On April 16, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church solemnly celebrated the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On the occasion of the Feast, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Escorted by the Ecclesiastical procession, and under the singing of the “Hrashapar” hymn, the Catholicos of All Armenians; Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia and Mrs. Rita Sargsyan; Mr. Bako Sahakyan, President of the Arstakh Republic, processed to the Mother Cathedral, where they were met by students of the Eurnekian public school; members of the AGBU Yerevan Scout Group and numerous pilgrims.
The Pontifical Canopy Bearers were: Colonel Artyom Gevorkyan; Sergeant Schooley Hakobyan; Junior Sergeant Razmik Gasparyan and Private Soldier Harutyun Badalyan. Assisting His Holiness during the Divine Liturgy were His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan, Director of the External relations and Protocol Department of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and His Grace Bishop Gevork Saroyan, Dean of the Spiritual- Educational Institutions of the Mother See.
Attending the solemn Divine Liturgy were Mr. Galust Sahakyan, President of the RA National Assembly; members of the RA Government; members of the Supreme Spiritual Council; benefactors of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations; members of the AGBU; education and cultural figures.
During the service, His Holiness addressed his message to faithful Armenians throughout the world on the occasion of Holy Easter offering his Pontifical blessings and proclaiming the good news, “Christ is Risen from the dead! Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.”
THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II
SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS
THE FEAST OF THE HOLY RESURRECTION
OF JESUS CHRIST
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, April 16, 2017
In the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
“God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”.
1 John 5:11
Dear Faithful People,
Today, through the Lenten mystery and reflections, with compassion for the sufferings and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have reached the luminous day of the glorious Resurrection of our Savior, which we celebrate with joyfulness and jubilation in our souls. Truly, the happiness in our hearts today is boundless, for death was shattered through the Resurrection, and mankind was granted the gift of eternal life and the heavenly kingdom. “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”. Through these words of John the Evangelist, we extend our message to you, beloved faithful, who are gathered in this Cathedral, and to our entire nation in the homeland and in the diaspora.
The curtains of the holy altars of our churches are already open, signifying that the gates to eternity are open. The good news of the Resurrection of the Savior resounds, annunciating that whosoever has the desire, the hunger, and thirst of the heavenly kingdom, can inherit it through perceiving the life that is in Christ Himself.
Through the Resurrection of Christ, mankind has received the power of the resurrected life, the ability to drive out sin and evil, to fill earthly life with heavenly blessings and graces through love and compassion towards fellow human beings, and to establish the image of the heavenly kingdom in the world where justice and truth reign, and there is an increase of peace and joy. In the resurrected life which Christ has granted, there are no trepidations, no violence and wars, poverty and adversity, there are no various vices which cause pain and suffering to people and alienates them from each other, polarizes societies and create disasters. All these, however, continue to remain in the life of the world, for the human hearts, often devoid of love, immersed in pride and selfishness, remains unanswered to the call of a resurrected new life. In the meantime, the path towards crowning crucifixions with resurrection, conquering difficulties and tribulations, sorrows and afflictions; is the Christ-centered life, which, as it is stated by the apostle, leads to eternity through the spirit of peacemaking, righteous works, and following a pious path: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Dear faithful people, the current earthly life is granted to us at an opportune period of time, so that we may spread the witness of the redeeming will of God, to realize His commandments and admonitions in our reality, in our families, country and in the world which surrounds us. Our life gains value and content, in the light of the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. The apostle Paul teaches us by saying, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” ( 2 Corinthians 5:15 ). To live through Christ and for the sake of Christ – this is the saving path of our life, the foundation, the condition and guarantee, as an individual and as a collective society, for our spiritual growth and enhancement, as well as for the prosperity and development of our homeland and for the wellbeing and bright future for our people spread around the world.
Today our country is facing numerous problems. The peace at our borders is unstable, we have yet to overcome poverty and unemployment, the prevention of emigration and the return of the sons and daughters of our nation to their homeland is imperative. In the face of these challenges, our people have noble qualities such as patriotism, perseverance, dedication to family, love towards parents, and commitment to make sacrifices for the sake of our sacred values. We are able to keep our borders impregnable, make our country prosperous and thriving, and eliminate all fears and turmoil from our national life. The course of our life, our lifestyle, must not enervate and divide us, but unite us, in order to combine our efforts to withstand all the challenges and troubles of our life and to bring to life our visions for our nation. Our faith that Christ is risen transforms hopelessness into hope, weakness into strength, apathy into zealousness, greed into charity, and it also interweaves spirit of dedication and commitment with service and work. We are called to this transformation, only through which can we secure our country and national life from elimination, as well as to gain victories in the struggle for the prosperity and enhancement of our nation and homeland. Now, dear faithful, let us all, official, laborer, soldier, entrepreneur, scholar, and clergyman, with a renewed Christian spirit, walk with reinforced hope in the direction, live with the truth, and accept the life, which is Christ our resurrected Lord Himself, so that the life of our nation around the world may be illuminated with works worthy of being written down, and be filled with divine rewards and heavenly blessings. Encouraged by the salvific faith which is bestowed to us by our Lord, and filled with warm enthusiasm for good works, let us proclaim in certainty with the apostle, “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
With the joyful tidings of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we greet our spiritual brothers, the incumbents of the hierarchal Sees; His Holiness, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nurhan Manoogian; the Locum Tenens of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, Archbishop Karekin Bekchian; and the heads of our Sister Churches, and all the clergy of our Holy Church.
With pontifical blessings, we greet the President of Armenia, His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan and the first lady present here today for the Divine Liturgy. We extend our greetings to President Bako Sahakyan of the Republic of Artsakh; Armenia’s state officials, and to all the newly-elected members of the parliament. It is our wish that the Lord may keep them strengthened in the love for their nation and the homeland, and with nation-spirited achievements be productive in their raesponsible and lofty mission. We greet with blessings and best wishes the heads and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. We bring our pontifical love and blessings to all our faithful people, in Armenia and in the Diaspora.
We extend prayers and pleas to our Lord, Jesus Christ, so that the graces of His glorious Resurrection may illuminate human lives, so that peace may dominate over the entire world, and so that peace may be established at our borders. It is our prayer that our homeland may be enhanced through the good results of the devoted activities of our people, our Holy Church may always remain in prosperity, and that our nation, spread all over the world, may be guided in a steady pace towards salvation and eternity, now and always. Amen.
Christ is Risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.