Candlelight Divine Liturgy in churches of Armenian Diocese in Georgia

On January 5, 2021, on the occasion of the first major feast, the Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. Candlelight Divine Liturgy was celebrated in churches on the Eve of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Despite of restrictions in the country due to the pandemic, the Armenian churches in Tbilisi, Batumi and Javakheti were crowded. In accordance with the ritual tradition, the faithful came to hear first the good tidings of Our Lord Jesus Christ's Holy Nativity. Before the Divine Liturgy celebration, an Evening Service was held and different Bible passages were read.

Many faithful were in attendance in Saint Etchmiadzin church in Tbilisi, where Rev. Father Tatev Marukyan celebrated Divine Liturgy under the presidency of Vicar of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan. The Candlelight Divine Liturgy was attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to Georgia Ruben Sadoyan with his family; as well as by diplomats, state and public figures, community leaders and many faithful.

Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, in his sermon spoke about the severe historical events of the past year, the thousands of martyred victims of the disastrous war in Artsakh. Rev. Father touched upon the mystery of the wonderment of the Holy Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ as a gift for humanity to get rid of their sins, to heal their pains, to become hope and trust, and to find a divine way to lead the faithful to the Heaven.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the Diocesan Vicar lit a candle, symbolizing the Divine Light of Christ, and the Light of the shining star, which led three wise men to Christ Child, the Son of God, who led people to the true Light. The light symbolizing Jesus Christ was given to the faithful. They took the Divine Light to their homes with the candles lit in church and the good news of the Holy Nativity.

After the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and faithful moved to ''Hayartun'' residence of the Diocesan Primate, where Home-Blessing Service was offered.

The previous days of two major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church (Armenian Church celebrates five major feast) - Feast of Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas) and Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Easter) - called Candlelight (Tchragaluits). Candlelight or Tchragaluits (''tchrag'' – light and ''luis'' – lightening) mean to light a candle. That evening, the faithful lit candles in churches and take them to their homes. According to the Armenian Church, the one-week lent period ends before Christmas. Christmas or the Feast of Holy Nativity begins at the evening of January 5th and continues after midnight.

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