Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Armenian Esfahān.

Through the good offices of Tyrell Northcutt and also by way of a post on the Western Confucian weblog, I recently came across a trove of images of a New Year's Day celebration of the Armenian Divine Liturgy at Vank Cathedral in Esfahān, Iran. The Armenian Apostolic Church begins its celebration of the Nativity and Theophany of Christ this evening, so this seems a good time to take note of the Armenians of Esfahān.

Armenian Christianity has fascinated and enchanted me for some time - for evidence of this, take a look at the two posts on Armenian Jerusalem here and here - and I regret that I've had very limited experience with the living tradition of the world's oldest Christian nation. Seeing Vank Cathedral is one of several reasons that I'd very much like to visit Esfahān, a city that Persian sages admiringly described as "half the world." Whether or not I ever get there, I pray that God will protect and preserve the Armenians of Esfahān as they seek to maintain their ancient faith despite great adversity. AMDG.


At 1/06/2011 10:03 AM, Anonymous Federico said...

Marry Epiphany from Italy!
I don't have experience in the Armenian Liturgy, but one think I notice from your pictures is that it looks more like our Latin Extraordinary Form than like our everyday Mass. Do you think that the former can connect us better with our ancient Christian roots and help us deepen our relationship with God? (I don't mean to affirm the superiority of either Rite, it's just that, frankly, those images in the link you posted are wonderful...)

At 1/06/2011 10:43 AM, Anonymous Federico said...

Maybe I should say Ad Orientem Mass, not Extraordinary form, I am undoubtably a big fan of Varican II !

At 1/06/2011 7:41 PM, Blogger Joe said...


Thanks for the comment - good wishes to you also on the feast day. As for the Armenian liturgy, in some ways it does resemble the Tridentine Rite though in other ways it is very different - there are certain aesthetic similarities and even similar texts (albeit in different languages), but I also find that each reflects a very different liturgical ethos.

I'm not sure I could give a concise answer to your question about the different forms of the Latin liturgy - partly because my own perspective is tilted toward the Christian East, and partly because dealing fairly with all of the issues involved would require a much more reflective (and lengthy) response than I can offer at the moment. I do appreciate the question, though!

At 1/07/2011 8:23 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Amazing, and now linked in my blog.

At 1/07/2011 5:21 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Thanks for the link, Robin!


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