Tag Archive for: National Day of Prayer


Armodoxy for Today: Alive

Sunday was proclaimed as a National Day of Prayer for Artsakh and for the Armenian Artsakh. Throughout the world, Armenians especially, got down on bended knees to pray. The prayer was not to a state leader, a diplomat, a politician, a social media personality, musician or celebrity.

In the Western Diocese, we celebrated the Holy Divine Liturgy at the St. Leon Ghevontians Armenian Cathedral. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate, called on the community to unite in prayer, “turning that prayer into the soil for new life. From that prayer,” he said, “Will come the inner power arising from faith, to manifest good works.”

At a time when the losses of the Armenian people are so great, the call to a life of prayer, has changed the emphasis of finding answers from within, rather than seeking them from without.

As the Archbishop was about to end his sermon, a group of Sunday School students came into the packed sanctuary and lodged themselves at the foot of the altar, in the chancel area of the huge cathedral. They were holding in their hands sheets of paper with crosses drawn on them. Each child had drawn and decorated a cross to bring to church this morning. Archbishop Hovnan announced that the day was dedicated to the Holy Cross of Varak (a small town in the Van region of Armenia, where the Cross of Christ was kept during a time of persecution). The young kids were now the new owners of these crosses.

The Archbishop asked the children to raise their cross drawings up high, so that members of the congregation could see them, as we all sang the Lord’s Prayer together. The kids began buzzing with excitement. They took their papers with ornamental crosses painted on them and they began waving them as we sang the Lord’s Prayer. In that wave, we witnessed energy and vitality. Their enthusiasm was dispensed and transmitted to all of us. We smiled at their naive understanding of faith and realized we were being given the signal from God. The next generation was sharing an enthusiasm that came from deep within each child. We were singing “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and we were being treated to the manifestation of God’s will – the love and life expressed by these children – in our holy sanctuary.

The miracles are always around us. If we are willing to open our hearts to God’s love, we can become witnesses to those miracles. Today, we record a miracle as a first step toward victory. Children living, making noise and waiving the cross, the symbol of resurrection and victory, in the midst of an Armenian church. We understand it as a miracle because it happened before a community that knelt and prayed. And if at any time you doubt that such a small gesture is a true miracle, think of the fact, that only a 100 years ago, the same enemy had proclaimed that there would be only one Armenian left and that Armenian would be found in a museum. Every noise, every prayer, ever raised cross is a miracle pointing to victory. Add to this, it all takes place inside an Armenian Church 12 time zones away from where the Armenian Church began, on the other side of the planet, at Holy Etchmiadzin. Only by the Grace of God does this miracle take place.

We prayer the prayer from the Evening Hour of the Armenian Church. Lord our God, increase within us Faith, Hope and Love. Amen.

Oil to Prayer, Miuron

Armodoxy for Today: Oil to Prayer

One of the sacred traditions of the Armenian Church is the preparation and blessing of the Holy Miuron (Chrism). It is done with much fanfare and grandeur, once every seven years. Holy Miuron was scheduled to be blessed this year, 2023, on October 1.

The process of blessing begins forty days earlier. That special ceremony took place presided by His Holiness, Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. The base of the Miuron is olive oil and the essence of 40 different fragrant flowers. Just as this, the mixture, was absorbing the prayers, hymns, incense and the energy of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of the Armenian Church, the Azeris fired on the innocent civilians of Artsakh, prompting the Blessing of Muiron to be postponed.

At the blessing of Holy Miuron, the holy relics of the saints are brought out of their sacred spaces within monasteries, to the altar table of Holy Etchmiadzin, along with the sacred Geghard, the Holy Lance that pierced the side of Our Lord Jesus on the Cross (John 19). The Holy Miuron is mystical and powerful. It unites us to Christ and the History of the Holy Church. It is used to christen individuals into the Church, to consecrate clergy and buildings into the sacred service of the Holy Church. It is the life blood of the Church.

This year, the body of Armenian Church, took a major hit. A large portion of that body, namely Artsakh, was cut off of the Body. Understandably, the life blood, the Holy Miuron, would need to strengthen. With the postponement of this year’s blessing, His Holiness, the Catholicos, has ordered the holy relics of the saints and the Holy Geghard to be brought to Etchmiadzin’s Holy Altar during this most difficult time, to console the people with a special blessing.

This Sunday, October 1, has been designated at an International Day of Prayer for Artsakh and the Artsakh Armenians who now seek refuge as their land is occupied and they are exiled from their homes. A Day of Prayer is a call to the children of the Church to focus on God as their only hope. This is our opportunity to return to our roots and understand the true power of God to work His miracles through each of us.

We at Epostle.net will be simulcasting the ancient Armenian Divine Liturgy from the St. Leon Ghevondyants Armenian Cathedral with English commentary. Please join us for a live stream at 10:30AM Pacific Daylight Time, on October 1, that’s Coordinated Universal Time -7 at Epostle.net.

Today we conclude with Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

Bubble Wrap

Next Step #465: The Message of the Cross is not an easy one, but a necessary message to follow. In an interview with Dr. Yvette Hovsepian Bearce, she passionately talks about unity, vision and escaping comfort levels to follow Christ and the Gospel. Genocide commemoration as metaphors for the larger issues of refugees and care. The Koranic Jesus, learning from the past to define the future and more. A bit from the National Day of Prayer in Los Angeles.
Song: Datevik from Ballads from the Black Sea
Dr. Yvette Hovsepian Bearce
National Day of Prayer “I am America” Song
Predator is Moving: https://predatorcycling.com/
Days of Solidarity Stream
Cover: “Chihuly peaks in Seattle” by Fr. Vazken 2016
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
Subscribe to In His Shoes » Next Step with Fr. Vazken by Email
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
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Conversation beyond Politics

Next Step #100 – May 6, 2010

Making Prayer a continuous conversation with God (and why the National Day of Prayer might hinder that process). Secrets revealed: Picking the right Lotto numbers and making peace without war. What kind of Priest would Jesus ordain? Church dynamics: The Old Boys Club is an Armenian one at that. Why invite an atheist to church?
Song: “Sareh Siroon Yar” by Zulal;
Ani’s Bubbles: A prayer by Bernard of Clairvaux;
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

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