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AArmenian Church of Great Britain and Ireland
ARMENIAN CHURCH OF GB AND IRELAND
THE PRIMATE’S OFFICE
25 Cheniston Gardens Kensington London W8 6TG Tel: 020 8127 8364 Fax: 0872 111 5548 E-mail:
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ARMENIAN CHURCH YOUTH
THE PRIMATE’S BLOG
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V. Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate
221 April 2011, Issue 16, Vol 2
“IT IS FINISHED!” What did our Lord mean by His final words on the cross when he said “It is finished” or “It is done” (John 19:30)? And why is the phrase so important that the evangelists felt it necessary to record it in the Gospels? During His public ministry, Jesus confirmed that he did not come to abolish the Torah and Prophets but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:13). His entire life from the womb to the tomb is one of fulfilling God’s will. Through His birth, ministry, miracles, and preaching the Lord has done everything according to the will of the Father. He preached the Gospel of repentance, peace and forgiveness, and revealed God to us as a loving Father who is forgiving and is eagerly awaiting the return of His beloved, yet prodigal, sons and daughters. In fact, every word Jesus uttered and every deed He did happened miraculously in accordance with the Scriptures! Yet the climax of His mission, according to the Scripture, was to liberate humanity from the shackles of death, imposed on all because of sin. John the Baptist welcomes Jesus identifying Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Until the crucifixion, Jesus had “fulfilled” everything except destroying sin and its consequent death. It was on the cross, therefore, that the only missing piece of the puzzle was added: Jesus uncovered the final phase and the pinnacle of His redeeming mission to save us, who were held captive by the Law which taught that every “soul that sins must die” (Ezekial 18:20). He came to be the eternal substitute sacrifice, the Passover by whose blood we receive freedom. On the cross it was the final piece of the expression of divine love that was revealed: Jesus becoming the sin-offering by whose blood (poured as a sacrifice on the cross) atonement was received by all, and by whose death all became justified to receive eternal life. Our redemption price was paid in full by Jesus on the cross. There are no loose ends in God’s salvation plan for us to tie, and no missing pieces of the puzzle to work over. “It is finished” in the sense that: the prophecies of the Old Testament have all been fulfilled in His life; the will of the Father was fully executed; the plan of salvation was obediently followed by Jesus without giving in to temptations. Indeed, it was on the cross that God’s mission for our salvation was accomplished. As excruciating as the pain of the cross was physically, the phrase was an expression of divine victory. “It is finished” was uttered by the last breath of the Lord in the sense of conquest and triumph. Christ declares before heaven and earth, and unto eternity, that His mission is accomplished in that God’s plan from all eternity to undo the deceptions of the devil and the death of Adam is now finished. Every year, through the commemoration of Holy Week and the death of Jesus Christ, the Church reminds us that we have been redeemed from death and that eternal life awaits us, thanks to Jesus’ endurance, perseverance and sacrifice. In return, does this “Jesus” deserve a few minutes of our day to acknowledge Him as our Savior and thank Him for His work of salvation and for His perfect suffering and death on our behalf? Are a few hours a week too much to know a divine-man
who died so that you and your loved ones may live eternally?
TWO RECENTLY PUBLISHED HOLY WEEK BOOKS:
The Worship and Liturgical Services Programme of the Primate’s Office is happy to announce the publication of two books in the “Holy Week” series. The first book is volume three of the series which is titled: Holy Thursday: Khavaroom, which includes the text of the evening vigil of the Betrayal of the Lord, commemorated on Thursday night, in Classical Armenian and English translation and transliteration. The second book, volume four, is titled: Order of the Burial: Good Friday, which includes the texts in Classical Armenian, English translation and English transliteration and Modern Armenian translation of the service of the Burial of our Lord, which is commemorated on Friday evening. Both books will be made available for worshippers in church on Holy Thursday and Good Friday this year. Copies of each of the two books can be purchased from the Primate’s Office for a donation of £ 10 to defray the cost of the publication.
