Friday, April 17, 2015

Sunday of the World Church

Odzun Monastery, Lori Province, Armenia (2012)
This Sunday (April 19, 2015), according to the Armenian Church calendar, is “Sunday of the World Church” «Աշխարհամատրամ Կիրակի». Little is definitively known about the origin of this feast day, or why it is also referred to as “Green Sunday” «Կանաչ Կիրակի». What we do know comes from the hymn/sharagan of the day which contains the theme of blessing/consecrating a chapel (a more accurate translation of the feast day is, “Sunday of the World Chapel” implying the physical building of a church «մատուռ», rather than the word for Church (Yegeghetsee/Եեկեղեցի), which implies a community of believers).

Again, which specific church/chapel is unknown, but it was most likely located in Jerusalem. An excerpt of the hymn (translated by Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan) that we sing during our morning service «Առաւօտեան ժամ» tells us what Armenian Christians believe the Church, which includes the building, to be. Why do we meet there to worship? Is the building merely a meeting point? Or is the church building and architecture a reflection of the living and believing community within its walls? What can it say concerning what we believe about God?

We worship you, Christ, who made yourself known to us through the holy apostles, Lord God of our Fathers. Having become your disciples by the holy apostles, we learned to glorify you in the temple of your holiness, which you founded upon the rock of faith, Lord, God of our Fathers. Come, people of the nations, let us joyfully celebrate the inauguration/dedication of the holy church, praising the Lord God of our Fathers. Together with the bodiless multitudes, all nations forever praise and highly exalt Christ the King who comes today into the holy church. Come into the church, people whose faith is in the Holy Trinity. Praise God. Joyfully celebrate to the edges of the table, and highly exalt him forever.

I Peter 2:5 – “like living stones, you are being built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

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