January 1-7, 2017
SUNDAY, January 1, 2017
Fifth Sunday of Advent
Psalms: 8:30 AM
Morning Service: 9:00 AM     
Divine Liturgy: 10:00 AM
Scripture Readings:
Isaiah 51:15-52:3; Hebrews 13:18-25;
Luke 22:24-30
Click here to read Sunday Scriptures
For the Souls of:
Oscar Stepanian (5 years)
Mardiros and Armaveni Stepanian
Mugurdich Habeshian
Harry and Yeranoohi Aslanian
Zarouhi Mugurdechian
Requested by:
Margaret Stepanian and Family


Presently all Christian denominations celebrate New Year on January 1. The word "January" means "birth." Before Christ's coming to the world, mankind was the captive of hell and was constrained by eternal death. Being born in January, Christ destroyed hell and saved mankind from eternal death and led it to the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why January became the first month of the year. Thus January 1 is the first day of the first month of the year and symbolizes the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a folk tradition that on January 1 people decorate the New Year tree, which symbolizes the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

The Mysterious Gift

by Arpi Nakashian

“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12).

Throughout the centuries, the pomegranate has been weaved into Armenian architecture, cuisine, art, manuscripts, literature, liturgical vestments and accessories. For the first time in history in 2015, the Supreme Patriarch of the Armenian Church, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of all Armenians, together with the Armenian faithful, introduced a new service for the Blessing of Pomegranates, one of the seven biblical species of fruits and grains, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Christians have seen in the pomegranate an image of the Church: the seeds may be separated by a membrane, but they are undivided. The seeds are in communion, just like us, the faithful of the Church, acting as one body without losing our individuality in the Church; through the blood of Christ, we become greater than the sum of our parts! The striking red color of the fruit reminds us of Christ’s blood and suffering, and the calyx (head) of the pomegranate represents Christ’s crown as the King of kings.

For the various cultures of the Mediterranean region, the fruit represents life, fertility, and abundance. The pomegranate has numerous health benefits due to its high antioxidant content, and is the subject of research for its effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes among other conditions. Long before science revealed the healing powers of the pomegranate, the Christian Armenians have associated this biblical fruit with the mystery of the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This mysterious, life giving, and delicious fruit needs to be unwrapped like a gift to reveal its beauty and nutrition. This miraculous and sacred fruit reminds us of the message of the Gospel. When the plain shell of the pomegranate is burst, we see the gems that it contains; similarly, one needs to dig deeply into the Christian faith to uncover its sweet treasures. At the core of that Christian teaching is the figure of Jesus, who in every way was an ordinary mortal human, yet revealed himself to be the incarnate Creator and Savior of the universe.
As we welcome the new year, may each of us reveal like pomegranates the sweet treasure of goodness planted in us by our Lord. May the new year be fruitful and abundantly filled with God’s unconditional love.

Christmas Message of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian

After the angels had left them and returned to the heavens, the shepherds said to one another: “Let us now go to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” They went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. When they had seen it, they made known abroad what had been told them about this child; and all that heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  (Luke 2:15-19 JSV)
IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS STORY in human civilization—and it is certainly the most beloved. It conjures crisply vivid details—the starry night, the crowded city, the shared warmth of huddled bodies—that never fail to awaken deep emotions in the listener, even after numerous retellings.

Its theme of dislocation touches the heart of anyone who has ever felt isolated, rejected, dispersed. Yet the deepest truth it conveys is one of community and belonging: where the great and the humble, the cosmic and the earthly, the natural and the supernatural, all mingle together in tranquil harmony, around a single object of reverence and affection: the newborn Jesus.

Click here to read the full text of the Message in English and in Armenian.


The Nativity and Baptism of Jesus Christ will be observed at St. James Armenian Church. A special liturgical schedule will be in effect for these services; please make a note of the times.

On Thursday, January 5-The Evening Service with Scripture Readings followed by the Divine Liturgy will start at 6:30 p.m. Traditional HOME BLESSING SERVICE will be performed in the Nishan Hall at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.

