Count back nine months from the Armenian date of Christmas, January 6 and you arrive at April 7, the date of Jesus' miraculous conception to his mother, which Armenians throughout the world know as the Feast of the Annunciation to Mary the Mother of God, Avedoomun Soorp Asdvadzadznee.
The students and faculty of the Seminary gathered minutes after sunrise this morning for the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church (White Plains, NY) and member of the Seminary Board of Directors.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel appeared to a devout young Jewish woman named Mary. The angel "announced" that the Lord had chosen her to bear a son, Jesus, "the Son of the Most High..of [whose] kingdom there will be no end" [Luke 1:26-33].
In his sermon, Fr. Kasparian referred to Mary's initial apprehension when she heard the angel's startling message.
"The answer can only be the resonse of the angel Gabriel to Mary: 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you...For with God nothing will be impossible'," Fr. Kasparian said.
Assisting at the holy altar for the Badarak were seminarians Deacon Nishan Baljian, Benjamin Rith-Najarian, Harry Tchechenian and recent alumni Daron Bolat and Sub-deacon Yervant Kutchukian.