Archive for the ‘Service’ Category

Christmas on January 6th?

by Hratch Tchilingirian


            "Armenian Christmas," as it is popularly called, is a culmination of celebrations of events related to Christ’s Incarnation. Theophany or Epiphany (or Astvadz-a-haydnootyoon in Armenian) means "revelation of God," which is the central theme of the Christmas Season in the Armenian Church. During the "Armenian Christmas" season, the major events that are celebrated are the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem and His Baptism in the River Jordan. The day of this major feast in the Armenian Church is January 6th. A ceremony called “Blessing of Water” is conducted in the Armenian Church to commemorate Christ’s Baptism.

            It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ’s birth has not been historically established—it is neither recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ’s birth on January 6th until the fourth century.

            According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6th to December 25th in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25th. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25th as the official date of Christmas and January 6th as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not affected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th until today.

In the Holy Land: January 19th

            In the Holy Land, the Orthodox churches use the old calendar (which has a difference of thirteen days) to determine the date of the religious feasts. Accordingly, the Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 19th (January 6 in Julian calendar) and the Greek [Russian, Coptic …] Orthodox Church celebrates on January 7th (December 25 in Julian Calendar).

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Western Christmas Celebration


Western Christmas Service                            10:30 AM

Narration of the Christmas story interspersed with Carols in participation with the congregation.


At the conclusion of the service their will be light luncheon. Everyone is cordially invited.


Santa will also visit us to distribute presents to the “nice” children of our church who are present on that day. We invite our community to join us in celebrating Christmas together.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eve of the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany

Reading from the Prophetic writings and Divine Liturgy  7:00 PM


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord

Divine Liturgy                            10:00 AM

Blessing of Water Service          11:30 AM

Blessing of Home Service           12:15 PM


At the conclusion of the Church Services, we will have Blessing of Home Service in our Cultural hall followed by traditional Armenian Christmas potluck luncheon.


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Рождество Христова
Воскресенье, 9 ЯнварЯ, 2012г

Святая Литургия в 10:00
Осевщение Воды в 11:30
Благославление Дома (Церкови) и Рожденственский Обед в 12:15


После Рожденственской Литургии и Осевещение Воды в церковном зале торжеств должно произайти Благославление Дома (Церкови) и Рожденственский Обед, который приготовлен прихожанами нашей церкови.

Дорогие прихожани с любовю приглошаем вас вместе с нами встретить Рождество и Богоявление нашего Спасителя Исуса Христа 9-ого Января, 2012г.

Христос Родился и Явился,
Блогославенно Явление Христа!

С Рождеством Хрестовым!  


Отец Нарек и церковный совет поздровляют Вас с Новым Годом и с Рождеством Хрестовым, желая вам долгих лет здоровой и счастливой жизни в новом 2012 году.


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        This Sunday, September 17, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Khachverats), which is one of the five Tabernacle Feasts observed by the Armenian Church.

       This holiday is a general celebration of the Holy Cross and is commemorated by most Christian churches on September 14. The Armenian Church celebrates it on the Sunday closest to the 14th.

       The cross, once a means of death for criminals, gradually became the dominant symbol of the Christian world, an object of reverence and worship, and symbol of triumph over death. There are four feasts devoted to the Cross in the Armenian liturgical calendar, with the Exaltation being the most important. The other three are: Apparition of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross of Varak, and Discovery of the Cross.

       The ceremony for the exaltation begins with the decoration of the Cross with sweet basil (rehan), a sign of royalty, and also symbolizing the living cross. After the Bible readings, the officiating priest lifts the Cross and makes the sign of the Cross, and blesses the four corners of the world (Antastan service), and asks the Almighty to grant peace and prosperity to the people of the world.

       The Khachverats ceremony was prepared by Catholicos Sahag Tsoraporetsi (677-703). He also composed the hymn that is sung on this occasion. As with other Tabernacle Feasts, the Exaltation is preceded with a period of fasting (Monday to Friday), and followed by a memorial day (Merelots).

       Name day commemorations this Sunday include: Khatchadour, Khatchig, Khatcherets, Rehan, Khatchkhatoun, Khatchouhi, Khatchperouhi, Khosrov, Khosrovanoush, Khosrovitoukhd.

From Eastern Prelacy’s Crossroad E-Newsletter

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Posted from Eastern Prelacy’s Crossroad E-Newsletter

       The Blessing of the Grapes takes place on the Feast of the Assumption, although there is no connection between the two. Similar to other holidays, it coincides with a pagan era festival, which the Church Fathers incorporated into the liturgical calendar. The hymn Park Sourp Khatchesi (Glory to Your Sacred Cross) is sung; Biblical passages are recited, followed by a prayer composed by Catholicos Nerses Shnorhali specifically for this occasion. After the prayer, the grapes are blessed three times with the words Orhnestsee Bahbanestsee and then the blessed grapes are distributed to the faithful, many of whom have refrained from eating grapes until this blessing takes place.

       Certainly we can say that the Blessing of the Grapes is a celebration of the fruitfulness of the earth. Grapes are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. According to biblical history, Noah planted a vineyard immediately after disembarking from the Ark (Genesis, chapter 9) in Nakhichevan, Armenia. And, of course, the wine of the Divine Liturgy comes from grapes.

Bless, O Lord, the grape plants and vineyards from which these grapes are taken and presented to the holy church, and make them bountiful and fruitful; let them be like good and fertile land, protect the vineyards from all kinds of misfortune and destruction which come from above because of our sins, from hail, from cold, from hot winds, and from destructive insects, so that we may enjoy that which You have created in this world for our enjoyment and for Your glory, and grant that we may be worthy to eat and drink with You from the bounty of Your most fruitful vine at the table of Your Father’s Kingdom, according to the just promise which You made, to the honor and glory of Your coexisting Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the most Holy Spirit to whom is due glory, power, and honor, now and forever. Amen.

(From the prayer written by Nerses Shnorhali for the Blessing of the Grapes)

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