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10th anniversary of the Armenian Church in Sharjah

 

Azad-Hye Special

Friday 12 December 2008 would be remembered in the history of the Armenian Community in the UAE as the most crowded event in recent times.

Some 450 people attended the 10th anniversary of the Armenian Apostolic Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sharjah

The celebration carried a lot of meanings to the Armenians, who after decades of existing in the UAE organized themselves in the eighties of the last century and at the end of the first legislative term (1994-1998) managed to construct the Armenian church in Sharjah with a generous contribution by the Ruler of Sharjah who donated the church plot. 

On this occasion, the Catholicosal Vicar of the Prelacy of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf countries Archbishop Dr. Goriun Babian presided the Holy Mass ceremony, while the sermon was delivered by Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan the previous Prelate, during whose reign the Church was constructed.

Archbishop Choloyan is currently the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern United States. He was specially invited to UAE on this occasion.

Archbishop Choloyan was very emotional in his sermon. He looked into the faces of believers and recognized several of those who worked closely with him for the noble cause of constructing the church. "Among you I see individuals who devoted their time, energy and thought to the church, sometimes even more than I did and I am very satisfied to see them in the first row, enjoying the fruits of their work", His Eminence said. “They had a vision, which was tightly connected to the history of the Armenian people and Diaspora, to keep the traditions and provide all necessary means for maintaining our identity. That was the vision and with great pleasure I notice today, that significant part of this vision has been fulfilled at this stage”, he added. 

Oshagan then referred to the mission of the church in the life of believers. “Our church is not a mere place of worship, rather it is a place that bonds people and brings them together. In the case of the UAE Armenians the church has been a very strong unifying factor. The church is the anchor on which an Armenian can build his or her identity”, he concluded.

The ceremony was followed by the blessing of the traditional herisa (which symbolizes the sacrifice). Throughout the night, the members of the church committee (mostly from the town of Kessab in Syria) stayed awake and worked hard to cook the traditionally made delicious herisa, which was now blessed and consumed by the believers.

This year the National Council had prepared seating facilities inside the hall with additional foodstuff and amenities, something that contributed in attracting more people and keeping them in the hall for longer time, thus creating opportunities for intermingling with each other and talking about various social and national topics. New comers were introduced to existing community members. Part of the hall was occupied with the dignitaries. More than hundred children were playing in the church yard.

Almost everyone wished that the number of people attending the activities in the Church will remain as high as it was on this particular day. “Even if quarter of this crowd comes on regular basis, it will be considered as a big achievement”, said one of the well wishers.

PHOTOS OF THE EVENT


Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan delivering his sermon
Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan delivering his sermon
Children playing in the church yard
Children playing in the church yard
Selling school calendar (2009) and new book about community's history
Selling school calendar (2009) and new book about community's history
Preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
Preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
Preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
Preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
Children following the preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
Children following the preparation of the sacrifice (herisa)
The procession coming out of the church
The procession coming out of the church
The procession coming out of the church
The procession coming out of the church
The procession coming out of the church
The procession coming out of the church
The blessing of the sacrifice
The blessing of the sacrifice
The blessing of the sacrifice
The blessing of the sacrifice
People following the blessing of sacrifice
People following the blessing of sacrifice
Members of the Church Committee with supporters
Members of the Church Committee with supporters
Members of the Church Committee
Members of the Church Committee


Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 (6289 reads), comments: 1
 
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Posted by Hovsep N. Seferian on Thursday, January 22, 2009


Armenians have a wonderful tradition in saying toasts (Gentaz Կենաց) during get togethers. I wish to use one of them  saying Ինչ լաւ է որ կաք ...

Congratulations for such a wonderful site.

kindly include my name in your mailing list.

Վարձքերնիդ կատար. Լաւագոյն բարեմաղթութիւններով՝ մնամ եղբայրաբար

Hovsep N. Seferian

 




 
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