Event Type Religious Calendar
On February 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple. Tiarn’ndaraj, or Candlemas as it is known in the West, symbolizes the presentation of
On February 14, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation to the Temple. Tiarn’ndaraj, or Candlemas as it is known in the West, symbolizes the presentation of the 40 day-old Christ Child to the Temple in Jerusalem.
In accordance with the Law of Moses, the infant Christ was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph and presented to God. A man named Simeon was there, to whom it had been revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord. Simeon held the infant in his arms, blessed God, and said, “Lord, let your servant now depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your Salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people. A Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the Glory of Your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
In the tradition of the Church, Evening Services (Nakhatonak) are conducted on the night preceding the Feast Day. At the conclusion of the service, the priest lights a candle from the Holy Altar, and distributes the flame to all present. With great care, the faithful take the lit candles home to their families.
The morning of the Feast Day, Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Armenian Churches throughout the world. The hymn offered during the Liturgy commemorating Tiarn’ndaraj glorifies Simeon’s articulation of “a Light to lighten the Gentiles”. The hymn praising Simeon also lauds the Mystery of the Incarnation.
Many additional customs have been inherited from the past, including the blessing of the four corners of the world in the Andastan Service, the blessing of newlywed couples, as well as offering prayers for the crops and fertility of the fields.
All Day (Wednesday)(GMT-05:00)
On April 7, the Armenian Church celebrates one of her greatest feasts – the Annunciation to St. Mary. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that the Angel Gabriel brings
On April 7, the Armenian Church celebrates one of her greatest feasts – the Annunciation to St. Mary. In the Gospel of Luke we learn that the Angel Gabriel brings the good news to the Virgin about the birth of the Savior (Lk 1:26-38).
According to Holy Tradition and the Evangelist, the Angel Gabriel appears to St. Mary while reading a passage from the prophecy of Isaiah, in which it is written about the birth of the Emmanuel from a Virgin. The Angel greets Mary, telling her, “Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His Name JESUS.”
The Angel Gabriel further explains to Mary, “The Holy Sprit shall come upon you, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow you, therefore also that which is Holy which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” St. Mary could foresee the torments and sufferings that she would endure. However, by giving mankind an excellent example of obedience to the Divine Will, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” Beginning from the moment when the Holy Virgin expressed these words, she was with child.
This Gospel story is one expression of why the Armenian Church accords high honor to motherhood, and appreciates the role of women in family life, and the lives of mankind.
Upon the Pontifical order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary is proclaimed as a day of “Blessing of Motherhood and Beauty”. On that day, a special blessing service is conducted in the Armenian Churches.
All Day (Sunday)(GMT-04:00)
The Armenian Genocide—the first genocide of the 20th century—took the lives of 1.5 million Armenians, who were massacred by Ottoman Turkey’s “Young Turk” government beginning in 1915. The deportation and
The Armenian Genocide—the first genocide of the 20th century—took the lives of 1.5 million Armenians, who were massacred by Ottoman Turkey’s “Young Turk” government beginning in 1915. The deportation and mass extermination of Armenians continued until 1923.
Planned and executed during World War I, the Armenian Genocide saw the virtual elimination of Armenians from their ancestral homeland. Those who were not killed immediately were led on horrific death marches, like the one through the Der Zor desert in Syria. The mass exodus of surviving Armenians from Anatolia resulted in the dispersal of the Armenian people to every corner of the world. Today, the large Armenian diaspora comprises over 4 million people (roughly equal to the number of Armenians living in the modern Republic of Armenia).
The Armenian Genocide began on April 24, 1915, when Ottoman authorities arrested and killed some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Those arrested included Armenian doctors, lawyers, parliamentarians, authors, and artists. Armenian civilians—including the elderly, women and children—were then forcibly removed from their homes and sent on death marches for hundreds of miles, with no food or water.
To this day, the Republic of Turkey continues to deny that the Armenian Genocide took place, although historians and scholarly authorities throughout the world recognized the Genocide as a tragic fact of history.
For years, Armenian communities around the world commemorate each April 24 as “Armenian Martyrs Day,” which they observe with religious and cultural memorials. This continues to this day.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the genocide martyrs were canonized during a special service at the Mother See of Holy Etchimiadzin as the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide on April 23, 2015. This made the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide the first saints canonized in the Armenian Church in hundreds of years. With the canonization, the Armenian Church’s newest feast day, the Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, is celebrated on April 24.
All Day (Wednesday)(GMT-04:00)