The Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ celebrated at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia
On July 19, 2020, in accordance with the Armenian Church calendar, the Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated. One of the Armenian Church’s major feasts was celebrated with the Divine Liturgies. From the early morning, the faithful from Tbilisi and other Armenian-populated regions were coming to God's House with great enthusiasm to congratulate each other and take part in the Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ or, as people say, celebration of Vardavar.
David Tchitchinadze, independent Member of Parliament of Georgia; deputy presidents of Union of Armenians of Georgia Armen Bayanduryan, Van Bayburdyan, as well as community figures, numerous faithful had come to the Cathedral to congratulate on the occasion of this major feast of the Armenian Church and to take part in the folk celebration.
During the Divine Liturgy, Rev. Father preached about the mystery of the day. In accordance with the Gospel, Jesus Christ's Transfiguration had occurred at Mount Tabor. St. Gregory of Tatev explains the name of the feast “Vardavar’’ in comparison of Jesus with a rose: just as a rose is hidden in its shell before it is opened, so Jesus, before His Transfiguration, carried inside His Divine Light and through His Transfiguration He expressed His Divinity. Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos congratulated on the occasion of the Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ and wished the faithful to live with the brightness of the light hidden in their souls, with the idea of loyalty to our nation, our people, our church.
Rev. Father concluded his sermon with a beautiful surprise: touching upon the birthday of an active community member Van Bayburdyan, a few days ago, he spoke about activities of the Georgian PM, Advisor to the President of Georgia on Ethnic Relations, Member of the Council of National Minorities of the Human Rights Defender’s office, Deputy President of the Union of Armenians in Georgia, Editor of “Vrastan” (“Georgia”) newsletter, honored journalist, and finally, an active and devoted representative of the community, Rev. Father mentioned the congratulations addressed to the person who had received a Honor Medal of Georgia and Moses of Khoren Medal of Armenia by the presidents of Georgia and Armenia, especially emphasized the congratulatory letter by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and had the honor to read it. Rev. Father Kirakos concluded the reading of the message with warmest wishes and congratulations on behalf of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.
After the Protector Prayer by the spiritual fathers, the festive mood continued in the yards of the two churches in the capital. The traditional game of pouring water or Vardavar, which comes from pagan era and had received a Christian meaning started.
On the occasion of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ post-liturgy celebrations took place in Saint Gregory the Illuminator church in Akhaltsikhe, Holy Cross church in Akhalkalaki, Saint Sargis church in Ninotsminda, Saint Savior church in Batumi and other churches in Armenian-populated regions.
The faithful returned their homes spiritually enlightened and purified with the Vardavar water taking with them the encouragement of spiritual fathers: being renewal through Christ’s faith and being purified with the festive water, and continue to live a new life with Our Lord Jesus Christ.