By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — “I congratulate the 50th anniversary of this cathedral,” said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian in his message to worshippers who crowded every corner of New York’s St. Vartan Cathedral. “This is a place that has welcomed people from every walk of life, every background, who have come together here to pray, share our friendship, and learn the rich Christian heritage of the Armenian people.”
The occasion for those words was Sunday morning, May 6, as a grand Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Barsamian to mark the golden anniversary of St. Vartan Cathedral. The monumental occasion began with three dozen priests and deacons from throughout the Eastern Diocese entering the cathedral in procession from the outdoor plaza.
The clergy escorted Barsamian in his final celebration of the badarak as Primate of Eastern Diocese. Alongside him was the newly-elected Primate, the Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan, as the column filed into the cathedral to the majestic hymn, Hrashapar.
An honored guest for the occasion was Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, who had arrived from Holy Echmiadzin to represent Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians.