Reception of the Holy Theotokos Mary
to the sky

unwithered flower, pure progeny,
You who arise from the root of Jessea,
Isaiah announced you before
You become the carrying vessel of the seven gifts of the Spirit.
Theotokos and Virgin, we praise you.

The feast of "The Dormition or Assumption of the Holy Theotokos Mary into Heaven" (Arm. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? by number By this it is also one of the five Solemnities of the Armenian Church. This is the case because the Mother of God as "Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" is one of the greatest and most important persons or saints for Christianity and also for the Armenian Church.

In the Armenian Church, this Marian feast is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to August 15th (if the 15th itself does not fall on a Sunday), i.e. between August 12th and 18th.

According to Church tradition, after Christ's crucifixion, Mary dwelt according to Christ's commission (cf John 19:26-27) with the apostle John and enjoyed his loving care there. She spent her time in prayer and fasting, and often visited her son's grave. During one of these visits, the Archangel Gabriel appears to her and announces her imminent transition from earthly to heavenly Jerusalem. Mary communicates this news to the apostles and asks them to bury her in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Before death, the Blessed Virgin asks John to celebrate a Eucharistic celebration to receive Holy Communion one last time and say goodbye to everyone. During the farewell, the room is filled with an unspeakable light and Jesus Christ appears to her in this light.

Mary dies in Jerusalem 15 years after the crucifixion. All the apostles except Bartholomew were present at the burial of her body. Anticipating that Bartholomew would be very saddened by the news of her death, Mary gave her picture to the Apostle John, asking him to give it to Bartholomew. Bartholomew, however, was not satisfied with the image and insisted on seeing Mary's body when he returned to Jerusalem. The apostles went to the tomb again but did not find her body. They remembered the words of Christ that Mary will not experience death but will pass into heaven. The Armenian word "Verapochum" means "to cross upwards".

According to the Armenian historian Movses Chorenatzi (5th century), the apostle Bartholomew brought the image of Mary with him to Armenia. It was set in historical Armenia in the nunnery "Darbnotz Kar" preserved in the province of Antzewatziatz.

As mentioned above, for the Armenian Church, Mary, the Mother of God, is the most honored saint and the first intercessor of all believers. Numerous hymns and songs are dedicated to her and several churches in Armenia and in the Diaspora are named after her.

From: S. Isakhanyan, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Etchmiadzin, 2012

The feast of "The Dormition or Assumption of the Holy Theotokos Mary into Heaven" (Arm. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? by number By this it is also one of the five Solemnities of the Armenian Church. This is the case because the Mother of God as "Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" is one of the greatest and most important persons or saints for Christianity and also for the Armenian Church.

In the Armenian Church, this Marian feast is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to August 15th (if the 15th itself does not fall on a Sunday), i.e. between August 12th and 18th.

According to Church tradition, after Christ's crucifixion, Mary dwelt according to Christ's commission (cf John 19:26-27) with the apostle John and enjoyed his loving care there. She spent her time in prayer and fasting, and often visited her son's grave. During one of these visits, the Archangel Gabriel appears to her and announces her imminent transition from earthly to heavenly Jerusalem. Mary communicates this news to the apostles and asks them to bury her in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Before death, the Blessed Virgin asks John to celebrate a Eucharistic celebration to receive Holy Communion one last time and say goodbye to everyone. During the farewell, the room is filled with an unspeakable light and Jesus Christ appears to her in this light.

Mary dies in Jerusalem 15 years after the crucifixion. All the apostles except Bartholomew were present at the burial of her body. Anticipating that Bartholomew would be very saddened by the news of her death, Mary gave her picture to the Apostle John, asking him to give it to Bartholomew. Bartholomew, however, was not satisfied with the image and insisted on seeing Mary's body when he returned to Jerusalem. The apostles went to the tomb again but did not find her body. They remembered the words of Christ that Mary will not experience death but will pass into heaven. The Armenian word "Verapochum" means "to cross upwards".

According to the Armenian historian Movses Chorenatzi (5th century), the apostle Bartholomew brought the image of Mary with him to Armenia. It was set in historical Armenia in the nunnery "Darbnotz Kar" preserved in the province of Antzewatziatz.

