His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, visited the Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church on Sunday, July 11, 2021, the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On that occasion, he presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, with Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian, Pastor, as celebrant.
The North Andover Armenian community was overjoyed on this occasion and the faithful of Saint Gregory Church came out in record numbers to welcome Srpazan Hayr for this "unofficial" visit, one of the countless weekly visits he has made to Prelacy parishes since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Fr. Stephan Baljian, pastor of Saint Gregory Church, was particularly moved to have the Prelate present on such an auspicious occasion, the major feast day of Holy Transfiguration, or Vartavar, which is one of the five Tabernacle Feasts found in the calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Several years ago, Der Stephan had compiled a brief prayer service consisting of hymns, Psalmody, readings and an excerpt from the lengthy "Prayer of St. Yeghishe" written on the occasion of the Feast Day. The theme of the service is the encounter the worshiper desires to have with the resplendent and majestic Lord on his holy mountain of heaven (symbolized by the Holy Altar). For the first time, this service was presided over by the Prelate, who also spoke about this theme in his sermon for the day.
Following the Badarak, Archbishop Anoushavan was photographed with the church's Deacons and Choir, as well as the newly installed Board of Trustees and the parish's delegates to the National Representative Assembly. Following this, in Jaffarian Hall, there was a fellowship hour, which have recently resumed following the lifting of state regulations during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Front row (l to r): Nishan Baljian, Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian (Pastor), H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian (Prelate), Chake Boloian; Middle row: Sylvia Mahlebjian, Sossy Jeknavorian, Knarik Nerkararyan (Choir Director), Hovig Baljian, Gabriel Bulbulian; Back row: Zareh Bulbulian, Dn. James Haddad, Dn. Avedis Garavanian, Dn. John Saryan, Dn. Arek Kalayjian
Front row (l to r): Rev. Fr. Stephan Baljian (Pastor), H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian (Prelate), Mr. John Kulungian (Executive Council & NRA); Back row: Mr. Gregory Afarian (NRA), Dn. James Haddad (BOT), Mrs. Sylvia Mahlebjian (BOT), Mr. Steven Mahlebjian (BOT), Mr. Robert Kochakian (BOT Chair), Ms. Susan Parigian (BOT), Mr. Joseph Almasian (BOT), Dn. John Saryan (BOT); Missing from photo: Armen Kourkounian (BOT), James Kochakian (BOT), Gregory Minasian (NRA)