The eagerly anticipated 50th anniversary celebration of St. Vartan Cathedral will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, during a weekend of activities at the Diocesan Center (630 Second Avenue, at 34th Street) in New York City.
Saturday, May 5
Saturday will see the opening of an exhibition on cathedral history—“Image of a Living Church: 50 Years of Faith at St. Vartan Cathedral”—displaying rare photos and artifacts from the past half century. The exhibit opens at 5 p.m. and will run through the weekend.
Then, on Saturday at 7 p.m., a splendid Concert of Sacred Music will commence in the cathedral sanctuary, featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian, Şahan Arzruni, Narek Arutyunian, Haig Mardirosian, Sato Moughalian, and Hovhannes Mirzoyan directing the Nikolai Kachanov Singers. A reception will follow.
(For concert tickets, contact Tamar at (646) 220-9408, or Ani at (516) 521-5396.)
Sunday, May 6
On Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the cathedral sanctuary, to be followed by a requiem service for St. Vartan Cathedral’s departed founders. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian will be the celebrant.
Following services, the public is invited to a fellowship reception in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium (suggested donation of $10 at the door).
First in the New World
When it was consecrated on April 28, 1968, by His Holiness Vasken I, the Catholicos of All Armenians, St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral was the first Armenian cathedral in the New World.
This monumental achievement had been realized largely through the efforts of ordinary people, who had survived the greatest cataclysm ever to befall the Armenian people: the Armenian Genocide.
For half a century now it has stood proudly—defiantly—in the heart of New York City: a masterpiece of the Armenian architectural style; a testament to the persistence of the Armenian people, and to the power of their Christian faith.
Please Note: The Diocese deeply regrets that due to circumstances in Armenia, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, will not be traveling to America to preside over the 50th anniversary weekend, as previously announced. Nevertheless, all 50th anniversary events will be going forward as outlined above.