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TOP STORY                                                          January 19, 2017

Why is the Badarak So Long

Why is the Badarak so Long? 

The Eastern Diocese’s popular video series, “Bread and Salt: Stories from the Armenian Church,” now has a companion podcast series of the same name.
In the inaugural episode—“Why is the Badarak So Long?”—Eric Vozzy interviews the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, a scholar of the Armenian Divine Liturgy, and director of the Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center.
Click here to listen to the podcast on the Diocese’s SoundCloud channel, and stay tuned for more episodes in the coming months. 

Scripture of the Week

Is 58:13-59:7
1 Tm 4:12-5:10
Jn 3:13-21

Prayer of the Week

I glorify you, God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and give thanks to him who has kept me in peace this night, to him who has led me from darkness to light, from death to life, from ignorance to the knowledge of his truth. Amen.

Upcoming Saints & Feasts

19 January: St. Theodosius the King 

21 January: Holy Fathers Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria

23 January: St. Kyriakos

24 January: St. Vahan of Goghtn


Hrant Dink

Remembering Hrant Dink

Ten years ago today—on January 19, 2007—the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated on the street outside his newspaper offices in Istanbul. Dink’s writings on the Armenian Genocide had made him a well-known figure in Turkey—but had also prompted his prosecution under Turkey’s retrograde law forbidding anti-Turkish statements.
The murder of this brave, gentle man was later revealed to contain elements of state persecution along with what we in this country would call “hate crime.” It became a cause célèbre for Armenians the world over, but also for elements of Turkish society longing for a more open public discourse. At Hrant Dink’s funeral, more than 100,000 people, Armenians side-by-side with ethnic Turks, jammed the streets of Istanbul carrying placards reading, “We are all Hrant Dink.”
Even after ten years, the demoralizing horror of that terrible January day still lingers; and the astonishing spectacle of the subsequent weeks is likewise unforgettable. Today we again offer prayers for the repose of Hrant Dink’s spirit, for the consolation of his loved ones, and for the light of Divine truth, which even the deepest darkness cannot extinguish.
In the wake of  Dink’s murder, Diocesan Communications director Chris Zakian published a short essay that, alas, is still timely in its reflections on the crime and its aftermath. Click here to read it.

Archbishop Mesrop Krikorian

In Memoriam: Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian

The Eastern Diocese mourns the passing of His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian, who entered into his eternal rest on Saturday, January 14, in Vienna, Austria. He was 85.

Archbishop Mesrob was the former Primate of the Diocese of Germany, Pontifical Legate of Central Europe, and pastor to the Armenians of Vienna, Austria, having served in these capacities for half a century. As one of the senior archbishops of our church, he was greatly respected within the Armenian community and in the surrounding society. He was also a scholar of international standing. Click here to read a biographical sketch.

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, instructed parishes to remember Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian through a hokehankisd service on Sunday, January 22.


Home Blessings

Primate Visits Schools, Homes for the Aged 

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, visited local Armenian schools and homes for the elderly this month. These included the Hovnanian School in New Milford, NJ, and the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Emerson, NJ, on Thursday, January 12; and the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School in Bayside, NY, and the New York Armenian Home in Flushing on Thursday, January 19.
As part of each visit, the Primate officiated over the Home Blessing service, which is traditionally performed at the start of the new year. At the Holy Martyrs and Hovnanian schools, students sang Armenian songs and recited poems. They also had a chance to learn more about the Home Blessing service and to ask Archbishop Barsamian questions about the Armenian Church. At the New York Armenian Home and the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, residents spoke with the Primate and received his blessing.

Accompanying Archbishop Barsamian to the Hovnanian School and the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center were the Rev. Fr. Diran Bohajian, Rev. Fr. Daniel Karadjian, Dn. Hacik Sariminasyan, Dn. Eric Vozzy, and Armen Terjimanian. 

Accompanying Archbishop Barsamian to the Holy Martyrs Day School and the New York Armenian Home were the Rev. Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan, Dn. Narek Garabedian, Dn. Eric Vozzy, and Armen Terjimanian.

Click on the following links to view photos from the Hovnanian and Holy Martyrs schools, and the Emerson and Flushing homes.


Prayer Service

Memorial Service for Martyrs of Coptic Church Bombing  

On Friday, January 13, the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America hosted a 40th-day memorial service for the 28 martyrs killed in the St. Peter Cathedral bombing in Cairo, Egypt, last month.
The Rev. Fr. Daniel Karadjian represented the Armenian Church at the service, which was held at the St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Holmdel, NJ. Fr. Karadjian read a letter from Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian: “The bomb explosion at the St. Peter Church in Cairo touched deep chords of outrage and fellow-feeling among the Armenian faithful. Today, we extend a spirit of profound solidarity, Christian outreach, and above all love to our persecuted brothers and sisters of the Coptic Church.”  
Click here to view a video recording of the service.


Hye Reflections

News from the Women's Guild Central Council  

The Women’s Guild Central Council has published the latest issue of its “Hye Reflections” newsletter. The publication includes a review of last year’s Women's Guild Assembly, which was held concurrently with the Diocesan Assembly in Cleveland, OH, as well as updates from local parish guilds.

Click here to read the “Hye Reflections.”



FAR Hosts Discussion for Youth in Tavush    

As part of its “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” program, the Fund for Armenian Relief organized a discussion for young people living in Armenia’s Tavush region.
Held in the village of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, the event drew more than 100 young men and women to discuss challenges in their communities and to brainstorm possible solutions. Some of the issued discussed were selected to be the focus of further action in the coming year.
Click here to read more on FAR’s blog.



