Wonderful and beautiful is the Mystery of Christmas, which shines before us like a bright sun for centuries throughout our lives.
We believe that God incarnated in Jesus Christ and appeared to all mankind in order to free humanity from the consequences of sin and open new horizons for its life.
This is a great and wonderful mystery! The child born in a stable in Bethlehem was the son of God, who came into the world to reconcile a sinful man with God and glorify God.
He left the heavenly glory to ensure the salvation of human souls, to enrich the bankrupt souls of mankind.
He came as the light of the world to enlighten the hearts of people.
He came as the Prince of Peace of the whole world to fill the hearts and souls of people with the grace of Love and Peace.
He came as our “Bread of Life” so that we would not be spiritually hungry forever.
Unlike all Christian churches, Christmas has two names and two meanings in the Armenian Church. Every year on January 6, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates two holidays: the Nativity of Christ and His Baptism, while other churches celebrate these two holidays separately and on different days.
The word “birth” in our everyday human sense means “beginning”, “origin”, but in the case of Jesus Christ our approach is different because, according to our faith, he is not only a perfect man, but also a perfect God. Hence the word “birth” we understand the origin of His human nature through Mariam Two thousand and eighteen years ago, the Son of God, by his divine nature, also assumed human nature and appeared a perfect man and a perfect God.
The Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Eve on the eve of January 6, and the veil of the Tabernacle opens with the holy liturgy.
The night of sanctification is a night of reflection, prayer, forgiveness, liberation from the burden of sin and transgressions, so that the next day, the one who forgives everyone can celebrate the great holiday with a pure and peaceful, light and cheerful soul.
The next day, January 6, a solemn Christmas Mass is held, followed by the consecration of the waters to commemorate the Baptism of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River. Consecrated water is distributed to people, people drink consecrated water and become partakers of the Baptism of Christ. A blessing ceremony is also held among the birthday celebrations. After the Easter holidays, people invite the clergy to their homes or to work to receive the festive good news and divine blessing. In the old days, when the church service was coming to an end, the church scribes, accompanied by their teacher, came to the houses to sing the “Gospel”.
“”Melkon, Gaspar and Bagdasar, Avetis
Today is Christmas,
Mom cooks taneli bilaf
Now comes my father, hungry and thirsty
Dad’s pastor stayed at home
Sophia ‘s gaze remained on the door …
Thus, they received several coins or other gifts from each house.
The same songs “Avedis” were sung by the youth of the district, and teenagers of the district, carrying a bag in their hands, went from house to house and began to “sing Avedis”. The housewives filled the bags with eggs, butter, fruit, sourdough and various gifts. This birthday is also called Melko, Gaspar, Bagdasar, Emmanuel, Manuel, Nazareth, Nazar, Avetis. The tables in all the houses that day were plentiful, and there was hospitality and a feast in the house.
Christmas was also called Little Easter in various Armenian circles. According to custom, the little ones received gifts from the elders for a few songs that they learned and sang “Melkon, Gaspar and Bagdasar Avedis”. On the occasion of the holiday, all the children were dressed in updated clothes, blankets and shoes, which made them very happy. The celebration of Christmas ends on January 13 in the Name of the Lord, which is dedicated to the consecration of the Temple of Jesus Christ, the celebration of circumcision and the name of the eighth day. Here is the hymn of the blessing of the Holy Moses of the Nativity of Christ, which has been sung for centuries and proclaims the birth of Christ with great joy.
Great and wonderful advice!
Which appeared on this day,
Let the shepherds sing with my angel
The House of the Gospel of Peace.
A new king was born
In the city of Bethlehem,
Children of men, bless you,
Because he has become an incarnation for us.
Too much heaven and earth
He covered me with diapers,
Without leaving my Father’s side:
He sat down with the holy widow.
CHRIST WAS BORN AND IS
A GREAT GOSPEL FOR US AND FOR YOU.
BLESSED IS THE APPEARANCE OF CHRIST
The Christmas holidays in the Armenian Apostolic Church last for 8 days. This period is called “Birthday eight”.
Dr. S. Atam