January 5-14, 2017
THURSDAY, January 5, 2017
Eve of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Evening Service     6:30 PM
Divine Liturgy        7:00 PM
Home Blessing       8:30 PM
Scripture Readings:
Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 2:1-12
Click here to read Thursday Scriptures
FRIDAY, January 6, 2017
Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Psalms: 8:30 AM
Morning Service: 9:00 AM     
Divine Liturgy: 10:00 AM
Scripture Readings:
Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 1:18-25
Click here to read Friday Scriptures
SUNDAY, January 8, 2017
Third Day of Nativity
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


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. We hope this service will help make your trip to St. James easier during the cold and snow.

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 Diocese’s video series—“Bread and Salt: Stories from the Armenian Church”—returns for a second season with a special episode about Christmas. Join the mysterious Magi on their spiritual quest to meet Jesus. Click here to view the Christmas special.
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.

According to our Church traditions, the feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ begins at 5:00 after evening service on January 5 and is continued after midnight on January 6. On the eve, a solemn candlelight Divine Liturgy is celebrated, following the conclusion of which the assembled take home their lit candles and lamps to symbolize the divine light and blessings of the Church. Lighting candles and lamps symbolizes the light of the Star of Bethlehem that guided the way of the Magi to the Baby Jesus.

During the first centuries of Christianity, the night before every feast, a vigil was kept. In the evening, the faithful assembled in the church or some other sacred space where the feast was to be celebrated and prepared themselves by saying prayers, chanting Psalms and reading the Holy Scriptures. In addition, incorporated into the vigil on the eve of major feasts was the ritual of Jrakalooyts. The faithful would carry their candles into the sanctuary during great processional of the Divine Liturgy. Furthermore, the church would be brightly lit with candles and lights. Today, Jrakalooyts is reserved only for the eves of Theophany and Easter, and we distribute candles to the faithful only after they are already in the sanctuary, though we continue to brightly illuminate the church and sanctuary. The tradition of the faithful taking their lit candles home also continues today. The Feast of the Theophany (Asdvadzahaydnootyoon), literally translated as God revealing himself to mankind, is one of the five great tabernacle (Daghavar) feasts of the Armenian Church and is always celebrated on January 6. This feast combines the celebration of the birth, baptism and manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Feast of the Theophany is an eight-day celebration between January 6 to 13.

In the Armenian Church, each year after Divine Liturgy on January 6, the Blessing of Water ceremony takes place as a symbolic commemoration of the Baptism of Christ. The ceremony, called Churorhnek in Armenian, was originally performed in the Holy Land at the River Jordan on the Theophany, January 6. As word spread of this beautiful ceremony throughout the Holy Land, churches outside of Jerusalem began to perform it as well at various riverbanks and seashores. Later, because of Islamic prohibitions under the Ottoman Empire, this and other public outdoor Christian rituals were restricted to the confines of church courtyards.

To perform this sacred rite, first, a large basin of water is placed on a table in front of the altar. Then, to signify Christ's entry into the River Jordan, the celebrant immerses a cross into the water. Next, the water is blessed, and a silver dove-shaped container of chrism (muron) is brought forth in procession as the choir sings the hymn Looys ee Looso (Light of Light). The celebrant takes this dove-shaped container, raises it above the basin and dispenses a few drops of the holy oil into the water through the mouth of the dove. The muron is kept in a dove-shaped container to symbolize the peace and grace the Holy Spirit dispenses on those anointed by the sacred water at this ceremony.

Dr. Gregory Dumanian has been chosen as Godfather of the Cross for this year's Blessing of Water Ceremony. Congratulations to Dr. Dumanian on this holy occasion! May God bless the Dumanian family.

Each year on January 13, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As the evangelist St. Luke writes in his Gospel, according to Jewish tradition, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise Him, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He had been conceived” (2:21). Jesus is a Hebrew word meaning “savior.” According to the Gospel of St. Luke, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary to give her the good tidings of the birth of the Son of the Most High, he told Mary that she was to name the baby Jesus: “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (1:31). Parallel to the name Jesus is the name Christ, which is a Greek word meaning “consecrated,” corresponding to the Hebrew word messiah
On the Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all Armenian Churches. On the eve of this Feast, a special ceremony is also conducted following evening services.
The birth of St. John the Baptist is described in detail in Luke 1:5-25. One day, Zechariah, father of St John the Baptist, was doing his work as a priest in the temple and was burning incense at the altar. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and said that God had heard his prayer and that his wife would bear him a son. Zechariah was to name him John. Zechariah didn’t believe the angel as he was an old man and his wife was old, too. As a result of not believing the angel, Zechariah became mute and remained silent until John the Baptist’s birth.

St. John the Baptist, who would later baptize Our Savior, had become aware of and rejoiced the birth of Jesus even before His birth. According to the Evangelist, Luke, when St. Mary, Holy Mother of God, visited Elizabeth, mother of St John the Baptist, the latter, being filled with the Holy Spirit cried out, “Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness” (1:43-44).

Elizabeth is addressing all Christians throughout the world in her message on this feast day when she says, “How happy you are to believe that the Lord’s message to you will come true!” (Luke 1:45).
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.


Monday, January 9
Fourth Day of Nativity

Tuesday, January 10
Fifth Day of Nativity

Wednesday, January 11     
Sixth Day of Nativity

Thursday, January 12
Seventh Day of Nativity

Friday, January 13    
Eighth Day of Nativity.
Feast of the Naming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Saturday, January 14
Feast of the Birth of St. John the Forerunner (St. John the Baptist)
Whenever you know a friend or loved one whose Name Day/Feast Day is soon to be celebrated, honor the person by presenting them with a lit candle saying, "Anoonovut abrees" or "Anoonovut dzeranas" ("May you grow old with your name"). Or you can simply say, “Happy Name Day!”

NAME DAY celebrated this week: John, Hovhannes, Ohannes, Ohan, Garabed, Mgrdich.


John 1:1-7; Galatians 4:1-7; Luke 1:26-38

John 1:18-28; Hebrews 12:18-27; Luke 1:39-56

John 1:29-34; 1 Thessalonians 4:12-17;
John 11:1-46

John 1:35-51; Romans 1:1-7; Luke 2:1-7

Luke 2:8-14; Luke 2:15-20; Luke 3: 1- 4:13;
Colossians 2:8-15; Luke 2:21

Proverbs 8:4-11; Malachi 4:5-7; Isiah 40:3-5; Acts 13:25-33; Luke 1:57-80 


Sunday, January 8
Annual St. James Nativity Program and Luncheon (flyer)

Sunday, January 15
Welcome back to Sargent Arsen Sarkisian

Wednesday, January 18
Intercessory prayer service at St. James

Sunday, Saturday, January 21
Vespers- Kirakamtits

Sunday, January 22
Walk-through the website and presentation of St. James’ new mobile app

Thursday, January 26
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Prayer Service
Sunday, January 29
Annual Parish Assembly

Sunday, February 5
Monthly catechism meeting

Sunday, February 12
Celebrating the Feast of St. Sarkis

Saturday, February 18
Vespers- Kirakamtits

Saturday, February 25
Poon Paregentan Dance (flyer)

Sunday, February 26
Poon Paregentan Sunday

Monday, February 27
Great Lent begins

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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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