On Monday, January 5, Armenian Christmas was celebrated at Glendale Memorial Hospital with the Blessing of Water ceremony conducted by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian who was assisted by Rev. Fr. Boghos Tinkjian and the St. Mary’s Church pastors.
The service was held in the Main Lobby with the participation of Glendale Memorial Hospital President Jack Ivie, Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro, City Council member Paula Devine, City Commissioner Seda Khojayan, City Manager Scott Ochoa, Mary Hovaguimian representing Congressman Adam Schiff, Taline Mangioglu representing State Senator Carol Liu, administrators, and staff, Asbarez reports.
President Jack Ivie welcomed the Prelate and clergy, thanking them for their traditional Christmas visit, and greeted also the honored guests, wishing a happy new year to all.
The Prelate conveyed his New Year and Christmas greetings and well wishes to the Glendale Memorial Hospital family and guests. He explained that the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Birth and Baptism of Christ on the same day and gave an overview of the Blessing of Water ceremony and of the Holy Muron, which is used during the ceremony from a dove-shaped vessel, symbolizing the descent of the Holy Spirit during Christ’s Baptism. The Birth of our Lord is the greatest gift bestowed to mankind, the manifestation of God’s infinite love, said the Prelate, a gift which continues to give centuries later and continues to transform hearts and souls with hope, love, and goodwill. At the start of a new year, the Prelate urged all to resolve to be thankful to God daily for His blessings of health and wellness, for the love of family and friends, and for the successes we enjoy. “May Christ be born again within our hearts and generate new life within us so that we can live with goodness in His example, and spread His love and mercy within our surroundings, and especially to the less fortunate”. In conclusion, His Eminence commended the compassionate care provided at the facility, prayed for the health of the patients, and wished a blessed year for all filled with the priceless gifts of health, love, peace, and joy.
The Blessing of the Home service was then conducted, during which prayers were offered beseeching the Lord to protect and keep in peace the facility and all within it. The Blessing of Water followed, symbolizing the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River and His Revelation as God. The service concluded with the Lord’s Prayer. Guests were offered the blessed water and received prayer cards as mementos. Afterward, the Prelate visited patient rooms to offer prayers for healing. The Prelate also blessed a newborn baby and conveyed his congratulations and well wishes to the parents.