By Harry Mazadoorian and Chris Zakian
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — On the weekend of June 4-5, the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in New Britain, CT, and the entire Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, witnessed the holy sacrament of ordination, culminating in the consecration of a new priest to lead the faithful.
In two moving services — a Friday “Service of Calling,” and a Sacrament of Ordination badarak on Saturday — Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan ordained and anointed Deacon Michael Sabounjian into the holy priesthood, conferring on him the new name “Fr. Haroutiun.” Michael Sabounjian had been serving as deacon-in-charge since February at New Britain’s Holy Resurrection Church.
The sponsoring priest was Rev. Fr. Krikor Sabounjian, Fr. Haroutiun’s father, and the ordination godfather was Stepan Piligian, a longtime friend of the Sabounjian family. Fr. Krikor noted that his son’s priestly name — Armenian for “Resurrection” — was personally meaningful to him, not only for its beautiful intrinsic meaning, but also because it is a name he associates with a dear, now sadly departed, clergy colleague.
The calling service, of about 45 minutes duration on Friday, June 4, began in classic fashion, with a column of clergy and deacons processing to the front of the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, with the ordination candidate traversing the distance on his knees.
All approached the presiding bishop, who was seated below the altar. The age-old ceremony proceeded as a series of questions and answers involving the bishop, candidate, and his sponsors, culminating in the declamation from the onlookers that “He is worthy” — in Armenian, “Arzhani eh.”