Armenian Christmas Service at St. Vartan Cathedral on Tuesday, January 6

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NEW YORK — The Nativity and Baptism of Jesus Christ will be observed at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Monday and Tuesday, January 5 and 6, 2015. A special liturgical schedule will be in effect for these “Armenian Christmas” services.

On ARMENIAN CHRISTMAS EVE—Monday, January 5—there will be an Evening Service with Scripture Readings (by students from the Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum and the St. Vartan Armenian School) at 6:30 p.m. The Divine Liturgy will immediately follow, beginning at 7 p.m., celebrated by the Very Reverend Mamigon Kiledjian, the dean of St. Vartan Cathedral.

The St. Vartan Cathedral Choir will sing the Divine Liturgy, under the direction of Khoren Mekanejian. A reception will take place following the services.

On Armenian Christmas Morning — Tuesday, January 6 —Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The Morning Service begins at 9:30 a.m., and the Divine Liturgy follows at 10:30 a.m.

The sacred music will be sung by the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Mekanejian.

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In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also his baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which will follow the Divine Liturgy. Dr. Vicken Pamoukian will serve as “godfather” of the Blessing of Water service.

After the cathedral’s January 6 church services, a Home Blessing Service and Christmas Reception will take place in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium. The Akh’tamar Armenian Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Sylva Assadourian, will perform during the reception, which is open to all. Admission is free.

Armenian Christmas will also be observed at local parishes across the Eastern Diocese. Many parishes will celebrate on the day itself — Tuesday, January 6.  However, Diocesan parishes have also been authorized to celebrate on Sunday, January 11, if local circumstances so demand. Please contact your local parish to ascertain the date and time of its Armenian Christmas celebration.

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral is located at 630 Second Avenue (corner of 34th Street and Second Avenue), in New York City. Armenian Christmas Eve services begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 5. The Armenian Christmas Morning Service on Tuesday, January 6 will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by the traditional Blessing of Water ceremony.

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