More than 600 faithful attended the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Sunday, July 22, 2012. The day’s celebrant and homilist was His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Diocesan Primate who was assisted at the holy altar by Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, Pastor of the Cathedral Parish. His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian and Archpriest Fr. Sipan Mekhsian participated in the service.
Prior to the conclusion of the service, Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan led a procession to the holy altar carrying the Encyclical of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians addressed to St. Leon Godfathers Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth and Cynthia Norian. His Eminence called the honorees forth to the nave as Father Khajag read the encyclical.
Click here to read the translation of the Pontifical Encyclical.
The St. Gregory the Illuminator medal, the highest honor bestowed upon individuals by the Armenian Apostolic Church, was conferred upon Mr. and Mrs. Norian. His Eminence congratulated the couple and commended their years of selfless service rendered to the Western Diocese and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He highlighted the invaluable work performed by the Ladies Auxiliary, a sub-committee of the Western Diocese chaired by Mrs. Cynthia Norian. Archbishop Derderian extended to the couple his blessings and conveyed to them his genuine wishes.
Following the service, a special Requiem Service (Hokehankist) was held for souls of the victims of the July 15, 2009 Tehran-Yerevan flight catastrophe and those who perished in the July 20, 2012 Colorado Movie Theater shooting.
A reception in honor of the medal recipients was held at the Zorayan Museum of the Western Diocese.