Bared Maronian is a documentary filmmaker. Maronian is a graduate of Haigazian University with a major in Political Science. Maronian has attended Palm Beach State College and Broadcast Career Institute of Palm Beach, Florida.
Bared Maronian is a four time regional Emmy Award winner and he has worked on local, regional and national programs for PBS Network. One of his works, a concert by Willie Chirino was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
Maronian's "Orphans of the Genocide", a feature length documentary about the plight of the Armenian Genocide Orphans is a two time regional Emmy Award nominee in the category of Historical Documentary and a Telly Award Winner. The broadcast version of the film was a best documentary nominee at the 2013 ARPA film festival, was featured at the Unspoken Human Rights Film Festival in NY and was the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Pomegranate film festival of Toronto Canada.
Maronian's current project is another feature documentary under the working title of "Women of 1915".
On January 11, 2015 the St. Sarkis Church celebrated Christmas followed with the Blessing of Water ceremony (with Paul Kantzabedian as the Godfather of the Cross), after which lunch was served in the Kechejian Hall.
Over lunch, Elie Akilian, who had generously donated the land on which the new church will stand, presented the proposed designs for the new church compound with the theme of “United – Defying the Odds.” The parishioners were treated to a design by the Armenian architect Stepan Terzian that included a typical Armenian church structure, an event hall, a kitchen, classrooms, a soccer field, a basketball court, a weight room, a reflecting pool, and a performance stage with amphitheater seating. The buildings are expected to be sustainable and environmentally responsible. The new church is expected to seat up to 250 people with the first phase of the construction costing $6MM.
Some of the questions asked included whether there would be closer drive up and drop off locations for older parishioners; a playground for small children; permanent classrooms for young students to study Armenian as well as for preschool children; a “cry room” to help parents with fussy children in church; and whether the cost was too much for a church seating just 250 people. Mr. Akilian explained that the designs were not finalized, and every effort was being made to create a center that would address the needs of a growing community, including planning a TUMO style building to stimulate the creativity of our youth. Parents and parishioners were well pleased with this information.
After the presentation the students of the Ararat class of the St. Sarkis School took to the stage to explain the meaning of Christmas, and ended with a rousing reaffirmation of their commitment to join project “United - Defying the Odds.”
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.' And lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." (Matthew 2:1-11, RSV)
The Armenian Church celebrates the holy birth (Sourp Dznount) of Jesus Christ on January 6. In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also His baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the "Blessing of Water" ceremony, which follows the Divine Liturgy on January 6.
On the eve of the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jrakalouyts Divine Liturgy (the lighting of the lamps service) is celebrated in honor of the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God (theophany). It is custom for the faithful to hold lit candles during this special service.
On the following day, the mystery of our Lord's baptism in the River Jordan is remembered in the ceremony of the Jurorhnek, or the "Blessing of Water."
In ancient times, this ceremony was celebrated by the riverside or sea shore, but, for various reasons, it was later confined to the interior of the churches. During the ceremony, the cross is dipped in water, recalling Christ's immersion in the Jordan River. Blessed oil, or Holy Chrism (Muron), is poured into the water from a dove-shaped container, symbolizing the appearance at the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father proclaiming to all that Jesus is His Son.
The Holy Chrism is prepared in Holy Etchmiadzin and is blessed by the Catholicos assisted by the bishops. Muron contains olive oil, balsam and the essence of forty different flowers and herbs. At the end of the ceremony, members of the congregation are given the blessed water to drink, thereby sharing in the life giving act of Christ. As water is essential to the life of the body, drinking the blessed water is a reminder that participation in the acts of Christ is essential for eternal life.
More than 170 St. Sarkis parishioners welcomed the New Year with family and friends in the Kechejian Hall on December 31st . The festive ambiance, the beautiful hall decor, and the aroma of good food delighted the attendees who were eager to welcome the year with song and dance. The organizers of the day, Sarkis Altunian and Vartan Babakhanian had done an outstanding job of taking care of all the details. DJ Rubo, our very own Rouben Babakhanian, kept everyone on their feet with his mixed variety of songs. The 'tamadan' of the day, Mr. Rafik Aghabegian delighted all with his comments and constant urging for all to dance and have fun.
Our sincere THANKS go to those families who made generous donations of delicious food for the event, including various types of mezze and a main course of delicious khorovadz, salad Olivier, salad Russe, jeedaboor and rice with mushrooms. In addition, there were soft drinks and bubbly champagne, and various desserts including cake, cookies and fruits.
This memorable New Year's Eve Party at St. Sarkis was a huge success! By Maral Aznavourian