On Sunday, December 24, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, presided over the Divine Liturgy at Soorp Khatch Church in Bethesda, Maryland. In his homily, the Prelate reflected on the reading from Luke 19:12-8, saying that in his parable about the master and his servants, Jesus indicated that God expects us to make the most of our skills, which He would amply reward. We should pray to the Lord to make us aware of our abilities, without overstating or understating them.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a brief ceremony took place to commemorate the feast of St. Stephen, the first Deacon and Proto-Martyr. Deacons Kevork Zabounian and Sarkis Aktavoukian, wearing a priest’s crown, censed the Altar and kneeled before the Prelate to receive his blessing. The prelate explained that Stephen means “crown” and expressed his wish that Christ, the crowner of saints, honors his servants with his heavenly crown and enrich the church with new deacons.
The church choir then offered sang a number of Christmas carols in English and Armenian to mark the Christmas feast of the Western churches.
The Prelate then praised highly Archpriest Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Pastor, for his dedication as well as the cooperation with the parish’s board of trustees and sister organizations, which was in evidence once again with the recent pontifical visit by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I.