PRIMATE GUEST LECTURER AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY On Saturday, 7 May, 2011, the Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, will be the guest speaker at a conference in Oxford University titled, “Middle East In Crisis: Where Is Church Leadership?” The conference is sponsored by the Living Stones, which is an ecumenical trust seeking to promote contacts between Christian communities in Britain and those in the Holy Land and neighbouring countries. The conference will take place in the “Catholic Chaplaincy,” building in Rose Place, Oxford, St. Aldate’s, OX1 1RD, which is opposite Christ Church in Aldate’s Street. Fr. Vahan’s contribution to the discussion will be a communication titled, “Some realities of church leadership in the Middle East.” Participating in the programme, which will start at 10:00am, will be several speakers including Dr Kenneth Cragg, World-renowned commentator on Christian-Muslim relationships and Middle Eastern Christianity, Anthony O’Mahony, Director of Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College, London, Mariam Tadros and the Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Former Bishop of Rochester, President of OXTRAD. For further information & for admission tickets please visit their website: http://www.livingstonesonline.org.uk.
ACYF - HOLY FRIDAY REFLECTION NIGHT Following the Holy Friday Burial Services at St. Sarkis Church, on Friday 22nd April, which is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm, there will be a special programme in the Gulbenkian Hall of the St. Sarkis Church. The programme will be a reflection on the mystery of the sacrifice and death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The programme, offered by the Armenian Church Youth Fellowship (ACYF), will include a light supper served immediately after church services. Following supper, a brief introduction by the Primate will elaborate on the biblical teachings concerning the death of our Lord as the eternal sacrifice to redeem God’s creation. Fr. Vahan will offer translations of some of the Armenian hymns sung during the Burial Service on Holy Friday which elaborate on the Armenian Church’s understanding of the theology of the passion and death of Christ. Following the introduction, the ACYF will offer a video screening of the film “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) by Mel Gibson. A general discussion will follow. All are welcome and admission is free. For further information please contact the ACYF at: firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE NOTE: The film has a minimum age limit of 18.
Suggested donation to the ACYF: 10.00.
HOLY WEEK SERVICES IN LONDON AND MANCHESTER Sunday: 17 April, Palm Sunday - ?a[kaxard (St. Sarkis & St. Yeghiche, London; and Holy Trinity, Manchester)
Badarak: 11:00AM - No Hokehankisd
Thursday:21April,WashingofFeet/Betrayal-Otnloua\;u>auaroum (St.Sarkis) Badarak 11:00 am - No Hokehankisd Washing of Feet - 4:30pm Betrayal Vigil (Khavaroom) - 8:00pm
Friday: 22 April, Burial Service - Ja[man Karg (St. Sarkis) Burial Service 4:30pm Procession 5:00pm
Saturday: 23 April, Eve of the Resurrection - Yragalo\z (St. Sarkis and St. Yeghiche) Evening Service and Scripture Readings 5:30pm Badarak 6:00pm
Sunday: 24 April, Feast of the Resurrection - Sourb |aroujiun - Xatik Morning Service 10:00am
(St. Sarkis & St. Yeghiche, London; and Holy Trinity, Manchester)
PLEASE NOTE: 1. Hokehangisd requests on Palm Sunday and Easter will be honoured the Sunday following Easter, 1st May. 2. In order to sign up for the service of the “Washing of the feet”, parents and grandparents of those wishing to have
their feet washed are encouraged to contact the Primate’s Office: email@example.com, Phone: 020 8127 8364, Fax: 0872 111 5548 to sign the names of their sons or grandsons, ages 13 and older, for participation in the service. The number of the participants will be limited to 12, representing the twelve Apostles.
3. Those wishing to donate toward the palm branches of Palm Sunday, Holy Friday flowers of the tomb of Christ, or flowers for Easter, are kindly required to contact the offices of St. Sarkis and St. Yeghiche Churches.
WHOEVER FORGETS THE VICTIMS OF THE GENOCIDE CEASES TO BE ARMENIAN!
