Inspirational Message and Quote of The Day from Fr. Serovpe Alanjian

Fr. Serovpe Alanjian
Pastor, St. Mary Armenian Church

Dear brothers and sisters of St. Mary Armenian Church Family,

Our prayers are with you all during these hard times, when the whole world is trying to find a solution for the rapidly spreading Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19. We urge you all to be cautious, stay safe in your homes and updated with the Health Department regulations.

Since California’s governor has issued a statewide “stay at home” order in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state, after warning that 56% of the population is at risk of getting the coronavirus, most of us are at home either because our workplaces are closed or are fortunate to work from home.

Having all this in mind, we have decided to share a quote from the Holy Bible with you all every day, under the title “Quote of the day” starting Monday, March 23rd, and we hope that you will take a few minutes from your precious time to meditate on the quotes we send. This will be a perfect time for us all to understand and strengthen our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also, we will be sending the daily Bible reading passages according to the Armenian Apostolic Church calendar. It is very important that we spend time with the word of God daily, especially in these times of uncertainty. We strongly believe that God will hear our prayers and heal our sicknesses as St. Paul writes in his epistle to the Philippians 4:19: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Dear faithful, as one family united through the love of our Savior Jesus Christ, we are here to assist and support you in your spiritual needs for the glory of our Creator.

May God bless you and your families.

Prayerfully,

Fr. Serovpe Alanjian
Pastor


Important Message From the Parish Council – Update on St. Mary’s Measures Against the Spread of Corona Virus

Parish Council Chairman, Michael Hollis

Dear St. Mary Armenian Church Faithful,

There have been several communications forwarded to our parishioners from the Catholicosate, and the Western Diocese. Additionally, we have received Federal and State guidance, and local Health Orders that we must follow. As Parish Council Chairman I want to reiterate their statements and be specific about how we are implementing their guidelines/orders at St. Mary.

In accordance with local, state and federal guidance we urge our faithful to exercise caution and avoid public contact and large crowds. Unfortunately, that prohibition extends to our church activities.

Consequently, all gatherings at St. Mary Church have been cancelled or postponed. This now includes our Thursday evening Lenten Vigil (Hsgoom) services.

Additionally, Sunday morning Badarak, while not canceled, will not be open to parishioners. This extraordinary measure is to keep us compliant with the recent Orange County Heath Orders. This practice is being implemented by all other churches in Orange County who wish to stay compliant with the law and not subject their congregation to unnecessary medical risk. Later this week, the Western Diocese will be sending out a link for you to partake in Sunday’s Badarak online. We highly encourage everyone to participate online so that our faithful do not have to forgo Soorp Badarak to keep safe.

If you have any questions or need spiritual assistance, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. The church phone number is (949) 650-8367 and our email address is info@stmarychurch.com

We will be posting updated information, here on our website and on our Facebook Page, as soon as it becomes available; and continuing to send email updates, as necessary.

I am also asking for you to disseminate this information throughout the community; not only by forwarding this email, but by making phone calls to family and friends. Not everyone is on our mailing or voicemail list but it is important that they be made aware of our present operating restrictions.

The church leadership urges you to follow the above instructions and stay united in heart and spirit. Lend a helping hand if you can – especially to elderly and individuals with a higher risk to serious illnesses who need our help the most during these trying times. Finally, together let us seek the Lord’s intervention to overcome these turbulent times.

Prayerfully,

Michael Hollis
Parish Council Chairman


Hovnan Srpazan’s message to the faithful concerning the developing Coronavirus health crisis.

Hovnan Srbazan’s message to the faithful concerning the developing crisis.

Hovnan Srbazan’s message to the faithfulconcerning the developing crisis.Հովնան Սրբազանի կոչը թեմի հավատացյալներին զարգացող ճգնաժամի կապակցությամբ:

Posted by Western Diocese of the Armenian Church on Saturday, March 14, 2020

Beloved Faithful,
 
This is a critical time to uplift our hearts to God and seek His guidance as the world is being challenged with the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
God has graced us all with the wisdom and compassionate heart, mind and soul to share His love with all people to secure their health and wellbeing in times of tribulation.
 
Truly this is the time to renew our faith in God and surrender our lives for the peace of the world and the people of God.
 
I pray God to protect and guard all people and especially those who are in pain, be them children or elderly.
 
God our Lord is a compassionate God and will comfort us and strengthen us to protect one another with the mutual respect and love to maintain the peace of the world and the wellbeing of the people of God.
 
