On October 04, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and with the presence of Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia; the consecration of the newly built St. Thaddeus Church of Masis, Ararat region, was offered.
At the church His Holiness was welcomed by His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan, Vicar of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; Messrs Mikael and Karen Vardanyan, benefactors of the church; clergy and members of the Youth Union from the Araratian Pontifical Diocese.
Under the singing of hymns and psalms, the holy altar, pillars, and baptismal font were washed with water and wine during the consecration service. Then under the singing of the hymn Hrashapar, the Holy Muron was processed to the Altar, which His Holiness consecrated.
His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan, Vicar of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh; His Grace Bishop Musheg Babayan, Director of the Operations of the Mother See; His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See; and His Grace Bishop Vardan Navasardyan, Director of the Christian Education Center of the Mother See; consecrated the columns of the altar, the baptismal font and the outer walls of the altar.
His Holiness named the newly built Church in honor of the Apostle St. Thaddeus. At the conclusion of the consecration service, the Catholicos of All Armenians extended his message of blessing to the faithful.
“Today, we all are experiencing spiritual joy. Glorifying the Almighty God, with your united prayers, we offered the consecration of the St. Thaddeus Church of Masis.
A hymn dedicated to the Feast of Holy Etchmiadzin states the call of our first Catholicos, St. Gregory the Illuminator: “Come and build the holy altar of light, for from that, a light arises for us”.
Construction of new churches is the fulfillment of that call bringing inspiration and encouragement to keep alive the vibrant light of our faith in our lives, and to live with piety and act according to the will of God. The newly built church is named after St. Thaddeus the Apostle, who a hymnist calls: “the fiery enclosure around the garden of the Armenian native lands, a golden chalice, a joyful servant and a holy father of the Armenian Land”.
The Apostles St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew brought the light of Christianity to Armenia and delivered to our people the life-giving gifts of God.
Some days ago at the Blessing of the Holy Muron, we recalled that the Apostle St. Thaddeus brought to Armenia the oil which had been blessed by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the power and sanctity of Our Lord was transmitted to the Holy Muron, with which we now consecrated the church.
The memory of St. Thaddeus’s services towards our people will indeed be heeded in the church which is named after the faithful disciple of Christ, and in the souls of the faithful who visit the church.
Dear ones, faith is alive and powerful with prayerful communication with Almighty God. With His omnipotence, God is everywhere; in Heaven and on earth, and His divine soul-touching presence exists especially in the sacred temples dedicated to Him. The Prophet David teaches this truth through the psalm saying: “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne” (Psalm 10:5).
Church is the house of God, a sacred place for worship, where heaven and earth meet, the eternal and the temporal; where human enters into the sacrament of eternity, as well receives the gift of eternal life. The gifts of Our Lord Jesus Christ flow through the faithful people inside blessed churches through the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and offering of other services. And our faithful people being fortified with the gifts distributed from the holy altar; with heavenly support make fruitful their path of life with God- pleasing endeavors.
It is appreciable, that the church-building benefactors, at the spiritual request of our people, implement the construction of new churches, cherished places and illuminated holy altars” stated His Holiness.
On the occasion of the consecration of the St. Thaddeus Church His Holiness extended his deep appreciation to the Vardanyan family members, due to whom this magnificent church was constructed in the town of Masis.
Recalling the Ground Blessing ceremony of the church which was attended by the benefactor of the church Mr. Hrant Vardanyan of blessed memory, His Holiness added that faithful Armenian people will always remember him, asking God to keep his soul in peace and comfort .
Armenian Pontiff extended His Gratitude to the clergy and His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan, Vicar General of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; for their commendable service of keeping the spiritual life active and stimulating such church-building initiatives.
His Holiness welcomed President Serzh Sargsyan and state officials for their attendance at the Holy Service asking for God’s support in their patriotic mission.
His Holiness extended His blessings to Mrs. Anahit Tarkhanyan, architect of the church and the builders.
In appreciation of the Vardanyan family’s church-building contribution for the benefit of spiritual and religious life; the Catholicos of All Armenians granted the high order of St. Gregory the Illuminator to Mr. Mikael Vardanyan and Mr. Karen Vardanyan. His Holiness expressed his wish that the Lord granted success to the devoted and patriotic initiatives of the pious Vardanyan family.
At the conclusion, the Catholicos of All Armenians offered his prayers, that God grant the Homeland new progress and prosperity in peace, and bless and preserve the Armenian people leading them to new achievements.
His Holiness also asked for the intercession of St. Thaddeus the Apostle, to keep the newly built church of Masis and the faithful Armenian people under His blessings, granting new successes to their patriotic and ecclesiastical activities and initiatives.
His Holiness donated a Crucifixion icon to the church on the occasion of the consecration.
The consecration service of the St. Thaddeus church was attended by Mr. Galust Sahakyan, President of the National Assembly; Mr. Rubik Abrahamyan, Mayor of the Ararat region; Mr. Sasha Hakobyan, Mayor of Masis; and many other pious Armenian faithful.