Hundreds of faithful flocked the spiritual center of the Western Diocese to take part in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on the Feast Day of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God, one of the Five Major Feast Days of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church. Diocesan Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was the day’s celebrant and homilist. His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian participated in the service.
“Through the Divine Liturgy, we focus our prayers and thoughts on the unique place of the Holy Mother of God in our lives. Today, through the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, the Armenian Church celebrates also the dedication and sacrificial lives of all mothers, who spiritually empowered by the Mother of God, have take on themselves the duty and responsibility to teach their children the Word of God” said His Eminence in his homily.
The Primate greeted and acknowledged the presence of Consul General Grigor Hovhannissian, who was in attendance at the service. He went on to greet “…distinguished guests and I would even say members of St. Leon Armenian Cathedral family Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse accompanied by his colleagues Deputy Chief Tom Angel, Captain Ron Caruso, Captain Denis Cremins and Executive Assistant Sherre Nakamura. It is also an honor to greet amongst us Woodbury University President Dr. Luis Calingo, his family and colleagues,” said His Eminence in his welcoming remarks addressed to the dignitaries who had attended the service.
His Eminence commended the dedicated service of the Burbank Police Department stating “it is our noble duty to remind our people of the importance of respect for law and render due appreciation to representatives of law enforcement.” Archbishop Derderian also reflected on the long-standing relationship between the Western Diocese and Woodbury University. The Primate went on to inform the parishioners about Woodbury’s newly-launched extensive project in collaboration with USAID and the Western Diocese whereby 12 students will be invited from Armenia to further their education at Woodbury University.
At the conclusion of the service, Archbishop Derderian, with the participation of the clergy, presided over the traditional blessing of the grapes ceremony.