Home and Hospital Clergy Visits
The Pastor is always available to visit homebound and hospitalized parishioners. If you or someone you know is ill or hospitalized and would like to be visited, please call the church office at (860) 956-5647. Please note that when asked about your religion at a hospital, patients should list themselves as “Armenian Orthodox” or “Armenian” but not“Other”.
According to the tradition of the Armenian Church, we do a Home Blessing on Christmas and Easter, during the subsequent eight and forty days, respectively. However, we understand that it could be inconvenient since everyone has a busy schedule. That is why we can do a Home Blessing during the entire year, whenever it is convenient for you. The Home Blessing is very important because as you go to the House of God, likewise Christ’s representative, the priest, comes to your house and blesses it. The faithful call the priest for Home Blessing also when they move to a new house or whenever they feel in need of it. Christ called His followers “the salt of the earth” who through their faith, hope and love made life worth living. The burning incense signifies the Christian who burns it with the love of God, and also the prayers of the faithful, which rise up as a sweet odor to Heaven.
Preparation For Home Blessing –
Put on a tray: a glass of water, a small dish of salt, a slice of bread and a small metal (or clay or any fire resistant) plate to burn incense on. The priest brings the incense and charcoal with him.
The Pastor is available, by appointment, to perform graveside blessings at area cemeteries. For an appointment, please call the church office at (860) 956-5647.
The celebrant prays for all the faithful during the Sunday Divine Liturgy. The Pastor will offer prayers for specific intentions (recovery from illness, etc.) upon your request. Special prayer requests may be announced in the Sunday Bulletin, if the requestor so chooses. Please call the church office if you would like special prayers offered.
The Pastor provides private counseling, by appointment to help parishioners during difficult times. Please call the church office if you would like to discuss counseling with the Pastor.
Engagement Service (Blessing of the Rings)
The Sacrament of Marriage consists of two parts. The first part is the engagement in which a pledge is taken by mutual agreement of the marrying couple before marriage.
According to that pledge, the future bride and groom promise to love each other, be faithful to one another and marry in the future. The meaning of engagement is described in the “Book of Rituals” (Mashtots) as follows: “The engagement is the beginning of marriage. Like the tree that blossoms and gives fruit, the bride and the groom blossom by the engagement and then give fruit by marriage”.
First the priest investigates the bride and the groom according to church canons to make sure that they have no spiritual or blood relationship. Then the symbols of the engagement – a ring, a bracelet, an earring, a red dress and a veil are put on a tray in front of the groom. In the Book of Rituals the meaning of these items is defined in the following way: “Putting the ring on the left ring finger which has a heart vein means that the bride loves the groom with her heart; the bracelet is fastened to her wrist which symbolizes that she is faithfully tied to her husband by the hand; the earrings mean that she listened with her ears and liked him with her heart”. The round shape of the earring and ring symbolize unending agreement of the will and the heart. The red dress and the veil mean that the girl becomes a true bride for the groom she is being engaged to”, Book of Rituals page 229.
Usually the ceremony of engagement is performed at the bride’s home but according to the Book of Rituals, it is to be conducted in the church. This tradition is observed in
The priest sings the hymn “With the most powerful sign”, which is followed by the readings from Proverbs :12-18, Hosea 14:6-10, Galatians 4:27-31, Luke 1:26-38 and the prayer God, Bless the marrying couple”. Then the priest blesses the ring and puts it on the right ring finger of the bride. He also blesses the bride’s bracelet and earrings placing them on her wrist and ears. Then the priest recites the final prayer and blesses the couple and their family and friends.
Pre- marital consultation
Pre-marital ounseling is required prior to the Pastor performing the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Please contact the Pastor six to eight months in advance to arrange the pre-marital counseling by calling the church at 860-956-5647.
Private Confession with the Pastor is by appointment only. Please contact the church at 860-956-5647 to make an appointment with the Pastor.