrations at Armenian dioceses across the globe.


President of Armenia in Boston

President of Armenia Visits Boston

Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian took part in the events this week welcoming Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan to Boston. President Sargsyan visited the city to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Armenia's independence.
The Primate took part in a March 29 wreath-laying program held at Boston's Armenian Heritage Park; and the official welcoming ceremony at the Massachusetts State House involving Governor Charles Baker, offering invocatory prayers at various venues.
Archbishop Barsamian was also part of President Sargsyan’s visits to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (to meet with Armenian students in the "Tavitian Program") and to Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge and St. James Church of Watertown (click here for photos).
In remarks during the week, the Primate spoke of the legions of Armenian-Americans who have traveled to the homeland over the past 25 years, who “return with a renewed commitment to the great dream and opportunity of a free Armenia. As long as that cause endures, Mr. President, this community will continue to guide and support Armenia, to ensure that our one-and-only independent homeland will be a sign of hope to all future generations of our people.”
President Sargsyan—who is in the U.S. to participate in the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC—also visited Boston’s Old North Church, met scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and gave a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Click on the following links to read more in the Boston Globe and on MIT’s website.


Diocesan Assembly Committee

Cleveland Parish Prepares for Diocesan Assembly

Registration forms are available for all clergy, Diocesan delegates, and parish council chairs taking part in this year’s 114th Diocesan Assembly. The forms are online, and can be downloaded by clicking here.
The annual gathering of the Eastern Diocese will convene April 28 through 30, 2016, in Cleveland, OH. The St. Gregory of Narek Church of Richmond Heights, OH, will host the Assembly, bringing together several hundred Armenian Church leaders from throughout the Eastern Diocese.
Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will preside over all the events.
Prior to the Assembly, clergy from across the Diocese will meet for their annual Clergy Conference and retreat, April 25-28. The Diocesan Women’s Guild General Assembly also convenes during the week.
A highlight of the gathering will be the annual awards banquet, on the evening of Friday, April 29. At that time, AGBU president Berge Setrakian will be honored for his longtime leadership of the community as the Diocese’s 2016 “Armenian Church Member of the Year.” Honored as this year’s “Friend of the Armenians” will be scholar Taner Akçam, author of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility.

Horses at the orphanage are trained to assist in therapy sessions that utilize equine movement to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth.

"Ayo!" is Raising Funds for Kharberd Orphanage

Ayo!” the Fund for Armenian Relief’s crowdfunding platform, is raising funds for an unusual project. The organization seeks to purchase a horse carriage to use for special therapy at the Kharberd Orphanage in Armenia.
Located a few miles outside Yerevan, Kharberd is home to some 300 children with physical and mental disabilities. The orphanage owns five horses, which are trained to assist in therapy sessions that utilize equine movement to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth.
The new carriage will enable therapists to conduct group sessions. Click here to read more on FAR’s blog.



Belleville Sunday School

Students in Belleville Raise Funds for Diocesan Lenten Drive

The Holy Virgin Mary and Shoghagat Sunday School of Belleville, IL, held its annual brunch on March 13, and raised close to $1,800 for the Diocesan Lenten drive. This year’s Lenten drive benefits the Fund for Armenian Relief’s “Child Malnutrition” program and the “Feed the Children” organization.
The Belleville Sunday School also held a canned food drive for donations to a local food pantry.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Parish Events

Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church | Providence, RI
Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church of Providence, RI, will host a concert of Armenian songs performed by the Armenian Chorale of Rhode Island in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 7 p.m. The concert will be held at the church. Click here to view a flyer for information.
Sts. Vartanantz Church | Chelmsford, MA
Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, MA, will observe the centennial of the consecration of its original church building on Saturday, April 16. A service and program will be held at the original location of Sts. Vartanantz Church (60 Lawrence Street in Lowell, MA). The program begins at 5:30 p.m. with an architectural tour of the building, followed by a prayer service and a presentation on the formation of the parish. For information, call (978) 256-7234, or e-mail

Holy Trinity Church | Cambridge, MA
Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, will host a “Saintly Women’s Day” observance for the parishes of Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Saturday, April 16, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Sister Bridget Haase will be the guest speaker. Click here for information.  
On Sunday, April 17, Holy Trinity Church will host a concert by the Erevan Choral Society. Titled “In Commemoration of Our Sainted Martyrs of 1915,” the program is dedicated to the memory of the late Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian. The concert is free and open to the public. It is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Click here for information.

