On the evening of Friday 3 February, a youth blessing service was held to celebrate the Feast of St Sarkis, the patron saint of youth and love. The evening was attended by many young adults with great enthusiasm.
His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian explained that the feast day is celebrated not only by way of church rites but also by folk traditions. The church service included prayers, hymns and Bible readings with youth participation.
It is customary on the feast for youth to pray asking St Sarkis to intercede in their prayers for God to hear. There is also a folkloric tradition for young people to eat salty biscuits the night before the feast and nothing thereafter before retiring to sleep to dream of their future bride/groom.
At the end of the church service, salty biscuits were distributed to keep up with the merriment of the tradition. The evening continued with refreshments and fellowship among the youth and clergy in the church hall.
For photos of the event see Photo Gallery