Archive for April, 2011

Christ is Risen from the Dead!

April 21st, 2011    |    No Comments »

Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! Christ is risen from the dead!

Do any other words convey such hope and meaning for human life?

That feeling is especially powerful during Easter, as we re-enact the events surrounding Christ’s resurrection. Imagine what it must have been like to be among the disciples on the day when the Risen Lord appeared before them. In that instant, it must have seemed like the entire world had changed.

And indeed, it had.

But we today don’t have to “just imagine” what it was like. As members of the church—the institution established by Christ himself—we actually experience that world-changing moment.  We enter into the presence of the living, resurrected Christ every time we participate in the holy badarak.

That is part of the gift of himself, which Jesus Christ offered to all those who love and follow him. This Sunday, please join our church at a local parish, and enter into our Lord’s presence—as his first followers did on the first Easter.

Add your own voice to the joy-filled chorus around the world, who will pronounce the Easter greeting of the Armenian Church:

Krisdos haryav ee merelotz!
Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee!
Christ is risen from the dead!  Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

"The Resurrection of Christ," 18th century Gospel, San Lazarro, Venice.

Remembrance of the Ten Virgins

April 19th, 2011    |    No Comments »

Today the Armenian Church observes the Remembrance of the Ten Virgins—a parable recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. A service held on Holy Tuesday uses the imagery of Jesus’ story in a prayer anticipating Christ’s Second Coming. Below are excerpts (translated into English) from a hymn sung during the service:

The wise virgins prepared their lamps, and went out to welcome the heavenly groom.

But the foolish virgins who ran out of oil were unprepared for the groom’s coming.

And so we, too, prepare our spiritual oil, so we can enter into the bridal chamber of the Immortal Bridegroom with lit lamps.

When you come with your glory from heaven, Christ—when you sit on the throne of judgment, and divide the nations—count us among those at your right hand.

Rejoice, holy church, for the coming of the Only-Begotten! Rejoice and celebrate with all the saints!

Your holy church is built on the rock of faith. Keep it in peace: a dwelling of angels, where you grant mankind mercy, and remission of sins.

A detail from "The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins" by Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow.

Primate’s Easter Message

April 15th, 2011    |    No Comments »

On Easter Sunday, Christ was raised from the dead—and the old world, long held hostage by sin and death, was overcome, and vanquished.  Nearly two thousand years later, we still re-live the things Christ said and did during his Last Supper: through the Holy Badarak, we place ourselves in the position of his disciples, and listen as our Lord speaks to us.

From the depths of his love, Christ speaks to his children in many ways.  Perhaps he is telling us something again, in the rare coincidence of dates we will experience this Easter.  In our church, we are accustomed to joyously celebrating Christ’s victory over death one week, and then mourning in remembrance of the Genocide on Armenian Martyrs Day, a few weeks later. But in 2011—for the first time ever—the two observances will fall on the same date.

On the face of it, they seem like two completely opposite occasions: one a celebration of unconquerable life, the other a memorial of unimaginable death.  Yet probe more deeply, and it becomes clear that the Easter story comprehends both things. The path to the glorious resurrection passed through death; God chose this path of suffering for His son, to overcome it on behalf of all mankind.

Click to continue reading Archbishop Khajag Barsamian’s Easter Message in English and Armenian.

Christ appearing to the Apostles (13th century).

A Feast for the Spirit

April 12th, 2011    |    No Comments »

April marks one of the most active and consequential months in the Armenian Church calendar.

Across the Eastern Diocese, local parishes are continuing their Lenten programs, in anticipation of Palm Sunday (April 17) and the Holy Week observances of Holy Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (April 21, 22, 23)—dramatizing the great events from the final days of Christ’s earthly ministry.

That drama reaches its climax on Easter Sunday (April 24), when the church rejoices over Christ’s triumph over evil and death, through his glorious resurrection.

A rare conjunction of dates in 2011 places Easter on the date usually designated for Armenian Martyrs Day. Please note that Diocesan parishes will be observing Martyrs Day on the day after Easter—Monday, April 25—at which time requiem services will be held in memory of the martyrs of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

The month will conclude with the Eastern Diocese’s annual gathering, the 109th Diocesan Assembly, convening this year in Boston, MA. The Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, is hosting the annual Diocesan Clergy Conference (April 26-28) and the Diocesan Assembly itself (April 28-May1), as well as concurrent organizational gatherings like the Women’s Guild Assembly (April 29-30).

Look for features on all of these events on our website. And please contact your local parish for information on its own activities throughout the month, so you and your family can enrich your lives with the spiritual treasures of the Armenian Church.

A 13th-century manuscript by Tserun of Christ washing the feet of the Apostles.