On Sunday, August 6, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, presided over the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Vartanantz Church of Providence, Rhode Island. Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Pastor, was the celebrant.
In his sermon, the Prelate highlighted the following three issues of the reading of the day:
a. The persistence of the four men carrying the paralyzed man on a stretcher, despite the difficulties they were faced with;
b. Jesus Christ’s admiration for their faith and willpower, whereby they referred such an incurable case to the care of God;
c. The imperative of forgiving sins prior to the healing of the body.
The Prelate applied these three lessons to our daily life, saying we should not give in to the challenges we face every day, entrusting to God cases we may find intractable, while always examining in our inner selves our individual and collective life flaws and sins.
The ceremony of Andastan, or the blessing of the four corners of the world, followed the Divine Liturgy, including the blessing of the grapes and the sacrificial madagh. Priests from the area were in attendance: Very Rev. Fr. Ardag Arabian, Pastor of Holy Trinity Church, of Worcester, MA; Rev. Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, former Pastor of the parishes of North Andover, MA; Providence, RI, and Troy, NY; Rev. Fr. Bedros Shetilian, Pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Church of Indian Orchard, MA; and Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, Pastor of Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church of Whitinsville, MA.
Archbishop Anoushavan addressed the public, highlighting that the Andastan ceremony, with its biblical roots, it is still relevant for contemporary life as it enables us to see developments around the world, including in Artsakh, that part of our homeland where our people are nearing starvation not because of natural causes but because of the cruelty of fellow human beings. The Prelate urged the faithful to support our Artsakh sisters and brothers not only demanding justice but also practicing charity and praying.
The day closed with the traditional singing of Giligia.