His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, marked Sts. Vartanantz, one of the main feasts of the Armenian Church and people, at the namesake churches of the Eastern Prelacy.
Archbishop Anoushavan celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Sts. Vartanantz Day, Thursday, Feb. 24, at Sts. Vartanantz in Ridgefield, NJ, assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Pastor, and Rev. Fr. Vahan Kouyoumdjian. On this occasion, the Prelate ordained six acolytes: Nishan Kouyoumdjian, Nareg Kassardjian, Levon Tekeyan, Shant Asadurian, Bedig Torossian, and Michael Hambartsumian.
On Sunday, Feb. 27, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence, RI, assisted by Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian and Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian. The Prelate granted acolyte Michael Simonian the right to bear the stole.
Following the ceremony, Archbishop Anoushavan expressed praise for the work of Sts. Vartanantz Church and sister organizations in his homily.
Under the auspices of the Prelate, the community marked Vartanantz Day and Poon Paregentan with the assistance of Sunday School and Mourad Armenian School students and Homenetmen scouts,. Board of Trustees member and master of ceremonies Hrant Khatchadourian welcomed everyone and made opening remarks, followed by the invocation by Archbishop Anoushavan.
Following dinner, community members Hagop Donoyan and Debbie Pjojian were honored for their long-time services to the church. Board of Trustees Chairman Jason Simonian presented the honorees.
The Mourad School students then presented a short program commemorating St. Vartan and his soldiers under the direction of music director Raffi Rachdouni .
As the event came to an end, Der Kapriel shared his thoughts and invited His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan to deliver closing remarks.
“The stronger the parishes are, the stronger our communities will be,” His Eminence said. “We are all soldiers taking different responsibilities on our shoulders”. His Eminence commended the leadership and extended his appreciation to the Board of Trustees and the church community for the generous donation of $30,000 to the Lebanese Armenian relief fund.
From left to right: Hagop Donoyan, Debbie Pjojian, Archbishop Anoushavan, Mr. Michael Simonian, Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, and Jason Simonian