Easter is the most important holy day for Christians all over the world, however, the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the culmination of series of ritual commemorations known as Holy Week. For The Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy Week is the recreation of the events of the last week of Christ’s life.
Commemoration started at St. John Armenian Church, on Thursday before Easter, called Maundy Thursday. Fr. Mesrop celebrated a special Divine Liturgy where during his spiritual message he explained the meaning and the importance of Holy Communion, which Jesus established at the Last Supper. Following the service our Ladies Society hosted a Lenten luncheon, while the altar servers prepared the altar for feet washing service.
The Washing of the Feet service commemorates how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, setting an example of humility, love and humbleness. “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34) was the message to His disciples. Following Christ’s example, Fr. Mesrop Ash washed the feet not only 12 but more than 25 children and adults on Maundy Thursday.
Upon conclusion of the service, the altar servers prepared the altar for another moving service called Service of the Betrayal, Khavaroom, which consist of elaborate Night Service plus the Morning Service. Oor Es Mayr Eem, “Where are you mother,” one of the most touching lament in the Armenian Sacred music was sung by Carmen Kestekyan during the Khavaroom service.
The Burial Rite Service took place Good Friday evening; more than 60 faithful attended the service and followed the procession around the church. The tomb was decorated with beautiful flowers and greeneries by Mrs. Nelly Amanian and her daughters Caroline and Natalie for which we thank them.
Holy Saturday morning, Fr. Mesrop Ash conducted a special service for children, parents and grandparents; he gave a meaningful message followed by a video for kids. After the communion he invited everyone to the Paul Family Hall for traditional breakfast prepared by our ladies, and Easter Egg hunt.
The Holy Saturday Evening service started at 6:00pm. After the scriptures readings, and Divine Liturgy, Fr. Mesrop read the Abp. Hovnan’s Easter message, and His Holiness Karekin II Easter message in Armenian followed by the procession where the choir sang Krisdos Haryav ee Merelotz, the faithful came forward for candle-lighting ceremony called Jerakaloytz.
Happy Easter- Krisdos Haryav Ee Merelotz- Orhnyal Eh Haroutiounn Krisdosee one could hear parishioners greeting each other Easter Sunday morning. It was a beautiful Sunday at St. John Church, well attended. Fr. Mesrop Ash celebrated Divine Liturgy surrounded by more than 10 deacons, sub deacons and acolytes. Following the Divine Liturgy the congregation gathered at the Paul Family Hall for Fellowship Hour.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Parish Council, the altar servers, all of the choir members, Ladies Society for preparing Lenten lunches and choreg, to all the volunteers who worked diligently during the Holy Week, and to all the parents and parishioners who donated colored eggs for the Saturday morning breakfast and the Easter Sunday table.