Two Deacons Ordained as Priests at St. Vartan Cathedral
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese, ordained Dn. Vahe Bagdasarian and Dn. Saro Kalayjian to the holy priesthood in an inspiring service at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City on Sunday, July 24.
More than 1,000 people gathered to witness the special service. The Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, where both deacons completed a course of study, served as the sponsoring priest for Dn. Bagdasarian. The Rev. Fr. Vasken Kouzouian, pastor of Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA, served as the sponsoring priest for Dn. Kalayjian.
Consecrating each deacon’s forehead and hands with Holy Muron (oil), Archbishop Barsamian gave Dn. Bagdasarian the priestly name “Armash” and Dn. Kalayjian the priestly name “Avedis.”
“Our ceremony today bears a message of transformation,” Archbishop Barsamian said in his sermon. “Today, the Holy Spirit entered into Dn. Vahe Bagdasarian and Dn. Saro Kalayjian, and each man became something new. They have joined a great tradition, which stretches back through time, connecting all of us to the holiest figures of our church—Komitas, Nersess Shnorhali, Krikor Narekatsi, Mesrob Mashdots, Gregory the Enlightener, the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, and ultimately, Christ himself.”
At the conclusion of the service, the newly ordained priests gave their first blessing to the faithful. A celebratory banquet followed in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium.
On Saturday evening, the Service of Calling took place at St. Leon Church in Fair Lawn, NJ. The two priests will spend 40 days in seclusion and prayer at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in Armonk, NY, before traveling to serve as pastors in their assigned parishes in the Eastern Diocese.
Click to visit online photo galleries of the Divine Liturgy, banquet, and Saturday’s Service of Calling.