Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – May 2017
On May 8, the Volunteer Defenders Union Day was celebrated in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; a Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Mother Cathedral. The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatryan.
The sacred service was attended by Lieutenant General Manvel Grigoryan, Volunteer Defenders Union Chairman; Mr. David Tonoyan, Minister of Emergency Situations of Armenia; Mr. Karen Grigoryan, Mayor of Etchmiadzin; RA National Assembly deputies; members of the Volunteer Defenders Union; representatives of regional councils and territorial departments; and young and junior volunteer defenders.
During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Arshak spoke on the meaning of the day, referring to the Christian ideaof love, especially the love for their homeland. The Celebrant stated in part: “For centuries love was the driving force of our warriors to express their feelings towards their homeland. From Avarayr to Sardarapat; from Sardarapat to the Great Patriotic War, and from the Great Patriotic War to the Artsakh War. Love, and only love was the driving force of our patriot children. Through this unconditional and dedicated love towards the Homeland, our brave sons of the Volunteer Defenders Union left for the border to save the lives of our sons who engaged in the horrors of war and defense of our borders”.
The Celebrant stressed that sadly this war is not over and continues today, and the mission of the soldiers and the union who are guarding the homeland is not completed. “The Homeland is not an empty concept. The Homeland is not just a place where we live, the Homeland is not just a corporation where we work to get our daily bread. The Homeland is our parent, our mother and our child. The totality, which we are used to calling a sanctuary. The Homeland is our faith.
For centuries, we could maintain our physical existence, we could be free of deprivation, if we would committ to change our way of life. But we struggled for the truth, so that we could worship our God and ive in our color, our type, and in any form; and today the struggle continues. The Defender, whose Feast is celebrated today, May 8, was called to this struggle, and has been engaged in this mission and struggle”, stated His Grace.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Bishop Arshak urged the attendees to offer their prayers to Almighty God for the inviolability of our borders and the secure service of our brave soldiers.
At the conclusion, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; a requiem service was held for the souls of Armenian soldiers killed during the Artsakh war.