His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, presided over Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York on occasion of the feast of the Nativity and Revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thursday, Jan. 6. Prior to his homily, the Prelate conveyed the fatherly salute from His Holiness Catholicos Aram I to the Eastern Prelacy’s clergy, the National Representative Assembly, the Executive Board, the Parishes and the auxiliary bodies, as well as the sister organizations and the public. His Holiness expressed his praise for the community for its active involvement in Armenian life on a global scale, his best wishes of health, prosperity and success in 2022, which he has proclaimed the YEAR OF THE DIASPORA.
In his sermon, the Prelate called on revitalizing ourselves with the birth of the New King, turning Him into the driving force of our individual and collective endeavors (see his sermon elsewhere in this issue).
Divine Liturgy was followed by the traditional ceremony of the Blessing of the Water to mark the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon its conclusion, the faithful sang “When the doors of hope are opened wide,” the “Giligia” song that has become a prayerful plea, with the wish that the winter of the pandemic comes to an end and gives way to a benign spring. Then they greeted each other while singing the blessings of the “Great Mystery” hymn.
Afterwards, in the “Pashalian” parish hall, the Prelate extolled the selfless service by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor, especially during the long-lasting period of the pandemic, with the collaboration of the Board of Trustees and the auxiliary bodies. He also had words of praise for the loyalty of the faithful for attending in person Divine Liturgy without interrupting the tradition of the Armenian Church. The Prelate thanked Albert Gevorgyan, counselor at the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN, for his presence. His Eminence expressed his wish that the God-given faith of the Armenian people may guide the government and the people of the homeland as they grapple with existential threats against our nation, building new horizons hand in hand with the Diaspora.