Funeral Rites for Karekin I Held At St. Sargis Church

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"The final wish of the Supreme Patriarch was to have an accord and unity at the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin–among the Armenian nation–among parties and among the two sees of our Church," Patriarchal Delegate to Central Europe–Austria and Sweden Archbishop Mesrop Grigorian said during the July 5 funeral rites for Catholicos Karekin I at St. Sargis Church in Yerevan. According to His Right Reverend–the Patriarch lived his life full of events. "He did not waste a single second. We wish he would remain with us longer," he added.

Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirossian emphasized that the people of Armenia and Artsakh are mourning for their spiritual leader. "We must pray to the Lord to bestow peace on us–as well as a worthy successor to become our leader," His Holiness said.

At the end of the ceremony–all those present–including Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I–Patriarch of Constantinople Archbishop Mesrop Mutafian–Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Torgom Manoukian–other clergymen and officials–one by one kissed the Gospel lying on the chest of the Supreme Patriarch as if they were receiving his blessing.

On July 6–the coffin with the dead body of the Supreme Patriarch was taken to Etchmiadzin.

The Supreme Ecclesiastic Council decided that the body of Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin I will be buried next to the gravesite of his predecessor Catholicos Vazgen I–top clergymen at the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin told journalists.

It is expected that the Supreme Patriarch’s funeral will be attended by the Patriarchs of Romania and Georgia–Representative of the Vatican Cardinal Edward Cassidy and other dignitaries–as well as a number of officials.

Archbishop Hovhan Terterian said the coffin with the body of Supreme Patriarch will be placed at the church altar. Upon completion of the liturgy the coffin with the body will be placed at the belfry. Then the soil will be sanctified and the grave will be sprinkled. The filling up of the grave will last seven days and each day will be accompanied by a special rite.

The gravestone will be mounted 40 days after the interment.

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