LOCAL : Somber Christmas for Armenians

<i> From Times wire services </i>

Armenians in Orange County held a traditional Christmas Mass today, but their prayers were for the people of earthquake-ravaged Armenia.

Priests of the Forty Martyrs Armenia Apolistic Church in Santa Ana canceled the traditional candlelight procession and afternoon party usually held on this day, the day Christmas is traditionally celebrated in Armenia. They instead added a Requiem Mass for victims of Armenia’s devastating Dec. 7 earthquake.

Hundreds were expected to fill the church hall by the end of the three-hour service, which began at 10:30 a.m. “This year we are not happy,” church member Wartini Jakerian said. “We are praying for our people.”