Let us also take heed to the guidelines set forth by government officials. Let us pray God to give them the courage and wisdom to fulfill their responsibilities and duties diligently in these times of tribulation.
 
The Lord our God is our shepherd thus let us put our trust in Him and listen to words radiating from the Gospel: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart: I have overcome the world.”
 
The words of the Lord our God enlighten us all with this divine wisdom and unites us all to be one in Him.
 
God empower us all with the spiritual strength to overcome all kinds of tribulations as is the case of COVID-19.
 
Stay steadfast and the Lord our God will shower upon us all the peace prevailing from Heaven.


THE EXHORTATION OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II, CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II, CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS

Dear faithful,
 
We are following with concern and prayer the developments around the world with the Coronavirus. In these difficult times, when mankind is troubled by the pandemic, including Armenia, and our lives are disturbing as well, we urge with fatherly love our clergymen and faithful people to exercise extreme caution and avoid public contact and large crowds.
 
We urge everyone to act with high personal and public consciousness and responsibility, not only for ourselves, but also with care for one another, deeply understanding that the security of everyone’s life at this moment is also our personal responsibility. We trust in God we pray for the healing and spiritual strength of the infected and isolated. We extend our highest appreciation and blessing to our doctors who ceaselessly make the utmost effort in their service while operating in a state of emergency.
 
In consultation with the incumbents of the Hierarchical sees of our Church and discussing the situation with the bishops of Armenia today, we decided:
 
A. To schedule church service hours each day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm for individual visits and private prayers for believers, as well as for Holy Communion and other urgent spiritual needs, for the period until Holy Thursday;
 
B. Conduct the celebrations of the Divine Liturgy behind closed doors, without the participation of faithful people, if possible, by streaming the celebrations online.
 
C. To cancel the order of Blessing of children on the feast of Palm Sunday, to perform the Andastan (Blessing of the Four Corners of the World) ceremony and blessing of tree branches without the presence of believers;
 
D. To cancel the order of Blessing of women awaiting the joy of motherhood on April 7, the Feast of the Annunciation of Blessed Virgin Mary,
 
E. Not to conduct ceremonies of Matrimony,
 
F. Perform the Sacrament of Baptism only in case of urgency (in case if the person to be baptized is ill),
 
G. In the case of funerals, only perform the Graveyard ceremony, urging the mourners to refrain from organizing crowded funerals and memorial gatherings for meal.
 
Instructing these decisions for implementation by the Church institutions, at the same time we announce upcoming Wednesday, March 18, a national day of prayer inviting everyone at 7:00 pm to join our clergy, in their private prayer from the place where they are, asking the Lord so that the world and our people may be able to overcome this tribulation with the spirit of unity and mutual support.
 
Beloved, in this difficult times, it is necessary, to unite and provide all the support to the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the relevant governmental bodies, to strictly follow all the instructions and requirements set by the authorities.
 
Together we will overcome also this challenge with public solidarity, civic and spiritual high responsibility and consciousness, and by the grace and mercy of our Lord. Life is a divine gift and is the most precious one. We need to care life by caring for one another with love. Now is the time to witness about our love and unity.
 
May the Lord’s blessing, grace, and mercy be with us and with all; Amen.


Ն.Ս.Օ.Տ.Տ. ԳԱՐԵԳԻՆ Բ ԱՄԵՆԱՅՆ ՀԱՅՈՑ ԿԱԹՈՂԻԿՈՍԻ
ՀԱՅՐԱՊԵՏԱԿԱՆ ՀՈՐԴՈՐԸ
ԿՈՐՈՆԱՎԻՐՈՒՍԻ ՀԱՄԱՎԱՐԱԿԻ ԱՌՆՉՈՒԹՅԱՄԲ

Սիրելի բարեպաշտ ժողովուրդ,

Մտահոգությամբ և աղոթքով ենք հետևում կորոնավիրուսի համավարակի շուրջ աշխարհում տեղ գտնող զարգացումներին: Այս դժվարին ժամանակներում, երբ մարդկությունը փոթորկված է համավարակի վտանգով, որից անմասն չէ Հայաստան աշխարհը, և խռովահույզ է նաև մեր կյանքը, հայրաբար հորդորում ենք մեր հոգևոր հայրերին և հավատացյալ ժողովրդին՝ առավելագույն զգուշություն ցուցաբերել և խուսափել հանրային շփումներից և կուտակումներից։

