Etchmiadzin, 04 November, 2012: On 4 November, 2012 following the celebration of Divine Liturgy at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, a special Pontifical Blessing service was offered before the Holy Altar of Descent in the Mother Cathedral, on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of Enthronement of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Among the faithful attending the service were delegates to the Diocesan Representative Assembly, who visited the Mother See from 1-3 November 2012. The delegates were comprised of representatives from the Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople, 32 Diocesan Primates from Armenia and the Diaspora, Pontifical delegations, Diocesan lay representatives, members of the Supreme Spiritual Council and other pilgrims.
His Grace Bishop Sahak Mashalian, from the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople; offered the Divine Liturgy, and on behalf of the clergy and lay representatives of the Armenian Church, congratulated the Pontiff of All Armenians on the occasion of His Enthronement. He offered in his sermon that the primary role of the Mother See was to facilitate the unification of the Armenian Church. "The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, owing to her role as the spiritual center of the Church, has always gathered together the remains of our nation which are scattered all over the world by drawing everyone towards Her.… all our church life follows the leadership of the Mother See", said His Grace in part during his sermon, and called upon those present to kneel down in prayer at the Altar of Descent. His Grace also spoke about the great responsibility and duties of His Holiness, to always hold high the victorious Holy Armenian Cross and keep shining the Holy Lantern of Saint Gregory the Illuminator.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Aris Shirvanian; Vicar General of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, offered a Pontifical Blessing service in front of the Holy Altar or Descent, during which the faithful offered a prayer to the Heavenly Father, asking for strength and vibrancy for the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and many years of life, good health and a successful reign for the Catholicos of All Armenians.
His Holiness closed the service with a prayer of blessing, after which a Pontifical procession walked to the garden of the Holy Archangel Church of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary. Three new cross-stones (khachkars) which were carved based on patterns from cross-stones of New Jughah of the 16-17th century, were installed. His Holiness offered a service of blessing for the new cross-stones. The benefactor is Mr. Hrachya Poghossian of Saint Petersburg, Russia, and are in memory of those Armenian heroes who died during the battle of Artsakh and in the Great Patriotic war, as well as those who perished in the Spitak, Armenia earthquake.
Information Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin