Service at Westminster Abbey Commemorates Armenian Genocide Martyrs

His Holiness Karekin II, Cathilicos of All Armenians during the service at Westminster Abbey
His Holiness Karekin II, Cathilicos of All Armenians during the service at Westminster Abbey

His Holiness Karekin II, Cathilicos of All Armenians during the service at Westminster Abbey

LONDON—President Serzh Sarkisian joined Prince Chales and His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians Wednesday at a special service to celebrate the lives of the newly-sainted Armenian Martyrs of 1915 at Westminster Abbey.

In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!

‘The ancient account in the holy Bible of Cain killing his brother Abel rings down through the centuries and generations. The blood of countless men, women and children, split through crimes of passion and of hate, intercommunal rivalry, civil conflict and warfare continues to cry out to God from the ground. And the blood continues to be spilt.

‘This evening we call to mind the killing of innocent Armenians a hundred years ago. With sorrow we remember so much blood spilt. With thanksgiving we celebrate the Holy Martyrs and ask for their prayers. With longing we pray for peace and reconciliation between peoples divided.’

The Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence read Hebrews 4: 14-16 and His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, read St Mark 10: 35-45.

Listen to the service

The Address was given by The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and read by Baroness Cox; Shakeh Major Tchilingirian, mother of a great-grandchild of survivors from Cilicia; Ellen Adamian, great-granddaughter of survivors from Moush and Sassoun; His Excellency Dr Armen Sarkissian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Court of St James’s, former Prime Minister of Armenia (1996-1997) grandson of survivors from Erzerum and Alashkert; and the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence.

At the invitation of the Dean, the Bishop of London, representing the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Catholicos of All Armenians, offered the Blessing.

The service was sung by the St Yeghiche Armenian Church Choir, directed by Aris Nadirian. Music during the service was accompanied by Arthur Bovikyn, Organist, St Yeghiche Armenian Church. Music before and after the service was played by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist.


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  1. Mr O Tucker said:

    I see you have a link to the service but do you also have the music of the choir singing before the service started?

  2. Norin said:

    On the surface this is a nice gesture. However sadly, the 100th AG event in Armenia was the event the English, as Anglican Christians should have been more respectful of by participating. Even though it’s an EU prime member, France had the common sense to be mindful and respectful of this event by participating despite having geostrategic interests that do not necessarily align with Russia’s or Armenia’s for that matter. The Royal family and the English government in general dropped the ball by instead participating in the farse that was the Gallipoili event. Clearly the Gallipoli event was a diversionary tactic as part of Turkey’s efforts to undermine AG’s 100th year, and clearly the British are no spring chickens to such political games. So the fact that they chose to ignore the AG’s 100th in lieu of the Gallipoli theatrics was a very disrespectful gesture towards Armenians worldwide. But then again this is the English we are talking about, they are masters of playing both sides of any political conflict between peoples. Armenians need to learn how to play such games better and not run to these events like children after the other side has clearly shown no support for our concerns when it counted the most.