View this email in your browser                                         February 14, 2021
SUNDAY, February 14, 2021
Great Barekendan - Բուն Բարեկենդան
Presentation of the Lord to the Temple

Isaiah 24:21-25:8, Acts 7:47-50, Galatians 4:1-7, Luke 2:41-52

Տէր Փառէն Քհն. Գալստյան, Հոգեւոր Հովիւ
Reverend Fr. Paren Galstyan, Pastor
Click here to download the Sunday Bulletin
Covid 19 Guidelines
Dear Friends,
We would like to remind all parishioners who are attending church in person to please continue following the guidance while attending church set by the dioceses during the Pandemic. Please always wear your mask while in the church at all times, use the hand sanitizer station while entering church, keep 6 ft apart in church and in the narthex area, sit in the designated areas in church and do not to enter the church hall. Your continued support is appreciated. 

Soorp Haroutiun Parish Council

Lord, please keep watch over your faithful people and the holy soil of Arstakh and Armenia, now and always. Grant them strength, and lead us together through the present time of trial.
     My soul is always in your hands and I place my hope in your Holy Cross, O Heavenly King. May the multitude of your saints intercede on my behalf. You who are patient with everyone, do not neglect me who trusts in you, but keep me in peace with your precious and Holy Cross. Amen.

Sunday Livestreams

Sundays: From 10.30 am to Noon.
Deceased:     VLADIMIR VARDANYAN (40th day on February 16,2021)
Req. by:          Balasanyan and Vardanyan Families
                        KENNETH HARWOOD
Req. by:          Abrahamian and Harwood families  
Req. by:          Michael Abrahamyan and family

Presentation of the Lord to the Temple


On February 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple. Tiarn’ndaraj, or Candlemas as it is known in the West, symbolizes the presentation of the 40 day-old Christ Child to the Temple in Jerusalem.

In accordance with the Law of Moses, the infant Christ was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph and presented to God. A man named Simeon was there, to whom it had been revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord.  Simeon held the infant in his arms, blessed God, and said, “Lord, let your servant now depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your Salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people.  A Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

In the tradition of the Church, Evening Services (Nakhatonak) are conducted on the night preceding the Feast Day.  At the conclusion of the service, the priest lights a candle from the Holy Altar, and distributes the flame to all present. With great care, the faithful take the lit candles home to their families.

The morning of the Feast Day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Armenian Churches throughout the world. The hymn offered during the Liturgy commemorating Tiarn’ndaraj glorifies Simeon’s articulation of “a Light to lighten the Gentiles”. The hymn praising Simeon also lauds the Mystery of the Incarnation.

Many additional customs have been inherited from the past, including the blessing of the four corners of the world in the Andastan Service, the blessing of newlywed couples, as well as offering prayers for the crops and fertility of the fields

Eve of Great Lent or Great Barekendan

The Armenian Church has defined the period of Great Lent as a time of abstinence and repentance for the faithful. Each Sunday during this period is named after an event in the Holy Bible that contains the message of the day. According to the calendar, the days prior to weekly fasts, as well as Great Lent, (with the exception of the fast preceding Holy Nativity) are called Barekendan. The word Barekendan means “good living” or “good life”, as we are called to live cheerfully, joyfully, and to be happy on these days preceding fasting periods.

On these days of Barekendan, the angel’s words addressed to the prophet Elijah are fulfilled:  “Arise and eat, otherwise the journey will be too great for you” (1 Kings 19:7). The Armenian Church thus allows her faithful to organize games, festivals, carnivals and large, plentiful meals to observe the feast, as it is followed by a period of fasting and abstinence.

The Eve of Great Lent, as Great Barekendan is also called, commemorates the human bliss, which Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.  It also symbolizes the heavenly right, according to which, mankind could eat all types of fruit, except the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Barekendan is the manifestation of the virtues of the soul, through which people can transform mourning to joy, and torment to peace. It is with this comprehension, with bowing of our souls, penitence, fasting and hope for mercy, that each Christian individual should take his first step on the long, 40 day journey of Great Lent, culminating with the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The period starting from the day following the Great Barekendan and lasting till the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is called Great Lent. In the period of the Great Lent, people, refraining from bodily pleasures and sins, get prepared for the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ by means of abstinence and repentance. Both spiritual and moral and bodily abstinence are considered to be important.Our church fathers have called the period of the Great Lend as “Karasnordats”, as the period of fasting lasts 40 days. This period of the Great Lent is also called “Salt and bread”, as in the past during the period of the Great Lent people have eaten only salt and bread.

In the New and old Testaments there are many testimonies concerning the period of Great Lent. Moses fasted for forty days and only then received the Lord’s rules and canons. However, this period is related to 40-day period of temptation of Christ in the desert, following which our Church fathers established this period of fasting.