Կոչ ենք ուղղում բոլորին՝ գործել անձնական և հանրային բարձր գիտակցությամբ և պատասխանատվությամբ ոչ միայն մեր անձերի, այլև միմյանց հանդեպ հոգածությամբ՝ խորապես ըմբռնելով, որ այս պահին յուրաքանչյուրի կյանքի անվտանգությունը նաև մեր անձնական պատասխանատվությունն է: Առ Աստված ապավինությամբ աղոթում ենք վարակվածների և մեկուսացվածների ապաքինման և հոգևոր ամրության համար։ Մեր բարձր գնահատանքն ու օրհնությունն ենք բերում զօրուգիշեր իրենց անսակարկ ծառայությունը մատուցող մեր բժիշկներին, ովքեր առավելագույն ջանքեր են ներդնում իրենց ծառայության մեջ՝ գործելով արտակարգ իրադրության պայմաններում:

Առկա կացության շուրջ խորհրդակցելով մեր Եկեղեցու Նվիրապետական Աթոռների գահակալների հետ և ստեղծված իրավիճակը այսօր քննարկելով հայաստանյան եպիսկոպոսների հետ՝ որոշեցինք․

Ա․ մինչև Ավագ Հինգշաբթի ընկած ժամանակահատվածի համար Եկեղեցիների ծառայության ժամեր սահմանել յուրաքանչյուր օր ժամը 9։00-ից մինչև 19։00-ը՝ հավատացյալների անհատական այցելությունների ու առանձնական աղոթքների, ինչպես և Սուրբ Հաղորդության և հոգևոր մյուս կենսական պահանջմունքների բավարարման համար,
Բ. Սուրբ Պատարագի արարողությունները անցկացնել դռնփակ, առանց հավատավոր ժողովրդի մասնակցության՝ ըստ կարելիության տեղերում կազմակերպելով պատարագների հեռասփռումը,
Գ. Ծաղկազարդի տոնին չեղարկել մանուկների օրհնության կարգը, Անդաստանի արարողությունը և ճյուղերի օրհնությունը կատարել առանց հավատացյալների ներկայության,
Դ․ Սուրբ Աստվածածնի Ավետման տոնին՝ ապրիլի 7-ին, չկատարել մայրության բերկրանքին սպասող կանանց օրհնության կարգը,
Ե․ չկատարել Ս․ Պսակի արարողություններ,
Զ․ Ս․ Մկրտության խորհուրդը կատարել խիստ անհրաժեշտության դեպքում (մկրտվողի հիվանդության պարագայում),
Է․ հուղարկավորությունների պարագային կատարել միայն Գերեզմանի կարգը՝ հորդորելով սգացյալներին ձեռնպահ մնալ հուղարկավորության և հոգեհացի մարդաշատ հավաքների կազմակերպումից։

Սույն որոշումները հրահանգելով եկեղեցական կառույցներին ի գործադրություն՝ առաջիկա չորեքշաբթին՝ մարտի 18-ը, հայտարարում ենք համազգային աղոթքի օր՝ հրավիրելով յուրաքանչյուրին ժամը 19:00-ին իր գտնվելու վայրում իր առանձնական աղոթքով միանալու հոգևոր դասին՝  հայցելով, որ Տիրոջ օգնականությամբ աշխարհը և մեր ժողովուրդը ի զորու լինեն միաբանությամբ, փոխադարձ զորակցության ոգով հաղթահարելու այս փորձությունը։

Այս դժվարին պահին հարկ է, սիրելիներ, միասնական կերպով համախմբվել և ամենայն աջակցություն ցուցաբերել ՀՀ կառավարությանն ու պատկան մարմիններին, խստորեն հետևել թելադրվող բոլոր հրահանգներին և իշխանությունների կողմից սահմանված պահանջներին։

Մենք միասին՝ հանրային համերաշխությամբ, քաղաքացիական և հոգևոր բարձր պատասխանատվությամբ ու գիտակցությամբ և մեր Տիրոջ շնորհով ու ողորմածությամբ կհաղթահարենք նաև այս դժվարությունը: Կյանքը աստվածային պարգև է և ամենաթանկը, որին պետք է հոգ տանենք միմյանց հանդեպ սիրով։ Հիմա՛ է ժամանակը վկայելու մեր սիրո և միասնության մասին:

Տիրոջ օրհնությունը, շնորհն ու ողորմությունը թող լինեն մեզ հետ և ամենքի․ ամեն։


St. Mary Armenian Festival



Father Moushegh’s 40th Anniversary of Priesthood Celebration
January 29th, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012 was a memorable and moving day for our beloved Pastor, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, his family, relatives, friends and hundreds of St. Mary parishioners who attended the church services and the banquet that followed in the Fesjian Hall, in honor and tribute to Archpriest Fr. Moushegh’s 40th Anniversary of Ordination and Consecration into Priesthood and 20th Anniversary as Pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church.

