On Sunday, December 17, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, participated in the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor. In the sermon, the Prelate, referring to the Gospel reading of the day, brought up the imperative of the twin virtues of forgiveness and faith in private and collective life. Also, stressing the importance of the apostolic letter, that “Christ is the manifestation of the glory of God the Father and the image of His essence,” he said that the apostles witnessed the taste of that glory on Mt. Tabor, and the essence, which is universal love, on the Cross. He invited the faithful to gradually approach the feast of the Epiphany with this deep awareness and to be renewed by it.
At the end of the sermon, the Prelate announced that the same day in all the Prelacy churches a special memorial service would be held on the 20th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, during whose tenure the Prelacy was enriched with new departments and was revitalized with multiple initiatives. Archbishop Anoushavan also communicated the sad news of the passing of Archbishop Suren Kataroyan, which had happened the same morning.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, a blessing ceremony took place for the plaque with the names of benefactors of the church, displayed at the entrance of the church. The plaque was donated by the Tashjian family, in memory of their parents, Edward and Louise Tashjian. Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian highly praised the Tashjian family’s loyalty and support to the church, which has continued to this day and was especially in display during the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that the names of all the benefactors will be added on the plaque.
After the church ceremonies, a special commemorative event was held in the Pashalian Hall in honor of Archbishop Mesrob, of blessed memory. Archbishop Anoushavan highlighted his role model as an exemplary churchman, who put his multiple talents at the service of the Diaspora and the Homeland. An affectionate writing by Dr. Herand Markarian dedicated to Archbishop Mesrob was also read.
The annual bazaar of the Armenian Relief Society took place parallel to the commemoration event. Rev. Fr. Mesrob encouraged the attendees to appreciate this initiative with their wide support, the proceeds of which will be fully dedicated to the displaced Artsakh Armenians.