Prakash Varghese (OCP Delegate of UAE, Gulf and Levant Region)
OCP News Service – 8/9/14
Turkey: The fifth annual Armenian Orthodox Liturgy was held at the historic at the Cathedral of Holy Cross located on the Akdamar Island on 7th September 2014. This year it was a very special and historic due the presence of His All Holiness Bartholomew I- Ecumenical Patriarch and His Eminence Mor Filiksinos Yusuf Çetin – Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Istanbul and Ankara.
The liturgy was presided by His Beatitude Archbishop Aram Ateshian – Co-Patriarch of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was for the first time that the Orthodox prelates in Turkey attend liturgy Together. Large number of faithful from different part of turkey and abroad witnessed the historic event.
In his speech, Co-Patriarch Aram Ateshian stated that the Liturgy has turned out to be historic for the Armenian Orthodox Community, as it was the first time that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople the spiritual leader of worldwide Eastern orthodox Churches attended an Oriental Orthodox Liturgy at the Armenian Church on the Akdamar Island since its foundation in the 10th century.
Thus the Liturgical Service turned out to be a great occasion of Pan-Orthodox unity between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Special prayers were observed for peace in Middle East particularly for the suffering population in Iraq, Syria and Palestine. A special lunch of Peace was hosted by His Excellency Sinan Hakan – Mayor Gevaş after the Liturgical Services.
The legendary Armenian Orthodox church on Lake Van was restored by the Turkish authorities between 2005 and 2007 before opening it as a museum. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated there for the first in 2010 after a long gap of 95 years.
OCP News Service