On October 24, with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch Catholicos of All Armenians; His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See, presided over the consecration service of the Holy Virgin Mary Armenian Church in Sodertalje, Sweden.
The reconstruction of the church started in 2014, and was funded by donations from the community faithful, and philanthropic Armenians.
The ceremony was attended by Rev. Fr. Tiran Petrosyan, Pontifical Legate of Central Europe; Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Avetisyan, spiritual pastor of the Armenian-Scandinavian community; Rev. Fr. Norayr
Ganjumyan, spiritual pastor of the Armenian community of Sodertelie and Rev. Fr. Stephanos Hovhannisyan, spiritual pastor of Denmark and Norway.
After the traditional bread and salt ceremony, and under the singing of the “Hrashapar” hymn, Bishop Hovnan blessed the faithful, and was led into the church by ecclesiastical procession, where the consecration service commenced.
Following the singing of hymns and psalms, and reading of prayers, the Holy Muron was placed on the Holy Altar, and was used to consecrate the Holy Altar and the four columns of the Church. Then the reconstructed church was named Holy Virgin Mary.
At the conclusion of the service, Bishop Hovnan and Father Tiran congratulated the faithful pilgrims on the occasion of the renovated church consecration.
The service was also attended by Mrs. Hranush Hakobyan, Minister of Diaspora; Mr. Artak Apitonyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden; Mrs. Esabelle Dingizian, Deputy Speaker of Riksdag (Parliament) of the Kingdom of Sweden; representatives of Sister Churches; senior State Officials; pilgrims and members of the community.