Candlelight Divine Liturgy in churches of Armenian Diocese in Georgia
On January 5, 2023, 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. It was the Candlelight Divine Liturgy which is being celebrated in churches on the Eve of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Armenian churches in Tbilisi, Batumi, Samtskhe Javakhk, Kvemo Kartli regions were crowded on the Eve of the Feast. 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, related to the Feast, were read.
Many faithful were in attendance in two Armenian operating churches in Tbilisi: The Cathedral of Saint George and Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari. Rev. Father Zaven Yazichyan, Pastor of Shahumyan settlement, Karmir and Aghkyorpi villages in Kvemo-Kartli region celebrated Divine Liturgy under the presidency of Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan at the Cathedral of Saint George. The celebrant of the day in Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari was Rev. Father Hovsep Harutyunyan.
Rev. Father Zaven Archimandrite Yazichyan 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. Rev. Father spoke about the hope inspired by God through his son, which keeps the faithful firm in their faith.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan 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 the church and the good news of the Holy Nativity.
After the Divine Liturgy, the clergy moved to the residence of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, where Home-Blessing Service was offered.
The previous days of two major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church (Armenian Church celebrates five major feasts) - 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 on the evening of January 5th and continues after midnight.