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Date and Time Changes in Fall Schedule

Thank you to everyone who has come out to our first two events this Fall! Look for pictures and summaries from our Fall events so far, coming soon!

In an effort to avoid conflicts with all of the exciting Armenia-related events taking place around New York City this Fall (and there are more than usual, with the exciting Armenia! exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), the Zohrab Information Center has made two changes to the Fall Schedule: Dr. Sylvie Merian’s talk will be moved to Tuesday, November 13 at 7 PM and Dr. Christina Maranci’s talk will begin a little earlier than normal, at 5:30 PM on Friday, November 2. Further details of both presentations can be found below.

The Zohrab Information Center encourages everyone to take advantage of all the events, including the two events which led to these schedule changes:

On Tuesday, October 23 at 6 PM, Dr. Helen Evans, curator of the incredible Armenia! exhibit, will be giving the annual “Orthodoxy in America” Lecture organized by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University. Details of the event can be found here: “Presenting Byzantium in the Modern World.”

On Friday, November 2 at 7 PM, in conjunction with the Armenia! exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting a concert, “The Sound of Stone.” Our event that night is starting early to allow interested participants the chance to get to the Met in time for the show.

Upcoming Events with New Dates:

The Glorious House: Armenian Church Architecture and the Rite of Foundation   Dr. Christina Maranci                                                                                                     November 2, 2018 (Friday) 5:30 PM *NOTE EARLY TIME                                           As part of our St. Vartan Cathedral series, Dr. Christian Maranci, the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architecture at Tufts University, will present new work on the service of the dedication of an Armenian church.

“Made by These Unworthy Hands”: The Armenian Silversmiths of Kayseri           Dr. Sylvie Merian                                                                                                    November 13, 2018 (Tuesday)     NEW DATE!!                                                             In conjunction with the Armenia! exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Sylvie Merian of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City will present on one of the topics in the catalogue of the Armenia! exhibit to which she contributed, the beautiful silver artifacts made by Armenians from the city of Kayseri (Caesarea).

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Holy Building, Holy Place: The Breath of Faith and Worship in St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral with Father Garabed Kochakian

Join the Zohrab Information Center in welcoming Fr. Garabed Kochakian, a priest of the Armenian Apostolic Church and a specialist in Armenian art and architecture with an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin for his presentation “Holy Building, Holy Place: The Breath of Faith and Worship in St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral” at 7 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2018IMG_4432

This exciting presentation will inaugurate the Zohrab Information Center’s series of talks and presentations celebrating the 50th anniversary of the dedication of St. Vartan Cathedral. For this series, beginning with Fr. Garabed’s presentation, we will do something a little different: our talks with partially take place in, and make reference to, the cathedral sanctuary itself. St. Vartan Cathedral is a magnificent structure and a striking presence in Manhattan; these presentations will celebrate that presence and deepen our understanding of the relation between the church structure and the liturgical life of the Armenian people. Each presentation will have a meditation or liturgical element incorporated into the talk, offering the full richness of St. Vartan Cathedral.

Holy Building Holy Place Der Garabed ZIC Presentation 10.11.001

With “Holy Building, Holy Place,” Fr. Garabed will provide an overview of the art and architecture of the cathedral, with reference to the history of the construction of the cathedral. After a portion of the presentation in the cathedral, Fr. Garabed will lead the group outside to view the facade and the beautiful monumental doors, of which he was instrumental in their addition to the cathedral. The official program portion of the evening will end with a short service, modified from the Armenian Church’s Service of Baptism, that makes reference to the doors and to entering the church.

The evening will conclude with a reception in the Guild Hall.

FrGarabedKochakian-300x300

Fr. Garabed Kochakian, ordained to the priesthood of the Armenian Apostolic Church in 1976, is originally from Massachusetts. He studied graphic art at the Vesper George School of Art and Boston Museum School of Art, majoring in graphic design, before earning a BA from Iona College in New Rochelle, a Masters of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary while studying at the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and later an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin. As a priest, he served in parishes in Worcester, MA, in Racine, WI, as the Chancellor of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, and most recently was the pastor of St. John’s Church in Southfield, MI for nearly 20 years. He has written books on Armenian sacred art and is himself an iconographer.

My Story: Hagop Vartanian (1873-1950), a Book Presentation Friday, September 28 at 7 PM

Join the St. James Evanston Parish this Friday, September 28 at 7 PM for this book talk, the published diary of Hagop Vartanian, which offers a unique perspective on the Genocide. Mr. Vartanian was already in America during the Genocide, and his diary provides details about his earlier migration and the anguish he felt as the horrors of Genocide touched his family even as he was thousands of miles away. Presented in conjunction with a pilgrimage to the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral by parishioners from the St. James Armenian Church in Evanston, descendants of Mr. Vartanian will be present to introduce the book and the remarkable story of the diary. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan and members of the family will read excerpts.

These memoirs offer a less common view of the Armenian Genocide. Through this unique perspective, we can gain a greater understanding of Armenian history and the Armenian-American experience. We invite you to join us for this opportunity!

