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Armenian Christmas at St. Vartan Cathedral on Jan. 6, 2019

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral

The Nativity and Baptism of Jesus Christ will be observed at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Saturday and Sunday, January 5 and 6, 2019. A special liturgical schedule will be in effect for these “Armenian Christmas” services.

This year will mark the first time the new Diocesan Primate, the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, will celebrate the Christmas badarak in St. Vartan Cathedral.

Armenian Christmas Eve (Jan. 5)

On Saturday, January 5, there will be an Evening Service at 5 p.m., featuring Scripture Readings by students of the St. Gregory Mission Parish of Brooklyn. The Divine Liturgy will immediately follow, beginning at 6:30 p.m., celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, Vicar of St. Vartan Cathedral.

The Astghikner Children’s Choir will sing the Divine Liturgy, conducted by Maria Sahakian. A reception will take place following the services in Guild Hall of the Diocesan Center.

Armenian Christmas (Jan. 6)

On Sunday, January 6, the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The Morning Service begins at 9:30 a.m., and the Divine Liturgy follows at 10:30 a.m.

The sacred music will be sung by the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Maestro Khoren Mekanejian.

In Armenian tradition, this feast day commemorates not only the birth of Christ, but also his baptism by John the Baptist. The latter is remembered through the “Blessing of Water” ceremony, which will follow the Divine Liturgy. Dr. Ed Khoury will serve as “godfather” of the Blessing of Water service.

After the cathedral’s January 6 church services, a Home Blessing and Christmas Reception will take place in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium. (Suggested donation of $10 at the door.)

Local Celebrations

Armenian Christmas will also be observed at local parishes across the Eastern Diocese. Parishes will celebrate on Sunday, January 6. Please contact your local parish to ascertain the time of its Armenian Christmas celebration.

The cathedral’s Armenian Christmas Divine Liturgy will be broadcast live over the Eastern Diocese’s Livestream channel and Facebook page.

St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral is located at 630 Second Avenue (corner of 34th Street and Second Avenue), in New York City. Armenian Christmas Eve services begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 5. The Armenian Christmas Service on Sunday, January 6 will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by the traditional Blessing of Water ceremony.

For information, call the cathedral at (212) 686-0710.

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