On Friday, January 6- The Morning Service begins at 9:00 a.m., and the Divine Liturgy follows at 10:00 a.m. Click here to see the flyer.

On Sunday, January 8- The Morning Service begins at 9:00 a.m., and the Divine Liturgy follows at 10:00 a.m. Women's Guild of St. James invites everybody to their traditional NATIVITY APPRECIATION LUNCHEON to honor deacons, choir members, and Sunday School staff. Dr. Gregory Dumanian will serve as "godfather" of the Blessing of Water service. Click here to see a flyer.

For those parishioners whose employers or school administrators require documentation for their absence from school or work on January 6, please click here for the explanatory letter written and signed by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

For the convenience of our parishioners, valet service will be available on Sunday, January 8th.  Beginning at 9:30 a.m. professional drivers will be available in front of St. James to park your car at no charge.  Drivers will also be available until 1:30 p.m. to retrieve your car.  Cars will be parked at the Evanston Parking Garage on Maple Street. We hope this service will help make your trip to St. James easier during the cold and snow.

GIFT OF LOVE- Yughakin

In this Holy Season of Christmas it has become a tradition in our church to donate our Christmas Yughakins as a gift of love in memory or in honor of our loved ones.  The Yughakin form and the enclosed Offering Envelope are for your convenience.

Yughakin tradition is an ancient custom, which goes back to the Old Testament times. The faithful would bring oil to the temple of God so that its servants would have enough to eat.  Later on this custom entered into the Christian religion when oil was brought to Church by believers in order to illuminate it by lighting the lamps in the Church.

Today, Yughakin is simply the price or the value of oil donated to the Church. Yughakin in Armenian means "price of oil." In our church, today, we of course do not burn oil in order to illuminate the sanctuary, but we use electricity, gas and other operating expenses. Let us continue the custom of Yughakin to keep the lights of St. James always burning.

Click here to donate online.
Holiday season is the time when homes are blessed by the Pastor. All parishioners who wish to have their homes blessed on the occasion of the Feast of the Theophany and Nativity of Christ should call Der Hovhan (847) 644-7389 to make arrangements. Have a piece of bread, dish of salt and glass of water available for the blessing.

Click here to read more about home blessing.

Saturday, December 31, 2016



invites to 

Doors open at 7:00 pm 
$30/person entry | Children under 5 free
$15 Dinner by Reza’s Restaurant
Champagne, sweet table and party favors | Cash bar 

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am
Pontifical prayer
Blessing of pomegranates


Monday, January 2      
Fourth Day of the Fast of Nativity

Tuesday, January 3      
Fifth Day of the Fast of Nativity

Wednesday, January 4
Sixth Day of the Fast of Nativity

Thursday, January 5      
Eve of the Theophany and Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ              

Friday, January 6
Feast of the Theophany and Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Saturday, January 7
Second Day of the Theophany


Hebrew 7:26-8:13; Luke 20:1-8

Hebrews 10:1-18; Luke 20:9-18

Hebrews 12:5-17; Luke 20:41-21:4
Mark 1:1-13; Acts 6:8-8:2; John 12:24-26


December 31
New Year’s Eve Party at AGBU

January 1
New Year's Day
Blessing of Pomegranates

January 5
Eve of Nativity and Theophany

January 6
Feast of Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

January 8
Annual St. James Nativity Program and Luncheon (flyer)
January 15
Welcome back to Sargent Arsen Sarkisian

January 18
Intercessory prayer service 

January 29
Annual Parish Assembly

February 25
Poon Paregentan Dance (flyer)

February 26
Poon Paregentan Sunday


Click here to read the latest eNewsletter of the Eastern Diocese. 
Copyright © 2016. St. James Armenian Apostolic Church, All rights reserved.
St. James Armenian Apostolic Church
Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan, Pastor
816 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60201


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St. James Armenian Apostolic Church · 816 Clark Street · Evanston, Il 60201 · USA

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