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e-Tsayn e-Voice is a publication of

The Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate Department of Mission Parishes Rev. Fr. Tateos R. Abdalian, Director Diocesan Office: 212.686.0710

Email: dertateos@

a few words from der tateos . . .

A few years back, I took a group of ACYOA Seniors to watch The Passion of the Christ in a theater when the movie first came out. Afterward we wee to gather for pizza and discussion, which I am certain many pastors also did with either their youth or Bible study groups. Returning home deeply troubled by the movie, I discovered that through this film and probably for the first time in my ministry, the Passion of Christ brought into being the story in a way that awakened my visual consciousness to a different and new way of its understanding. Yes, I knew the story, had read it many times, meditated upon it, preached on it, but now, through this film, this visual depiction had a deep affect on how I would remember it and visualize it the rest of my life. At one point, I sat in astonishment as the haunting music of the duduk played the Armenian dirge Dele Aman as Christ carried his Cross – dragged his Cross through the streets of Jerusalem, stumbling, falling, while being beaten by the Roman guards accompanying him. Watching the scene with tears coming down my face, my mind also went to our Armenian Martyrs – to my father and his family - carrying their cross of faith through the deserts of Del Zor as the Turkish gendarmes treated them the way the Romans treated Christ. For me, this musician was telling the story of The Passion as well as the story of his people within the story of Gibson's with his gift of music, most likely without anyone but other Armenians knowing what was his intent.

I also remember reading and hearing of the controversies surrounding the movie from various Churches, Jewish groups, religious writers and everyone who had the privilege of an audience to speak to. Then not too long before Easter Sunday, I found in my mail a letter from a local church inviting me and everyone else named "resident" to visit their "special community." They listed the ways they were unique:

No religious dogma - We encourage the freedom of individual thought and belief. A humanist view of life - Our faith is based on celebrating the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Warm, accessible services - Our Sunday services ‌ typically include a mix of readings, music, moments of meditation or contemplation, and a sermon. ‌ Our children's religious education program - We teach our kids to be accepting of differing beliefs and the importance of each person seeking his or her own truth. They study the world's major religions and draw on the core values of each faith tradition. ‌ So if you're looking for a congregation that cherishes freedom of belief and opinion, with a warm sense of community and fellowship, please visit us! I had just watched the horrific suffering of Jesus and heard him say, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." A few days later I opened an invitation to visit a group where truth doesn't matter. The contrast was overwhelming.

THE PRAYER OF KING MANASSEH One of the finest pieces in the Apocrypha is the little classic of penitential devotion known as the Prayer of King Manasseh. Constructed in accord with the best liturgical forms and full without being protracted, this beautiful prayer breathes throughout a spirit of deep and genuine religious feeling. According to 2 Chr.33.11-13, Manasseh, the wicked King of Judah, while in exile composed a prayer entreating divine forgiveness for his many sins. The Old Testament account also refers to two literary works that contained Manasseh’s prayer (2Chr.33.18-19). since neither of these has survived, it is not surprising that some devout Jew undertook to remedy the loss by drawing us such a prayer as might have been used by the wicked though now repentant king. Henceforth the name Manasseh was associated in Jewish tradition not only with the grossest acts of idolatry (2Chr.33.1-9), but also with the efficacy of genuine repentance in securing divine forgiveness. It may be that the unknown author also had in mind the practical use of the prayer in providing a suitable penitential devotion for those of his countrymen who, having fallen into idolatry, could be reclaimed from the error of their way. The date of composition of the Prayer is difficult to determine. Though there is no positive evidence, many scholars place it sometime during the last two centuries B.C. Whether it was composed originally in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek is disputed; today it survives in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenia, and Ethiopic. The Latin translation of the Prayer in the Vulgate Bible is entirely different from the old Latin translation, and is of much more recent origin. THE NEW OXFORD ANNOTATED BIBLE with the Apocrypha. Revised Standard Edition

