Ordination of Priests on the Feast of St. Vartan the Warrior and His Companions in the Mother See

March 2014

On February 27, the Armenian Church celebrated the Feast of St. Vartan the Warrior and his 1036 companions in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, ordination of priests was held in the Mother Cathedral under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. By the hand of the Celebrant His Grace Bishop Mushegh Babayan, Operation Director of the Mother See, 4 deacons from the Gevorkian Theological Seminary and 6 graduates from the Accelerated Priest Course were ordained into the Holy Order of Priesthood.

During the Divine Liturgy Bishop Mushegh consecrated the foreheads, then hands of the new priests with Holy Chrism (Muron) and gave them new spiritual names:

Deacon Arnak Terteryan was renamed Father Tatev

Deacon Hovhannes Mirzoyan was renamed Father Arsen

Deacon Andranik Hovhannisyan was renamed Father Voskan

Deacon Roman Petrosyan was renamed Father Paren

Deacon Robert Asatryan was renamed Father Atom

Deacon Vahram Kartashyan was renamed Father Abel

Deacon David Margaryan was renamed Father Abgar

Deacon Karen Heboyan was renamed Father Vahan

Deacon Hrayr Grigoryan was renamed Father Hamazasp

Deacon Zaven Harutyunyan was renamed Father Hovakim

Following the consecration, the priests offered their first blessings to the faithful present in the Cathedral.

Father Mushegh expressed his joy on the occasion of the ordination on the feast of St. Vartan the Warrior and his companions, and congratulated the newly ordained priests, reflecting on the importance of priesthood in his sermon. “With Our Lord’s one word, the fishers were transformed into apostles and answered His call without hesitation, leaving behind everything: their names, their families and their homes. They were given new birth, a new name and a new life.

Dear ones, those arches full of prayer are the testimony of such spiritual rebirths, witnessing the graces of the Holy Spirit that abundantly descended from heaven upon the kneeling priests in front of the Holy Altar of Descent, as God’s servants, consecrating them with the invisible touch of the Holy Spirit.

Today you became favored and divine seniors through ordination and by the touch of the hand; and members of the holy Brotherhood with 2000 years of history by the consecration of the Holy Chrism. Each of those newly consecrated clergymen opened their hearts in front of the Holy Altar, answering one of the most difficult calls in human life. They agreed to become fishers of men and just like the sons of Zebedee, took on the responsibility and vowed to act with love, guided by the canons of the holy fathers, never diverging or despairing”, noted His Grace, exhorting the newly consecrated priests to offer their service to the Armenian people and Church with unfaltering faith, boundless devotion and strong will.

In his sermon Bishop Mushegh also reflected on the sacrifice of the martyrs St. Vartan and his companions. “A whole nation was tested and saved by an unseen hand during the Battle of Avarayr: it was Our Almighty God, who saw the faith of the Armenian people, their patriotic spirit, their hopeful prayers to Him, and heard the heartfelt prayers of our small nation, turning the waters of Tghmut to the baptismal font of our faith and Avarayr to our salvation by the blood they shed.  Avarayr cannot be a mere memory and history for the Armenians: it is the devotion to the glorious path to reconciliation with God. The best children of a whole nation, including common people, peasants, aristocrats, teachers and archimandrites, willingly went to sacrifice themselves in the name of the Homeland and God, where new life was created. St. Vartan and his companions are imprinted in our history and memory as the symbol of patriotism, faith and bravery. Indeed, it is undeniable that those martyrs were the heroes who heard God’s summons, who formed Christ’s faith as the color of their skin and the weapon in their hands”, remarked the celebrant Bishop Mushegh.

At the conclusion of his sermon, Bishop Mushegh congratulated the Catholicos of All Armenians on the occasion of His naming day on behalf of the ranks of clergy of the Armenian Church and its faithful people, wishing His Holiness a long and fruitful reign.

His Holiness Karekin II led the members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See to the Holy Altar, congratulating the priests and kissing their consecrated hands and foreheads to offer them their first “Greeting”.

The newly ordained priests will have 40-day period of spiritual preparation and prayer in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, following which the 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.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Voskan Galpakyan offered a Pontifical prayer in front of the Holy Altar of Descent on the occasion of the name day of His Holiness Karekin II. The class of clergy and the faithful people extended their prayers to God, for the vibrancy and longevity of the Catholicosate of All Armenians, wishing healthy life and productive service to His Holiness Karekin II.