On February 13 2009 the Armenian Orthodox Church celebrated the eve of the feast of the “Presentation of Jesus to the Temple” by His parents.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral of the Armenian Catholicosate was full and lively particularly with young mothers and their children, parents and grand parents had brought their children to “offer them” to the Church and receive its blessings.
In his message Catholicos Aram I said that the parents of Jesus brought their child to the House of God in order to affirm that the Child belongs to the Church and therefore, he/she should grow in the Church with God-given wisdom and grace. “Your presence in this Cathedral today, confirms this conviction that our children are the children of God and will grow in our Church, with the spiritual and moral values taught by the Church, and that they will respond to the challenges coming from our societies clothed by the teachings of our Church.”
In the Armenian Orthodox Church, celebrations on the eve of the feast of the “Presentation of Jesus to the Temple” is concluded with a very ancient tradition of lighting bonfire. After the prayers, the clergy and congregation walk in procession to the place where the bonfire is lit, and they walk around the bonfire three times, symbolizing purification by light. At the end of the round, people take the light from the Church to their homes in specially prepared torches.