His Holiness Catholicos Aram I last Sunday, June 20, presided over the ordination to priesthood of five novices, which took place at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of the Catholicosate in Antelias. The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Mesrob Sarkissian, the Prelate of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, with Rev. Fr. Barouyr Shernezian, Rector of the Seminary, officiating as sponsor of the ordinands.
The ordinands, Deacons Jean Sellumian, Garabed Eordekian, Kevork Tenekejian, Henrik Malkhassian and Apraham Degirmenjian, were led to the sanctuary on their knees by Fr. Shernezian, the sponsor, where they performed the renunciation from the world and vowed to bear the burden of Christ. Then the sponsor delivered the Holy Muron in a peristerium (a dove-shaped vessel) to the celebrant, who anointed the ordinands’ foreheads and right and left hands.
Dn. Jean took the name of Fr. Ezekiel; Dn. Garabed became Fr. Yessayi; Dn. Kevork is now Fr. Yezras; Dn. Henrik is now Fr. Yeghia, and Dn. Apraham was named Fr. Yeremia. Then they delivered their first call for peace to the congregation intoning, “Peace be to all” (Khaghaghootyoon amenetsoon).
“You are the generation of the 25th anniversary of the enthronement of Catholicos Aram I,” Bishop Mesrob told the ordinands in his homily. “You have to be proud, grateful, and aware of this singularity.”
The celebrant urged the newly ordained priests to follow His Holiness’ example, devoting themselves to the mission of serving God with wisdom and prudence. Upon the conclusion of the sermon, the members of the Brotherhood of Cilicia who were in attendance rose to the altar to greet and welcome the ordinands.
According to tradition, the new five priests will be observing the customary 40-day of retreat, spending their time preparing for their mission in the footsteps of our Lord.