Last Sunday, 11 September 2022, we celebrated The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Khachverats), one of the Five Tabernacle (Daghavar) Feasts of the Armenian Church.
Archpriest Father Bartev Karakashian was the celebrant and homilist on the day.
After the Soorp Badarak, the Great Procession of the Feast of the Exaltation and the order of “Antasdan” (the blessing of the four corners of the earth), took place.
The Holy Cross was adorned and decorated with sweet basil. The word “basil” means King, from the Greek Vasileios and so it embellishes the Cross of the King. According to the liturgical tradition, the Empress Helena, Mother of the Saint and King Constantine, found the location of the True Cross by digging for it under a large growth of basil. Basil plants were also reputed to have sprung up at the foot of the Cross where the Precious Blood of Christ fell, along with the tears of the Mother of God.
The Procession then made their way to the church lawns where the traditional blessing of the Harissa took place