By Mary O’KEEFE
In celebration of Armenian Christmas, His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, prelate of the Western Untied States, conducted the Blessing of the Water ceremony at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center.
The ceremony was held in the lobby of the hospital on Monday and was attended by many city and state officials, hospital administration and staff.
Armenian Christmas celebrates the holy birth of Jesus Christ and commemorates His baptism through the blessing of the water.
“We have done this [ceremony] for several years,” said Jack Ivie, president of Glendale Memorial Hospital.
In addition to being a beautiful and meaningful ceremony, it is a way to connect with the Armenian community, he added.
“This has become a key part of our Christmas tradition,” Ivie said. “To me this is such an interpersonal, cultural relationship.”
More people attend the ceremony each year, he added. At the end of the blessing of the water, those in the audience were invited to receive prayer cards and small containers of the blessed water.
“Archbishop [Mardirossian] will visit people [and patients] in the hospital,” Ivie said.
Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine attended the ceremony.
“How lucky are we to live in such a diverse community?” Devine said. “The Blessing of the Water is a beautiful tradition.”