Posts Tagged ‘armenian religion’

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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.

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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]: Lake Sevan.

July 22, 2010

By Arman Ayrapetyan

Nothing on this three-week trip has topped the excitement of climbing the mountains around Lake Sevan. Together our group scaled the steep mountainside along with Tigran, our tour guide. It felt as though we would never make it to the top, and I had some thoughts of calling it quits, but I forced myself to finish the climb. As we got higher, it started getting colder, our ears started to pop, and for me, it became increasingly harder to breathe.

At the top of the tallest mountain we climbed, sat what we thought was a lightning rod, surrounded by a wide field. Lake Sevan was a great view from the top, and our hotel was as small as a fingernail.

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Credit: Arman Ayrapetyan

To our surprise we heard thunder, and not too long after, it started to drizzle. After taking our pictures, we started working our way back down. The mountain became increasingly slippery and I found myself falling on sharp plants. Due to the poor traction of my sneakers, I was the last one to make it to the bottom. We then bypassed an angry dog and finished the climb with a victory picture.

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Credit: Arman Ayrapetyan

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[ACYOA Dispatches]: Visit to Khor Virab.

July 21, 2010

By Paul Derderian

On July 18, we visited Khor Virab, the pit where St. Gregory resided for 13 years before healing King Drtad through prayer.  Khor Virab truly surpassed our expectations.  Mt. Ararat was the first thing we saw as we pulled up to the parking lot.  It was the closest view of the mountain we had seen yet.  I was instantly in awe of the beautiful sight — our motherland.

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Credit: Paul Derderian

After we climbed the stone steps leading  to the church at Khor Virab, we participated in Badarak.  The Divine Liturgy was held in a church across from St. Gregory’s chapel, which contains an entranceway to the infamous pit.  The liturgy was beautiful; the choir had a full angelic sound, providing bass, alto, and soprano sounds for each hymn. A Der Hayr said the confession during the singing of the “Der Voghormya,” instead of after the hymn like we are used to.  This had such a powerful effect on all of us, as it emphasized the fact that we were asking the Lord for mercy and forgiveness of our sins.

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Credit: Paul Derderian

Following Badarak, we descended into the actual pit that St. Gregory was thrown into.  As we went down the ladder, the feeling of his prayers and faith overwhelmed each of us.  It made us reflect on how strong one’s faith must be in order to stay sane in a place like that for a couple of days, let alone  years.  In that pit, we realized how necessary a strong faith is in life.  St. Gregory proved that with strong faith in God, anything is possible.  The trip to Khor Virab inspired all of us to keep our faith, traditions, and culture alive.

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Credit: Paul Derderian

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[Web Wrap]: Find a Middle Ground: Armenian Church and Getty Should Work Together.

July 20, 2010

By Heghnar Watenpaugh via Los Angeles Times

Hat Tip: Liana Aghajanian via @writepudding on Twitter

Seven illustrated pages ripped out of a medieval Gospels manuscript: Who owns them; who should own them? Those who value them as works of art, or those who revere them as religious objects? The seven pages feature beautiful illuminations by Toros Roslin, the most important Armenian miniatures painter of the Middle Ages. Their value is immense as artifacts, but also as rare witnesses to the memory of a nation almost erased from history. The manuscript from which the pages were torn was lost during the Armenian genocide of 1915-22 The Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America believes those seven pages are holy and belong to the church: It is suing the J. Paul Getty Museum to get them back. The Getty says it owns the pages as works of art and acquired them legally.

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[Web Wrap]: Vardavar – Celebrating an Armenian Water Festival.

July 12, 2010

By Liana Aghajanian via ianyan Mag

If you’re Armenian, you might have remembered a great excuse to drench your siblings, relatives and friends with water on an unbearably hot summer day. Although at the time, you couldn’t believe your parents were actually allowing you to soak other people, while getting dripping yet yourself, this Armenian festival known as “Vardavar” has a richer history than just summer time fun.

Typically celebrated around 14 weeks after Easter, Vardavar’s origins can be traced to pagan times, where it was associated with the goddess of water, love and fertility – Astghik.

The etymology of the word “Vardavar” stems from “vard” meaning “rose” in Armenian. The explanations for the rose connection are quite varied.

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Credit: Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia