Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Church of Yerevan

Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Church of Yerevan 31.03.2024

On March 31, on the occasaion of the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, celebrated a Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral of Yerevan.

Members of the Supreme Spiritual Council, benefactors of the Mother See, leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Armenia, political-social figures and pilgrim Armenians were present at the Pontifical Divine Liturgy.

Following worshiping in front of the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator gathered under the vestibule of the mother church, the Catholicos of All Armenians, conveyed his blessings to the present faithful people, and was led though the procession to the Holy Altar.

Assisting His Holiness at the Holy Altar were His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan, Director of the External Relations and Protocol Department of the Mother See and His Grace Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan, Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh.

During the Holy Service, His Holiness addressed his message to faithful Armenians throughout the world on the occasion of Holy Easter, conveying the angelic tidings "Christ is Risen from the dead".




In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
«We praise and glorify your holy,
marvelous, and victorious resurrection»


Dear faithful,

Today, the good tidings of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ resound from the sacred altars of our churches. The wondrous tidings fill our hearts, burdened with the pains and losses of our motherland and national life, with hope and spiritual renewal. Life has triumphed, death has been defeated and trampled. With faith and trust in God, let us together bless the Lord in the words of the Prayerbook: 'We praise and glorify your holy, marvelous, and victorious Resurrection.’

Through his Resurrection, Christ has liberated humanity from the tyranny of evil. He has shown the path of forgiveness and love, reconciled humanity with God, and bestowed the hope and grace of eternal life. By the mercy of the Son of God, the dawn of life has spread over the darkness of death. The life-giving cross, upon which the holy blood of the Lord was shed, has become a sign of victory over death. And the faith in resurrection has become heavenly power for defeating evil.

Indeed, dearly beloved, the Resurrection of Christ is victorious,holy, and glorious. With the world's ever-changing circumstances, and particularly amidst the complex situations and hardships, the faithful are empowered by the graces of the Resurrection to overcome trials, reject destructive currents, disastrous thoughts and deeds, to withstand the calamities of catastrophic wars, and to be renewed in the Lord, as the Scripture testifies: 'If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation' (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Today also, the call resounds for entire humanity: to follow the God-given commandments, to achieve victory of life in the face of death, to be the unwavering defender of truth and justice, and to transform the bleak existence without God into a resurrected life in the Lord.

Responding to this call, united through the sacred vow "for the sake of faith, for the sake of motherland" we have endured numerous difficulties and trials throughout history. The testament of our faith in Resurrection, today as well, serves as a proclamation of our people's belief and commitment to sacred national values, which for centuries have been the guarantee of Armenian identity and existence, fostering the advancement of education and science. It is necessary to educate generations instilled with such values and to keep intact and undamaged the legacy and heritage of our ancestors which have enriched the cultural and scientific treasury of humanity.
Dear faithful in Armenia and the Diaspora, the holy and glorious Resurrection of the Lord is strengthening encouragement for us all to confront the challenges of our country with hope and bravery, especially in this difficult post-war period, when Artsakh remains occupied and depopulated, and Azerbaijan persists in its expansionist and provocative actions with new demands, posing immediate threats to our state's security.

The humiliations inflicted upon the kidnapped political leadership of Artsakh and our illegally kept sons continue to be conducted through criminal actions. Similarly, there is an overt policy of neglecting the rights of Artsakh Armenians and usurping and destroying the Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage in Artsakh.
In the face of these reprehensible realities, it is the noble duty of our people to overcome internal disagreements and disunity, to heal the wounds of our nation, which has suffered heavy losses, and to strengthen the motherland through joint efforts.

Indeed, the resurrected life begins with the determination to live according to the teachings of Christ, and by taking the initial step from disasters and sufferings towards life-renewing achievements. Such mindset, such spirit must be kept unshaken within us, and we shall refuse to succumb to the trials that beset us, we shall not act with the mentality of a defeated, and we shall not turn into a discouraged and weak nation, thus endangering the future of our homeland and independent statehood.

Our journey does not conclude at the sites of martyrdom where our heroes and brave men rest, nor at the graves left behind in Artsakh. The grave dug for us by the forces of evil will forever remain empty, for we are a people who conquer tribulations through Christ, emerging from every Golgotha with faith in Resurrection. Indeed, the verdict on our future does not belong to darkness and death, but to life and resurrection.

Together with God, through strong faith and unshaken will and spirit, not only individuals, but also nations and statescan rise. In the current challenging conditions for our people, it is vital and imperative to strengthen our country, it is crucial to live and act with unwavering patriotism and dedication to nation. With such determination, we would be able to shape new horizons in our history and the revival of the dignified life for our state, nation, and church. The proclamation of the Apostle shall turn into such reality also for our nation, 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' (1 Corinthians 15:55). Therefore, let us keep bright in our hearts, through the resurrected Christ our faith, hope, love, and positive expectation for the future.

God calls us to resurrection; hence, let us cast away fear and despair, rid ourselves of hatred and enmity, and eliminate deeds like the ones of Pilate and Judah. Let us gaze upon the resurrected Savior and walk solely in the victorious path of the resurrection.

With these wishes and the good news of the Holy Resurrection, we greet the incumbents of our hierarchical sees of our Holy Church: His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manukyan, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, and His Beatitude Archbishop Sahak Mashalyan, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, heads of the sister Churches and ask the Almighty God to empower them in the successful realization of their mission. We convey our Pontifical love and blessings to the entire clergy of our Holy Church and all our faithful people in the homeland and the Diaspora.

Dearly beloved, on this radiant day of the holy and glorious Resurrection, let us lift our prayers from the depths of our hearts to the Almighty God that he may grant peace and prosperity to the world, keep his all-protecting Holy Right hand over our homeland, and bless the Armenian nation with heavenly graces, enabling us to live in safety and security, and to glorify the All-Holy Trinity now and forevermore. Amen.

Christ is risen from the dead.
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.


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