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Armenian Church Marks Christmas; Father Notes Silence in Artsakh's Churches First Time in Millennia

Updated: Jan 6


Armenian Church Marks Christmas; Father Notes Silence in Artsakh's Churches First Time in Millennia

On the evening of January 5, The Armenian Report was present at the Saint Gayane Church in Ejmiadzin for the candlelight liturgy. Proto-Archimandrite Zakaria Baghumyan, Director of the Christian Education Center of the Mother See, graciously shared insights into the significance of the occasion.



Father Zakaria highlighted Jesus Christ's teachings of peace, expressing Armenians' prayers for peace in their homeland—a pursuit entailing kindness, joy, and happiness.


He elaborated on the global celebration of Armenian Christmas on January 6, underscoring its importance within the Armenian diaspora.


"This day holds profound significance as, for millennia, the Divine Liturgy has been an intrinsic part of Artsakh's heritage. However, this year stands as an anomaly, as the Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ will not echo through Artsakh's churches," Father Zakaria lamented.


He emphasized the church's message, urging Armenians to maintain hope for their eventual return to Artsakh, despite this unprecedented circumstance.


"Picture this year in Gandzasar, Dadivank, or Amaras—no Armenian prayers will resound. This anomaly stands out in our history," he added, stressing the importance of resilience and faith.




Father Zakaria encouraged hopefulness, citing the symbolic light carried from the church on January 5 as a source of joy and illumination in the lives of Christians.


The following day, January 6, marks the Armenian Apostolic Church's celebration of the Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ—a commemoration of Jesus Christ's Birth and Baptism. 


The church's practices during this time include the Candlelight Divine Liturgy on the eve of the feast, a rare occurrence that happens only twice a year, signifying divine light and blessings received by the faithful.


Post-liturgy, believers take home lit candles symbolizing the Bethlehem Star's light leading to baby Christ, embodying divine blessing. The Armenian Church also performs a special Blessing of the Waters Service on January 6 to commemorate Christ's Baptism, with blessed water believed to possess healing properties.


Moreover, priests visit believers' homes after this service, continuing the tradition of Blessing of the Houses, spreading the joyous news of Christ's Birth.


This celebration holds deep spiritual significance for Armenians worldwide, marking a time of reflection, faith, and the embrace of God's divine teachings.


Father Zakaria reminded our readers that Jesus’ birth is a unique event which should motivate us to get closer to God, put God before material things. 

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