Fasting may be of three kinds: usual fasting, rigorous abstinence and absolute fasting. In case of usual fasting people can eat only food of vegetable origin. In case of rigorous fasting people refuse to eat any food even of vegetable origin. And in case of absolute fasting people refuse to eat any kind of food, including even bread and water.

During the period of the Great Lent curtains in the churches are closed in commemoration of the fact that after sinning Adam was exiled from Eden and the doors were closed before him.


About the Great Lent

This year the period of Great Lent starts on February 15. It lasts 48 days beginning on the Eve of Great and lasts till the Eve of the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Easter). This year the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated on April 4.
During the fasting period people eat exceptionally food of vegetable origin.
During the fasting period people not only refuse of certain kinds of food, but also of ill habits – talkativeness, lying, swearing and other sins.
Refusing from food without avoiding of sins is useless. “Satan always fasts, it does not eat anything and however, it does not and is not tired of sinning,” says St Gregory of Tatev. During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says the following about fasting: “Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; that you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly.” (Mt 6:16-18). Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us the way of fasting. As disease makes influence on the body in the same way sin makes influence on the soul. It is not fasting that atones the sin. It is God that gives absolution to sins. However, fasting is important in giving absolution to sins. Repentance, prayer and confession are the main conditions for receiving absolution of sins.
Forty days of fasting period symbolize Christ’s 40-day lasting period of abstinence and repentance in the desert. After His baptism Jesus “was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil and in those days he did eat nothing” (Lk 4:1-3). Jesus subjected Himself to abstinence for the salvation of mankind, He repented instead of mankind so that penitence of all those who fast should gain sense and be realized by means of His abstinence. Another period of fasting lasting for a week follows the 40-day fasting period. It is the Holy Week. That is why the forty-day called fasting period lasts 48 days.
The period of Great Lent consists of seven remarkable Sundays: Eve of Great Lent, Sunday of Expulsion, Sunday of the Lost (Prodigal) Son, Sunday of the Steward, Sunday of the Judge, Sunday of Advent and Palm Sunday.
The 24th day or the fourth Wednesday of the period of Great Lent is called Mijink symbolizing that first half of the period of Great Lent has already passed. This year Mijink is on March 11. That day fasting is not stopped. According to folk tradition the housewives bake unleavened cake and put a coin in it while baking. The current year will be successful for the member of the family who will have the coin in his/her portion.
According to ancient traditions marriage and offering sacrifice were forbidden during the period of Great Lent. However, by the pontifical encyclical of Vazken A Catholicos of all Armenians it was permitted in case of extreme necessity to perform the sacrament of marriage during the period of Great Lent and on Sundays except all days of the Holy Week.

Click Here to Download the Flyer
Please register your 2021 membership
Many parishioners have told us that they would appreciate reminders about membership dues. So, this is our first reminder of the year!  Please take a look at your checkbook or other records.  If you have not yet submitted your membership dues for 2021, now is a great time to send in your 2021 Soorp Haroutiun membership dues.  Annual membership dues are $125 per person.
For your convenience, you will find a membership application on the table in the Narthex, which can be dropped off at the Church office.  Also, we are accepting your donations by credit card.
Click to Download the 2021 Membership Form
Click here to pay Membership Online

Thanks to Our 2020 Membership

Rita Arnold, Elisa Azarian, Vagan Babajanian, Leonardo Badiglian, Anton Balasanyan, Arlin & Patricic Baligian,  Khacho & Ghoson Bedrossian, Mariam Bezhanyan, Avedis Boornazian, Richard & Linda Boornazian, Dr. Gregory Boyajian, Diran & Anna Chamoun,  Liza Derbalian-Coredo, Albert Eckian, Anahid Frangoul, Gregory Chouljian, Yn. Anna Galstyan, Kristina Gerard, Antibas & Suzanne Gumushian, Arman & Suna Hartenyan, Ishkhan Hunanyan, Michael Jefarjian, Hagob & Anais Karadjian, Linda Lowman, Mariia Malovana, Garo Mekhdjavakian, Dr. Artak Mirijanyan, Robert & Siranush Mkrtchyan, Armen Mkrtchyan, Grigor Mkrtchyan, Algis & Varsenig Nakutis, Ropen & Linda Nalbandian, Sargis Navoyan, Aram & Ana Nazarian, Joanne Periera, Ann Barsamian Polasek, George & Barbara Rustigian, Eduard Sarkissian, Rose Sarkissian, John Shahinian, Dr. Michael Tiraturian & Dr. Irina Sarafyan,  Drs. Aram & Aida Khachadourian/ Tchobanian, John Tegerian, Alice Tegrarian, Charles Tekesian, Marieta Vausquez, Garabed Veneskahian, Jerome & Lona Youderian, Asnot Zatikyan & Anna Mirijanyan.

