Friday, 4 March 2016

Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland Volume 2, Issue 8 4 March 2016 Armenian Church News

Theophania Concert at St. Yeghiche Church
In this issue:
Theophania Concert
St. Yeghiche Annual Assembly
Holy Vartanank at Saturday School
Mid-Lent Lunch at Navasartian Centre
Anglican & Eastern Churches Association Lunch
Sunday of the Unjust Judge
On 27th February an extraordinary concert of spiritual choral music took place at St. Yeghiche Church in London. The Armenian Diocese of United Kingdom and Ireland hosted this event where choirs of Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Russian, Moldovan, Maronite and Greek Orthodox churches joined in unity and prayer.
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland and Pontifical Legate to the See of Canterbury, greeted and welcomed the choirs and spiritual leaders of the different churches as well as members of the audience. Stressing the importance
of this event as an expression of unity between sister churches, the Primate invited the faithful to remember in their prayers the Christians of the Middle East - for today they witness their faith through martyrdom.
The Armenian Church choir opened the concert followed by the choirs from the sister churches all expressing their faith through the voices of their members and soloists. The performances were based on Theophany. After each choir, one member of the same church recited biblical passages reminding humanity of the incarnation of the Word of God.
Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Diocesan Office
Tel. 0208 127 8364 primatesoffice@
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After individual performances all the choirs united in performing Gloria In Excelsis Deo (Glory to God on Highest) with each choir performing a number of verses in their own language.
As a gesture of solidarity, all choir members wore the “forget me not” flower - the symbol of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. At the end, the faithful gave their contribution for Syria and Iraq to help the Orthodox Church. The concert ended with a blessing by the clergy present.
The event was organised by St. Cyril Trust of the Coptic Orthodox Church in co- operation with St. Yeghiche Armenian Church, with the blessing and encouragement of Bishop Hovakim and the Primates of local Orthodox Churches. Individual members of the community as well as young members supported the event.
Please find the link to the concert at
Armenian Church News
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Community Life
Celebration of the Holy Vartanank at the Saturday
On 27th February Bishop Hovakim visited The Armenian Language Saturday School. His Grace met the teaching staff and parents and attended a matinée devoted to the the Holy Vardanants.
The matinée was arranged by teachers Mary Baghdasarian and Khatun Khorozian. The students presented not only the story of St Vartan and His Companions, but also reflected on its modern sense and place in our nation's formation. Episodes from our history were performed to show the great will of the Armenian people to be independent and free.
The performance was introduced by Mrs. Ramilia Ghazarian, who said: “The independence of the Armenian Republic started with the battle for Artsakh, and the establishment of the Artsakh Republic is also closely related to that. The battle for Artsakh is to show the readiness of the Armenian nation to fight for their religion and freedom. Our students will represent different episodes of the battle in a short but expressive way”.
St. Yeghiche Parish Annual Assembly
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan presided over the St. Yeghiche Armenian Church Parish 2nd Annual Assembly which took place on Sunday 28th February. The Parish Council presented its annual report for 2015 together with its annual accounts which were audited and approved by the elected Auditing Committee. The Parish Council also presented a summary of planned activities as well as its budget for 2016.
Having provided clarification on questions raised the council took the opportunity to thank its deacons, choristers, organist, Ladies Guild, the helpers, its members and congregation for their continued support.
Bishop Hovakim, in his closing summary, expressed his appreciation for the hard work that the Parish Council has undertaken and encouraged them to continue their service. He offered his blessings and wished them continued success.
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This performance recalled the saying: “During our history from time to time we had Vardans”, and included the song “If you go to war go with blessing”, the fight between Melik of Egypt and David of Sasun, the Armenian soldier's song and his vow. The students also presented the story of Vardanants in a question and answer form, cited poems and sang songs.
The day was blessed by Bishop Hovakim. His Grace expressed his delight to be present at the performance which contained in brief form the whole of Armenian history. He asked which small squad fought and won through the entire history of Armenia, and supplied the answer - the 36 Armenian letters, which one by one were brightening the pages of our history. In conclusion, the Primate blessed the Armenian Language Saturday School and wished them success.
