Two Vemkar Live Sessions took place this week, which opened unexpected windows onto the theme of “Christ as Healer.”
On Saturday, September 26, Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan, the dean of Holy Etchmiadzin’s Gevorgian Seminary, led a “Live Meditation on Healing” remotely from Armenia. He guided viewers in the habits of Armenian Christian meditation: recalling God’s presence within us, releasing the burdens of worry and obligation, allow one’s spirit to rest in God and invite the Holy Spirit to lead us.
Fr. Parsamyan spoke about contemplating Scripture by quoting St. Gregory of Datev: “When you pray, it is you who speak with God; when you read the Holy Scriptures, it is God who speaks with you.” He concluded by encouraging participants to make meditation a consistent feature of daily routine, preferably in the early morning for at least 10 minutes.
On Wednesday, September 30, Dn. Michael Sabounjian, a St. Nersess Seminary graduate now serving as pastoral intern at the Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church (Providence, RI), led a “Conversation on Healing in the Armenian Hymns.” Dn. Sabounjian drew on the field of music therapy to describe a “holistic approach to healing” of physical, emotional, and spiritual affliction.
His fascinating talk touched on the modal system of Armenian liturgical music, and the way singing hymns can have a therapeutic effect on the singer. Through examples from the Armenian hymnal, Dn. Sabounjian offered ideas about how to engage the sharagansin order to reveal God’s healing power.
Click here to watch archived recordings of previous Live Sessions on the Vemkar.us website. Vemkar is one of the five pillars of the Primate’s “Building Up the Body of Christ” vision.