Reclaim Gomidas: Conference Looks At The Vartabed Of The Armenian Church

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The third annual Reclaim Conference is scheduled for April 6, 2019 at the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church in Burbank. The celebrated and revered Armenian Church priest, Gomidas Vartabed will be the focus of this year’s gathering.

With talks, discussions, films and a concert, the goal of the conference is to reclaim Gomidas as a Vartabed of the Armenian Church. There are many angles from which to view and study the life of Gomidas, most notably as a musician. The fact that Gomidas was a priest of the Armenian Church, with a calling by the Holy Spirit and consecrated with Holy Miuron is often overlooked. This conference reclaims Gomidas as first and foremost a priest to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The speakers will present talks and share ideas about Gomidas to make him accessible to the participants in a meaningful and thought-provoking manner.

Since 2017, the Reclaim Conference has motivated participants to embrace their faith in a changing world where Christian values and understanding is challenged daily.

The conference takes place under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian who will also bring his expertise to the procedings by offing a presentation, “The Divine Liturgy by Gomidas Vartabed.” Here, the genius of Gomidas will be explored by the Primate. According to Martios Saryan, the “Gomidas’ Badarak is the condensation of the soul of our people. That is big art – the true opera of our people.”

Hayk Madoyan will explore the “Gomidas Letters.” In a look at the letters written by the priest, Madoyan will bring to light elements of Gomidas’ character that will be revelatory to all who attend. Other presentations will be made by Vatché Mankerian, “The Genius of Gomidas in Armenian Music” by Fr. Vazgen Boyadjian on the clergyman and Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan on identity.

The Conference culminates with a Choral and Instrumental Concert in the evening. The concert will include songs for string quartet featuring the Aslamazian String Quartete, the Armenian Chamber Orchestra directed by Armen Der Gevorkian. Piano suites by Professor Vatché Mankerian and Choral arrangements by the St. Leon Shnorhali Choir under the direction of Alenoush Yeghnazarian.

The conference begins at 9AM with welcoming remarks by Fr. Vazken Movsesian. The cost of the conference is $35, which includes admission to all events, registration packet, gifts and meals. The concert only is $20. Tickets are available on first-come first-serve basis by calling the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, 818.558.7474.

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