Parishioners at the St. Jacob Church in Stepanakert light candles on Christmas. January 6, 2018. Photo by  Alvard Grigoryan for the "Caucasian Knot"

07 January 2019, 15:33

Christmas services held in NKR's 89 churches

The feast of the Epiphany, which unites Christmas and Baptism, was celebrated by the parishioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The festive divine services were held in 89 temples of the Artsakh Diocese.

During the liturgies, the priests of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church held the water consecration ritual. On the eve, parishioners brought home from churches burning lamps and candles as a symbol of the Bethlehem star, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

On January 5, and after the service on January 6, it is a custom in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) and Armenia to gather with the whole family at a festive table, which is decorated with a sweet dish of rice, dried apricots and raisins, the Armenian Gata pie, red wine, greens and fish. On January 7, they commemorate those deceased, a priest of the Artsakh Diocese has explained.

The festive divine services were held in 89 churches of the NKR, the Stepanakert office of the Diocese has informed.

In a small church in Stepankert able to house about 200 people some believers could not get in and had to stay outdoors during the liturgy.

Mrav Abramyan, a military, who attended the liturgy in the of Surb Amenaprkich Kazanchetsots (Holy Christ the Saviour) Cathedral in the city of Shushi, said that Christmas is one of his favourite holidays.

Edik Grigoryan, a resident of Stepanakert, associates the religiosity of NKR residents with what they experienced during the armed conflict with Azerbaijan. "When the whole world was against us, of course, only the faith in God gave us strength. And we celebrate Christmas and other church holidays with particular trepidation," said the man.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 7, 2019 at 05:12 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Alvard Grigoryan; Source: CK correspondent

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