On January 19-20, Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director Archbishop Vicken Aykazian joined leaders of America’s Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, along with their Roman Catholic, Evangelical, and other religious counterparts, for the 45th annual “March for Life” in Washington, DC.
On the evening before the March, Archbishop Aykazian was among the clergy representing various Christian traditions who took part in a prayer vigil at Washington’s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Presiding was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who extended a warm welcome to his brother hierarchs of the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches.
More than 10,000 worshippers packed the mammoth sanctuary (where in 2015 Catholicos of All Armenians His Holiness Karekin II celebrated the Pontifical Liturgy in Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide).
Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America led the contingent of Orthodox Christian hierarchs, clergy, seminarians, and faithful during Saturday’s March, and prior to the event led a special joint-Orthodox prayer. (Click here to watch a video of the prayer.)
Being among the clergy greeted onstage during Saturday’s post-march rally, Archbishop Aykazian had the opportunity to look out onto the sea of faces filling the National Mall. “It was so impressive to see so many young people from around the country joining for this cause—the cause of life” he said. “The majority at the Catholic Shrine, and at the Orthodox prayer, were also young people. Life is so precious—the life given to us by God, which no one has the right to take, but God Himself.”