In keeping with a time-honored tradition, Armenian Christmas was celebrated at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital with the blessing of water ceremony conducted by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, who was joined by Archpriest Nareg Pehlivanian, Archpriest Vazken Atmajian, Archpriest Gomidas Torossian, Rev. Ardak Demirjian, Rev. Movses Shannakian, and Deacon Raffi Keshishian. The celebration took place on January 3.
In attendance were hospital President Jill Welton, Community Health Manager Marie Filipian, Director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care Rev. Cassie McCarty, staff, California State Assembly member Laura Friedman, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian and City Council members, Police Chief Carl Povilaitis and police department members, Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas, as well as representatives of elected officials.
Welton greeted the Prelate and clergy, wished them a happy new year, and thanked them for keeping this beautiful tradition alive.
Assembly member Friedman conveyed New Year well wishes, commended the hospital’s administration and staff, and expressed appreciation to the Prelate and clergy.
Prelate Mardirossian began his message by wishing for health, peace, joy, goodness, and success in the New Year. He explained the meaning and process of the blessing of water, as well as the history of the Holy Chrism that is used in the ceremony, and prayed for all who imbibe of the holy water with faith to find cleansing and healing of body and spirit. Next, the Prelate spoke on the Christmas message of love, stating that God, out of infinite love for mankind, sent His son to bring redemption, light, healing, mercy, and salvation for all, and we, as children of God created in His image, are called to share His love and mercy with our fellow man. In this regard, he commended the Dignity Health Glendale Memorial family for the loving care and compassion they provide to their patients, and concluded by wishing for the Christmas tidings of love, peace, and goodwill to remain in our hearts all throughout the year.
The blessing of water followed, during which Chief Povilaitis served as Godfather of the Cross. Later, the Prelate visited patient rooms and blessed two newborns.