St. Mary Armenian Church- Costa Mesa, 10th Annual Food Festival SEE PICTURES BELOW

This year St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Costa Mesa held its 10th Annual Armenian Food Festival on October 6th and 7th. The festival was held on the church grounds and had record attendance! People came out to enjoy delicious homemade Armenian foods like shish kebab, rice pilaf, cheese beoreg, and stuffed grape leaves. Our fantastic desserts like baklava, nazoog, and all kinds of cookies were so enjoyable with a cup of Armenian coffee. The vegetarian booth has become so popular with our large assortment of vegetarian options that included eech, eggplant and vospov kufteh. This year, in our drink booth we included tahn for some variety. The food, of course, is only one aspect of our Armenian Festival.

Our culture also includes music and dance! We are one of the very few festivals that still provide live music, all day, both days, and for that we had the fantastic Hosharian Brothers Band. Our St. Mary Dance Class got up and started the traditional line dancing, then our festival goers took over and included some solo dancing. We also had dance performances by the Patille Dance Studio, which had the young ones dancing, (so sweet!), and the Ara Melkonian Dancers, with high kicking & jumping young adults showing us what they could do. The audience just loved seeing all the dancers in traditional Armenian costumes and were clapping in rhythm to the dancers’ beat! We also treated our guests to the ancient and traditional music of the duduk, played by Armen Stepanyan, and the kanoon played by Lilit Khojayan.

At our Festival, this year, we had a children’s concert with the world renown Taline & Friends! Tickets to that show sold out quickly, and it was great to see so many children enjoying themselves. Speaking of children, we had musical performances from the students at AG Minassian School, and the AGBU Saturday School, (who also provided us with some Armenian poetry!). Then at the KidZone there was fun for all ages. In keeping with our harvest theme, we had pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, and a petting zoo! The older kids played at our game truck, and everyone enjoyed the bounce house and bubble machine.

It was wonderful to see so many people take Der Moushegh’s Church Tour, where they could learn little about our Armenian religion and history. As in year’s past, we also had a wide variety of vendors for shopping, including cultural items, jewelry, books, toys & CDs.

Our Festival was a huge success this year because of all the dedicated volunteers. It was a lot of work, but also a fun filled weekend seeing old friends, making new ones and exposing our culture to many, many non-Armenians. Mark your calendars for next year’s festival, October 5th & 6th, I know you won’t want to miss out on this once a year, exciting event!

Armenian Food Festival 2018

St. Mary Armenian Church Festival


S.S. Back to School Flyer 2018-19

2018 Lady’s Society Mother’s Day Brunch May 10 2018

2018 04 23 Ladies Society Lunch

Sunday School Mother’s Day Brunch May 13th

This Mother’s Day event has quickly become something that the entire parish is looking forward to. Instead of going out to restaurant, or sitting at home, everyone brought their Mothers and Grandmothers to church. While still in the church, at the end of badarak, all the ladies were given a long-stemmed rose. The onto main event of the day…the Brunch! For it only being in its second year, this is quite an achievement! Most of the praise goes to “Chef” Armineh Alyanakian, who along with Taline Demirjian and Chef Dr. Rafi put on a feast for all. From the Omelet Bar to the Soujuk Paninis, from the Bakery Items, to the Fruit, from the Griddle Cakes to the “Momosas” it was all fantastic!
It wasn’t all about the food, because the Sunday School students also put on a short program of poetry, storytelling and singing, (they performed a beautiful original song about mothers, by our own Dn. Ara Dakessian), that touched everyone’s heart! Seeing everyone honoring their moms, listening to our youth praising their mothers, and hearing the music of Charles Aznavour in the background serenading our moms, made for a very special day.






The Cultural Committee of St. Mary Armenian Church will present the movie


On Sunday, April 29, 2018 immediately following church service, in Fesjian Hall.  The movie is about a man who survives the Armenian Genocide in 1915 but loses his family and faith.  When he learns his twin daughters may be alive, he embarks on a quest to find them that takes him thousands of miles away from home,

Initial release:  October 16, 2014 (Germany)

Director:  Faith Akin

Music composed by:  Alexander Hacke

Screenplay:  Faith Akin, Mardik Martin

Nomination:  Golden Lion, Grand Jury Prize, Marcello Mastroianni Award, MORE

You are all invited.  Please bring your family and friends!  Light refreshments will be served and admission is free.

Vondnluvah and Good Friday 2018


Thursday, March 29th was a very busy evening at St. Mary. The young children and some men of our parish were all prepared and ready to get their feet washed by Der Moushegh. They had put on shabigs, taken off their shoes, and bared their right foot. In a reenactment of the event at the Last Supper where Jesus humbled Himself by washing the feet of His disciples, (John 13:2-17), so too, our priest washed and blessed the feet of the old and young. The participants, after getting “clean”, kissed Der Hayr’s ring, and the Holy Bible. It was a wonderful sight to see.

But the evening wasn’t over, yet. After the Washing of the Feet service, we gathered in Fesjian Hall for our traditional Khavaroom Vosp, (Lentil Porridge). Made expertly by the Ladies Society, we were all happy to have some sustenance for the long vigil ahead. At 8:30p.m., the service started. This vigil commemorates Christ’s Betrayal and Passion of our Lord. Gospels are read, hymns are sung, and 12 candles, (one of them black to disgrace Judas’ memory), are lit one by one. Throughout the service they are then extinguished two by two, until the entire church is plunged into total darkness! When the lights are finally turned on, and the service is ended, you feel you have participated in a very special event.


On Friday, March 30th, St. Mary celebrated Good Friday, the day we commemorate the burial of Christ. A special tomb is set up on a table with flowers, candles, and of course, a large cross. This years’ service was extra special, though. On a recent trip to California, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, presented Der Moushegh with a piece of the excavated stone (about 2 inches long), from the Holy Sepulcher, the Actual Tomb of Jesus Christ, where according to the Gospels and tradition, Jesus Christ was laid to rest, and where He rose on the third day with His Glorious and Miraculous Resurrection!

The faithful who attend this service bring flowers that they place on the tomb themselves. Der Moushegh with his deacons, conducts the service, and blesses the tomb and all the flowers with the incense of the poorvar. When the service is over, the parishioners kiss the Holy Bible and cross, and then select one or many of the blessed flowers to take home with them. Some of the faithful crawl under the “tomb”, as another way of showing their faith. By the way, the Holy Relic encased in the radiance will now be permanently placed on the Holy Altar of St. Mary Church.

2018 Easter Holy Week

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