By Tamar Merjian
Guest Contributor, St. David ACYOA
They say a picture is worth 1000 words and I never truly understood the meaning of that saying until this trip. Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land began on June 9 departing from JFK airport in New York City. Leaving at midnight, all 35 of us were quite anxious to get there, not knowing what to expect. Our 10-day itinerary began Monday morning at the Church of the Nativity where Archbishop Khajag Barsamian celebrated the divine liturgy. From there, we pilgrims embarked on a journey from the Jordan River, to the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem, and the Sea of Galilee. By the end of the week we had reached the Mount of Olives and the Holy Sepulcher, where we met local youth as well as celebrating the divine liturgy at 4 AM.
When we arrived and checked into our hotel Sunday night, Der Mardiros had asked us what we were seeking on our journey and we all for the most part said we were searching for a better understanding of our spirituality and our roots, not actually expecting to find it. As the trip progressed some of us experienced these wow moments sooner than others but personally mine happened the day we went to the Vank. Singing Der Voghormya in Sts. James Cathedral I felt something that I can’t and don’t know how to explain in words, a chill came over me and I began to cry. I realized this was my moment where it all made sense, who we are, the struggles we’ve been through, everything. As the day progressed I continued to feel this intense emotion and when we finally got to the school within the vank I could no longer contain myself. Walking through the halls I could feel the pride that those students posses for being Armenian Christians in the Holy Land. Over all the journey we embarked on, one in which retraced Jesus’ footsteps was an emotional, spiritually uplifting, and eye opening experience that I recommend all to embark on and I am so thankful for the opportunity that was presented to me.
With the recommendation of Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian, Tamar Merjian joined the Diocesan Youth Pilgrimage to Jerusalem last month. Tamar is an active member of St. David Armenian Church. She is involved in the youth group, and a staff member in our Armenian and Sunday School. In September, Tamar will deliver a formal Power Point presentation on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
SOUTH FLORIDA ARMENIAN COMMUNITY GATHERS AT ST. DAVID ARMENIAN CHURCH FOR EASTER CELEBRATION
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, April 8, the South Florida Armenian-American community gathered at St. David Armenian Church to celebrate Easter Sunday, reported Florida Armenians (FLArmenians). The sanctuary was filled to capacity and the adjoining Church hall accommodated 500 people so that all could participate in the day’s service, festivities and celebration. Led by Very Reverend Fr. Nareg Berberian, Pastor of St. David Armenian Church, parishioners came with their families and friends to celebrate the most important feast day in the Armenian Christian faith.
“I am pleased to see almost 700 people gather together in our Sanctuary to celebrate the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With Christ, our souls are resurrected and in Christ our hearts are created anew. I encourage all our congregants to become more active in sharing their God-given talents and gifts with our Church community, especially since this year has been designated as the year of the ‘Lay Ministry.'”
Holy Week is the most important week of the Church calendar and St. David Armenian Church held religious activities in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. As is tradition in the Armenian church, the greeting “Krisdos haryav ee merelotz” (Christ is risen from the dead) is used on the joyous day of Easter, followed by the response “Orhnyal eh harouteunn Krisdosi” (blessed is the resurrection of Christ).
“It was wonderful to see so many of our community come out to celebrate this day,” stated Parish Council member Carol Norigian. “As our parish continues to grow, the St. David Armenian Church Parish Council is pleased to continue serving our vibrant south Florida community,” stated Norigian.
St. David Armenian Church Announces New Publication
Boca Raton, FL – On Sunday, March 25, St. David Armenian Church proudly presented a book dedication “Walking Through The Armenian History And Faith”, an instructional handbook authored by our Pastor, Very Reverend Fr. Dr. Nareg Berberian. It is a summary of the Armenian faith, its history, liturgy, theology, traditions and customs.
An enthusiastic introduction was given by Reverend Fr. Garabed Kochakian, Pastor of St. John Armenian Church in Detroit, Michigan who spoke very highly of Fr. Nareg’s ministry as a priest for 20 years, remarking that he has been a great asset to our Diocese. He presented Fr. Nareg’s book as very functional for those who want to learn about their history and traditions outlining important topics to make these connections more easily. It is also a helpful guideline for the teachers and the students of our Sunday School and our Armenian School, as well as college students and adults, and for non-Armenians to familiarize themselves with the Armenian church and its traditions.
Fr. Nareg thanked Fr. Garabed for his thoughtful words of support and Chris Zakian for editing the book, and said that he is looking forward to publishing additional works in the near future.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book at a cost of $12.00 (including postage), you may contact the Church office by phone (561 994-2335) or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.