As mentioned above, for the Armenian Church, Mary, the Mother of God, is the most honored saint and the first intercessor of all believers. Numerous hymns and songs are dedicated to her and several churches in Armenia and in the Diaspora are named after her.

From: S. Isakhanyan, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, Etchmiadzin, 2012

grape blessing

On the occasion of this Marian feast, grapes are also blessed in our churches, in other words, the annual harvest is blessed. This very old tradition is maintained not only by the Armenians, but also by other peoples. An Armenian gave his first harvest to the temple as a token of his gratitude and appreciation. Today's blessing of the grape represents the preservation of this tradition of our forefathers in the Christian Church. The Armenian Church prefers the grape as a symbol because Christ identified Himself with the vine. Furthermore, the wine is made from grapes, which Christ identified with his blood at his last supper, thus establishing the sacrament of communion (the Eucharist), which we celebrate today in every Eucharistic celebration. Only pure wine (without the addition of water) is used for this. Blessed wine is also served to newlyweds after the wedding ceremony.

It is a tradition among Armenians not to eat grapes before blessing the grapes. In this connection I consider it appropriate to quote the words of the Catholicos, Karekin I: "Traditions are the unifying elements of peoples' identities which, when ignored, forgotten or despised, produce colorlessness and distortion of the identities of these peoples..."

Abroad, where the Armenians are scattered, they cannot afford any spiritual distraction. In other words, one should not adopt an attitude of indifference and self-defeating disregard for one's native traditions. Let's keep up with the world without deviating from our path...

You do not commit a mortal sin if you die before the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Theotokos Eat grapes and you wouldn't be damned to hell either... If you waited that long for the Church to bless those grapes, you wouldn't be a hair's breadth behind the world that was rushing ahead. However, if you decide not to eat grapes and are not embarrassed to explain to your friend or neighbor that you are doing so because of your respect for national traditions, it is your people who are appealing to your national consciousness and you urged to preserve traditions. Be sure that you will not be despised by others, but respected by educated and self-confident people.

 …Never forget that for us who live far from our homeland, our own traditions are the homeland in our lives…”[1]


[1] "Hogemtavor Chargaytumner", Collection of the works of HH Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians, St. Etchmiadzin, 1997, page 161.

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The Annual Cycle

  • Nativity and Theophany
  • Lent
  • Easter
  • Pentecost
  • transfiguration of the Lord
  • Assumption of Mary into heaven
  • Cross Exaltation Festival
  • Hisnak or Advent season

THE FIVE HIGH STRENGTH

The Armenian Apostolic Church has five main festivals called "Taghawar toner" (Arm. Տաղաւար Տօներ). This designation most likely comes from the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles (arm. Taghawaraharats ton / Տաղաւարհարաց Տօն). The Armenian word "taghawaraharats" is composed of the roots "taghawar" (hut, tent) and "harel" (to beat, to prepare). Since the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated over several days, believers and pilgrims had to pitch a tent or build a hut. The Armenian word "Taghawaraharats" was in all probability changed or shortened to "Taghawar".

The five main festivals of the Armenian Church were also celebrated for more than three days and many believers not only made the pilgrimage to the main festivals but also to other festivals to places of pilgrimage and lived there in tents (Arm. Taghawar / Տաղաւար). This tradition has been preserved in some places to this day. An example is the pilgrimage of the Iranian Armenians to the St. Taddäus church.

On the eve of the five main festivals, a special ceremony called the "pre-festival" (Arm. Նախատօնակ) is held. This is already considered the beginning of the respective main festival.

The Armenian Apostolic Church has five main festivals called "Taghawar toner" (Arm. Տաղաւար Տօներ). This designation most likely comes from the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles (arm. Taghawaraharats ton / Տաղաւարհարաց Տօն). The Armenian word "taghawaraharats" is composed of the roots "taghawar" (hut, tent) and "harel" (to beat, to prepare). Since the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated over several days, believers and pilgrims had to pitch a tent or build a hut. The Armenian word "Taghawaraharats" was in all probability changed or shortened to "Taghawar".

The five main festivals of the Armenian Church were also celebrated for more than three days and many believers not only made the pilgrimage to the main festivals but also to other festivals to places of pilgrimage and lived there in tents (Arm. Taghawar / Տաղաւար). This tradition has been preserved in some places to this day. An example is the pilgrimage of the Iranian Armenians to the St. Taddäus church.