The services were presided by His Eminence Arch. Hovnan Derderian, Primate, former Primate His Eminence Arch. Vatche Hovsepian and Very Rev. Fr. Baret Yeretzian. The Khatchadourian Choir sang the hymns of the badarak, directed by Dn. Stepan Gozumian and Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonian, organist. Deacons and acolytes served on the altar, which was beautifully decorated for the occasion with colorful flowers.

Towards the end of the Liturgy, a special Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians was carried into the sanctuary and to the Holy Altar by Very Rev. Fr. Baret Yeretzian, while the choir sang the uplifting hymn “Hrashapar”. Standing by the Primate on the Altar, Fr. Yeretzian read the encyclical to Archpriest Fr. Moushegh, in gratitude for his four decades of services, starting from his ordination in Jerusalem to serving four parishes in the Western Diocese: Hollywood, San Francisco, Pasadena and Costa Mesa, congratulating him with greetings and blessings. Afterwards, Archbishop Derderian gave an eloquent sermon, praising Fr. Moushegh for his dedicated services and achievements in all four parishes he served. He added, he had only admiration for Fr. Moushegh since he first met him over 32 years ago, while he was the Pastor of St. John Church in San Francisco and in appreciation presented him a colorful framed picture of the Nativity of Christ as a gift.

The second part of the exciting testimonial event began with a large banquet of 250 guests in the Fesjian Hall, which was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Dr. Kris Mirzayan, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council acted as the Master of Ceremonies and invited the Primate for the invocation. The dinner and the delicious mezzas were served by Salpi’s Catering. Parish Council Chairman Hovsep Bergciyan, Antranik O. Zorayan, Suren Toumanian, Rose Kaskavalciyan, Claudette Mekalian, Dr. Richard Kasper, Fr. Baret Yeretzian, Arch. Vatche Hovsepian (who gave Fr. Moushegh a beautiful and ornate pectoral cross) and Arch. Hovnan Derderian all saluted Fr. Moushegh for his devotion and services, leadership as true Pastor, gentle and kind nature and friendliness.

A video of pictures on large screen, prepared by Puzant Zorayan showed Fr. Moushegh’s life from childhood in Beirut to Seminary years, ordination as deacon and priest in Jerusalem, scenes from all four parishes served in California, and finally some family pictures.

Vartan Tashjian, Fr. Moushegh’s brother, a renowned educator and painter/artist from Cyprus sent Armenian/English greetings for the auspicious occasion via YouTube. Everyone was impressed by his eloquent English and Armenian messages. Tavit Tashjian, a young pianist and a nephew of Fr. Moushegh, performed classical selections. A 28-page color booklet was also printed.
During a cake cutting ceremony, everyone joined in singing “For he is a jolly good fellow”. Before closing, Fr. Moushegh, with gratitude and humility, thanked everyone for their blessings, greetings, attendance and generous gifts. He thanked his family, most especially his Yn. Sylva, children, mother, brothers, sister, the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Primate and former Primate, the Parish Council and the Committee and volunteers, for organizing the event. He also thanked his relatives, friends and all the parishioners who sent their congratulations and well wishes and invited all to join the church and make St. Mary an even stronger parish.

With the benediction of Arch. Hovnan Derderian, the historic and joyful anniversaries in the life of Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian ended with the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer.

Vartan Tashjian’s Video Message in English and Armenian



Third Annual St. Mary Armenian Church Festival 2011
Costa Mesa

 

