The Prelate’s annual Christmas reception took place on the evening of January 6 filling the Prelacy’s Vahakn and Hasmig Hovnanian reception hall with many well-wishers who were greeted by the Prelate Archbishop Oshagan and the Vicar Bishop Anoushavan.
The traditional Home Blessing was offered by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, with the participation of area clergy including Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Der Kaloustian, pastor emeritus of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, and Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey.
The Armenian tradition of Home Blessing is considered essential during the Christmas and Easter Holy days. During this ceremony, the priest blesses bread, water, and salt, all considered to be essential to life. It is customary to burn incense, echoing the words of the psalmist, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you.” (Psalm 41)
“O Christ our God, guardian and hope of all your faithful, protect and keep in peace your people under the protection of your holy and venerable cross; and especially this family, their home, the bread, the salt, and the water. Save them O Lord from visible and invisible enemies and make them worthy to glorify you with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always, forever and ever. Amen.
(Benediction from the Blessing of Homes service)