On Saturday 2 May 2015 at 11.00am Holy Mass was celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral to honour the eternal memory of 1.5 million martyred Saints on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide. The celebrant was the Primate, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian.
The church procession entered to the stirring hymn, ‘Glorious God’ with members of the Lousavorich, Vartanants and Karasoun Mangounk singing led by choirmasters, Deacon Vartan Elmasian and Mrs Aida Avetisyan.
The Cathedral was filled beyond capacity with community faithful present to honour the memory of the Armenian martyrs and their canonisation to sainthood on the 100th anniversary.
Present during Holy Mass were representatives from churches, members of Parliament and other dignitaries. Very Reverend Father Parsegh Sousanian of the Armenian Catholic Church and Reverend Hagop Sarkissian of the Armenian Evangelical Church read from the Holy Scriptures during the Mass.
The homilist on this auspicious occasion was the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, who praised the Armenian community for their loyalty to the memory of their martyrs and their attendance at Holy Mass in St Mary’s Mother Cathedral. In his address he reflected on the strong fraternal bond between the two spiritual fathers of our respective Churches, His Holinesses Karekin II and Pope Francis which was forged further by the Holy Mass dedicated to Armenian Genocide Centenary presided by the Pope at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome a month earlier.
As a token of appreciation, on behalf of the Diocese, Bishop Najarian presented Archbishop Fisher with an comprehensive volume of historical landmarks and treasures of the confiscated historic Western Armenia.
The congregation followed the liturgy with reverence in preparation to receive the Blessed Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ through the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Following Holy Mass, the Archbishop hosted a private reception for the Primate, clergy diaconate, dignitaries and community representatives. In his greeting, Archbishop Fisher welcomed the Primate and community and in response, Bishop Najarian expressed his gratitude and appreciation.