A reception with light refreshments will follow

ZIC Presentation Poster My Story September 28 2018 (1)

Fall 2018 at the Zohrab Information Center

Following the excitement surrounding the election of the previous director, V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, as the Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and a reduced schedule during the summer months, the Zohrab Information Center is pleased to announce the Fall 2018 presentation schedule under the direction of its new Director, Dr. Christopher Sheklian.

This Fall, there are two exciting events in the lives of Armenians in America and in New York, and the Zohrab Information Center is thrilled to build programming around them.

The St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, consecrated on April 28, 1968, is celebrating its 50th anniversary (you can read about the history of the cathedral here). An entire series of lectures and presentations has been built around this landmark celebration. These talks will often take place in the cathedral building itself, addressing topics such as the art and architecture of the building, the Armenian service for the consecration of a church, and medieval Armenian commentaries on churches. We invite you to join us as we learn more about this beautiful church building in the heart of Manhattan and about the connection between the physical and spiritual in the Armenian Church.

Opening on September 21, 2018 (the anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia), the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents Armenia!, a major exhibition of Armenian art and artifacts. Curated by Dr. Helen Evans (you can watch an interview with Dr. Evans about the exhibit here), it will feature some 140 Armenian works of art from around the globe—among them an item from the Zohrab Center’s own collection: an edition of the oldest printed Armenian bible. During the Fall, the Zohrab Information Center will present lectures by scholars who have contributed to the exhibition catalogue.

In addition to these two series of presentations, keep your eyes out for Book Events, readings groups, and more organized this Autumn by the Zohrab Information Center. Below is the current Fall Presentation Schedule (subject to change):


My Story: Hagop Vartanian (1873-1950)                                                                September 28, 2018 (Friday)                                                                                    Join us for this book talk, the published diary of Hagop Vartanian, which offers a unique perspective on the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Vartanian was already in America during the Genocide, and his diary provides details about his earlier migration and the anguish he felt as the horrors of Genocide touched his family even as he was thousands of miles away. Presented in conjunction with a pilgrimage to the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral by parishioners from the St. James Armenian Church in Evanston, descendants of Mr. Vartanian will be present to introduce the book and the remarkable story of the diary. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatyan will read excerpts.

Holy Building, Holy Place: The Breath of Faith and Worship in St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral                                                                                                     Fr. Garabed Kochakian                                                                                                  October 11, 2018 (Thursday)                                                                                    The inaugural presentation in our St. Vartan Cathedral series, this presentation by Fr. Garabed Kochakian, pastor emeritus of St. John Armenian Church in Southfield, MI and expert in Armenian spiritual art will provide an overview of the church art and architecture of the Armenian Church, with an emphasis on the beautiful carved doors of the cathedral.

The Glorious House: Armenian Church Architecture and the Rite of Foundation   Dr. Christina Maranci                                                                                                     November 2, 2018 (Friday) 5:30 PM *NOTE EARLY TIME                                           As part of our St. Vartan Cathedral series, Dr. Christian Maranci, the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architecture at Tufts University, will present new work on the service of the dedication of an Armenian church.

“Made by These Unworthy Hands”: The Armenian Silversmiths of Kayseri           Dr. Sylvie Merian                                                                                                    November 13, 2018 (Tuesday)     NEW DATE!!                                                             In conjunction with the Armenia! exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Sylvie Merian of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City will present on one of the topics in the catalogue of the Armenia! exhibit to which she contributed, the beautiful silver artifacts made by Armenians from the city of Kayseri (Caesarea).

Armenian Commentaries on the Church Building (Tentative Title)                       Dr. Roberta Ervine                                                                                                          December 6, 2018 (Thursday) (Subject to Change)                                                     In the final presentation of our St. Vartan Cathedral series, Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, will discuss previously untranslated medieval Armenian commentaries on the physical church structure.

Get an Advance Peek at the Met Museum’s “Armenia!” Exhibit

The much anticipated “Armenia!” exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is still months away. But visitors to the Eastern Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center will receive a sneak peak of its wonders, courtesy of the exhibit curator, on Thursday, May 31.

That night, the distinguished scholar Dr. Helen C. Evans will deliver an illustrated presentation giving details of the exhibit, and offering some behind-the-scenes background on how it came to be.

As curated by Dr. Evans (the museum’s Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art), Armenia! will cover Armenian art from the 4th to 17th centuries, with special emphasis on Armenia’s significance to the world during the Middle Ages. It will open on September 21, 2018—the 27th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia’s independence—and will run through January 13, 2019.

It will feature some 140 Armenian works of art from around the globe—among them an item from the Zohrab Center’s own collection: an edition of the oldest printed Armenian bible.

Dr. Evans talk will take place on Thursday, May 31, at 7 p.m., in Guild Hall of the Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue, at 35th Street, New York City).

New Diocesan Primate the Very Reverend Fr. Daniel Findikyan will preside over the occasion and host the evening.

The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow. For information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710. Click here to view a flyer.

Book Presentation for Thursday Has Been Cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Book Presentation originally scheduled for this Thursday, May 10 has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The next ZIC event is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 at 7PM in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese.

