Tag Archive for: Halloween


Armodoxy for Today


After trick-or-treating the neighborhood and snapping enough pictures to keep the memories going beyond the evening and season, the custom of opening the bag, inspecting and sampling the treasure takes place. The first step, though, is removing the mask off of your face, to better enjoy the goodies.

The masks we wear in life come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The masks we wear at Halloween are celebratory, they are part of the fun and excitement of the evening. The most beautiful young face can be distorted into something so old and hideous, and vice versa. The masks we wear after Halloween are the ones that we need to examine for they are easy hiding places for our true nature. We wear one mask at home and another at work. The mask we wear as a husband or wife might be different from the mask of a friend. The one we wear as parent speaking with our children might be different than the mask we wear speaking with our parents. One mask may be that of the boss and the other of the faithful employee. We wear masks to fit the occasion.

At the end of the day, we remove our masks, and usually do so in front of a mirror. What we see is the maskless self – the one that looks back at us and the one who’s stare we cannot escape.

When we talk about an all-knowing and all-seeing God, we understand He has the unique vantage point of seeing through our masks, no matter how many and how layered they may be. In this sense, it’s like the mirror-stare, in that we can’t escape His view. To open the bag of “goodies of life” and enjoy the treats within, that view – unhindered, unobscured, is the God view that is the same view from a clean and receptive heart.

The prayer of St. Nersess says (#9) “Lord, Protector of all, instill Your holy fear in me that my eyes may not look lustfully, that my ears may not delight in hearing evil, that my mouth may not speak lies, that my heart may not think evil, that my hands may not do injustice, that my feet may not walk in the paths of iniquity. But direct all my actions that I do your will in everything. Amen.”


Armodoxy for Today

Saints are perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements of the Church. Saints are not God. We don’t worship saints. Saints are human, people, just like you and me. Just like us, they have free will. They have doubts, in fact, some have had doubts about God as well as about matters of Faith.

Jesus says, “Courage, the victory is mine. I have overcome the world.” The saints are those who took Jesus for his word, took on the challenges of the world with courage and overcame their condition and therefore, share in the victory with Christ.

In the Armenian Church, the feast of All Saints is celebrated in on a Saturday in November. In the West, All Saints is a fixed feast, that is, it is celebrated on the first day of November. The night before All Saints Day, is appropriately called All Saints Eve, or Hallows Eve, sloppily transformed into Halloween. In the Armenian Church the tradition of the evening before the feast is called Nakhadonak.

Saints have passed on from their physical life, and, as scripture refers to it, they have fallen asleep in Christ. People have tried to grapple with the notion of an end to a physical existence and have pondered about the possibilities of ghosts, hence the connection with some of the popular customs that emphasize death and spooky manifestations of the afterlife surrounding Halloween. Coupled with the huge profit motive in selling costumes, masks, movies, stories of horror, etc., the original intention and connection with saints is forgotten.

Saints give us examples of living. If you or I try (or dare) to compare our lives with Jesus Christ we are doomed for failure because Jesus is perfect. We will always fall short of perfection. But in looking at the saints, we have a model. They are human and therefore they live with frailties and imperfections; however, in their lives they were able to rise from the human condition, and for us today, they give us a model and an example for living.

From St. Nersess’ prayer, (#7), Beholder of all, I have sinned against You, in thought, word or deed. Blot out the handwriting of my offenses and write my name in the book of Life. Amen.

Under Wraps

Next Step #751: From coverups to false narratives, from truth to Truth, a look at how we are being impacted from forces around us. Halloween is only a part of it, and only the beginning. “Celebrating the Schism” leads to a deep dive into some uncomfortable areas for uncomfortable times.
Jesus as a Lunch Date?
The Search
1927 Picnic
Elon Musk, First Day at Twitter
Arcadi Volodos Piano Transcriptions
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for Epostle.net
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Before Refrigeration

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #699: Adopting the Cross and Jesus from Biblical times and now: clues to the adoption process. The danger of Revelation and the nonsense of non-denominationalism. Gorbachev’s revelation. Halloween, death, and afterlife before and after refrigeration units. Beginning the process of extracting media from SM. And… answering the questions should Uma have been Yvonne?
Loving as your son: St. Joseph’s example
Purgatory Concept from Maccabees
In Step with Christ: Halloween, Masks and Saints
Few Minutes with Der Hayr (1994): Halloween and Fear
Vernacular Verbose Special ed. 
Vitamin String Quartet
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Unmasking Halloween

