Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia
On August 15, 2021, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God. It is the fourth of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church. The Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God was celebrated with Divine Liturgies and Blessing of Grapes Services offered in all churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
From the early morning, altars of the Diocesan churches were decorated with different types of the symbol of the day – grapes and fruits. And despite the restrictions imposed due to the spread of the pandemic and the lack of public transport, the flow of the faithful to the church did not stop: people were coming with beautifully decorated trays and baskets of grapes and other fruits hoping to receive blessings for the harvest of the year and asking for the intercession of Almighty God.
After the Morning Service, Service of Blessing the Four Corners of the World (Andastan) was offered in the churches. The four corners of the world and all peoples were blessed. Afterwards, Divine Liturgy was celebrated everywhere.
Festive Liturgies in the Diocesan churches of a number of villages in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda began from Saturday. Spiritual pastors of churches offered holy services to the communities. From the early morning, they offered Liturgies and traditional blessing of grapes and all the harvest of the year in local churches.
Under the presidency of the Diocesan Primate Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Father Husik Harutyunyan at the Cathedral of Saint George in Tbilisi, and under the presidency of Rev. Father Archimandrite Nshan Hmayakyan, Rev. Father Tatev Marukyan celebrated Divine Liturgy at Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari.
During the Divine Liturgy, the celebrants properly preached about the mystery of the day – the big mission of Holy Virgin Mary, the falling asleep of Holy Mother of God, Her Resurrection and Assumption; highlighted the love and deep respect of the Armenian Church for Holy Virgin Mary; touched upon relationship between mothers and their sons; encouraged the faithful to continue to live with the light of the Assumption and the Faith of Resurrection. The celebrants wished peace and progress to Armenia and Georgia and the people of both countries, as well as congratulated the attendees, especially mothers and those women whose names are Mary.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos and Rev. Father Archimandrite Nshan read a passage from Gospel summarizing the mystery of the day, afterwards ''Blessing of Grapes'' Prayer of Nerses the Gracious was read. Service of blessing of grapes and all the harvest of the year was offered under the presidency of the Diocesan Primate and Assistant to the Primate, with the participation of the clergy.
Divine Liturgies were celebrated and Blessing of Grapes Service was offered also in Saint Gregory the Illuminator (Grigor Lusavorich) church in Akhaltsikhe; Holy Cross (Surb Khach) church in Akhalkalaki; Saint Sarkis church in Ninotsminda; Saint Karapet church in Gandza; Saint Savior (Surb Prkich) church in Batumi; Saint Mother of God (Surb Astvatsatsin) church in Shahumyan, Kvemo Kartli region; Saint Gregory of Narek Spiritual Center in Rustavi city and other churches and chapels of Armenian populated regions.
Afterwards, hospitality with grapes took place organized by Armenian benefactors and godfathers of the church.
Monday, August 16, is the day of commemoration of the deceased. Divine Liturgy will be offered in the churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia in memory of the deceased. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a Requiem Service will be offered for the peace of souls of the deceased.