The Nativity and Baptism of Jesus Christ will be observed at New York’s St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral on Sunday and Monday, January 5 and 6, 2020. A special liturgical schedule will be in effect for these “Armenian Christmas” services.
This year Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel will celebrate the January 6 Christmas badarak in the cathedral, for the first time since his elevation to the episcopal rank last spring.
Armenian Christmas Eve (Jan. 5)
On Sunday, January 5, there will be an Evening Service at 5 p.m. The Divine Liturgy will immediately follow, beginning at 6:30 p.m., celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Davit Karamyan, Vicar of St. Vartan Cathedral.
Following the services, a reception will take place in Guild Hall of the Diocesan Center.
(Please note that because of the 5 p.m. badarak on Sunday, January 5, there will only be no Sunday morning badarak at the cathedral on that day. Only the Morning Service will take place, beginning at 10 a.m.)
Armenian Christmas (Jan. 6)
On Monday, January 6, Bishop Daniel, 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. Gregory Badishkanian will be Godfather of the Cross this year.
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.)
Armenian Christmas will also be observed at local parishes across the Eastern Diocese. Many parishes will celebrate on Monday, January 6. However, Diocesan parishes have also been authorized to celebrate on Sunday, January 12, if local circumstances so demand. 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 YouTube 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 Sunday, January 5. The Armenian Christmas Service on Monday, 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.