In His concluding remarks of the evening at St. Yeghiche Church on Saturday, 16 April, commemorating the Genocide, the Very Revd Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, emphasized that any commemoration, by definition, comprises of two main aspects: (1) to remember and honor those who are being commemorated; and (2) to learn from the values and contributions of those who are being commemorated. In that sense, Fr. Vahan added, “We are gathered to honor the memory and pay tribute to 1.5 million Armenians who sacrificed their life during the Genocide of 1915. No Armenian can or will forget the victims and the precious price they paid with their lives to make sure that we remain Armenians. Whoever forgets the victims of the Genocide, ceases to be Armenian.” The Primate then continued elaborating on the second point stating that, “Today, we owe it to our beloved victims to strive and do our best to make sure that the sacred values and principals they died for remain alive and essentially relevant in our lives. If the Ottomans cut tongues and burned Armenian books so the Armenian language and culture be forgotten, here in London, UK, Ireland and all around the world we need to do whatever we can to make sure that our children speak, sing, think and express themselves in the language of the martyrs. If the enemy destroyed churches, burned our prayer books, dragged and shot Armenian Clergy to kill the Christian faith and our spirit, 96 years later today we need to do whatever we can to strengthen our church and make sure that the future generations truly understand the Christian faith of the martyrs and of their ancestors and live by the spiritual and moral values of this faith. Finally, if the perpetrators of the Genocide divided the martyrs so they can easily break and destroy us, we need to realize that true victory comes only when we all heartedly believe that no personal preferences, ideology or affiliation can be greater or more important than the unity of our people.” The 96th Commemorative Evening was organized by the Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain (ACCC). The programme comprised of speeches by Mr. Ara Palamoudian, Chairman of the ACCC, Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of the Council, Ealing, and His Excellency Gagik Kirakossyan, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, and a recitation by Karine Bedrossian, singing by Anais Heghoyan and an impressive performance by the “Beautified Project” band. The same day in the morning, the ACCC has organized an inspiring gathering of the unveiling of the plaque and blessing at a memorial tree planted last year in memory of the victims of the Genocide. Finally, the ACCC is coordinating a march on Saturday, 23rd April, which is scheduled to start at 11:30 AM outside Selfridges. For further information, kindly visit the ACCC website. Congratulations to the ACCC for a job well done in the memory of the martyrs. Asdvadz orhné.
PRIMATE OPENS A RAFAEL MEGALL’S GALLERY IN LONDON:
The Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate participated in the opening ceremonies of a gallery in London exhibiting the recent works of Armenian artist Rafael Megall. The impressive collection of paintings was exhibited at “Gallery 8” at 8 Duke Street, St James's in London, and was open to the public 11-17 April. Born in Yerevan on 2 January, 1983, artist Rafael Megall studied in Yerevan State Academy of Arts. He has had numerous individual expositions including the recent ones: Sofa New York in 2009, Florence Biennale in 2009, Toronto Art Expo in 2010 and others in Armenia. Paintings of Rafael Megall are exhibited in galleries and private collections in different countries around the world. Congratulations Rafael and God belss you and your work. To learn more about this promising Armenian artist Click Here.
HOUSE BLESSING FOR EASTER
For centuries now, Armenian clergy took the good news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the homes of the Armenians in their church neighbourhoods, through the beautiful service of the blessing of the house. This is a 10- minute service which includes short prayers, singing of a hymn, and the chanting of a Gospel passage. The host family does not need to prepare much for the visiting clergy other than a glass of water, some salt and bread. According to the Bible these three elements symbolize life and survival. By blessing these three elements the priest blesses the entire house and all those who live in that house. To arrange a house blessing please contact you parish priest or a member of the Pastoral Committee/Church Committee/Board of Wardens of the church. In yo live in or near Cardiff, Dublin, please contact your MPC chairman. You can also contact the Primate’s Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 020 8127 8364. Let us make sure to preserve this beautiful ancestral Armenian custom and keep it alive in our homes.
