Posts Tagged ‘armenian church’

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[Web Wrap]: The Roots of Christmas.

January 7, 2011

Was Christmas originally Pagan? Maybe not. Check it out.

Via The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

A reliable feature of recent Christmas seasons is the chorus of voices in our newspapers, magazines, and television programs, “assuring” us that the roots of Christmas lie in pagan celebratory practices. But is that really the case?

In an article titled “How December 25 Became Christmas” (published in “Biblical Archaeology Review,” and available online here), a scholar of the early Christian movement questions this conventional wisdom of the secular world. Simultaneously, he offers an alternative explanation rooted in the authentic Christian spirituality of the 2nd through 4th centuries A.D. Armenian Christian readers will take a special interest in the writer’s knowledgeable references to the Armenian Church’s traditional date for our Lord’s nativity—January 6—which provides a vital piece of evidence for the case he makes.

Please continue reading here.

Pieter Bruegel’s 1566 Oil Painting of Bethlehem
At the Time of Christ’s Birth.

Credit: The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

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[Web Wrap]: Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord.

January 7, 2011

Shnorhavor Surb Tsnund!

Via The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church in America

On Thursday, January 6, 2011, the Armenian Church will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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— Wednesday, January 5—the Armenian Church will celebrate the Jrakalouyts (lamp-lighting) service.

Please continue reading here.


Credit: The Eastern Diocese of the
Armenian Church in America

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[Web Wrap]: Akhtamar Mass – Liturgy, But No Peace Without a Cross at Landmark Religious Service in Turkey.

September 20, 2010

By Gayane Mkrtchyan via ArmeniaNow

For the first time in nearly a century Armenian Christians have had a religious service in a 10th-century church on the Lake Van island of Akhtamar, in what now is eastern Turkey.

The September 19 Liturgy at the Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church was conducted by Archbishop Aram Ateshian, the Armenian Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople. Service went on, despite the absence of a cross on the dome of the church — a holy indicator for all Armenian churches.

Please continue reading here.

Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church in Van

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Credit: Photolure via ArmenianNow

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[Armenian Landscapes]

July 29, 2010

St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, Yerevan

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Credit: Levon Lachikyan

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[ACYOA Dispatches]: Trip to Armenia Becomes a Character Building Experience.

July 28, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

When Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) established the American Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) in 1946, his aim was to join the two directions of the new Armenian-American generation’s education – Christian and Armenian.

The 2010 ACYOA ASP Group

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Credit: FAR Staff

Pursuing the same purpose, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) has been organizing pilgrimages to the homeland in recent years. This summer, the ACYOA’s Armenia Service Program (ASP) partnered with FAR to focus volunteering efforts on FAR projects in Gyumri. During the trip (June 29 – July 20), the ASP group worked at FAR’s Ounjian School, which is undergoing renovations, and at the FAR Soup Kitchen, which serves Gyumri’s elderly community.

The group leader was the Rev. Tateos R. Abdalian, director of department for the Mission Parishes of Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).

FAR’s Shirak Branch organized a very interesting itinerary, which allowed the youngsters to meet with their peers or with adults.

Fr. Tateos and the ASP Group
at FARs Children Center

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Credit: FAR Staff

The one-week of volunteer work in Gyumri and the travel throughout Armenia ensured opportunity for the ASPers to know Armenia from inside. They were fascinated by Gyumri’s architecture and met with families who had been living in temporary metal shelters for the more than twenty years since the earthquake hit. They listened to the wonderful music played by the children of Octet Music School, who must study in temporary shelters as well. At the same time, the ASPers witnessed the outpouring of support for the students of the Ounjian School. With great attention they listened to the stories of the soup kitchen beneficiaries and were surprised when, for instance, they learned that 73-year-old grandma Noune has been living without electricity for nearly 22 years since the earthquake struck.

Young construction group

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Credit: FAR Staff

All this brought them closer together. During this trip, they lived just as their peers in their homeland, celebrating the “Vardavar” holiday and spending a wonderful day under the arches of the Marmashen Monastery.

ACYOA ASPers hailed from the East Coast of the USA – New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and so on. Among them were James Balakian, son of outstanding writer Peter Balakian, Nickolas, grandson of famous benefactor Nazar Nazaryan, among others.

Please read all their stories on our blog.
(Please scroll down after clicking the link)

The ACYOA Bus

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Credit: FAR Staff

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[ACYOA Dispatches]: Khachkars.

July 26, 2010

By Katrina Shakarian

Our week in Gyumri is behind us. We’ve since visited the Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries in Lori Marz. We continued onto the town of Dilijan, where ASPers toured Goshavank monastery.  From there, we visited the village of Noraduz and Lake Sevan. Noraduz is a cemetery that was in use between the 7th and 17th centuries.  Currently, it houses  largest collection of Khachkars in a single location.  Khachkars are a distinctly Armenian art form. From a single slab of rock, craftsman carved out a rectangle. They’d adorn it with a cross, surrounded by intricate patterns. Many of them tell stories.

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Credit: Katrina Shakarian

Khachkars were commissioned to commemorate events like a birth, or death. Today, Armenians adorn their tombstones with pictures of the dead; a trend that emerged during the Soviet period. Traditionally, however, Armenians who could afford it, placed Khachkars on top of their graves. It took at least 4-5 months to carve one.

During our visit, we weaved in and out of the stones, now overgrown with tall grass and weeds.  We stopped to examine the patterns etched into each one.  Apparently, no two Khachkars are alike. 

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Credit: Katrina Shakarian

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[Armenian Landscapes]

July 26, 2010

In the shadow of Odzun

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Credit: Erin Henk