Strength in unity and resilience of the Armenian identity were highlighted throughout the commemorations of the Armenian Genocide Centenary with thousands upon thousands participating in planned events worldwide.
From the international commemorations commencing with the Papal Mass in Rome and the Canonisation of the Holy Martyrs in the Mother See to our local remembrances in Sydney, the Armenian spirit was witness to a resurrected nation who not only continues to live on but is reaching far onto greater heights.
At the parish level our commemorations began late Thursday evening on 23 April with a vigil prayer service followed by the live-streaming of the canonisation service from Holy Etchmiadzin. On 24 April more than 400 parishioners attended the Church of Holy Resurrection for a prayer service and the 100 tolling of the bells. Meanwhile a group of 20 volunteers spent the day at the Exodus Foundation Loaves & Fishes free restaurant preparing and serving lunch to 360 needy patrons in a meaningful and symbolic gesture of outreach.
The National Commemoration Evening saw more than 2,500 packed in the Sydney Town Hall with even more swollen numbers joining in the Commemoration March organised by Homenetmen Australia on Sunday 26 April from the Garden of Remembrance in Chatswood. With great fanfare the community rallied behind the marching band and scouts through the main city thoroughfare before the clergy, deacons and Church Children’s Choir joined in to lead the procession to the Church of Holy Resurrection where an outdoor service and speeches were held to honour the memory of the holy martyrs.
On Saturday 2 May, the faithful community again united in their thousands for the Divine Liturgy at St Mary’s Cathedral celebrated by His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian with the homily presided by the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney. In the magnificence of the holy basilica, the memorial to our Holy Martyrs who are now ranked among the saints of the Armenian Church were befittingly honoured and revered as we no longer look to them as victims but as victors of faith.
Click to read the Diocese Press Release in Armenian on the Divine Liturgy.