In accordance with the period of Lent, the Arevakal (Sunrise) services commenced on Sunday 6 March and continued until Sunday 3 April.
The Sunrise Service is an early morning service that is unique to the Armenian Church. It seems to have developed around the 7-8th century in those Armenian monasteries that had the custom of fusing the Night Service (Keesherayeen Zham) and the Morning Service (Aravodyan Zham) together into one composite ceremony that began in the middle of night and ended before dawn. St Nersess Shnorhali (d. 1173) vastly reformed the service, adding new hymns and prayers and probably melodies as well.
The service includes the splendid hymn, Looys (Light), which consists of four verses, addressed, respectively, to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. The last verse speaks of the union of the three persons in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Along with Aneghaneleet which follows it, this hymn renders the Armenian Church’s most basic doctrine of the Holy Trinity into a song of praise.
The Arevakal Service ends with the day’s relevant sermon which relates to the appropriate Sunday of Lent.