Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – 30/10/16
On October 23, the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided over the celebration of Divine Liturgy during which the sacrament of ordination and anointment of deacons into the Holy Order of Priesthood was offered. The celebrant was His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grand Sacristan of Mother See, who ordained nine deacons to the priesthood.
The previous day, before the Evening Service, the service of calling was held. During the Divine Liturgy, following the prayers, under the singing of the “Divine and heavenly grace” hymn, the newly-ordained turned to the people and knelt, raised their hands and renounced secular life and were called to the priesthood.
His Grace consecrated the foreheads, then the right and left hands of the new priests with Holy Chrism (Muron) and gave them new names: Deacon Garik Asryan was renamed Fr. Nerses; Deacon Arsen Hmayakyan was renamed Fr. Mashtots; Deacon Jora Sargsyan was renamed Fr. Hovsep; Deacon Beniamin Voskanyan was renamed Fr. Mambre; Deacon Narek Mardiryan was renamed Fr. Yeznik; Deacon Levon Sahakyan was renamed Fr. Sahak; Deacon Armen Margaryan was renamed Fr. Davit; Deacon Gegham Nurijanyan was renamed to Fr. Yegishe and Deacon Arthur was renamed Fr. Narek.
At the end of the ordination ceremony, the newly ordained priests conveyed their first blessings to the attendees.
Bishop Hovnan addressed his sermon to the feast and ordination, stating in part: “Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world and chose twelve disciples, gave them authority to preach and to heal and sent them into the world. They also chose their legal successors, laying their hands upon their heads, giving authority to heal and cast out demons and in their turn sent them all over the world. And today, dear faithful sisters and brothers, we also fulfilled an ordination, granting nine deacons of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to the priesthood, so that they also go and do the will of love of our Lord Jesus Christ, to preach in the world and be the salt and light for the world”.
Bishop Hovnan also conveyed his message to the newly ordained priests. “You have much to do. … You should go to the world, to the people, and go to their homes. We must remind them that their souls are eternal and that they are mortal and must show them the path to the Church. … You have to become their spiritual father and wipe their tears, entering their homes you must bring peace, and be the hope for the poor and comfort for the needy.
Dear priests, you have to implement great work, but you are not alone, as Jesus Christ said take the Holy Spirit. And today you received that grace through the ordination.
… Very often you have to take the abundant graces of our Lord and distribute it to our faithful people and also you have to take the concerns, thoughts, and sins of our people and offer it to God. Your job is very heavy, but it is glorified because you have to deal with the salvation of souls, lead people into eternity and finally you have to present our Lord, the Son of God, in the world”, stated Bishop Hovnan, and urged them to become the light and hope for the world.
On the occasion of this memorable day, Bishop Hovnan congratulated the Catholicos of All Armenians and the clergy, the lecturers and staff of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary and as well as the parents of the ordained priests, their wives and relatives.
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.
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.