Antasdan is an Armenian liturgy of prayer for the world. The priests and deacons move to the four major compass points with prayers at each “corner” with the response, Der Voghormya or Lord, have mercy.

It was customary in the Armenian Homeland for priests and congregations, at certain times during the year, to go into the fields and invoke God’s blessing upon the four corners of the world. In particular, to thank God for the bounties of the earth and to seek His loving care over the fields and harvest of His people.

During the Antasdan ceremony, there are readings from Scripture, hymns and prayers offered that speak to the Holy Cross of Christ:

We bless the East, calling upon God to guard and defend the Catholicos of all Armenians in Holy Etchmiadzin, the land and the people of Armenia.

We bless the West, asking for God’s grace upon the nations of the world and all Christian people.

We make the sign of the cross over the South, praying God protect the earth and harvest from damage.

We bless the North, asking God’s protection that our churches, monasteries, clergy and faithful be kept in peace and grow in spirituality.

Whilst we continue these customary habits in the Armenian Apostolic Church today, it reminds us of the need to remain thankful to God for His provision and bounty.