On 17 August, the Armenian Apostolic Church solemnly celebrated the joyful Feast of the Dormitionof the Holy Virgin Mary.
A Divine Liturgy was offered in the Mother Cathedral of Etchmiadzin, with the participation of the members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, and the presence of faithful pilgrims. The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See. During the Divine Liturgy Bishop Hovnan spoke on the sacredness of the Holy Assumption Day. His Grace also presented his reflections on the greatly admired service and vibrant character of the Virgin Mary, considering her the highest image of the noble idea of motherhood.
‘’The Mother of God, together with Oil-Bearing women, was one of the first to herald the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and she stayed in Jerusalem to see the promise of Our Lord’s Son; the Advent of the Holy Spirit.
Foremost, the Mother of God is a Mother figure for us, a mother – like all mothers’’, His Grace stated in part.
Bishop Hovnan congratulated the faithful on the occasion of the Feast, and asked for the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, to bless the Homeland and the Armenian people worldwide. He also asked that the grace of the Mother of God rain down from heaven like dew, and descend upon all women and mothers.
Presided by His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, the service of ‘’Blessing of Grapes’’ was offered at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. After the singing of hymns, biblical passages were read, and the Grape Blessing service by St. Nerses the Graceful was offered. After the service, clusters of the blessed grapes were distributed to the faithful pilgrims.