For a full week in October, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel was on the campus of St. Nersess Seminary in Armonk, NY, continuing his longtime role as a member of the seminary faculty. His intensive course running from October 25 through 29 was titled “Feasts, Fasts, Seasons and Saints: An Introduction to the Armenian Church Calendar.”
In an introduction to the course, the Bishop observed that in the Armenian Church (and other ancient churches), every day of the liturgical calendar is “dedicated to some event in Jesus’ life, or to an event or person in Christian history,” He contrasted this with the gospels themselves, which he said “show almost no interest in the individual historical events of Jesus’ life,” and the Pauline epistles which “strikingly ignore the details of Jesus’ life.”
Under lecture titles like “Time, Eternity, Memory and Today,” “The Paschal Cycle,” “Theophany Throughout the Year,” and “Saints and Sanctity,” the seminary course was an intensive exploration of the origins of the Armenian Church’s calendar, the meaning of its feasts, and how they are essential to “Building up the Body of Christ.”
Classes met twice daily, for three hours in the morning and two in the evening. Between teaching sessions Bishop Daniel spent time praying and eating with the seminarians, faculty, and staff at the Armonk campus.
Participating in the class were all of the full-time seminarians, who were joined by some online “distant learners” and several members of the Diocesan Ministries staff.
“This week’s class with Daniel Srpazan has been an intensely introspective look into the liturgical life of the Armenian Church calendar throughout the year,” said Dn. Adam Bullock, a full time student at the seminary. “It has enabled great insight into this most important aspect of our church’s life.”