Turkey’s Armenians 82nd, 83rd and 84th Patriarchs; Şınorhk (Kalusdyan), Karekin II. (Kazancıyan), Mesrob II. (Mutafyan) Commemorated on Their Death Anniversaries with the Holy Offering and Hokehankisd prayers in Galata Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Church.
Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, on Thursday, March 4, at the Galata Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Church, the Holy Offering (Surp Badarak) ritual, which was presided by Archpriest Zakeos Ohanyan and was held by Priest Hovagim Serovpyan, was attended by the representative of the Church Foundation Board of Directors, the deceased Patriarch, his beautitude the II. Mesrob’s mother; Mari Mutafyan, and a small number of believers attended the table of the Lord. The hymns were voiced by the members of the Patriarchate Armaş Choir, led by Diyakos Edvin Harutyun Galibyan.
Patriarch Sahak II: “Conscience is a Light of God in Us”
After the Holy Offering, their deceased patriarch Şınorhk, Karekin II. and Mesrob II. They were commemorated with prayers. At the end of the ceremony, the high priest Zakeos preached a sermon and explained the meaning of stewardship.
During his sermon, he commemorated the last three deceased patriarchs of the Patriarchate and praised their work and stated that their successor today is Patriarch Sahak II. While putting an end to his words, he said that the Patriarchate’s Office prayed for the survival and continuity of his services. The ceremony was broadcasted on the Patriarchate’s Facebook page on Sunday, 7 March.
Then Turkey’s Armenians Sahak II, with a live broadcast preached sermons about “Dindane Giragi” (Crafty Butler) week in Armenian and Turkish. He read and interpreted (Luke 16: 1-9) in his Armenian sermon. During his Turkish sermon, he read and interpreted (Luke 16: 19-31). Some of the headings from his Turkish sermon are as follows: “Truth is the unchanging, uncorrupted, permanent, divine and holy. Hell, as depicted by Jesus, is the outer darkness, the place of regret, the place where weeping and grinding teeth. Conscience is a God-set light within us. It lights up and does its duty. It is the voice of God in us. It shows us the truth. It shows us what we have to do. It shows us how to be human. Our conscience becomes holy after death. That light, that becomes holy, the light in our soul, becomes our heaven or hell. It is the judgment of God that if a person knows good, but still does not do good, it is sin. So we are not only responsible for the sins we have committed. We are also responsible for the favors we do not commit. The investment we make in every person carries infinite value. It turns from reality into truth. Because it turns into love and love is truth. Therefore, turn your assets into love. The problem is in the heart of the man, the problem is not in the riches. If we want to be friends with God, we must win God’s sons. Your eternal life guarantee is the human standing beside you. Be good to the person standing next to you, because he is God’s precious. God has prepared this world as a world table where everyone can be full. You and me are barriers. We steal someone else’s bite and collect it. We accumulate and not share wealth that we could never use. My dear brothers, may the Lord grant us all generosity. May he give generous soul. How we give, how much we give, this is secondary. The important thing is a heart ready to give, ready to forgive, ready to share, to have this heart. Because those who have this heart will be found in God’s heaven. How happy are those who will sit at those tables. May the Lord bless you all.”
Under the presidency of Patriarch Sahak II, on Friday, March 5, Arevakal prayers took place at the Central Church of the Patriarchate Virgin Mary (Surp Asdvadzsdzin). At the end of the ceremony, which was broadcast live on the Facebok page of the Patriarchate, Patriarch Sahak II preached sermons in Armenian and Turkish. He read and interpreted (Luke 10:38-42) in his Armenian sermon. In his Turkish sermon, after his words, “In the case of the lost son, Jesus Christ tells us <You may also disappear in religion, be careful!>, He interpreted (John 8: 1-11) by reading. Some of the headings from his speech are as follows; “We need to distinguish between crime and sin. Sin is committed against God. Crime is what has been committed against society. We need to understand Jesus’ <do not judge so you will not be judged>. He says this is not about crimes, but about sins. Because you and I are not the judge of sin. He is the judge of all our sins. Sin cuts our relationship with God, so we get destitute of life energies.”
On Monday, March 8, at 2 pm, in the Şişli Armenian Cemetery, in front of the graves of the deceased patriarchs, “Hokehankist” prayers were read. In the ceremony, clericals, deacons and readers affiliated to patriarchate and In addition to Patriarch II. Mesrob’s family, a small number of believers were also present. Under the presidency of the Patriarch Sahak II, all the clergymen who participated in the ceremony walked from the entrance of the cemetery to the head of the grave. Then the ceremony started with the Lord’s prayer that his beautitude the Patriarch started to say and then said all together. Afterwards “Hokehankist” prayers were said. Then Patriarch Sahak II made a short speech. In his speech, he said briefly:
“Today we stand before the 3 deceased patriarchs of our Patriarchate with respect and raise our prayers to God for them. Unless the memories of our loved ones die in our souls, they will always continue to live in us and be a part of us. We had the chance to know the patriarchs, who constitutes the three gold circles of the chain of Turkey’s Armenians Patriarchs; Shinork, Karekin and Mesrob closely and to be their students. With their values, they left invaluable legacies to our society, to our church. They set an example for us with the lives they bestowed on our nation. As exemplary Christians and pioneers, their lives were not wasted. Let them sleep in the lights.”
The ceremony ended with the Lord’s prayer, which was said all together. His Beatitude the Patriarch left the cemetery, wishing his condolences to the family of the deceased patriarch Mesrob II and to those attending the ceremony.