On the eve of the five main festivals, a special ceremony called the "pre-festival" (Arm. Նախատօնակ) is held. This is already considered the beginning of the respective main festival.

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

The classification of festivals

Theophany / Surb Tsnund (immobile)

  • Jesus' birth and baptism (Christmas) - 6th January
  • Naming of the Lord (8th day of birth) – January 13th
  • Presentation of the Lord in the Temple – February 14 (40th day)

Resurrection (Easter):  (Moving between March 22 and April 25) 
Celebrations associated with Christ's resurrection include:

  • Remembering the resurrection of Lazarus by Christ
  • Palm Sunday and Holy Week
  • The period of 40 days from Easter to Ascension
  • Pentecost (7 Sundays after Easter, between May 10th and June 13th)

Transfiguration / Wardawar (7 Sundays after Pentecost)

  • Annunciation – April 7 (immobile)
  • Discovery of the Blessed Mother's chest (fifth Sunday after Pentecost)
  • Assumption Day (the Sunday closest to August 15)
  • Discovery of the Belt of the Blessed Mother (second Sunday after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary)
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – September 8 (immobile)
  • Introduction of Mary into the Temple – November 21 (fixed)
  • Conception of Mary by Anna – December 9 (immobile)

Feasts of the Holy Cross

  1. Apparition of the Holy Cross (Fourth Sunday after Easter)
  2. Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sunday closest to September 14)
  3. Holy Cross of Varak (Third Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross)
  4. Finding of the Holy Cross (Seventh Sunday of the Exaltation of the Cross)

Feasts of the Holy Church

  1. New Sunday (first Sunday after Easter)
  2. Green Sunday (second Sunday after Easter)
  3. Red Sunday (third Sunday after Easter)
  4. Feast of Saint Echmiadzin (second Sunday after Pentecost)
  5. Commemoration of the Old Ark of the Covenant and the Feast of the New - the Holy Church (Saturday before the Transfiguration)
  6. Shoghagate Feast of Echmiadzin (Saturday before the Assumption of Mary)

In the Armenian Apostolic Church, the saint is commemorated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. During Great Lent, saints' days are observed only on Saturdays, and no saints' days are celebrated during the Easter Triad.

The Saints can be divided into three groups:

This group of saints includes Old and New Testament saints such as B. the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, or St. John the Baptist, the disciples and the evangelists.

These include saints celebrated by the entire Church. They are saints such as St. Athanasius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Theologian, the bishops of the first three ecumenical councils and many others.

This group includes saints who have their descent in the Armenian Church or are especially venerated here. There are saints like B. the Virgin Sanducht, St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. King Trdat (Tiridates) and Queen Ash'chen, St. Mesrop Maschtotz and the Catholicos St. Sahak Partev, Movses Khorenatsi and other translators up to St .Nerses Schnorhali, the Holy Priests of the Ghewont, the Saints of Vardananz and more. In 2015, the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide were elevated to the rank of Holy Martyrs and canonized.

A.Pahq – No food of animal origin (vegan)
B. Tsom – Abstaining from any food (usually only on Sundays before receiving Communion and on Good Friday)

– Great Lent before Easter from Bun Barekendan to Palm Sunday
– Holy Week from Holy Monday to Easter
– Hisnak from Hisnakats Barekendan to Christmas. (about 50 days before Christmas. It used to be intended for all believers, currently it applies to the clergy)

There are ten week-long fasts preceding major festivals and observances, observed Monday through Friday. The exception is the 6-day fast before Christmas:

  1. Fasting before Christmas: December 30th – January 4th
  2. Fasting of catechumens
  3. Fasting before the memorial of Holy Prophet Elijah
  4. Fasting before the feast day of St. Gregory the Illuminator
  5. Fasting before the Transfiguration Feast
  6. Fasting before the Feast of the Assumption of Mary
  7. Fasting before the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
  8. Fasting before the feast of the Holy Cross of Varag
  9. Hisnak/Advent Fast
  10. Fasting before the feast of St. James (Surb Hakob)

– Every Wednesday and Friday except the 40 days from Easter to Ascension Day and the eight days after Christmas.