"Havresc" Film Screened at Zohrab Center

The Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center recently presented a screening of the documentary “Havresc: Stand on Courage,” examining the struggles of Armenian and Assyrian Christian Iraqis in a village on the edge of ISIS-controlled territory.
The documentary details the history of the village from the time of the Armenian Genocide (when a group of survivors migrated to Iraq and built homes for their families) to their present-day trials in the face of war and persecution.
Click here to read more.


St. David Church, Boca Raton, FL

Boca Raton Parish Welcomes Primate

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, traveled to the St. David Church of Boca Raton, FL, on January 13-15, to meet with parishioners and to honor the 10th ordination anniversary of the pastor, the Rev. Fr. Paren Galstyan.
During the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Archbishop Barsamian ordained five altar servers: Grigor Galstyan, Aren Galstyan, and Hamlet Panosyan as acolytes; Varujan Avedian and Garen Kalender as sub-deacons.
The Primate presented Fr. Galstyan with a special lanchakhatch (cross necklace), in recognition of the pastor’s 10th ordination anniversary. A banquet to honor the milestone was held following services.
Arpi Nakashian of the Eastern Diocese’s Creative Ministries department participated in the parish organization meetings. Clergy present included the Rev. Fr. Nersess Jebejian, Rev. Fr. Mampre Kouzouian, and Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan.

Click on the following links to read more and to view photos.


Prayer at Holy Trinity Church, PA

A Day of Remembrance in Cheltenham

Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, PA, hosted a “Day of Remembrance” (or merelotz) on Sunday, January 15.
Members of families who lost loved ones in 2016 processed to the chancel, read aloud the names of the deceased, and lit a flame from a central candle as a symbol of Christ—the light of the world. The candles remained lit throughout the special hokehankisd service.
The Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan, parish pastor, told the parishioners: “Your loss is also a loss for us, your faith community, and we are here to comfort you.” 


Mission Parishes Christmas

Diocesan Mission Parishes Celebrate Christmas

Mission parishes across the Eastern Diocese observed Armenian Christmas with services and gatherings in recent weeks.
On Saturday, January 14, the Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian conducted the Blessing of Water service in Myrtle Beach, SC, at St. Mark Coptic Church. Fr. Odabashian was assisted by sub-deacon Armen Hareyan from North Carolina. The gathering was organized by Aram Heboyan.
On Sunday, January 15, Fr. Odabashian traveled to Lansing, MI, where he again performed the Blessing of Water at the city’s St. David Episcopal Church. Fr. Odabashian was assisted by Dn. Onig Boyajian of Detroit. The service and dinner that followed were organized by longtime community member Helen Knar Cirrito.
The Rev. Fr. Stepanos Doudoukjian visited the mission parish of Nashville, TN, on December 18. He celebrated the Divine Liturgy at a local Episcopal church and delivered a special children's message about St. Nicholas and the meaning of Christmas. Click here to read his reflection about the visit.
In Naples, FL, local parishioners gathered for the Divine Liturgy and Blessing of Water on Sunday, January 8. The Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan was the guest celebrant. Daniel Nersesian served as godfather for the Blessing of Water ceremony. A festive dinner followed.
The Rev. Fr. Martiros Hakobyan visited San Antonio, TX, on January 14, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and performed the water blessing. A potluck dinner followed services.
In Cape Cod, the Rev. Fr. Khachatur Kesablyan celebrated the Divine Liturgy on January 14. Parish council chair Artak Sahakyan served as the godfather for the Blessing of Water. Fr. Kesablyan was assisted by Dn. Shant Broukian. Following services, church students put on a Christmas pageant.
Click here to view photos from these Christmas celebrations in the mission parishes.


Upcoming Parish Events

St. Thomas Church | Tenafly, NJ
The cultural committee of St. Thomas Church of Tenafly, NJ, will host a screening of the film "Gyank ou Griv" on Friday, January 27, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The film tells the story of the Artsakh independence war; it's in Armenian with English subtitles. A wine and cheese reception will follow the screening. Click here to view a flyer for ticket information.
St. James Church | Watertown, MA
St. James Church of Watertown, MA, will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hrant Dink’s assassination with a program on Sunday, January 22. Reflections will be offered by Dr. Taner Akcam and Gonca Sonmez-Poole. Click here to view a flyer for information.

St. Stepanos Church | Elberon, NJ
The Women’s Guild of St. Stepanos Church of Elberon, NJ, will host a cooking class on Sunday, January 22, in the church hall. Learn to make “St. Sarkis Halva” from Yester Garabaedian. Click here for registration information.



Armenia Service Program Scheduled for July

The ACYOA has opened registration for its Armenia Service Program, which will take place from July 1 to 18, 2017. 
The program of travel, service, and worship gives young adults (ages 18 to 30) a unique opportunity to discover their homeland and to serve its people in a meaningful way. ACYOA members leave Armenia with a connection to their faith and heritage that continues to inspire them.

This year’s trip leader will be the Rev. Fr. Tadeos Barseghyan, pastor of St. Sahag Church of St. Paul, MN. The ACYOA is partnering with the Fund for Armenian Relief for the service component of the trip.
Click here to download the application; applications are due by March 15. To learn more about the program, visit, or contact Diocesan staff members Kathryn Ashbahian at or Jennifer Morris at


Summer Camps

Summer Camp Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Diocesan Summer Camp programs: St. Vartan Camp at the Ararat Center in upstate New York and Hye Camp in Illinois. Online registration and credit card payments are available for both programs.
Click on the following links to view the camps flyer with the 2017 camp dates, and to visit the camps website to register your child. To apply for CIT, staff, and volunteer positions, download and mail in a completed application.
For more information about St. Vartan Camp, contact Lorie Odabashian at For Hye Camp, contact Kathryn Ashbahian at

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