Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain celebrated in Tbilisi
The Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain, his son Mardiros and his 14 soldiers-companions is always celebrated with great enthusiasm and love by the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. This a major feast; this year it was celebrated on February 4, the anticipation and excitement associated with the day were already noticeable during the eve of the feast. The Feast of St. Sarkis is one of the unique church feasts, which brings together tens of thousands of Armenian and foreign youths around the Armenian church. It was the same this year.
The celebration in Tbilisi began at the feast eve with launched with a cross-march. On February 3, 2023, a large number of pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of Saint Etchmiadzin church in Avlabari and under the leadership of spiritual servants Rev. Father Samvel Torosyan and Rev. Father Kirakos Simonyan and accompanied by deacons, marched with icons of St. Sarkis and crosses to the chapel named after Saint, built in 1883, in Kharkhup district. The participants of the march stopped and prayed near the ruins of Shamkhoretsots Karmir Avetaran (Red Gospel) ancient church.
All the participants of the cross-march, whose number reached several hundred, were able to enter one by one, light a candle and pray in the cozy and powerful chapel. After their pilgrimage, they arrived at the Cathedral of Saint George and joined the hundreds of faithful there.
The Cathedral of Saint George and the churchyard were crowded. An Evening Service was offered on the eve of the Feast with the participation of clergy and deacons at the Armenian churches in Tbilisi.
The Feast of St. Sarkis traditionally is not only celebrated with church ceremonies, and prayers, but also folk celebrations with salty cookies, dream, pokhindz (Armenian dish made of milled and slightly roasted flour), and khashil (Armenian dish made of ground wheat).
At the conclusion of the service offered on the eve of the feast, the young people received salty cookies with the hope that their dreams will come true.
On February 4, at the feast day, Rev. Father Hovsep Harutyunyan, Pastor of “Saint Gregory of Narek” (“Surb Grigor Narekatsi”) Spiritual, Cultural and Youth Center in Rustavi, offered Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Saint George.
During the Liturgy, the celebrant conveyed the blessings of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Rev. Father Archimandrite Kirakos Davtyan, preached about the mystery of the Feast, martyrdom of St. Sarkis, his son, and his companions for the sake of Christianity. Rev. Father also touched upon the fact, that by the order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians the Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain was proclaimed as a day of the blessing of young people. Rev. Father offered Blessing of Youth Service and wished the young people fulfillment of their goals.
The Armenian Diocese in Georgia expresses its gratitude to the Tbilisi Transport Department to ensure the safety of the pilgrimage participants.
The Feast of St. Sarkis the Captain was celebrated with pilgrimages and Divine Liturgies at the other churches of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.