WE CONFESS

THE CHURCH YEAR
of the Armenian Church

Don't get drunk on wine - it makes you wanton - but let the spirit fill you! Let psalms, hymns and songs sound in your midst as the Spirit prompts them. Sing and shout with all your heart to the praise of the Lord! Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ephesians 5:18-20)

In the Christian sense, a festival is not just an occasion to have a great celebration, but rather an opportunity to encourage the believers and strengthen them in their faith. Church festivals are occasions to gather in the church to praise God. In the festival we come to God and praise him, invite him into us and spiritually unite with him. Every Christian festival should be celebrated in a way that pleases the Lord and serves the salvation of our souls.

Church festivals commemorate important events related to the life of Christ. They bring blessings in the life of the individual Christian and are an opportunity to strengthen our faith and trust in God and to ask the Lord for his heavenly graces and gifts.

The place of the Christian celebrations is of course primarily the church, whose mysterious and incense-scented vaults create that pleasant atmosphere and the framework in which the believer rises above everyday worries and thoughts and encounters God. The believer's encounter with God is supported there by the rite, which is accompanied by spiritual songs, beautiful hymns, biblical readings, psalms and prayers. Our prayers on feast days are more solemn and solemn, giving thanks to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for the kindness shown us, His glorious works, and the salvation bestowed on us. At the same time, the individual believer is filled with hope that the Lord will pour out His bounty of love and mercy upon the assembled believers and give them the life-giving grace of the Holy Spirit. Filled with this grace we can resist various temptations in life, overcome difficulties and sorrows. And with the assurance of God's presence, we can find inner calm and inner peace.

In order to prepare us for the great Christian feasts, the Church has established special days of fasting before the respective feast days, so that the believer has the opportunity, through penance, prayer and fasting, to cleanse his body and soul from sin and thus be blessed at the Lord's table to approach. St. John Chrysostom, one of the Church Fathers, points out that "the greatest festival [...] is the clear conscience".

The Armenian Church calls upon and exhorts its believing children to prepare themselves for the great Christian feasts by self-examination, fasting and prayer, but at least at the five Feasts of the Tabernacle (major feasts), prepared in this way, to face the Lord's Table in reverence draw near and partake of the life-giving body and blood of the Lord.

Don't get drunk on wine - it makes you wanton - but let the spirit fill you! Let psalms, hymns and songs sound in your midst as the Spirit prompts them. Sing and shout with all your heart to the praise of the Lord! Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (Ephesians 5:18-20)․

In the Christian sense, a festival is not just an occasion to have a great celebration, but rather an opportunity to encourage the believers and strengthen them in their faith. Church festivals are occasions to gather in the church to praise God. In the festival we come to God and praise him, invite him into us and spiritually unite with him. Every Christian festival should be celebrated in a way that pleases the Lord and serves the salvation of our souls.

Church festivals commemorate important events related to the life of Christ. They bring blessings in the life of the individual Christian and are an opportunity to strengthen our faith and trust in God and to ask the Lord for his heavenly graces and gifts.

The place of the Christian celebrations is of course primarily the church, whose mysterious and incense-scented vaults create that pleasant atmosphere and the framework in which the believer rises above everyday worries and thoughts and encounters God. The believer's encounter with God is supported there by the rite, which is accompanied by spiritual songs, beautiful hymns, biblical readings, psalms and prayers. Our prayers on feast days are more solemn and solemn, giving thanks to God and our Lord Jesus Christ for the kindness shown us, His glorious works, and the salvation bestowed on us. At the same time, the individual believer is filled with hope that the Lord will pour out His bounty of love and mercy upon the assembled believers and give them the life-giving grace of the Holy Spirit. Filled with this grace we can resist various temptations in life, overcome difficulties and sorrows. And with the assurance of God's presence, we can find inner calm and inner peace.

In order to prepare us for the great Christian feasts, the Church has established special days of fasting before the respective feast days, so that the believer has the opportunity, through penance, prayer and fasting, to cleanse his body and soul from sin and thus be blessed at the Lord's table to approach. St. John Chrysostom, one of the Church Fathers, points out that "the greatest festival [...] is the clear conscience".

The Armenian Church calls upon and exhorts its believing children to prepare themselves for the great Christian feasts by self-examination, fasting and prayer, but at least at the five Feasts of the Tabernacle (major feasts), prepared in this way, to face the Lord's Table in reverence draw near and partake of the life-giving body and blood of the Lord.

The Annual Cycle

  • Nativity and Theophany
  • Lent
  • Easter
  • Pentecost
  • transfiguration of the Lord
  • Assumption of Mary into heaven
  • Cross Exaltation Festival
  • Hisnak or Advent season

THE FIVE HIGH STRENGTH

The Armenian Apostolic Church has five main festivals called "Taghawar toner" (Arm. Տաղաւար Տօներ). This designation most likely comes from the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles (arm. Taghawaraharats ton / Տաղաւարհարաց Տօն). The Armenian word "taghawaraharats" is composed of the roots "taghawar" (hut, tent) and "harel" (to beat, to prepare). Since the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated over several days, believers and pilgrims had to pitch a tent or build a hut. The Armenian word "Taghawaraharats" was in all probability changed or shortened to "Taghawar".

