NEW YORK — On Saturday, October 14, newly-ordained Bishop Mesrop Parsamyan returned to St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral to celebrate his first episcopal Divine Liturgy as bishop of the Eastern Diocese.
The Primate, who had been consecrated as a bishop at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin a week earlier by Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over the special badarak before a large gathering of clergy and lay people from near and far.
In a time of heartrending events and hardship thrust upon Armenians around the world, embodied in the tragedies in Artsakh and Armenia, Bishop Mesrop’s message of unwavering faith and optimism for the future of the Armenian Church and its faithful instilled feelings of hope and perseverance in all who heard his message.
As the heavenly strains of Khorhoort Khoreen (O Mystery Deep) began the service, Parsamyan, accompanied by a procession of clergy and altar servers, entered the sanctuary and bestowed his blessings among the faithful. A gold processional cross, followed by colorful processional banners featuring images of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, were held by the procession of clergy as they made their way through the cathedral. As they reached the altar, angelic strains of the choir reached a crescendo, further adding to the sacred atmosphere of the event about to unfold.
Blessings on the Faithful
From the altar, with arms outstretched, Bishop Mesrop faced the congregation and chanted the centuries-old Armenian prayers. Multiple cameras placed throughout the sanctuary provided those participating in the service at home with immersive views, including an intimate, front-facing view of Bishop Mesrop praying on the holy altar. Among the clergy and altar servers assisting him throughout the liturgy were Cathedral Vicar Fr. Davit Karamyan, and Diocesan pastors Fr. Armash Bagdasarian (Wynnewood, PA), Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan (Cheltenham, PA), Fr. Martiros Hakobyan (Houston, TX), and Fr. Avedis Kalaydjian (Racine, WI), along with a retinue of deacons from the cathedral and outlying parishes, as well as St. Nersess seminarians and other altar servers.