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Միջինք – Mid–Lent Lunch at the Navasartian Centre
On Wednesday, 2nd March, on the occasion of Mijink, a lunch was organised jointly by Armenian Community Council and St. Yeghiche Church Ladies Committee. The lunch was attended by ladies from different communities and delicious Armenian lenten food was served. Bishop Hovakim, who was invited along with Rev. Fr. Shnork Baghdassarian, blessed the event and explained that the meaning of Lent as a unique opportunity for Christians to experience spirituality. He added that Lent is a period of prayer, fasting, charity work and also a period of forgiveness towards each other. He also reminded the participants of the Golden rule of the Gospel “Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them” (Mathew 7:12).
Mijink (Միջինք) is the Armenian word for Mid–Lent. Celebration of Mijink is a widespread Armenian folk practice and does not have liturgical implications. It is observed on the Wednesday following the 4th Sunday or on the 24th day of Great Lent. It is said that on that day engaged brides–to–be receive gifts from their future bridegrooms. It is also common practice to bake an unleavened cake hiding a coin in it. When the family gathers for dinner, the cake is cut into portions and distributed and whoever receives the coin is considered to be lucky for the whole year.
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Ecumenical Life
Anglican & Eastern Churches Association Lunch
On 1st March, the Primate attended the official lunch of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association at the House of Lords hosted by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, the Anglican President of the Association and organised by Rev. Canon William Taylor, its Chairman.
The business lunch, which was held under the chairmanship of the Bishop of London and His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios, Anglican and Orthodox Presidents of the Association, was attended by the Primates of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, bishops of the Anglican Church, ecumenical secretaries of the Anglican Church as well as the Political Director of the Foreign Office Sir Tim Barrow, the Secretary General of the General Synod, William Nye as well as Metropolitan Saba Esber, a guest Orthodox bishop from Syria.
The lunch was organised to evaluate the work of the organisation and seek ways for the future. The discussions were facilitated by the Bishop of London. Each participant had a chance to speak both about existing relations and priorities of their Church as well as make suggestions for future co-operation.
It was announced that in 2016 the Russian Orthodox Church is marking the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Church in Great Britain, and that the Serbian Orthodox Church is celebrating the centennial of St Nikolai Velimirovich who was also the first non-Anglican bishop to preach at St. Paul’s.
Bishop Hovakim thanked the Anglican counterparts for their support in commemorating the Armenian Genocide in 2015. He thanked the Bishop of London who visited Armenia on 23-24th April, 2015 and was the preacher at Westminster Abbey on 28th October, 2015. He also made some suggestions for future co-operation especially in the field of education and youth ministry. All the participants spoke about the situation in the Near and Middle East. Archbishop Athanasius of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Bishop Saba of Bosra and Jebel al Arab of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch brought their personal testimonies and described the humanitarian work they are doing equally for Christians and non-Christians. They expressed hope that governments would increase their support towards the Christians. It was stated once again that the Christians in the Middle East unite the Churches with their martyrdom and the Churches should do more in helping them.
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The association of Anglican and Eastern Churches is the oldest ecumenical body in the UK. It was founded 1864 ‘to advance the Christian religion, particularly by teaching members of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches about each other, in order to prepare the way for an ultimate union between them, in accordance with our Lord's prayer that "all may be one". All its members are urged to work and pray constantly to this end’.
The association is under the co-patronage of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch and His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Its Presidents are the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, and the Lord Bishop of London. A journal, Koinonia, is published twice a year and is sent free to all members. It seeks to maintain a balance of communicating news of the Association and promoting scholarly discussion. It is hoped that articles produced will provoke, stimulate and challenge.
The Sunday of Unjust Judge
The 5th Sunday of the Great Lent is called the Sunday of the Unjust Judge. According to the Gospel of St Luke (18:1-8), ajudgewho was lacking compassion was repeatedly approached by a poor widow, seeking justice. Initially rejecting her demands, he eventually honours her request so he will not be worn out by her persistence. During the liturgy, the story of the unjust judge is followed by the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke, 18:9-14).
