The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has announced that the Blessing of the Holy Muron ceremony, planned to take place on October 1, has been postponed. Instead on that date, the Mother See will lead worldwide Armenian churches in a pan-national Prayer for Artsakh.
Diocesan Primate Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan informed the faithful of the Eastern Diocese of the decision in a message of September 22. Despite the postponement of the Muron Blessing service, the Episcopal Ordination services on October 8–where Fr. Mesrop will be consecrated as a bishop of the church–will go forward as planned. The service in New York welcoming the newly ordained Bishop Mesrop back to the Eastern Diocese will also proceed as planned on October 14.
Read Fr. Mesrop’s message to the public below.
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A Message from Our Primate, Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
These are hard days for all Armenians: a time of heartache, deep reflection, and earnest prayer over Artsakh. The mood of our people, in our homeland and around the world, is somber—and naturally that sensibility will affect our national observances planned for the coming days.
I am writing to inform the faithful of the Eastern Diocese that the Blessing of the Holy Muron—the grand ecclesiastical celebration scheduled to take place on October 1, 2023, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin—has now been postponed, and will not be going forward as planned.
This decision was made by our church’s Supreme Spiritual Council, during a meeting on September 22, presided over by His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. The determination was prompted by the circumstances now surrounding Artsakh. A new date for the blessing ceremonies has not been announced.
Instead, a different service will be held at Holy Etchmiadzin on Sunday, October 1: a pan-national Prayer for Artsakh, which will be offered as part of the Divine Liturgy at the Mother See, and in Armenian churches throughout the world on that day. Additional information on this service will be shared with parishes as it becomes available.
Finally, with great humility, I want to inform our faithful that the Episcopal Ordinations scheduled for Saturday, October 8, will indeed go forward as planned. I am already deeply grateful for the honor His Holiness Karekin II will confer on me and my brother clergymen on that day—and to receive this precious sacrament at such a critical time in our history leaves me profoundly moved in my heart and spirit.
In our own Diocese, my first Episcopal Divine Liturgy in New York’s St. Vartan Cathedral will also go forward as planned, on the morning of Saturday, October 14. I take this opportunity to renew my invitation to all our people across this blessed Diocese to join us in prayer, with a spirit of Christian Hope, on that day.
To close, let me repeat what I told worshippers last night, during a united prayer gathering at St. Vartan Cathedral, presided over by myself and my Brother in Christ Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian. I observed that at this point in time, we cannot predict what the outcome of this week’s developments will be. But one thing is very clear to me: That in the days and weeks to come, our people in Artsakh are going to need our support more than ever before—and that we must stand united, as Armenians, to help in any way we can. It will take great spiritual reserves to undertake the task before us. But our Lord Jesus Christ has given the Armenian people such strength in the past—and He will do so again. It is to Him, above all, that we must open our hearts, and ask for his help and blessing.
In the days and weeks to come, please keep these calls to united effort in your heart. And please continue to pray for the Lord’s protection over our brave Armenian sisters and brothers in Artsakh.
Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
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