Ordination of Priests at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on the Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest

On February 10, the Feast of St. Ghevond the Priest, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia, the sacrament of ordination and consecration of priests was offered in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin during the celebration of Divine Liturgy.

The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan; Director of Ecclesiastical Issues, who anointed and ordained eight deacons into the Holy Order of Priesthood.

His Grace Bagrat consecrated the foreheads, then the right and left hands of the new priests with Holy Chrism (Muron) and gave them new names: Deacon Torgom Saghatelyan was renamed Fr.Ghevond , Deacon Hovhannes Karapetyan was renamed Fr. Mkrtich, Deacon Davit Chentigayan was renamed Fr. Teodik, Deacon Vahe Engibaryan was renamed Fr. Mushe, Deacon Garik Nadanyan was renamed Fr. Manase, Deacon Aramayis Takhmazyan was renamed Fr. Tade, Deacon Frunze Hovhannisyan was renamed Fr. Ovse, Deacon Aram Gasparyan was renamed Fr. Matatia. At the end of the ordination ceremony, the newly ordained priests conveyed their first blessings to the attendees.

His Grace Bishop Bagrat gave his sermon on the feast and ordination, stating in part: “We celebrate and ask the intercession of our Holy Fathers: St. Ghevond and his Priests, at the same time we ask for their leading presence in our life. Today it is one of the greatest feasts of our Holy Church, one of the feasts of martyrdom and a testimony of victory. It is not a finished and summarized event in history today; it continues and will continue as long as the Lord’s Holy Church will exist on earth. It will be filled and abound with divine grace, his life will abound with proselyte Christians, will testify about prophetic and divine truth from its apses, and will leave for distant places: fields and countries, spreading the Lord’s word.

He made particular reference to the ordinations, noting: “Today, in the life of our Holy Church eight new priests with prophecy, apostolic teaching, royal honors and St. Ghevond’s martyrdom high comprehension, pledged to take and train on this Holy Altar, were covenanted to be called there, where the Holy Spirit will call, covenanted to heal in our people’s life, open the eyes, open the ears and be leaders in the life of their trusted oral flock. Today I am sure, that not only the Church which is on the earth rejoices, but also the victorious Church which formed a cluster in the sky. And these days I have these feelings into my mind; asking Lord for preparation, to which the ordination and consecration held with this unworthy hands, will make our dear priests worthy”.

Addressing his remarks to his newly spiritual sons, His Grace commanded: “Dear fathers, we called you today; ordained and anointed, to be the ones to give light to the blind, save those in the darkness from that prison and especially leading the voluntarily blinded to the truth. Be and remain faithful children of the Catholicos of All Armenians, be and remain faithful servants of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Holy Church, be and faithfully serve our brothers, be the most humble, the lowest, be patient and be loving, when you lend a hand to bear witness of God’s presence in the lives of our people. Do not be afraid of anything, don’t cower from anything, don’t be ashamed of the yoke you have taken on your shoulders, preach about Him every day, every hour; whether it be on the street, in the church or any other place, don’t forget about it. Don’t mingle with the world, do not become the same with the world but always having today’s advice in your minds, live by the leadership of the St. Ghevond martyrs and the burning fire of the Holy Spirit, to be genuinely priests. As Khosrov Andzevatsi says “be God’s mouth for the people and people’s mouth for God”.

His Grace Bagrat congratulated His Holiness and the clergy on this occasion and wished that they continue to live with the realization of St. Ghevond’s martyrdom.

During the Kiss of Peace, the members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin ascended the Holy Altar and congratulated the new priests of the Armenian Church.

Later that same day, the Granting of the Cowl (veghar) service will be offered. Fr. Ghevond and Fr. Mkrtich will be vested with their cowls and become members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Following their ordination, they will follow the traditional 40-day seclusion period of fasting after which they will offer their first Divine Liturgy and the new priests will be appointed to serve in different Dioceses of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church and in different departments of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.