Holy Martyrs Church | Bayside, NY
The Women’s Guild of the Church of the Holy Martyrs will celebrate its diamond (60th) anniversary with a luncheon on Sunday, April 17, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the North Hills Country Club in Manhasset, NY. For ticket information, call Marie-Louise at (516) 365-9185 or Zarmi at (917) 446-8249.


St. Neress Seminary

Register for the St. Nersess Summer Conferences

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has announced its schedule of 2016 Summer Conferences for high school and post-high school students. For the first time, the conferences will be held at the new St. Nersess campus in Armonk, NY.
Deacons' Training Program: June 25-July 3
Directed by Fr. Daniel Findikyan

High School Summer Conference A: July 15-24
Directed by Fr. Ghevond Ajamian

High School Summer Conference B: July 29- August 7
Directed by Fr. Shnork Souin

Post-High School Summer Conference: August 9-13
Directed by Fr. Samuel Rith-Najarian
Click here to visit the St. Nersess Seminary website to read more and for application information.


Zohrab Information Center

Zohrab Center Talk on Music of the Armenian Church

Musicologist Krikor Pidedjian will present his book The Music of the Armenian Church: An Historical Survey at the Zohrab Center on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. The talk will be held in Guild Hall of the Diocesan Center. Dn. Rubik Mailian, music director at St. John Church of Southfield, MI, will make introductory remarks.
The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase. A reception will follow the presentation.

Sahan Arzruni
┼×ahan Arzruni.

A Concert to Support the Vanadzor Old Age Home

Tickets are selling quickly for "Together For Armenia: Vanadzor Old Age Home"—the special concert event sponsored by the Fund for Armenian Relief on Tuesday, April 5, at Merkin Hall in New York City.
Master pianist ┼×ahan Arzruni will present an evening of Armenian music to benefit the Vanadzor Home, which is administered by FAR. He will perform works by Komitas, Khachaturian, Hovhaness, and Babadjanian—and will be joined by percussionist Adam Rosenblatt and child prodigy violinist Simon Hagopian for two special works.
All proceeds from the concert will be used to maintain and support the Vanadzor Home and its residents.
FAR warmly invites the public to attend this concert, which combines magnificent performances with a worthy cause: helping Armenia's elderly citizens live with the honor and dignity they deserve.
This will be the first in an annual "Together For Armenia” concert series created by Maestro Arzruni. Each event of the series will benefit a different program in FAR's extensive portfolio of projects in Armenia.
For information, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Kaufman Music Center's website, or call the box office at (212) 501-3330. Click here to read an article about the concert.

Peter Balakian
Peter Balakian.

Peter Balakian to Speak at Diocesan Center

The Diocese will host a discussion with award-winning author and poet Peter Balakian on Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. The evening will include a partial screening of Elia Kazan’s Oscar-winning film America, America, with commentary by Peter Balakian. A reception and book signing will follow.
Click here to view a flyer for information.

Armenian Genocide Commemoratin in Boston

Armenian Genocide Prayer Service in Boston

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will host a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, will host a prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Saturday, April 23, beginning at 4 p.m. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, will participate in the service.
Click on the following links to read an article in the Boston Globe and to view a flyer for information.

Times Square

April 24 Events in New York City

The Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide will be observed at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Thursday, April 24.
The Very Rev. Fr. Shahe Ananian, a visiting priest from Holy Etchmiadzin, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:30 a.m. The annual Genocide Commemoration sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan will be held in Times Square (43rd Street and Broadway) following services. Click here to view a flyer for information on the Times Square event.