In the Armenian Church, this penetential prayer is read in antiphon by eithetwo priests or deacons at the conclusion of the Morning Service. It is also a prat of the Holy Thursday Penetential Service offered before the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. It is of itself a beautiful devotion that our faithful have used for centuries, especially during the season of Great Lent. The doxology and the second portion was added by the Church as devotion and suppoication to Jesus Christ as Savior and reconcillor as well as the intercession of the Blessed Mother-of-God Mary. and the faithful shall kneel and recite the Prayer of King Manasseh. O Lord almighty, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and of their righteous seed; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Who hast made heaven and earth, with all the ornament thereof; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Who hast bound the sea by the word of Thy commandment; Who hast shut up the deep, and sealed it by thy terrible and glorious holy name; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. That everything will fear and tremble before Thy holy power; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. The great majesty of Thy holy glory is inexhaustible. Thine angry threatening toward sinners is severe; but thy merciful promise is immeasurable and unsearchable; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins.

Thou art, O Lord, most high, compassionate, forbearing, very merciful and repentest of the evils of men; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Thou god hast not appointed repentance to the just, as to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who have not sinned against thee; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. But thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner; for I have sinned more than the number of the sands of the sea and my transgressions were multiplied; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. I am not worthy to behold and see the lights of heaven for the multitude of mine iniquities; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. I am bowed down by force of iron bands and there is no release for me; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. I did provoke thy anger and did evil before Thee. I did set up images and did multiply thy wrath; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. And now Lord, I bow to knee of mine heart and beseech Thy sweetness; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned and I acknowledge mine iniquities; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. I beseech The and request from Thee. Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, destroy me not for my iniquities; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Be not angry with me, O Lord, and do not mind my evils and do not condemn me with those who are gone into the lower parts of the earth with their evils; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. For Thou art God, God of penitents, and in me that am unworthy, Thou wilt show thy goodness; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Thou wilt save me according to Thy great mercy and I will praise Thee all the days of my life; Almighty Lord, forgive my sins. Lord, all the angels of heaven praise Thee, and Thine is the glory unto the ages. Amen. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. I beseech Thee and request from Thee, Lord, forgive my sins. O merciful Lord, have mercy upon me. God, atone me, a sinner, from my sins and save. O my Creator and hope, God, have pity on me, this sinful servant, and have mercy upon me, a manifold sinner.

Ever blessed Saint, and ever-virgin Mother-of-God, Mary, intercede then to the Lord for me, a sinner. All the saints of God, intercede unto the Father in heaven for us sinners. O Christ, Son of God, forbearing, receive our supplications, for to Thee we submit ourselves in refuge. With the power of Thy holy, life giving and precious Cross guard us, O Lord. Send, O Lord, Thy angel of peace, who, coming, will keep us untroubled by day and by night. And with Thy man-loving kindness, remember us, Lord, remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.

THE YEAR OF VOCATIONS At the 2009 Diocesan Assembly, the Primate declared the “Year of Vocations”, addressing the serious problem of a lack of clergy to minister to our parishes and faithful. During the assembly, an entire day was devoted to this problem and together, clergy and delegates began the process of discussing how they and their parishes can and must help in solving this problem which, left by itself, is seen only to worsen in the future. During the course of this year – and hopefully beyond – issues and articles will be presented here that addresses these concerns. The following is taken in part from the book, THE LIVING REMINDER by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Nouwen was a Catholic Priest who taught in the divinity schools at Yale and Harvard, became a missionary in Bolivia and Peru and twice lived as a monk at an abbey in New York. In 1986, he made what was to become his most significant career decision when he agreed to serve as pastor for L'Arche Daybreak -- in Canada, a community of mentally and physically handicapped people. This work is one in which he speaks directly to ministers of the faith. The great vocation of the minister is to continuously make the connections between the human story and the divine story. We have inherited a story which needs to be told in such a way that the many painful wounds about which we hear day after day can be liberated from their isolation and be revealed as part of God's relationship with us. Healing means revealing that our human wounds are most intimately connected with the suffering of God himself. To be a living memory of Jesus Christ, therefore, means to reveal the connections between our small sufferings and the great story of God's suffering in Jesus Christ, between our little life and the great life of God with us. By lifting our painful forgotten memories out of the egocentric, individualistic, private sphere, Jesus Christ heals our pains. He connects them with the pain of all humanity, a pain he took upon himself and transformed. To heal, then, does not primarily mean to take pains away but to reveal that our pains are part of a greater sorrow, that our experience is part of the great experience of him who said, "But was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into the glory of God?" (Cf. Luke 24.26)

Serving the Generations


Join peers from throughout the Eastern Diocese on a tour of our ancient homeland. See its greatest religious and cultural sites; experience life in Armenia’s capital city, Yerevan; reflect on the shores of Lake Sevan; worship at Holy Etchmiadzin!