Dr. Helen Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will present a “Sneak Peak” in advance of the major exhibit of Armenian art opening this Fall at the Met entitled, Armenia!

Details will be forthcoming.

At the Glorious Tomb of the Lord: A Poem for Holy Week by Khrimian Hayrig

ResurrectionThe following splendid reflection on the Passion of the Lord has been excerpted and translated from the epic poem by Khrimian Hayrig (Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian, 1820-1907) entitled Հրաւիրակ Երկրին Աւետեաց, roughly translated, Invitation to the Land of the Gospel.

The monumental meditation was composed in 1850 while Khrimian was a young deacon on his first pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The epic consists of seven “songs” that were indeed intended to be sung, as Khrimian relates in the introduction to the book. Sitting in his tiny cell facing the Mount of Olives to the East, he writes— 

One day while I was busy writing and singing a melody—for without singing it, a song has no spirit—suddenly the assiduous, late Patriarch Hovhannes came and stood at the door of my room. “I heard your voice, Deacon Mkrtich. What are you singing and writing?”

I said ,”Srpazan, I’m writing an Invitation to the Land of the Gospel.”

“Whom are you inviting?,” he asked.

“Young people and all Armenians, my spiritual father,” I answered.

“Write! Write! God bless you! Invite them! Call them!,” the Patriarch called out. “Let the fervent Armenian people make an oath to come to Jerusalem…”

The passage below is taken from the Sixth Song, a profound meditation on Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse,” known in Armenian as the “Discourse of the Cross” in John 13-17. Faithful to the ancient manner of Biblical exegesis and preaching, the Catholicos sees the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as a single, indivisible reality, which is reflected like a prism in other stories and episodes throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The sorrow of Christ’s passion and death is never isolated from the triumphant joy of his resurrection. 

The Zohrab Center holds two precious copies of Khrimian Hayrig’s epic in its second edition, published in Jerusalem in 1892. The text is also available online. The subtitles are not part of the original text.

—FDF



THE VIGILANT ANGEL
that gave the great news to the shepherds at your birth,
The same one spoke at dawn, shouting to the watchful women—
It was not the young men who first heard it, but the daughters of Eve:
“He has risen! Why do you seek among the dead the One who lives?
Why do you weep bitterly for him, who wiped away mankind’s tears?”
Let the disconsolate anguish of your hearts turn to joyfulness!
The dew-like streams that fell from your eyes at the Cross will be wiped away.

Mary

Mary the bereaved mother, her heart stabbed as if with a sword—
Her piercing wounds were healed by the resurrection of her Son.
He did not allow Mary Magdalene to kiss him. Would he spare his mother’s kiss?
When the scattered flock of sheep was beaten along with the Good Shepherd,
With the Good News to Mary, coming together again as one,
All were filled with joy, their spirits bloated with hope.
She recalled there the Teacher’s earlier discourse—
“Although I have been willingly betrayed into the hands of those odious people,
I will die innocent and they will place me in a tomb.
Yet after three days I will rise, I will stand up alive,
With miraculously renewed youth, I will be newly restored like an eagle.
As the early dawn’s light spreads out, for a moment I will be covered in the lap of the earth.
After three days buried, toward Himself he will gather this shoot.”

Jonah

And again the radiant Sun rose from the tomb.
A new, exuberant dawn broke over of the universe.
Darkness, a world-engulfing shadow was dispelled and chased away,
Like Jonah, that prophet who fled,
The Lord lived in the heart of the Earth and entered the belly of a sea-dragon,
Its cavernous mouth gaping wide to devour the world, teeth shining like spiked swords,
“Ha!” it said. “I caught him! The Son of Man tumbled into my mouth!”
But it could not hold on to him. Its sharp teeth were crushed.
The One he held in his belly was the swallowed spirit of Adam.
Quickly he spat him out of the deep womb of hell
Because he did not find in the New Adam the sins of old Adam,
In whom he had poured the poison of death, and whose entire progeny he had killed.
Like a fisherman, using his ingenious little virgin bait, the Father
Cast his hook into the sea of death and caught there the great monster.
He slashed its deep chin and pulled out its spirit, alive and well.

By the word of the one who saw it, he swore to himself
One day, alive, to touch this lower realm of our earth.
Behold his most powerful right arm extended, the Word from above
Touched and seized the great dragon, the Slanderer.
He crushed his head and threw him over half-dead.
The spirits of the saints rejoiced. They kissed the Savior’s right hand.
They cried out, “Blessed is the Father. Blessed is the Son. Blessed is your saving arm.
You slew our great adversary, who never ceased to blame us.
He antagonized the righteous and wouldn’t let us be with you.”
Now that we are freed from the darkness, take us to the Father’s luminous home.
For you said, “Where I am, there my servants will also be.”
The lion cub triumphed over Judas’ lineage.
An awesome voice roared. The depths of Hell shuttered.
The Lord has woken as if from sleep. He who slept in the heart of the earth is awake.
Having drunk wine at the Cross, he spilled it from himself like a giant.
In his death he shut his eyes for an instant, as if in sleep.
Will he not henceforth do even more when he rises up? Read more…