PRAYER

PRAYERS OF THE HOURS –
The prayer of the whole Church

The Armenian Church is essentially a singing-praying church. The Sunday celebration of the Surb Patarag (Holy Liturgy) is of course at the center of the worship life of the Armenian Church. Nevertheless, the Armenian Church knows nine other Liturgy of the Hours. These times of prayer are nourished by the Holy Scriptures, so that the invocation of God is at the same time the proclamation of his saving deeds. The individual believer is invited to pray together in the church in order to always feel in the presence of God and in the community of other praying people, and so that personal prayer does not bog down in solitude. The nine prayer times of the Armenian Church are:

  1. Night prayer, which begins at midnight and is a praise to God the Father.
  2. Morning prayer beginning during dawn praising the Son of God.
  3. Sunrise prayer, which as the name suggests, begins at sunrise and praises the Holy Spirit.
  4. Third Hour Prayer (Terce) beginning at 9:00 am. This Liturgy of the Hours is also dedicated to the Holy Spirit, but also has a special penitential aspect.
  5. Sixth Hour (Sext) prayer, which begins at 12:00 p.m. and is addressed to God the Father. The central focus of this Liturgy of the Hours is the weakness of human nature.
  6. Ninth Hour (Non) Prayer, beginning at 3:00 p.m., addressed to the Son of God.
  7. Evening Worship (Vespers): Shall begin before sunset or 6:00 p.m. and is addressed to the Son of God.
  8. Peace Prayer: Begins at sunset and is addressed to the Holy Spirit.
  9. Serenity Prayer: Begins before bed and is addressed to God the Father.

In ancient times, especially in the monasteries, all of these nine daytime prayers were held every day. Today it is common to celebrate the daytime prayers together.

As in the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Psalms formed the basic order of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Armenian Church. Before the invention of the Armenian alphabet at the beginning of the 5th century, psalmodying was the foundation of church services. After the alphabet was created, St. Mesrop Maschtotz and St. Sahak Partev and their students began to write their own Armenian songs and church hymns. To compose.

In the centuries that followed, the Armenian hymnarium (Arm. ?????????) gradually came into being. The Hymnarium "Sharaknot" is the main book of church hymns, in which about 1200 hymns (Arm. Sharakan / Շարական) are collected. Other booklets, in which church songs are also collected, are called "Gandzaran", "Tagharan" or. "Yergaran" and the songs call themselves "yergy", "Tagh", "Gandz", "Meghedi" and "Hordorak" and are sung on special occasions.

The Armenian Church is essentially a singing-praying church. The Sunday celebration of the Surb Patarag (Holy Liturgy) is of course at the center of the worship life of the Armenian Church. Nevertheless, the Armenian Church knows nine other Liturgy of the Hours. These times of prayer are nourished by the Holy Scriptures, so that the invocation of God is at the same time the proclamation of his saving deeds. The individual believer is invited to pray together in the church in order to always feel in the presence of God and in the community of other praying people and so that personal prayer does not bog down in solitude. The nine prayer times of the Armenian Church are:

  1. Night prayer, which begins at midnight and is a praise to God the Father.
  2. Morning prayer beginning during dawn praising the Son of God.
  3. Sunrise prayer, which as the name suggests, begins at sunrise and praises the Holy Spirit.
  4. Third Hour Prayer (Terce) beginning at 9:00 am. This Liturgy of the Hours is also dedicated to the Holy Spirit, but also has a special penitential aspect.
  5. Sixth Hour (Sext) prayer, which begins at 12:00 p.m. and is addressed to God the Father. The central focus of this Liturgy of the Hours is the weakness of human nature.
  6. Ninth Hour (Non) Prayer, beginning at 3:00 p.m., addressed to the Son of God.
  7. Evening Worship (Vespers): Shall begin before sunset or 6:00 p.m. and is addressed to the Son of God.
  8. Peace Prayer: Begins at sunset and is addressed to the Holy Spirit.
  9. Serenity Prayer: Begins before bed and is addressed to God the Father.