Prayer Requests for Our Faithful

Please keep Dee Bargamian, John and Iris Ganimian, John Gumushian, Anahid Frangul, Sargis Katvalyan, Tamar Kochian, Fimi Manguikian, Sarkis Minassian, Talin Mukhjian,  Christian Tresppolacios, Anil & Surekha VaibhDr. Aida Khachadourian/Tchobanian, Sabrina Wood, Hratch Xatourian,
Franco Vasquez in your prayers for physical and spiritual health.
Youth Bible Study this Saturday 

Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 5 P.M.
Topic: Youth Bible Study

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 624 937 7521
Passcode: Church

FAR Artsakh projects


FAR Distributes Aid to Displaced Artsakh Families

Numerous Armenian families displaced from their homes in Artsakh continue to grapple with an uncertain future. The Fund for Armenian Relief is committed to helping such families in this trying time, deploying teams in the field to assist them in their needs for housing, medical attention, and essential items.
The organization recently completed a distribution of 312 packages containing food, hygiene items, and school supplies to 84 Artsakh families that have resettled in Dilijan. Another 266 packages were distributed to 60 Artsakh families that have resettled in Ararat province.
FAR will continue to support families that have lost their homes in Artsakh. As it moves beyond the provision of emergency needs, FAR is exploring how to improve life for Artsakh families in the long-term.

Click the following link to support FAR’s work during this critical time.


Dear friends and parishioners. We have Lahmajuns on sell for you available at the Church.

1 dozen - $25
2 dozens - $45

All the profit will go to Artsakh Fund
  • Sunday, February 14, 2021 - Great Barekendan – Presentation of the Lord to the Tample
  • Monday, February 15, 2021 - Beginning of the Great Lent
  • Wednesday, February 17, 2021: Lenten Service and Bible Study at 6.30PM
  • Sunday, February 21, 2021 – Sunday of Expulsion
  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021: Lenten Service and Bible Study at 6.30PM
  • Sunday, February 28, 2021 – Sunday of the Prodigal Son
  • Wednesday, March 3, 2021: Lenten Service and Bible Study at 6.30PM
Prayer Request
Call during the week to request prayers, hokehankist, visitations to the sick, and house blessings. Please let Church office know if you are planning to have Hokehankist Service. It would be appreciated to have a light lunch or coffee hour following Badarak in memory of the deceased.
Help Us to Update Church Directory
Dear parishioners and friends, Parish Council of Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church is looking more people who can work and prepare the church Directory.
Altar flowers are a gift to the church. If a family wants to decorate the church with flowers, they are free to do so. If the family needs flowers for the reception hall or cemetery they should make prior arrangements.
Altar flowers donated by Mrs. Marietts Vasquez
Home or Hospital Bound
As an extended family of St. Gregory, many of our sick, elderly and home bound faithful are unable to attend Church. They may be at home or in the hospital but most importantly: They are not forgotten and we would like to make sure to visit them. If you know of someone who is unable to attend Church or is in need of a pastoral visitation, please inform Fr. Paren directly Email:  or call the church office at 407-876-7732.
The Parish Council of Soorb Haroutiun Armenian Church of Orlando is looking forward to restart the Women's Guild in our church. We are asking those who are ready to help and interested on this to contact our Chairman Mr. John Shahinian or call to church office.
Click here to read more about the Woman's Guild of the Armenian Church of Eastern Diocese 

Home Blessing 

A number of families have invited Fr Paren to bless their homes. Der Hayr’s schedule is flexible to accommodate even the busiest parishioners. Please invite him to your home. You may contact him at the church at 407-876-7732 or cell phone 847-732-7183. His email address is
Click to see the new diocesan educational initiative called Vemkar. The goal is for Vemkar to transform the way all our people grow in their Christian faith and commitment to the Armenian Church.

Click the following links for resources that will enrich your appreciation of the connection between Communion and healing:
  • READ: A post about St. Gregory the Illuminator, “The Golden Hammer”
  • LEARN: Catholicos St. Nersess the Great and Armenian Charity
  • CONTEMPLATE: “The Many Graces of St. Nersess Shnorhali”
  • WATCH: A video on St. Nersess Shnorhali in the Living Voices series.

Mission of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church

The Mission of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is to preach the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim its message of Salvation. This mission is realized through worship, education, witness, service, and a common life in Jesus Christ as expressed in the distinctive faith – experience of the Armenian people. All members of the Armenian Church (both clergy and lay) are called to participate fully in its mission.

Copyright © 2017* *Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
9274 Winter Garden Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32836
Phone: (407) 876-7732

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Soorp Haroutiun Armenian Church · 9274 Winter Garden Vineland Road · Orlando, Fl 32836 · USA

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