Next Step #595: What’s under the mask? Strip search and the necessity to cry while peeling an onion and the layers that mask our selves and our lives. What we lost as the US Congress recognized the Genocide. Beyond mourning: applying tragedy to the betterment of our life. The “3 Year Contract”: Another element in the Armodoxy equation. Justifying ideas as Christian even though they are out of sync with reality – 2000 years ago and today. Cafeteria Christianity and making it work for you: Nothing new here. “Center of Attention” debuts this weekend! Harry Houdini “darelitz”, zombies, standard time and much more, all in this edition of the Next Step.
Dun Ringil by Jethro Tull
Commemorate a Genocide by focusing today
Adam Schiff on Genocide Resolution
Fr. Manoog Markarian on Halloween (Armenian)
Fr. Vazken on Halloween (English)
Fr. Vazken on Fear and Halloween (1995)
God, Lemmy & The Walking Dead: The Gospel According To Ian Anderson
Cover: Piqsels.com, Public Domain
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for http://InHisShoes.org
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Authority of Service

Next Step #386: “The only authority is the authority of service, the only power is the power of the Cross” says Pope Francis to the Chaldean Synod. The usual is still unusual. A discussion on humility and the problems it presents in the world today. Readings from John 13, Philippians 2, and Nersess Shnorhali’s Aysor Anjar. In His Shoes and Armodoxy find a voice in the hurting world. Examples from the Last Supper and the Fool and his barns.
Nvair: “We Sing Armenian Church Songs
Pope’s Address to Chaldean Synod
Conan on ArmComedy
Dr. Harry Hagopian, “What Christian’s can learn from Olive Tree
“Aysor Anjar” translation thanks to Robert Boyajian and Hovhaness Khosdelian
Fr. Vazken on Halloween: NS#282  and Blog
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Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Succeeding in Mask Management

Next Step #282 – October 31, 2013

The Halloween Edition of the podcast on Armodoxy. In this episode – follow up to Glendale’s restriction on free-speech – Fr. Vazken gets a call. All Saints Day and Halloween. Identity in a Global Community – delineating between ethnic and religious identity. Looking under the mask of our life and finding ourselves, looking under the mask of the church and finding Christ – the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. YWCA and KFC – what’s the branding all about? Great Treats in this edition!
Song: Aragil by Margar Eghiazarian
Catholicos Karekin II’s speech in Korea
Engineered by Ken T. Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
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Making saints out of Halloween and Religion

Next Step #125 – October 28, 2010

Putting the Saints back into Halloween. Nothing to fear unless you’re peddling religion to children. Didn’t we say religion is not for kids! We find Patriarch Kyrll and Pope Benedict on the same page? In His Shoes hits the $ 500,000 mark to aid children of Genocide. Religion in the World: Pew Research
The quiz: http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php
Nicholas Kristoff’s adaption: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/opinion/10kristof.html?_r=1
Song “Horovel” by Rouben Matevosyan
Ani’s Bubbles: “Homeless Outreach”
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

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Hallowed Saints: Under the Masks

Next Step #73 – October 29, 2009

Halloween through the lens of Armenian Orthodoxy, as a challenge to find the saints around us – living with them as they live within us. Under the masks, there’s a self that waits (and needs) to be discovered. A podcast filled with Tricks and Treats.
Song: Gomidas’ Pontifical Wish on 10th Anniversary of Enthronement of HH Karekin II
Ani’s Bubbles: Father and Son
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for Epostle.net
Sponsored by Predator Cycling – www.predatorcycling.com

updated 033121 mm

Beneath the Halloween Mask of Life


Next Step #20 – October 29, 2008

Boo! This podcast in not designed to scare you, only to make you think. Here’s an opportunity to examine the masks we all wear in life. Fr. Vazken carefully removes the layers that guard and protect us and beneath are no monsters but a pure heart given by God. A unique exposé on the Obama/McCain campaigns in light of the faith vote. Armenian Orthodoxy extends to this discussion of Halloween, masks, and fear.


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