In ancient times, especially in the monasteries, all these nine hours were said every day. Today it is common to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours together.

As in the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Psalms formed the basic order of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Armenian Church. Before the invention of the Armenian alphabet at the beginning of the 5th century, psalmodying was the foundation of church services. After the alphabet was created, St. Mesrop Maschtotz and St. Sahak Partev and their students began to write their own Armenian songs and church hymns. To compose.

In the centuries that followed, the Armenian hymnarium (Arm. ?????????) gradually came into being. The Hymnarium "Sharaknot" is the main book of church hymns, in which about 1200 hymns (Arm. Sharakan/Շարական) are collected. Other booklets, in which church songs are also collected, are called "Gandzaran", "Tagharan" or. "Yergaran" and the songs call themselves "yergy","Tagh", "Gandz", "Meghedi" and "Hordorak" and are sung on special occasions.

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SHARAKAN

In the Sharakan one can feel the piety of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since the creation of the Armenian alphabet, many important figures in the Armenian Church have composed sharakane, among others. The first hymn writers in this series are the inventor of the alphabet Mesrop Maschtotz and his patron Katholikos Sahak Partev. They are also considered to be the ones who determined the most important principles of Sharakane poetry. They were followed by the generation of Holy Translators, such as B. Yeghishe Vardapet, Movses Chorenatzi, Davit Anhaght and Hovhan Mandakuni. Many songs and sharakans are attributed to them and other 5th-century scholars.

The total stock of "Sharaknot" was written by just over twenty poets who lived between the 5th and 15th centuries. Important hymn poets from this period are, in addition to the above-mentioned people, the Catholicos Hovhan Odznetzi (7th-8th century), Ananai Shirakatzi (7th century), Sahak Dzoraporetzi (7th century), Grigor Narekatzi (10th century) .), Grigor Vkayaser (11th-12th centuries), Hovhannes Sarkavag (11th-12th centuries) and Nerses Lambronatzi (12th-13th centuries). Also have two wives "Sharakane" poetic, Sahakaducht (8th century, the sister of Stepannos Syunetzi) and Chosroviducht (8th century, the sister of Vahan Goghtnatzi). It is also known that Sahakaducht taught singing to both men and women.

An important role in the completion of "Sharaknot" played the Catholicos, St. Nerses Schnorhali (the gifted one, 12th century). About a third of all songs and hymns of the Armenian Church were composed and written by him.

the in "Sharaknot" The hymns contained are divided into eight groups, which are named after the opening words of hymn-like passages in the Bible that are central to the history of salvation. The melodies of these Sharakane are based on eight so-called musical voices. Every day has a specific voice. On the occasion of the day those hymns, psalms and other songs are sung in the church, the melodies of which have been written on the basis of these musical voices.

Because of the increasing number and diversity of the Sharakane, it became necessary to introduce a notation known in Armenian as "Chaz" (Armenian neumes, arm. Խազ). The first attempts to introduce this special notation are attributed to Bishop Stepannos Synetzi II (660/70-735). For centuries the hymns were written with the help of these "Chaz"-Notation sung. Unfortunately, the correct keys of this Armenian notation were lost over time. At the end of the 18th century it was no longer possible to sing with this notation. In particular, the composer Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935) made intensive efforts to "Chaz"- decipher notes. Unfortunately, the Armenian genocide (1915) and his associated mental state did not allow him to complete this important work. His related notes and manuscripts have been lost, and the "Chazen' remain undeciphered to this day. Some European and German scientists, such as e.g. B. Johann Joachim Schröder (German theologian and church historian, 1680-1756), François-Joseph Fétis (Belgian composer and music biographer, 1784-1871) and Julius Heinrich Petermann (German orientalist, 1801-1876), dealt with the Armenian "Chaz"-Notation.

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