Young Deacon Ordained in Framingham


 

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), traveled to the Church of the Holy Translators in Framingham on Sunday, November 2, where he ordained Michael Sabounjian to the rank of deacon.

Barsamian celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Also present were the Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan and Rev. Mardiros Chevian. Rev. Krikor Sabounjian, pastor of Holy Translators Church and Michael’s father, looked on as his son accepted a new responsibility in the Armenian Church.

“For me it was a proud moment being there not only as his father, but as his pastor. I was awestruck at what he has accomplished in such a small amount of time,” said Fr. Sabounjian. “I pray for his continued commitment in the journey he has ahead in following Christ.”

A highlight of the service was the participation of the Boston College Liturgy Arts Group, a Catholic liturgical association of which Michael is a member. Among the hymns the group sang during the Divine Liturgy was the Nicene Creed arranged in English by Michael.

“Over the years they have deepened my faith and pushed me to try new things,”  Michael Sabounjian said.

At a reception following services, another Boston College group, the Bells, performed three hymns with hand bells.

Barsamian congratulated Michael Sabounjian on this milestone.

“Michael is one of a growing number of young people who are taking up roles on the altar. It’s a sign that a new generation is embracing the ways of our church,” Barsamian said.

Also giving remarks was Fr. Findikyan, who worked with Michael during the St. Nersess Deacons Training program. Michael Sabounjian said Findikyan inspired him to study more deeply the theology of the Armenian Church. He credits his father with teaching him about pastoral ministry.

“The two complemented each other and gave me a holistic view of what the diaconate is,” said Michael Sabounjian.

Sabounjian is a senior at Boston College, where he is majoring in philosophy with minors in French and music. He has a deep interest in the music of the Armenian Church. As his senior project in high school, he arranged and adapted the music of Armenian hymns for English speakers.

A graduate of his parish Sunday School, Sabounjian has served as a sub-deacon and has also helped train young acolytes to serve on the altar at Holy Translators Church. He has participated in various Diocesan programs, including St. Vartan Camp and the summer conferences at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary.

He plans to continue his service to the Armenian Church in the coming years.

“You always feel that there’s more to learn,” said Sabounjian. “I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to give all that I have in this new ministry.”

Parishioners were inspired to witness Michael’s ordination last Sunday.

“This is big for the life of our church, since Michael is the first deacon ordained in the history of our parish,” said Fr. Krikor Sabounjian. “There was lots of love and positive energy.”

Yn. LuAnn Sabounjian added: “Sunday was a very emotional day in many ways. It was so wonderful to see his ordination as he was surrounded by people who love and supported him through the years. It was a very rewarding experience for me as a mother.”