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

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.


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