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Blessing of the Grapes in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Blessing of the Grapes in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
• From: “Dn. Armen Devejian”
• Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 22:29:38 PDT

PRESS RELEASE
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address: Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact: Dn. Armen Devejian
Tel: (374 1) 517 163
Fax: (374 1) 517 301
E-Mail: DnArmen@etchmiadzin.am
August 18, 2003

Blessing of the Grapes in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

The Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God was celebrated in
the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin with great pageantry on Sunday August
17, 2003. Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Cathedral of Holy
Etchmiadzin by His Grace Bishop Paren Avetikian, dedicated to the 1,700th
Anniversary of the Consecration of the First Church of the Armenian
People. The Universal Cathedral, the design of which St. Gregory the
Illuminator saw in a vision illustrated by the Only Begotten Son of God,
was consecrated exactly 1,700 years ago on the Feast of the Assumption of
the Holy Mother of God. As a result, the Cathedral was dedicated to St.
Mary.

Many churches dedicated to St. Mary the Mother of God are pilgrimage
destinations on this Feast Day, and faithful begin arriving the prior
night and in the early morning hours to offer their prayers, light
candles, sing hymns and prepare to participate in the worship during the
Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians presided during the solemn Liturgy, as thousands of faithful
pilgrims from throughout Armenia and the Diaspora prayed and worshipped
together, offering their thanks and praise to God for this blessed day.
In his sermon, His Grace Bishop Paren noted the significant events
throughout history which forever tied the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin
and the Catholicosate of All Armenians with the Armenian Nation and all
of her people throughout the world. His Grace noted the establishment of
the Mother See by the hands of St. Gregory and King Trdat in 301, the
consecration of the Mother Cathedral in 303, the return of the
Pontificate of All Armenians to Etchmiadzin in 1441, and the 1700th
Anniversary of the Great Conversion of the Armenians which was celebrated
in a free and independent Armenia for the first time in centuries in
2001.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the Pontifical procession headed by His
Holiness, led the faithful to the Open Altar of Sts. Trdat and Ashkhen on
the grounds of the Mother See, to offer the Service of the Blessing of
the Grapes. His Holiness Karekin II, assisted by the bishops and members
of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, offered prayers up to Heaven for
the fruit of the vine, asking God to bless the harvest and protect the
farmers, vineyards and all lands where Armenians live and work. At the
conclusion of the Blessing of the Grapes service, the blessed grapes were
distributed to the faithful.

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