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Saint Mary Yettem Celebrates 110 Years!
On Sunday, July 18, 2021, about 150 parishioners and friends of St. Mary Armenian Church in Yettem gathered together to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the founding of the church. On this special occasion, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian conducted ordinations of acolytes, a deacon and bestowed a Hye Spirit Award. His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, former Primate of the Western Diocese also journeyed from Southern California to be present for this historic day.
Young Hagop Pegor Keshishian and Jackson Poochigian were ordained as Acolytes. Alan Farsakian who was ordained as a Sub Deacon on July 7, 1991, was elevated to the rank of Deacon - thirty years and nine days later at the exact same altar. Life-long member Charlie Ananian who has faithfully served the parish holding candle, attending Sunday School, chairing the ACYO, singing in choir, assuming Parish Council responsibilities, and maintaining the church grounds for decades, was the recipient of this year’s Hye Spirit Award.
His Eminence Archbishop Derderian was the day’s celebrant assisted by Parish Priest Reverend Father Mashdots Keshishian, Yettem Deacon Randy Tellalian, Deacon Allan Jendian (Fresno) and Deacon Steve Adams (Fresno). The large choir was led and accompanied by Mari Louise Menendian.
His Eminence delivered the day’s message that began with sharing the word in Matthew 18:10-14. His Eminence encouraged us to renew our calling and to carry on the mission of the church and prayed for the founders and pastors of St. Mary Yettem. During a point in the sermon, a young child (actually the great-grandson of one of the original builders of our current church) made a little noise. His Eminence called the parents and the young boy up to the altar for a special blessing and reminded the congregation that a young cry should be seen as a blessing and a sign of hope from a new generation.
Following services, a banquet luncheon was served to those who remained in the Majarian Hall. The program included songs from Sunday School students and congratulatory remarks from those present, and messages read on behalf of family and friends unable to attend. Deacon Alan Farsakian shared a moving thank you that included his family’s multi-generation service to the Armenian Church. Hovnan Surpazan Hayr presented thank you gifts to all of the honorees and then invited Archbishop Hovsepian to close with his remarks and to offer the closing prayer.
A new column of 4 blocks is available The price is $200 per name.
Sunday School Classes are held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month
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St. Mary Yettem Events August 14, 2022
Ordination and Hye Spirit Awards - July 24, 2022
St. Mary Yettem Raffle Winners
Please join us this Sunday, August 14th. The Morning Service will begin at 9:30, and the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:15. We will observe the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother-of-God - Asdvadzadzin, which commemorates how St. Mary was taken up in body and soul, or “assumed,” into heaven. The Blessing of the Grapes will be conducted at the conclusion of the services. The day’s services and blessings will be streamed on our webpage at www.stmaryyettem.org and on Facebook.
St. Mary, chosen by God for her humility and purity to be the mother of Jesus, the promised savior, is venerated by the church as the Holy Mother of God (Asdvadzadzin). Her name is invoked first in the intercessory litanies and prayers of the church because she is the highest-ranking saint. Her picture with the Christ child in her arms adorns the main altar of all Armenian churches.
The Armenian Church celebrates five major feasts of St. Mary. The greatest feast exalting the Holy Mother of God is the Feast of the Assumption. It is also one of the five major feast days or daghavars of the Armenian Church (along with Theophany, Easter, Transfiguration, and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross).
Historic data tells us that St. Mary lived in Jerusalem about fifteen years after the resurrection and then died. Eastern tradition tells us that at her death an elaborate funeral took place. The apostles, with the exception of St. Bartholomew, buried her with great reverence in the Garden of Gethsemane. For three days and three nights angelic singing was heard over her tomb. Then the apostles saw a vision of Jesus coming down from heaven and taking his mother up from the grave to be with Him in heaven. When Bartholomew arrived, he wanted to see Mary for the last time. The apostles took him to the tomb, and to their amazement, found it empty. They were convinced that her body had been taken up into heaven by the Lord. This belief was sanctioned by the church between the 9th and 12th centuries. The Armenian Church observes this feast for nine days.
The custom of blessing grapes can be traced back to Old Testament times. Of all produce, grapes had a special place of honor and were considered the "first fruits" because they were the first produce of harvest. Special services of thanksgiving were conducted by priests in the temple, a tradition that prevailed to the time of Christ. With the birth of Jesus, these dedications took on a new meaning. Jesus Christ was the first born— or the first fruit—of Mary and, as such, was offered to God in the temple. (Luke 2:25-30) Mary is seen as the image of humanity fully obedient to God and ultimately sanctified by doing God's will. Therefore, on the feast remembering her dormition (falling asleep in Christ) and Assumption (ascending to heaven), we celebrate the blessing of grapes.
Following these services, our Ways and Means Committee will be holding a Bake Sale. Please add to the fun by sharing some of your baked goods. Items will be reasonably priced, and all proceeds will benefit our parish.
Finally on that day, a banquet lunch will be offered featuring chicken kebab, pilaf, salad, carrots, dinner roll and dessert. Please RSVP to (559) 528-6892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help us plan, but a reservation is not necessary in order to attend. Lunch will feature chicken kebab, pilaf, salad, carrots, dinner roll and dessert.
The Ways and Means Committee meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, August 17th at 7 PM.
The regular Parish Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday, August 18th at 6 PM.
June 2022 Winners:
$150 - Jennifer Daily
$100 - Mark Wall
$50 - Mark Wall
Morning Service at 9:45 AM
Divine Liturgy at 10:30 AM
St. Mary Live on Internet