In the first parable, our Lord tells the story of a widow who would not cease
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calling on a judge for justice—and we are meant to think about our own prayers to heaven. In the second parable, a Pharisee and a tax collector pray in the Temple, displaying very different attitudes towards God.
Both these stories are offered in the context of Jesus talking about the end of the world, the coming of God’s Kingdom, and the judgment of all mankind. At the same time both parables demonstrate the need to always pray like that persistent widow, for if even an unjust judge will eventually listen, and God is much quicker to do so.
Listening to or reading these stories while we are busy with our daily concerns we should always remember that one day we are going to stand before God as our judge. How should we stand before God? How should we prepare to show ourselves to Him?
We do not have answers; as human beings we do not know. However, the parable demonstrates the need to always pray, like that persistent widow.
Announcements from the Primate’s Office:
􏰀 From April the Arev Group will start functioning at the Nevart Gulbenkian Hall. Some parents have expressed an interest. Parents who are willing to commit one-hour a month to join the club and register their children, please contact Shakeh on 07968446223 or email:
         􏰀  Some people have approached the Primate’s Office regarding the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We would appreciate if you would send emails to the Primate’s Office confirming your participation.
         􏰀  There will be a lunch on Easter Sunday, 27th March, at the Tara Copthorne Hotel. If you would like to join, please inform the organisers no later than 20th March. For more information, please refer to the upcoming events section of this newsletter.
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This sacred & classical Armenian music concert will be feature:
four soloists from the Saghmosergu Male Choir from Armenia:
Vahe Begoyan, Andranik Malkhasyan, Abel Kyureghyan and Aren Avetyan
Saturday 19th March 2016
ALL proceeds from this concert will be donated to Syrian Relief
Aris Nadirian (Musical
Director of the London Armenian Opera)
Anais Heghoyan (Mezzo and Chairman of the Armenian Church Youth Fellowship)
The London Armenian Opera Chorus
to sing sacred and classical
music from our treasured Armenian composers
The concert will be at the glorious St. Yeghiche Cathedral in Cranley Gardens, London,
SW7 3BB and costs
£15 a ticket which can be purchased at the door on the day
Any questions please contact the Primate's Office
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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
6th – 14th June 2016
Armenian Church News
A unique opportunity to explore the Holy Land and the legacy of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem
Armenians have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land since the 5th century. It is a unique opportunity for every Christian man and woman to have a spiritual journey and retreat. On 9th June, the pilgrims will participate in the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Old Julian Calendar).
For the Armenian pilgrims it has another added value because apart from visiting Holy Places they will visit the Armenian quarter and St. James Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to get acquainted with the legacy of the Armenian fathers in Jerusalem.
The group will be led by the Primate, Bishop Hovakim Manukyan. Special guides will facilitate the visits. The group will stay five days in Jerusalem at the Christmas Hotel, two nights in Tiberias at the Boutique Hotel and one night in Tel Aviv at the Deborah Hotel.
Cost: £1600(singleroom)
£1350 (shared room)
Includes: accommodation, return flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Airport (including airport taxes and fuel charges), Armenian/English speaking guide services, deluxe coach with free WIFI, entrance fees for tourist attractions on itinerary, half board basis (two meals daily), and farewell dinner.
For more information, please contact:
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Upcoming Events
DIOCESAN PROGRAMMES Forthcoming Events in March
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the
clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: March 10th, 17th
Bible Studies are an important part of the church’s ministry as they provide opportunities for the faithful and those who are interested and curious to have a deeper understanding of Christianity and to ask questions about their faith, beliefs
and concerns. During Bible studies we make observations (what do passages in the Bible say?), provide interpretation (what do they mean?) and ask how
applicable these passages are to our lives today. Open to everyone.
