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Boca Raton Businessman Meets with First Lady of Armenia Anna Hakobyan

George Pagoumian of Boca Raton, FL meets with First Lady of the Republic of Armenia Anna Hakobyan in Yerevan, Armenia.

Late last year, the wife of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for My Step Foundation, Anna Hakobyan, met with Armenian American businessman, founder of PMA Venture Capital and friend of the foundation, George Pagoumian of Boca Raton, FL.

Mrs. Hakobyan expressed her gratitude to Mr. Pagoumian for his support to the foundation, particularly for support to the foundation’s project “Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center” which was made possible through his contributions. Mrs. Hakobyan offered to accompany Mr. Pagoumian to the Center so that he could witness all of the progress and impact his contributions have made.

Mr. Pagoumian stressed that he has faith in Armenia prospering and growing, but it is going to take time. “You’ve made your step, and now Armenians from all over the world who are successful in different fields must unite in order to succeed,” he says.

One of the projects of My Step Foundation is to support soldiers who have been injured during military service and the support is provided through Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center. In addition to addressing health concerns that the soldiers have, they also work to provide resources for their integration into a working society through education and skills training.

Over $406,000 has been allocated to Homeland Defender’s Rehabilitation Center by My Step Foundation.

Armenian Church of Florida Holy Week Schedule

St. Hagop Armenian Church (Tampa, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Stream 10:30AM-11:30AM

Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Governor of the State of Florida has issued a statewide “Stay At Home” order and the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Very. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, has instructed all Armenian Churches to close until it is safe to congregate.

As such, parishioners are not permitted to come to worship on Sunday until further notice. Instead, the largest Armenian Church in Florida, St. Hagop Armenian Church (Tampa) will live stream the Palm Sunday Badarak and pastoral message of Fr. Hovnan Demerjian from 10:30AM to 11:30AM. To participate in the live stream, please visit St. Hagop’s Facebook Page.

Live Stream Schedule (Church Closed Indefinitely)

  • Palm Sunday, April 5th: Badarak & Message, 10:30AM-11:30AM
  • Holy Thursday, April 9th: Service of Darkness-Khavaroom 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • Good Friday, April 10th: Burial Service & Message, 7:00PM-8:00PM
  • Easter Sunday, April 12th: Episcopal Badarak from NYC, Time TBD

Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church (Orlando, FL)

No one except Der Hayr and an Altar Server will be permitted to enter the Church during services. Der Hayr will pray and worship on behalf of all of us.

Palm Sunday Live Stream 11:00AM

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church Facebook Page.

St. David Armenian Church (Boca Raton, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on St. David Armenian Church Facebook Page.

St. Mary Armenian Church (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Palm Sunday Live Streaming on St. Mary Armenian Church Facebook Page at 11:00AM

Holy Week Schedule:

  • Palm Sunday: April 5 at 11:00AM, Divine Liturgy/Badarak (Live streaming)
  • Holy Thursday: April 9 at 7:00PM, Darkness Hour / Khavaroum Prayer Service (Live streaming)
  • Holy Friday: April 10 at 12:00PM, Crucifixion Prayer Service
    Burial Prayer Service, 6:00 pm (Live streaming)
  • Holy Easter Sunday: April 12 at 10:30AM, Holy Resurrection Badarak (Live streaming)

ACYOA DAYS – April 5th & 6th

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A Message from Bishop Daniel

On Guidelines for Holy Week and Easter Services During the Pandemic

My Dear People:

I greet you at this extraordinary time in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lifts our burdens, dispels our fears, and fills our hearts with hope and love for one another.

As you are all too aware, government and health authorities have warned that the pandemic crisis is entering a critical phase, and have called on all individuals and institutions to redouble their efforts to slow transmission through physical separation. The worldwide Armenian Church, among all religious institutions, must do its part, and hold as its first priority the health and safety of our people.

To uphold this responsibility, we are compelled to make unprecedented adjustments to our Holy Week and Easter services. Let me say at the outset that taking such measures, even at this time, brings genuine pain to us all. But in our uncertainty we place ourselves in the forgiving hands of our merciful Lord Jesus.

Most, but not all, of the territory of our Diocese is under the “stay at home” order from civil authorities. Under such circumstances, we have sought counsel from His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians; from all of our clergy; and from medical experts of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization. Having done so, we hereby issue the following guidelines, which we expect our clergy and Diocesan leadership to observe.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • Clergy should conduct all Holy Week services, with the aid of one deacon (or at most two), and one singer (or at most two).
  • Clergy, deacons, and singers must strictly abide by rules of social separation, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet separation at all times, and avoiding contact with liturgical or other objects. Clergy have the liberty to adjust services at their discretion in order to abide by social distancing rules and local, practical considerations.
  • Where a priest is considered acutely vulnerable to infection, and is thereby unable to lead services, at his discretion an ordained deacon may preside over all services, except for the Divine Liturgy itself.
  • Where it is not possible to assemble priest, deacon, and singer due to pandemic concerns, services may be omitted at the pastor’s discretion. (In such cases, faithful should be directed to broadcast options; see below.)
  • Broadcasting services over the Internet is encouraged wherever possible.
  • The faithful are not permitted to be present in the sanctuary during any services. They must restrict themselves to participating in services via the Internet broadcasts, which have been readily available throughout this pandemic crisis.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SPECIFIC SERVICES

On Palm Sunday (April 5), Great Thursday (April 9) and Great Saturday (April 11), the Divine Liturgy should be conducted wherever possible, according to the guidelines above.

On these occasions, only the celebrant priest will receive Holy Communion.

For this Palm Sunday, the “Opening of the Doors” (Turenpatsek) ceremony will not be conducted in our Diocese. However, later in the year, a special “Opening of the Doors” ceremony is planned for all Diocesan parishes, to celebrate the re-opening of the churches to our faithful.

On Palm Sunday, palms may be blessed where possible, and reserved for distribution to the faithful when the churches are re-opened later in the year.

On Holy Thursday, the “Washing of the Feet Ceremony” will be omitted this year.

On Easter Sunday, plans call for the Bishop to celebrate Badarak at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York, in strict accordance with the guidelines above, on behalf of all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese. The Badarak will be broadcast over the Internet, with the Bishop’s sermon addressed to the united faithful and clergy of our Diocese. Parishes that are able to conduct the Easter Divine Liturgy according to the guidelines above may do so, of course. But all are invited and encouraged to follow the broadcast Badarak from St. Vartan Cathedral.

Having issued these guidelines, it remains to affirm that we live in eager expectation of that blessed day when we will reassemble in our churches, to praise and glorify God, standing physically side-by-side with each other—and standing spiritually with our risen Lord. In our present circumstance, the assurance of St. Paul speaks directly to us, giving consolation and confidence for today:

“I am certain that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all Creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

With my prayers,

Bishop DANIEL
Primate

In Memoriam: Steve Iskenderian