PRIMATE’S OFFICE NEW STAFF:
We are happy to announce that Hovik Hovhannisyan has joined the team of volunteer staff that help the Primate in managing the Primate’s Office. Hovik will be working with Aznive Simon and A. Violetta Barzankian-Kaydan in covering the office hours and handling the daily operations of the Primate’s Office. Thank you Hovik and welcome aboard a very exciting team, working hard for the glory of God and the service of the Armenian people in the UK and Ireland!
DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS
(According to the Armenian Church Lectionary)
Second Day of Easter
Remembrance of the dead (Merelots)
Acts 2:22-41 Luke 24:1-12
Third Day of Easter
Acts 2:42-3:21 Luke 24:13-35
Fourth Day of Easter
Acts 3:22-4:12 James 1:1-12 Luke 24:36-40
Fifth Day of Easter
Acts 4:13-31 James 1:13-27 Matthew 5:1-12
Sixth Day of Easter
Acts 4:32-5:11 James 2:1-13 John 21:1-14
John 21:15-25 Acts 5:12-33 James 2:14-26
LET US PROMOTE OUR OWN TRADITIONS
“EASTER GREETINGS” ANOTHER CHALLENGE? Within just a few days Christians around the world will be celebrating Easter, the commemoration of the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Armenians have developed beautiful customs and traditions around this central feast in Christianity, including the colouring of eggs and the baking of especial loaves of bread & pastries. A key aspect of the Easter traditions is the greeting exchanged on this occasion. Up until very recently Armenians greeted each other on Easter, and for forty days afterward, saying: Krisdos haryav ee mérélots, “Christ is risen from the dead.” The person responding to the greeting says, Orhnyal éh harootyoonun Krisdosi, “Blessed is the resurrection of Christ.” So, after Badarak this Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon, greet whoever you meet using the greeting stated above (make sure the person is Armenian!). If the person does not know how to respond, please do not embarrass him/her. Nicely suggest the following:
1. To respond saying, Orhnyal éh harootyoonun Krisdosi (explaining its meaning) 2. To subscribe to our weekly E-Newsletter which would have helped him/her
avoid this situation!
BIBLE STUDY SESSIONS: The Bible Study groups, a programme of the Continuing Education Ministry (CEM), meet during the week according to the following schedule: The group in Armenian meets on Tuesdays at 7:00pm, while the group in English meets on Wednesdays at 7:30pm. Both groups meet in the Nevart Gulbenkian Hall. These sessions are great opportunities for people who have not yet read the Bible or those who want to read it in a group. All are welcome and admission is free. PLEASE NOTE: there will be no study sessions this Tuesday, 26 April or Wednesday 27 April, due to special events scheduled for Bright Week (week after Easter).
WASHING OF THE FEET SERVICE – HOLY THURSDAY
This year the inspiring service of the Washing of the Feet, which is part of the annual Holy week services, is scheduled on April 21st, at 4:30pm. The service commemorates the Lord’s washing of the feet of the 12 apostles. In order to better organize the service and help our children enjoy the service, the Primate’s Office is requesting that the parents who want to have their son’s feet washed to contact the Primate’s Office in advance. Please note that your son’s or grandson’s name needs to be registered in advance so they can attend a rehearsal with the Primate prior to the date of the service. To register please contact he Primate’s Office at 020 8127 8364 or e-mail: email@example.com
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ONLINE MINISTRY: We are happy to inform our readers that the Armenian Church of GB and Ireland has a website that is updated regularly. You can visit the website at: www.armenianchurch.co.uk.
If someone you know wishes to receive the E-Newsletter, or if you want us to send the E-Newsletter to a relative or a friend, kindly forward the person’s e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, we are building up our e-list with special attention to Armenians living in the Wales region and in Birmingham. If you know of someone who lives or studies in these areas, or anywhere else in the UK and Ireland, please forward the person’s e-mail address to: email@example.com.
ARMENIAN CHURCH OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
The Primate’s Office: 25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG, UK Website: www.armenianchurch.co.uk • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 020 8127 8364 • Fax: 087 2111 5548