Prayer for the Republic was Offered on the Occasion of the Armed Forces Day
On January 29, in the Holy Mother of God Church of Etchmiadzin, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; a Prayer for the Republic was offered; on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day of the Republic of Armenia.
Present at the Divine Liturgy were Mr. Vagharshak Harutyunyan, Minister of Defense of RA; officers of the RA Armed Forces; members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See; and chaplains of the RA Army Chaplaincy.
Prior to the Service, His Grace Bishop Vertanes Abrahamyan, former Head Chaplain of the Armed Forces Ministry of the Republic of Armenia; who has recently been appointed to serve as the Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh; extended his greetings to the attendees on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day. Bishop Vertanes emphasized that in 2020, our country and the Armenian Church went through difficult trials, having both days of excitement, and pain and endless suffering. His Grace Bishop Vertanes stated in part: "Every situation is a challenge to reflect and clarify our attitude towards the Creator."
…In the moments of despair, it is important not to surrender, making sure that God is always with us. Let us always praise; “My power and glory are from God, my assistant is God, and my hope is on God” (Psalm 61: 8-9). The Christian does not rely on superstitious things, but only on God; acting due to His mercy without being lazy, without deviating left or right.
“And hope does not put us to shame” (Rome 5:5), and never let the one idle, who always acts with a hopeful heart for the glory of God, not for himself, “encouraged by this truth” (Ephesians) and not with a lie. Our source of hope is our resurrected Lord; who is always by the side of the one who relies on him; to strengthen by his example, to encourage him to look into the eyes of death and not to be afraid, because he has already conquered the world (John 16:33) and the death, that the prince of the world can cause. This was the conviction in the hearts of our soldiers and officers, that regardless of the expected outcome of the war, they have the status of a winner and have not lost on the battlefield, because they did the possible and the impossible. The chronology of the days of war is full of records of many feats, that are typical of the winner and the hero, the steadfast walker who "knows death". And only brave sons, who believe in the resurrection, in getting life back from the hand of the Lord, are capable of such deeds”.
In his speech, Bishop Vertanes expressed his gratitude to the Catholicos of All Armenians for his caring attitude towards the RA Army Chaplaincy; as well as, all the ministers and generals of the Ministry of Defense; for their constant harmonious work for the prosperous life of the Armenian soldier and officer; to all the anxious and interested civilians and philanthropists, who have supported the Armenian Armed Forces Chaplancy over the years.
Expressing his appreciation to the Armenian Armed Forces, to the former and current colonels who brought their dedicated service in Artsakh and in Armenia; His Grace wished, to continue their spiritual service with the same spirit of commitment in these difficult conditions, continue to comfort the relatives of the victims, to encourage the wounded, and pray incessantly to the Lord for the immediate return of the captives.
At the end of his remarks, His Grace, congratulating everyone on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the Armenian Army, wished that they could always resist the encroachments of the enemy with adequate deeds and steps; armored with carnal and spiritual weapons and stand firm with prayer.
Afterwards, the clergy, the military officers and the people, who were present at the ceremony prayed to God for the peace, steadfastness and progress of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as the victorious course of the Armenian army.
The Pontiff of All Armenians also extended his prayers to the Heavenly God for the peace and tranquility of the souls of the brave soldiers who were heroically martyred in the Artsakh war.
Following the Prayer for the Republic, an official reception was held in the Events Auditorium of the Georgian Theological Seminary, during which an award ceremony was held.
In appreciation of the courage shown in the Artsakh war, upon the request of the Armed Forces Chaplancy, His Holiness awarded a number of servicemen with the high Order of “St. Nerses Shnorhali.
His Holiness awarded the "St. Nerses Shnorhali" order to the servicemen of the RA Ministry and Defense Ministry of Artsakh- Captain Shant Hayrapetyan, Lieutenant Gor Karapetyan, Junior Sergeant Hovhannes Gorgyan and conscript Aram Mideyan.