Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II at the divine liturgy

Catholicos Celebrates Divine Liturgy for Feast of Nativity

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ECHMIADZIN — Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II led the Pontifical Divine Liturgy at Yerevan’s cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator, marking the Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of Jesus Christ, on January 6.

The faithful at St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan

In a message directed to Armenian faithful throughout the world, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians assured listeners: “With the miraculous mystery of the Nativity of Christ, today once again the hope and grace of salvation descends again upon the world troubled by disasters and calamities.”

With fatherly directness, the Catholicos addressed the realities that threaten Armenian society, as it bears the burdens of the pandemic and the 2020 Artsakh war. But he went on to encourage all the faithful to seek a pathway forward, through a mutual embrace of faith and unity.

The divine liturgy

“We must approach the current difficult situation soberly, rejecting the paths that would draw us away from God, and firmly anchoring our lives in the national and spiritual values that have been passed down through the centuries, as the guarantors for the survival of our people,” he said. “We all have a sacred duty to the memory of our kinsmen who received the crown of martyrdom for the homeland, to fight altruistically and uncompromisingly, for the sake of our homeland, for the sake of the free life of Artsakh, for the sake of a stable Armenian statehood and the unbroken preservation of our national identity.”

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Karekin II offered the “Blessing of Water” ceremony. Serving as Godfather of the Cross this year was the distinguished composer and musician David Amalyan.

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