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Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

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  • Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

    I'd like to get some views from people who have actually attended services in the Armenian Apostolic Church. A lot of people on these forums seems to identify closely with other Orthodox Chalcedonian churches (e.g. Greek, Russian, etc.) more so than with Catholic and definitely Protestant (obviously) churches. Is the Armenian Apostolic Church closer in rite, theology, organization, liturgy, etc. to the Roman Catholic Church or to the Eastern Orthodox Church?

    Another question, it seems there were many Armenian emperors in the Byzantine empire and that Armenians played a large role in it. Were Armenian persons of influence in the empire Apostolic or did they generally convert to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy?

    Third question, what are the sort of relations between the Armenian Apostolic Church and Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism? It seems the Pope was on a visit in Armenia, but it sounds like "politically" relations would be closer with Chalcedonian Orthodox. On the other hand, having read other posts on these forums, I've heard of the animosity between the Greek and Armenian clergy, particularly at holy sites in Jerusalem.
    Last edited by Merv; 03-12-2008, 04:26 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

    Originally posted by Merv View Post
    I'd like to get some views from people who have actually attended services in the Armenian Apostolic Church. A lot of people on these forums seems to identify closely with other Orthodox Chalcedonian churches (e.g. Greek, Russian, etc.) more so than with Catholic and definitely Protestant (obviously) churches. Is the Armenian Apostolic Church closer in rite, theology, organization, liturgy, etc. to the Roman Catholic Church or to the Eastern Orthodox Church?

    Another question, it seems there were many Armenian emperors in the Byzantine empire and that Armenians played a large role in it. Were Armenian persons of influence in the empire Apostolic or did they generally convert to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy?

    Third question, what are the sort of relations between the Armenian Apostolic Church and Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Roman Catholicism vs. Protestantism? It seems the Pope was on a visit in Armenia, but it sounds like "politically" relations would be closer with Chalcedonian Orthodox. On the other hand, having read other posts on these forums, I've heard of the animosity between the Greek and Armenian clergy, particularly at holy sites in Jerusalem.
    I help out as a clergy at an Armenian Orthodox Church, so I know somethings, but in terms of deep spirtual differences and matters I am not the best to ask. However, I can tell you that the Armenian Orthodox Church is very unique and is considered part of the Oriental Orthodoxy Churches which is branched off the Eastern Orthodox Church. An example of Armenian Orthodox's uniqueness is our Christmas is on January 6th, when nobody else has it. Some of the feasts and spriitual holidays are the same as Western Christianity(Roman Catholic, Protestant etc.) but others same as Eastern Christianity. Obviously our service is in Armenian(old Armenian though) and during mass you might be able to point out some similarities to Roman Catholicism, like a similar set-up. But some differences holy icons, women have to cover their head during the service especially during holy confession. (usu in Armenia, not so much in US). The Armenian cross has some differences than the regular catholic or protestant cross. These are just some aspects of the Armenian Orthodox faith, but as I said I am not the best person to ask, try researching I'm sure you will find better and more detailed descriptions and explanations.
    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
    ---
    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

      I believe that The Holy Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the very few Christian Churches in the world that continues the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles in its authentic form.

      Since the 1st century, when the two Apostles of Jesus Christ, St. Bartholomew and St. Jude came to Armenia, to this day our Church remains unchanged and true.

      While Iím not qualified in religious matters, I had the privilege of meeting a number of learned priests, including a senior Anglican one, and all of them were saying what I said above.

      I will be frank and honest, and Iím sorry for my straightforwardness: While I deeply respect all other Christian churches I will not accept them to be as true as our church is.

      And I urge all Armenians who have been converted into Catholicism or Protestantism to return to their mother church.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

        Hello Merv,

        The Armenian Apostolic Church was founded by Christ through His Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. Therefore making it an entirely different entity from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Chalcedonian (Greeks, Serbs, Russians) and is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches which are the Copts, Syriacs, Ethiopians and Indians (from India). The closest relation we have in a doctrinal and theological capacity is with the Chalcedonian Churches. But we also have similarities with the Roman Catholic Church as well since it was established by an Apostle. The Armenian Church is a rite within itself, even though she is in communion with other Churches. The book of hours (jhamagirk) is Armenian Orthodox in nature due to it containing the works of Saints, Gregory the Illuminator, Mesrob Mashdots, Nerses the Graceful, Gregory of Narek, and other Saints, which are not specifically Armenian in origin, such as Saints Ephraim, Chrysostom, and Basil. Historically speaking the earliest form of liturgy that exists in a document is preserved in Armenian. Additionally, many historians or scholars seeking to see how the Early Church was will seek Armenian sources due to the extensive collection of literature it has preserved. For example, approximately 90% of Saint Ephraimís works are preserved solely in Armenian, if I am not mistaken the largest amount of works by Chrysostom is preserved only in Armenian as well.

        The Armenians in the Byzantine Empire were forced under imperial decree to accept the standards of the Chalcedonian Church and were more or less completely Hellenized.

        The interaction between the Armenian Church and the Roman Catholic Church didnít really start until the 11th century around the Great Schism between the Byzantine Church and the Roman Church.

        Regarding the Armenian Churches relations with other churches such as the Byzantine Church, Roman Catholic Church and Protestants is fairly cordial.

        And finally regarding the animosity between the Greeks and the Armenians, the issue has been with the Greeks specifically in Jerusalem; they have been very problematic and have instigated most of the confrontations. But, it is not exclusively between the Greek and the Armenians; itís between the Greeks and those who are not Greek. They have had brawls with the Roman Catholics on many occasions and other Christian groups. In my opinion the Greeks and the Armenians should be supporting each other against a government that denies the Genocide and promotes the desecration of Holy Sites.

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        • #5
          Re: Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

          Yeznik, you are one of the few people in our society today that truly has in depth knowledge of our Christian traditions and beliefs, and a true believer... You are unique in this regard even perhaps amongst clergy as well. Why don't you open up a thread here devoted solely to our Christian tradition?
          Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

          Նժդեհ


          Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Re: Questions on the Armenian Apostolic Church

            Originally posted by Armenian View Post
            Yeznik, you are one of the few people in our society today that truly has in depth knowledge of our Christian traditions and beliefs, and a true believer... You are unique in this regard even perhaps amongst clergy as well. Why don't you open up a thread here devoted solely to our Christian tradition?
            Armenian thank you for the endearing complement, I will try to put something together in the near future.

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