Great Lent
Liturgy of the Hour of Peace (Խաղաղական ժամերգութիւն) or Liturgy of the Hour of Rest (Հանգստեան ժամերգութիւն)
St Sarkis Church continues its tradition of Friday night evening Lenten vigil services. The Services start at 6:30 pm. There will be services on March 11th, 18th
The services are followed by a Lenten fellowship meal at the Nevart Gulbenkian hall, where the faithful have the opportunity to socialise and encounter the clergy. The faithful are welcome to make a small donation during these meals.
Each meal is prepared by a London–based Armenian organisation such as Primate’s Office, ACYF, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche Ladies Committees and the K Tahta Armenian Sunday School.
Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise (Արեւագալի ժամերգութիւն)
There will be the Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise, in the Armenian Churches at St Yeghiche and St Sarkis Churches every Sunday after the Eucharistic service.
There will be also Liturgies of the Hour of Sunrise at St Sarkis Church every Wednesday at 10:30 am on March 9th, and 16th
Armenian Sacred and Classical Music Concert for Syrian Relief
Saturday, 19th March, 7:30 pm, St. Yeghiche Church
A concert of Armenian Sacred and Classical Music welcoming in Holy Week. Musical Director Aris Nadirian and Anais Heghoyan will be coordinating this concert. Invited to perform will be soloists from Saghmosergu male ensemble from Armenia and The London Armenian Opera Chorus. Tickets can be purchased at St. Yeghiche Church on the day at £15 and all profits made from the concert will go to Syria Relief.
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Holy Week Celebrations in the Armenian Churches of Holy Trinity in Manchester, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche in London
Palm Sunday (Ծաղկազարդ) and Blessing of Children
Sunday, 20th March, 11:00am
The Liturgy will be followed by the rite of Opening of Doors (Դռնբացէք)
Holy Thursday
Thursday, 24th March, 11:00am
Liturgy of Institution of the Eucharist, 4:30pm Washing of Feet ceremony (Ոտնլուայ), 7: 30pm Passion Evening
Good Friday
Friday, 25th March, 4:30pm
Burial Service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Easter Eve
Saturday, 26th March, 5:30pm
Easter Eve Liturgy
Easter Divine Liturgy
Sunday, 27th March, 11:00am
Easter Luncheon
Sunday, 27th March, 2:00pm, Copthorne Tara Hotel
To celebrate Easter together and to feel the joy of unity at Eastertide
The main objective of the diocesan e-newsletter is to serve and reach out to Armenians throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The community members and organisations are welcome to send their announcements for the e-newsletter, including information not only about public events but also about important family events such as christening, matrimony or passing away.
As we are in the Middle of Great Lent, which is also a period of good works and
charity, we invite the faithful to pray that families in need may receive the necessary moral and material support, especially those living in Syria.
Prayer intentions for March
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Worship Services in the Armenian Churches
Services are held in the Armenian Churches in London every Sunday starting at 11:00 am. In Manchester, there is a service on the 1st Sunday of the month. For further details, please contact the parish nearest to you:
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
229 Upper Brook Street Manchester, M13 0FY
Tel: 0161 273 1074
St. Sarkis Church
Iverna Gardens Kensington, London, W8 6TP Tel: 020 7937 0152
St. Yeghiche Cathedral
13b Cranley Gardens Kensington, London SW7 3BB Tel: 020 7373 8133
Other Parishes of our Diocese:
Cardiff - Tel: + 44 771 279 2304, +44 2920779248.
Dublin - Tel: +44 2891 863559.
Birmingham – Tel: +44 121 675 1469. St John’s Church, Stratford Road, Birmingham, B11 4EA Oxford - Tel: +44 7810 490242.
We invite those who have questions or wish to gain deeper understanding of the faith, moral discernment, teachings and traditions of the Armenian Church to contact the Office of the Diocese of the Armenian Church in United Kingdom and Ireland:
The Primate’s Office
c/o The Armenian Vicarage
Iverna Gardens
London, W8 6TP
or email:
Editorial Committee:
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Garen Arevian
Lena Boghossian
Hovik Hovhannisyan Aznive Simon
Gagik Stepan-Sarkissian Sossi Yerissian


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