Photos from Church Services and Events
11-15-15 Fr. Mardiros with Seminarians
2014 Blessing of the Water: Fr. Mardiros Chevian
2011 Blessing of the Water
Robert Koolakian book signing: Struggle for Justice (6/7/2009)
Washing of the feet 2009
The Washing of the Feet is a traditional component of the celebration in many Christian Churches, including the Armenian, Ethiopian, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Brethren, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic Churches, and is becoming increasingly popular as a part of the Maundy
Holy Thursday is the celebration of the Last Supper and the establishment of the sacrament of Holy Communion. During the Midday Liturgy, the faithful prepare themselves through penance and by receiving absolution.
That evening, with great ceremony, the Washing of the Feet ritual takes place. This ritual, reflecting Christ's actions depicted in the Holy Gospels, symbolizes humility. The ritual -- established in the 11th century by Catholicos Krikor Vugayaser -- was originally practiced in more simple fashion. The priest would wash and bless with oil the feet of all the faithful in the vestibule (narthex) of the church. Later, this ritual became more elaborate and was performed on the bema.
Fr. Daniel's first Syracuse Home Blessing
About the Home Blessing
The home is a sacred place where family members maintain and share many values. It is also a place where they are charged and empowered with these values to live a peaceful and God-pleasing life. It is under this roof that all collectively form oneness in spirit and assume an important responsibility in the life of the community. It is in this place where they break bread and share joys and sorrows. Here the presence of the Omnipotent is felt since every family is a miniature of a "Little Church – Ecclesia." In this "Little Church" the inexhaustible love and the very generous blessing of God permeate.
According to the sacred traditions of the Armenian Church, God's blessing is asked for homes on different occasions, like on the Nativity and the Resurrection of Christ, as well as on the joyous occasion of moving into a new home.
For Home Blessing the priest takes with him wafer and incense. He blesses the bread, the water and the salt. These three fundamental elements are essential life-giving gifts for human life. The priest asks from the Omnipotent God not to lessen these three gifts without which life becomes impossible or imperfect.
The bread, the water and the salt are symbols of God's infinite goodness and care. With the blessing of these great gifts the household is enriched spiritually and its existence perpetuated for the service of his Creator.
The bread, which symbolically represents the Word of God, grants life to all those who taste it. The salt seasons our food and makes it delicious and edible. Metaphorically salt represents man in this world with his words and deeds. Christ said, "You are the salt of the earth." Man's life should be seasoned with wisdom, moderation or sense of sufficiency. Finally, water which is the most essential element of life, figuratively represents cleanliness. It's through water that we are cleansed by baptism, renewed in Christ, and united with Him.
Along with the bread, salt, and bread offered on a tray by the dwellers, the priest places also the wafer stamped with a crucifix and designs of grapes and wheat. The wafer is the presence of Christ in the home. The members of the family can either distribute the wafer among themselves or keep it in a jar along with flour, salt, or rice.
During Home Blessing it is customary to burn incense which symbolizes the burning of our souls with our Lord's love. In his supplication the Psalmist says, "Let my prayer be counted as incense before Thee."
In the prayer of the Home Blessing the priest after asking for purity and abundance of the three gifts, he blesses the home and all its dwellers and asks God to keep them away from visible and invisible enemies and protect them under His powerful Right Hand granting them health of soul and body.
Home Blessing is a meaningful religious service that brings the entire family together in oneness and holiness, and blesses them. Through this ceremony everyone's faith is replenished and strengthened and the Lord's presence is felt.
The beautiful tradition of the Home Blessing unfortunately has been cast into oblivion. Today, more than ever, we need the presence and blessing of the Lord in our homes and lives. The revival of this centuries old custom will certainly bring us close to our Lord. Family members are encouraged to take part of the ceremony to make it more meaningful.
The Rite of Home Blessing of the Armenian Church
Each family member should have a copy of this service. Review it together prior to your home blessing.
Prepare for the blessing service by placing a glass of water, a small dish of salt, and a slice of bread on a tray. The priest will bring incense, charcoal, and incense burner and whatever else he needs with him.
Assumption Blessing (355 K PDF File)
Palm Sunday 2009 & Fr. Daniel's Birthday
The first observance related to the Feast of the Resurrection is the Remembrance of the Raising of Lazarus (commemorated on the Saturday before Holy Week), which foreshadows our Lord's own miraculous Resurrection. It serves as an introduction to the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and not as a commemoration of Lazarus and his sisters, which is celebrated separately.
The following day, Palm Sunday, marks Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem as Messiah. Sometimes Palm Sunday is referred to as Advent, in reference to Christ's coming as the Messiah to Jerusalem and to His Passion. For that reason it is connected with Christ's Second or Final Coming, and is celebrated in the Armenian Church in the evening with the special "Opening of the Doors" (Trnpatsek) ritual; a foreshadowing of the Last Judgment.
2008 Annual Picnic