Holy Week Services Schedule–St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, NYC

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (E.)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Chris Zakian
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]

March 26, 2004


St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral will observe Holy Week, April 4 through 11,
with a series of special services, culminating in the Easter Sunday
celebration on April 11, 2004.

Holy Week is the sacred commemoration of the dramatic events leading to the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ, His victory over death and the redemption of
humanity and the fallen world. The Armenian Church re-enacts these
episodes in the days leading up to Easter. What follows is a brief
schedule of Holy Week events:

PALM SUNDAY–the commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into
Jerusalem–falls on April 4. Fr. Mardiros Chevian (dean of St. Vartan
Cathedral) will be the celebrant for the services, which will begin with a
Morning Service at 9:30 a.m., and will continue with the Divine Liturgy at
10:30 a.m. The Turun-Patzek or “Door-Opening” Service will be held after
the Divine Liturgy.

April 8 is GREAT AND HOLY THURSDAY, and the day’s services memorialize the
Last Supper, Jesus’ vigil in the Garden of Gethsemane, His arrest and
trial. Two separate services will be celebrated on this day. In the
morning, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Fr. Mardiros Chevian,
beginning at 11:00 a.m. This will be followed by a luncheon.

In the evening, the “Washing of the Feet” ceremony will start at 7:00 p.m.,
with the Khavaroom or Vigil Service following at 8:30 p.m. Archbishop
Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese, will officiate. During the
Washing of Feet ceremony, twelve men will serve as surrogates for the
apostles. This year, twelve deacons and subdeacons ordained by the Primate
will participate in the Washing of Feet.

The crucifixion and death of Christ will be observed on April 9–GREAT AND
HOLY FRIDAY–and again two services will occur. The Order of the
Cruci-fixion of Christ will begin at 12:00 noon. This will be a short
service enabling working people in Manhattan to attend, and it will be
followed by a luncheon in the Diocesan Complex’s Yerevan Room.

That same evening, at 7:30 p.m., the Order of the Entombment of the Lord,
or Taghoom Service, will take place.

On GREAT AND HOLY SATURDAY, April 10, the Divine Liturgy will be preceded
by a scripture-reading ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Easter Eve Liturgy will begin
at 7:00 p.m. The celebrant will be His Eminence Archbishop Yeghishe
Gizirian, former Primate of England. The St. Vartan Cathedral Youth Choir,
under the direction of Maro Partamian, will sing the liturgy. (The St.
Vartan Cathedral Youth Choir is made up of students from the Diocesan
Khrimian Lyceum, and Diocesan Armenian Saturday schools of New York and New
Jersey.) Students of the Diocesan Khrimian Lyceum will also provide the
Scripture readings. A reception will follow the services.

The drama of Holy Week will culminate on EASTER SUNDAY, April 11. Easter
is the central holy day of the Christian calendar, and commemorates the
discovery of Christ’s empty tomb and the news of His glorious
Resur-rection. Matins will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Divine Liturgy will
begin at 10:30 a.m. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of
the Armenian Church of America, will celebrate the Liturgy and deliver the
homily. The St. Vartan Cathedral Choirs will sing the Divine Liturgy under
the direction of Maestro Khoren Mekanejian. Florence Avakian will
accompany on the organ.

Immediately following the service, the traditional Antasdan ceremony, or
“Blessing of the Fields,” will be conducted on the cathedral plaza. This
will be followed by the release of doves ceremony on the cathedral plaza,
where His Excellency Armen Martirossian, the Republic of Armenia’s
Ambassador to the United Nations, will participate.

As in past years, an Easter Luncheon and Program will follow the services
in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium. The luncheon will include a
home-blessing service, a musical program by the a cappella group “Zulal,”
and the recognition of the various names associated with the holiday.

For more information on these observances, call the Diocese of the Armenian
Church at (212) 686-0710. St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral is located at 630
Second Avenue (corner of 34th Street) in New York City.


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