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15 December 2019
Primate’s Thanksgiving Day Message
Published - 27 November 2019

Beloved faithful,

Thanksgiving Day has been a time-honored and revered tradition in American households. A time of unity, embrace, and reflection, the holiday symbolizes our lasting bond with God. As families gather around the Thanksgiving table, we pray for the bountiful blessings bestowed upon us by the Almighty, we share a warm conversation, embracing the presence of loved ones. These intangible gifts are priceless.

This beautiful tradition however has been disrupted in recent years with marketing gimmicks, countless television, radio and social media advertisements of “door busters” in mega malls around the country on Thanksgiving Day. Some stores will open before families finish setting up the Thanksgiving dinner table. As a spiritual leader, this “accepted” practice is of grave concern as it diminishes the significance of the holiday. Thanksgiving has been the day when families prayed, dined, and laughed together.   

I pray that you all create fond memories this Thanksgiving Day, for the most valuable gifts are those which cannot be acquired with riches. Create, collect, and store them in an unbreakable treasure chest, namely your heart. As you gather around the table, give thanks to the Almighty for sacrificing His Only Begotten Son for the salvation of humanity. Pray for your families and your loved ones. Remember in your prayers those who are sick and less fortunate. Remember the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of the Armenian people, our Motherland, and pray for the blessed land of the United States of America.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15).

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian

Primate