Placing the cross at the church (Kenneth Martin photo)

Hye Pointe Armenian Church Holds Ceremony for Consecration of Cross

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By David Medzorian

HAVERHILL, Mass. — A brand-new Armenian Church in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley now has a brand-new cross to adorn its steeple. The cross was consecrated on Thursday, June 20, the gift of the Boston-based Knights of Vartan Ararat Tahlij No. 1 and the Daughters of Vartan Arpie Otyag No. 9. Many of the lodge and Otyag members were on hand with their families as Bishop Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), consecrated the large gold cross which now stands atop the Haverhill church.

The cross arrives at the church. (Kenneth Martin photo)

The occasion marked Findikyan’s first visit to the church since recently being elected Primate of the Armenian Church of America’s Eastern Diocese. Also participating in the consecration service were Armenian Church pastors from across Massachusetts as well as the dean of the Saint Nersess Armenian Seminary in New York.

Bishop Daniel Findikyan blessing the cross (David Medzorian photo)

During the early evening service, the cross was held upright by a former lodge leader together with the current leader of Ararat Tahlij No. 1 Argishti Chaparian. In his remarks following the service, Chaparian described how, as plans were announced to construct an Armenian Church in Haverhill, Ararat Lodge formed a committee to investigate the plans to determine how best it could help. Chaparian said that once construction on the church began, lodge members saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a significant contribution to the new structure. He cited the many personal sacrifices made by members during the fundraising process, including time away from their families and jobs. Ararat Lodge, along with its sister Arpie Otyag lodge, raised the $50,000 needed to cover the cost of the cross that now stands atop the church which overlooks Merrimack Valley.

Members of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, with Bishop Daniel Findikyan at the consecration (David Medzorian photo)

It was Chaparian who, after thanking the Knights and Daughters for their support and sacrifice, presented the check to the Hye Point Church’s pastor, Rev. Vart Gyozalyan. Father Vart, as he is lovingly known by friends and parishioners, thanked Ararat Tahlij No. 1 as well as Arpie Otyag No. 9 for their generosity and their continued dedication to the Armenian Church.

The Knights of Vartan’s Argishti Chaparian (David Medzorian photo)

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Those sentiments toward the Ararat Lodge and Arpie Otyag were echoed by Findikyan. During a dinner and reception that followed the consecration ceremony, the Primate reminded the guests that the cross is a unifying symbol of the Armenian church.

Among the scores that came together for the consecration service and dinner were parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Hye Pointe, Saint Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in North Andover, and other surrounding churches, Knights and Daughters from Ararat Tahlij and Arpie Otyag in Boston as well as Knights from Arakadz Tahlij No. 35 in North Andover. Following the dinner, the guests were treated to a performance by the Erebuni Dance Ensemble.

(David Medzorian is an asbed at the Ararat Tahlij No. 1, Boston.)

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