This week’s observance of Holy Week will go forward in the Eastern Diocese under strict observance of local safety regulations, with provision for in-person worship as well as the online broadcast of services.
St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral will be open to the public throughout Holy Week, March 28 through April 4, in accordance with all New York regulations. The series of special Holy Week services, culminating in Easter Sunday on April 4, 2021, will be broadcast to the public over the St. Vartan Cathedral Facebook page.
The schedule of services is as follows:
April 1 is GREAT AND HOLY THURSDAY, and the day’s services memorialize the Last Supper, Jesus’ vigil in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest and trial. Two separate services will be celebrated on this day. In the morning, the Divine Liturgy will begin at 10 a.m.
In the evening, the “Washing of the Feet” ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m., with the Khavaroom or Vigil Service following at 8 p.m. This year during the Washing of Feet ceremony, only three individuals from the community will stand in place of the apostles.
The crucifixion and death of Christ will be marked on April 2—GREAT AND HOLY FRIDAY—and two services will take place. The Order of the Crucifixion of Christ will begin at 12 noon. That same evening, at 6 p.m., the Order of the Entombment of the Lord, or Taghoom Service, will take place.
On GREAT AND HOLY SATURDAY, April 3, the scripture-reading ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Jrakalouyts (“Lamp-Lighting”) Badarak.
Finally, the drama of Holy Week will culminate on EASTER SUNDAY, April 4: the central holy day of the Christian calendar, commemorating the discovery of Christ’s empty tomb and the news of his resurrection. The Divine Liturgy will begin at 10 a.m., with Bishop Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, celebrating the liturgy and delivering the homily.
A light reception for the public will take place on the cathedral plaza following the Easter Sunday Badarak.
All of the Holy Week services at St. Vartan Cathedral will be broadcast over the cathedral Facebook page, with East Sunday services broadcast in addition over the Eastern Diocese’s YouTube platform. Parishes around the Eastern Diocese may have their own schedule of in-person and online services; contact your local parish for details.
Quick Reference Holy Week Schedule
Public health considerations in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remain a major concern, and will limit the usual activities surrounding the celebrations, and the public’s access to them. Holy Week services at St. Vartan Cathedral and all local parishes of the Eastern Diocese will be in strict compliance with local regulations regarding public gatherings, which include mask-wearing, social-distancing, and limits on the number of worshippers permitted in the sanctuary.
APRIL 1: Holy Thursday “Washing of Feet” service, 6:30 p.m. / Khavaroom service, 8 p.m.
APRIL 2: Holy Friday Crucifixion service, 12 noon / Burial Service, 6 p.m.
APRIL 3: Holy Saturday Scripture Reading and Jrakalouyts service, 6:30 p.m.
APRIL 4: Easter Sunday Badarak, 10 a.m. Bishop Daniel celebrating