New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral will hold a special service on the evening of Sunday, September 15, to honor the major feast day known as Khatchveratz, or the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan will preside over a Medz Antasdan (“Blessing of the World”) service. Clergy and deacons from the throughout the region will participate in the service, which involves moving in procession through the cathedral sanctuary, to invoke God’s blessings over the “four corners” of the earth.
This will be the second year that the cathedral is observing the Feast of the Exaltation with an evening service. Once again this year, the Primate will unveil a rarely-seen treasure of St. Vartan Cathedral: an actual relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ, contained in a magnificent cross-shaped reliquary.
The relic will be led in procession through the cathedral, and worshippers will have a chance to approach and venerate it.
See a Relic of Christ’s Cross
“It’s a remarkable piece of our heritage: just a small shard of wood, but holding such meaning for us,” the Primate said. “It originated on the mound of Golgotha in Jerusalem, was brought to Armenia, and from there was transmitted to the safe-keeping of this Diocese.”
All are welcome to join in this uplifting evening service, which Bishop Daniel describes as “a kind of Bible study in motion; a reflection on the miracle of our Lord’s cross.”
Please note that the Divine Liturgy on September 15 will go forward as is customary at the cathedral, starting at 10:30 a.m. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Director, will be the celebrant.
The Khatchveratz Medz Antasdan service will start at 6:30 p.m., with a duration of about 90 minutes. A reception on the cathedral plaza will follow. St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral is located at 630 Second Avenue (at 34th Street), in New York City.
Click on the link to view a flyer.