Feast of the Ascension celebrated in Tbilisi
On May 13, 2021, Armenian Apostolic Holy Church celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This Feast has double meanings for the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church because together with the Ascension it also celebrates the return of the Catholicosate of All Armenians from Sis to Vagharshapat in 1441. By the Pontifical order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Feast of the Ascension was proclaimed as the Day of Pilgrimage to Saint Etchmiadzin. The Feast was celebrated with Divine Liturgies and folk festivals in the churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
Rev. Father Zaven Yazichyan, Pastor of Karmir (Red) village in Kvemo Kartli region and Shahumyan settlement celebrated Divine Liturgy under the presidency of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan in Saint Etchmiadzin church in Tbilisi. The festive Divine Liturgy was attended by Rev. Father Narek Mataryan, Senior Priest of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church of North America.
During the Divine Liturgy, Rev. Father commented on the mystery of the day in his sermon: Jesus Christ stayed on the earth for 40 days and appeared to his disciples. During that period, Jesus was teaching them, and at the last meeting He blessed them and gave commandments to the apostles, afterwards he ascended to Heaven.
The celebrant priest also mentioned that after centuries of wandering, the Mother See went were the people were, and finally, in 1441, 15th century, on the Feast of the Ascension, the Catholicosate of All-Armenians was reestablished in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin becoming a historical event of moving the Mother See from Sis to Etchmiadzin.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Pontifical Blessing was offered under the presidency of the Diocesan Primate and with participation of clergymen. During the ceremony, the clergy and the faithful prayed to Almighty God asking for steadfastness and eternity to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Catholicosate of All Armenians.
The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is accompanied by a folk celebration called Jan Gyulum. Because of the limitations caused by coronavirus pandemic limitations, this festive event did not take place as it does traditionally in the courtyard of Saint Etchmiadzin church in Tbilisi. The day gained its festive nuance with the presence of students of ‘’Surb Movses Khorenatsi’’ (Saint Moses of Khoren) Preschool. Dressed up and decorated with flowers they attended the Divine Liturgy as a symbol of the folk traditions of the Feast.