And this year, for the first time, help Armenia’s youngest and oldest generations—as ACYOA partners with the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) to serve children and seniors in the city of Gyumri through two vital projects: the Ounjian School and the FAR Soup Kitchen.




Sp on sor ed Fo by ry AC ou YO ng A





G COST: $2,700 includes roundtrip airfare (via Air France) from New York, ground transportation and transfers in Armenia, all tours, bilingual tour guide, lodging and two meals per day.





0 Ap adult Centr , 201 al C sa pli 0 ge ca s 1 ounci M a tion l 8 r c h dea to 28 2 0 dlin , 2 e: 01 0

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Archbishop Khajag Barsmaian, Primate

For information and to download an application, visit OR contact ACYOA executive secretary Nancy Basmajian:, or (212) 293–1248

FROM THE ACYOA CENTRAL COUNCIL Armenia Service Program (ASP) The Armenia Service Program provides young adults an opportunity to travel to their homeland not only to tour, but also to give back to their brothers and sisters in Armenia. This trip is truly a pilgrimage, an experience through which hundreds of ACYOA members have felt a connection to their Armenian Christian heritage that continues to inspire them throughout their lives. When this trip began in the 1970's, it was called the Armenia Studies Program, where ACYOA members would travel to Armenia for educational purposes. Several years ago, as need for aid in Armenia grew, the course of the trip changed from Studies to Service. For many years, the service portion of the trip included acting as counselors and teachers at Camp Siranoosh in Yeghegnadzor, a camp for underprivileged children from the villages of Armenia. The ASP recently joined Habitat for Humanity, which has been making a considerable impact in Armenia, to build homes for a better, stronger homeland. For 2010 we will be working in collaboration with the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) to serve children in Gyumri through two vital projects: the Ounjian School and FAR Soup Kitchen. The ASP trip is open to young adults ages 18-28. For more information, contact Executive Secretary Nancy Basmajian at DEADLINE NOW MARCH 20,

2010. It was also just announced that the Primate has appointed Fr. Tateos to once again be the Group Leader for ASP 2010.

Also . . . 2010 SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM INFORMATION Mark your calendars for a summer filled with friendship, fellowship, and fun at St. Vartan Camp and Hye Camp. Click here to view a short video about our Diocesan Summer Camps. Each parish will receive a copy of the film on DVD to share with parishioners in the coming months. A brochure packet was sent out to all past and prospective St. Vartan Camp families announcing that online registration begins on Monday, February 15, at Be sure to apply before March 15 to get the early bird discount. CIT applications are due on March 15; staff applications are due on April 1. In early March, all past and prospective Hye Camp campers, CITs, staff, and volunteers will receive information about the Hye Camp program. Hye Camp application packets will be available online starting March 15. St. Vartan Camp 2009 at the Ararat Center in Greenville, NY.! Staff Training: Wednesday, June 23–Saturday, June 26!Session A: Sunday, June 27–Saturday, July 10!Session B: Sunday, July 11–Saturday, July 24!Session C: Sunday, July 25–Saturday, August 7 Hye Camp 2010 at Camp Hickory in Ingleside, IL. !Staff Training: Wednesday, August 4– Saturday, August 7!Camp Session: Saturday, August 7–Saturday, August 14. For more information, contact Jennifer Morris, Youth, or (212) 686-0710 ext. 118.




Just as a matter of information – You can get the latest videos on the Armenian Church from Armenia and as well as our Diocese. Simply go to Especially for our faithful who are far removed from Armenian parishes or communities, this site can provide a sense of connection to what is happening in the Armenian Church around the world. Spread the word, get and stay connected.


eTsayn February 21, 2010  

eTsayn February 21, 2010