On 7 April, 2013 under the leadership of the Head of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, and with the participation of Vicar-General of Javakhk Supreme Archimandrite Babken Salbiyan, priests serving in the region Ter Tadeos, Ter Tatev and Ter Tigran Surb Astvatsatsin Church in Merenia village of Javakhk was sanctified, Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia reports.
According to the Armenian Church order, on April 6, in the evening, the rebuilt church was consecrated;16 columns, baptistery and holy images were consecrated as well. The walls of the church were anointed with chrism.
Merenia village is located 15 kilometers from Akhalkalaki. Armenian residents of the villages Salnadzor, Ozni, Marz, Bayburt moved from Karin and settled here since the 18th century. SurbAstvatsatsinChurch was built in 1830’s. In 1899 a stone structure with a wooden roof collapsed after the earthquake. But the church was restored in a few years.
On 7 April, in the morning Merenia village was crowded. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to Georgia Hovhannes Manoukian, Taron Shagoyan, Head of the Caucasus Department at the RA Ministry of Diaspora, local government representatives, guests and pilgrims, who came from different parts of Georgia and Armenia, attended the sacred ritual. The residents of Merenia village welcomed the Head of the Diocese with bread and salt.
“Drnbatsek (Opening of the Doors) symbolizes the opening of the Gates of the HeavenlyKingdom. Today this church after the consecration becomes the house of God, house of prayer. After Drnbatsek and consecration the God’s blessing descends upon this church”, – the Head of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan addressed the audience of believers gathered in front of the Church.
Masis Amirkhanyan, Ararat Ghushchyan, Ararat Avakyan, Aharon Avakyan, Hamlet Harutyunyan and Zaven Pochikyan, who in their youth dreamed about seeing the temple of ancestors operating and restored, made donations to rebuilt Surb Astvatsatsin Church and the surrounding area.
His Eminence praised the attitude of pious benefactors, and handed them letters of blessing and Holy Bibles.
In honor of the feast a concert was held in front of the church with the participation of Mavr Mkrtchyan and his friends.
At the end of the consecration of Surb Astvatsatsin Church blessing of the traditional sacrifice (Armenian “matagh”) took place.