The five main festivals of the Armenian Church were also celebrated for more than three days and many believers not only made the pilgrimage to the main festivals but also to other festivals to places of pilgrimage and lived there in tents (Arm. Taghawar / Տաղաւար). This tradition has been preserved in some places to this day. An example is the pilgrimage of the Iranian Armenians to the St. Taddäus church.

On the eve of the five main festivals, a special ceremony called the "pre-festival" (Arm. Նախատօնակ) is held. This is already considered the beginning of the respective main festival.

The Armenian Apostolic Church has five main festivals called "Taghawar toner" (Arm. Տաղաւար Տօներ). This designation most likely comes from the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles (arm. Taghawaraharats ton / Տաղաւարհարաց Տօն). The Armenian word "taghawaraharats" is composed of the roots "taghawar" (hut, tent) and "harel" (to beat, to prepare). Since the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated over several days, believers and pilgrims had to pitch a tent or build a hut. The Armenian word "Taghawaraharats" was in all probability changed or shortened to "Taghawar".

The five main festivals of the Armenian Church were also celebrated for more than three days and many believers not only made the pilgrimage to the main festivals but also to other festivals to places of pilgrimage and lived there in tents (Arm. Taghawar / Տաղաւար). This tradition has been preserved in some places to this day. An example is the pilgrimage of the Iranian Armenians to the St. Taddäus church.

On the eve of the five main festivals, a special ceremony called the "pre-festival" (Arm. Նախատօնակ) is held. This is already considered the beginning of the respective main festival.

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

SOPHISTICATION OF THE CHURCH

The classification of festivals

Theophany / Surb Tsnund (immobile)

  • Jesus' birth and baptism (Christmas) - 6th January
  • Naming of the Lord (8th day of birth) – January 13th
  • Presentation of the Lord in the Temple – February 14 (40th day)

Resurrection (Easter):  (Moving between March 22 and April 25) 
Celebrations associated with Christ's resurrection include:

  • Remembering the resurrection of Lazarus by Christ
  • Palm Sunday and Holy Week
  • The period of 40 days from Easter to Ascension
  • Pentecost (7 Sundays after Easter, between May 10th and June 13th)

Transfiguration / Wardawar (7 Sundays after Pentecost)

  • Annunciation – April 7 (immobile)
  • Discovery of the Blessed Mother's chest (fifth Sunday after Pentecost)
  • Assumption Day (the Sunday closest to August 15)
  • Discovery of the Belt of the Blessed Mother (second Sunday after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary)
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – September 8 (immobile)
  • Introduction of Mary into the Temple – November 21 (fixed)
  • Conception of Mary by Anna – December 9 (immobile)

Feasts of the Holy Cross

  1. Apparition of the Holy Cross (Fourth Sunday after Easter)
  2. Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sunday closest to September 14)
  3. Holy Cross of Varak (Third Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross)
  4. Finding of the Holy Cross (Seventh Sunday of the Exaltation of the Cross)

Feasts of the Holy Church

  1. New Sunday (first Sunday after Easter)
  2. Green Sunday (second Sunday after Easter)
  3. Red Sunday (third Sunday after Easter)
  4. Feast of Saint Echmiadzin (second Sunday after Pentecost)
  5. Commemoration of the Old Ark of the Covenant and the Feast of the New - the Holy Church (Saturday before the Transfiguration)
  6. Shoghagate Feast of Echmiadzin (Saturday before the Assumption of Mary)

In the Armenian Apostolic Church, the saint is commemorated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. During Great Lent, saints' days are observed only on Saturdays, and no saints' days are celebrated during the Easter Triad.

The Saints can be divided into three groups:

This group of saints includes Old and New Testament saints such as B. the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, or St. John the Baptist, the disciples and the evangelists.

These include saints celebrated by the entire Church. They are saints such as St. Athanasius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Theologian, the bishops of the first three ecumenical councils and many others.

This group includes saints who have their descent in the Armenian Church or are especially venerated here. There are saints like B. the Virgin Sanducht, St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. King Trdat (Tiridates) and Queen Ash'chen, St. Mesrop Maschtotz and the Catholicos St. Sahak Partev, Movses Khorenatsi and other translators up to St .Nerses Schnorhali, the Holy Priests of the Ghewont, the Saints of Vardananz and others. In 2015, the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide were elevated to the rank of Holy Martyrs and canonized.

A.Pahq – No food of animal origin (vegan)
B. Tsom – Abstaining from any food (usually only on Sundays before receiving Communion and on Good Friday)

– Great Lent before Easter from Bun Barekendan to Palm Sunday
– Holy Week from Holy Monday to Easter
– Hisnak from Hisnakats Barekendan to Christmas. (about 50 days before Christmas. It used to be intended for all believers, currently it applies to the clergy)

There are ten week-long fasts preceding major festivals and observances, observed Monday through Friday. The exception is the 6-day fast before Christmas:

  1. Fasting before Christmas: December 30th – January 4th
  2. Fasting of catechumens
  3. Fasting before the memorial of Holy Prophet Elijah
  4. Fasting before the feast day of St. Gregory the Illuminator
  5. Fasting before the Transfiguration Feast
  6. Fasting before the Feast of the Assumption of Mary
  7. Fasting before the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
  8. Fasting before the feast of the Holy Cross of Varag
  9. Hisnak/Advent Fast
  10. Fasting before the feast of St. James (Surb Hakob)

– Every Wednesday and Friday except the 40 days from Easter to Ascension Day and the eight days after Christmas.