Armenia: Maundy Thursday

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The Holy Week is definitely the highlight of the liturgical year at the Armenian Apostolic Church. And as a regular church visit is already quite a happening for those not used to the rich orthodox rituals, the Holy Week brings even more to the senses: there is so much to see, hear, smell and experience. The morning mass marks the institution of the Holy Communion which Christ established at the Last Supper by breaking unleavened bread (‘his body’) and shared the wine (‘his blood’) with his apostles. The sacrament that still allows people to participate. Another episode at the Last Supper is recalled during the evening service in “The Washing of the Feet” ceremony. It commemorates how Christ washed the feet of the apostles, an example of humility and love. During the service, the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, washes the feet of twelve (male) church members – usually varying from a cardinal to a young child. There is also an all-night vigil in memory of the last sleepless night of  Jesus on earth and is called  Khavaroom (darkness).
The entrance of the priests and the Catholicos is always a nice happening, I like the anticipation in the air and the interaction between the people and the church leader.

Looking back at Maundy Thursday 2011


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