October 9th proved to be the day for the Third Annual St. Mary Food Festival! After a week of terrible weather, the temperature was pleasant, the sun was shining, and the people were smiling. More than 1,200 church members, community members, friends, and family joined together under a 4000 sq. ft. tent, for fellowship and to experience the delightful sights and sounds of the festival, taste the delicious homemade food and enjoy the outstanding music and entertainment.
Participants indulged in such traditional Armenian delicacies as lamb shish kebab, chicken kebab, luleh kebab, shawerma plates and sandwiches, yalanchi, lahmajoun, rice pilaf, hummus, and cheese beoreg. And what could taste better with a cup of Armenian coffee than a delectable homemade pastry made by our hard working church women, such as baklava, choreg, kadayif, kurabia, and for the kids chocolate chip cookies & brownies! We
even had Balboa Ice Cream bars. Children took great pleasure in face painting, carnival games, bounce house, slide and playing with their friends. Our Zvartnots Children’s Choir and Dance group entertained the crowd with traditional Armenian songs and dances. Music was provided by Tom Bozigian and his band. His folkloric dance music even inspired St. Mary’s Adult Dance Class, under the direction of Simon the instructor, to demonstrate Armenian line dances.Vendor booths featured our own Cultural Booth with books, CDs, DVDs, and artifacts; others included a variety of beautiful jewelry, clothing, fruits and nuts. We also held a 50-50 Raffle. Kotayk Armenian Lager Beer was a big seller, as was our take – out booth, where festival goers could take some of the foods home with them.
Attendance surpassed the previous year’s record . Many of the foods sold out, like the lamb and chicken kebab, and hummus. Everyone experienced the hospitality and friendliness that we Armenians are known for. Everyone was made to feel at home and “part of the family”.Under the direction of Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, the festival was organized by Chairman Brian Der Matoian and committee members Yn Sylva Tashjian, Suren and Izzy Toumanian, Wayne and Debbie Simonian, Hovsep Bergciyan, Claudette Mekalian, Annette Singhal, Nina Yousefian, Rose Kaskavalciyan, Hagop Barin, Anita

Karakesisoglu, Gevork Martirosian, Kris Mirzayan, Tony Markarian, Armenak Balian, Michael Hollis, Gevork Martirossian, Saro Semercian, Rosie Gharadaghian, Christeen Amloian, and Ara Calibasi.

The festival was made possible in part by generous donations and sponsorships, and many hours of volunteer service before and during the festival itself.
We hope to see you there next year!


Large Pilgrimage Attend St. Mary’s Feast in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa, CA.: Hundreds, including 4 bus-loads of pilgrims from Glendale and L.A. area attended worship at St. Mary Armenian Church in Costa Mesa. On
Saturday, August 13, 2011 the eve of the Feast of Assumption of Holy Mother
of God (Verapokhoum), over 260 pilgrims arrived from Glendale and L.A. area
by four motorcoaches and private cars, to attend a one-hour prayer service,
which included traditional evening services, prayers and hymns dedicated to
holy Mother of God and congregation singing of Der Vogormia (Lord have
Mercy) and Hayr Mer. Several visiting deacons also took part in the services. The Pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church, Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian welcomed the pilgrims and thanked Mr. Nahabed Melkonian and the Jerusalem Armenian Tarkmanchats School Alumni for organizing the annual pilgrimage. “Tonight the walls of this house of worship have trembled with your powerful prayers. Never in our church history so many pious faithful have entered this church together in such a brief time, and never so many hundreds of candles have been offered and illuminated St. Mary Church”, said Fr. Moushegh. St. Mary Ladies Society and the Madagh Committee welcomed the guests with refreshments of Madagh meat sandwiches, choreg, dessert, grapes and strawberries in the Fesjian Hall, where a short program of speeches, recitation of psalms, songs and prayers ensued. All the pilgrims received favors as gifts, compliments of Peter & Henrietta Bodourian, church members. The pilgrims, some of whom first time visitors, departed at 11:00 p.m. , expressing their thanks and gratitude for such a genuine and heartwarming
welcome by St. Mary parishioners.

On Sunday, August 14, Feast of Assumption of Holy Mother of God, Grape/Madagh Blessing and Name Day services were presided by Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian, Pastor who also conducted the Badarak assisted by church deacons and acolytes serving the Holy Altar. During the services, Fr. Moushegh delivered the sermon and blessed the grapes and Madagh which was shared with the faithful in the church. The Hovsepian Choir sang the hymns of the badarak and the variables of the day, directed by Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonyan.

Over 400 pounds of lamb meat was cooked over the weekend and 1,000 sandwiches
prepared by dozens of volunteers. After the services, a love meal was served in the Fesjian Hall, which included Madagh meat, rice and bulgur pilaf, Madagh sandwiches, salad, grapes and dessert. Of course, this being the annual fundraising day, congregation members, benefactors, supporters and church committees showered the church with outpouring donations and gifts. Albert Vartanian entertained the guests with beautiful inspiring music on the duduk, accordion and flute. A total of $100,000 was raised, of which $25,000 was donated by the Ladies Society. We thank committee chairman Mr. Armenak Balian for chairing this year’s Madagh Committee.

Copyright © Saint Mary Armenian Church   148 22nd Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627    Tel: (949) 650-8367   Contact: info@stmaryarmenianchurch.com