WASHINGTON, DC — Leaders of the Armenian Church in the United States have joined to plan a special remembrance of the Armenian Genocide next year. Commemorating the passage of 100 years since the start of the first genocide of the 20th century, a schedule of events including an ecumenical prayer service at the National Cathedral, a memorial concert, public exhibitions and a Pontifical Divine Liturgy will take place from May 7 to 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will both journey to the United States to lead and participate in the commemorative events.
A National Centennial Committee has been formed under the auspices of the Diocese and the Prelacy to oversee and guide the commemorative activities. The Committee, chaired by Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Boston-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, includes leaders from Armenian religious, political, and civic organizations from across the United States. The Committee includes Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America; Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
“We are organizing these events in the nation’s capital in order to involve the country’s political leaders, raise awareness in the non-Armenian community, and honor countries and individuals that have helped Armenians during and after the Genocide,” said committee chair Dr. Afeyan. “We are honored that Catholicos Karekin II and Catholicos Aram I will be among us, blessing the occasion, as together we stand up for the Armenian presence in America and in the world,” he added.
The National Centennial Committee has met several times and is working together with Washington D.C.-based sub-committees to plan the various events and activities. The Committee is working closely with the Central Commemorative Committees for the United States and Armenia to coordinate the activities.