NEW YORK — “If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem…” is the biblical phrase signifying the emotional and spiritual power of the sacred site that is home to three of the world’s major religions. And for Armenians who have played a pivotal role in Jerusalem since the seventh century, the impact of this statement is immeasurable.
On Sunday, November 3, the Armenian community of greater New York had the opportunity to learn more about the centuries-long Armenian presence in Jerusalem, when Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, visited the Eastern Diocese.
Manougian presided over the Divine Liturgy at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, which was celebrated by the Very Rev. Norayr Kazazyan, principal of the Sts. Tarkmanchatz School at the Armenian Patriarchate. Also taking part in the service were Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian; the Very Rev. Simeon Odabashian, Diocesan Vicar; the Very Rev. Mamigon Kiledjian, dean of St. Vartan Cathedral; the Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan, director of the Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center; other area clergy and St. Nersess Seminary students.
The Patriarch delivered a sermon on the temptations Christians face in today’s secular culture. “As Christ resisted the temptations of injustice and evil, we also have to follow His example,” he said. “Those who only seek material pursuits do not find God’s mercy.”
Also during the Divine Liturgy, Manougian led a special prayer service for Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of his consecration and enthronement as the 132nd Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.