Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 17/5/18
On May 10, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; the feast is also designated as the Pilgrimage Day of Holy Etchmiadzin.
This day also commemorates the return of the Catholicosate of All Armenians from Sis to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in 1441. His Holiness was accompanied by Primates of the Armenian Dioceses; Bishops of the Mother See, members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See; clergy and numerous pilgrims.
Under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, a Divine Liturgy was offered in the Mother Cathedral. The Celebrant was Rev. Fr. Karekin Hambardzumyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
In his sermon, Fr. Karekin reflected to the wonder of the day: “The mystery of the feast of the Ascension is today a message from our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s ascension is also the completion and perfection of His earthly mission. Entering heaven, Christ showed us that we should go there too. If not for the history of the Ascension, we would never know what happened to Christ after His Resurrection, how He reunited with God and this perfect reunion picture for us is the perfect hope of our union with God”.
The Celebrant also spoke about the importance of mission in national and church life.
“…The two apostles of Christ, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew came to Armenia and brought Christ’s “Go, teach, and baptize” good news and message to Armenia. It is with the same vision that in 301, St. Gregory the Illuminator founded this See, becoming the first Patriarch of the Araratian See of the Mother See.
For centuries, this See has travelled, for centuries it moved around and went where the King was, where the people were, and finally in the 15th century, 577 years ago, the See was re-established in Holy Etchmiadzin.
As the historian Tovma Metsopeci says, at this moment when the Eastern Archmindrates and faithful are gathered here, in this Holy Temple, an eagle comes and sits on the sacred cross of the Temple and it was a sign that the Archmindrates should go and undertake a mission, as evidenced again by Tovma Metsopetsi “You will see troubles in this world, but be encouraged. I won the world”.
It is with this message that this Apostolic See, on this day, the feast of Ascension, was reaffirmed in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. And since then, Armenian clergy, Bishops, and all the nation, started the reconstruction of this Temple.
And until now the Armenian nation has been spiritually fed by this Holy Etchmiadzin See, receiving consolation and the nourishment of their spiritual awakening. This See became the See of forgiveness, justification and reconciliation”, stated Fr. Karekin.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, under the presidency of His Holiness a Special Prayer Service was offered.
During the ceremony, the clergy and faithful offered a prayer to Almighty God for the strength, vibrancy, and prosperity of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Catholicos of All Armenians.