ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–The anointment of the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II was held at the St. Etchmiadzin Cathedral on November 4.
The ordination ceremony was officiated by His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.
The ceremony began with a divine liturgy during which the twelve archbishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church ordained the elected Catholicos investing the supreme patriarchal power in him. The patriarch’s crosier–ring and robes were given to the new patriarch. Then the ceremonial anointment of the Catholicos of All Armenia’s was held in front of the Holy Altar.
"May the Lord keep the Armenian nation united and the Armenian state unshakable. Will shall strengthen cooperation between the State and the Church. The nation experienced another ordeal recently as the innocent blood of outstanding men of the Republic of Armenia was shed. Praying for the memory of the dead–we sing God’s praises as God helped our long-suffering people to retain common sense in getting through this trial–to avert imminent danger to our independence and statehood," Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II said during the ceremony.
After the divine liturgy–the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II ascended the throne for the first time.
The enthronement ceremony was attended by Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I–Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Torgom Manoogian–Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Arch. Mesrob Mutafyan and all the bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church–as well as representatives of the Russian–Georgian and Coptic orthodox churches–the Roman–German and Armenian catholic churches–the Anglican Church–and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Also attending the ceremonies were President of Armenia Robert Kocharian–Prime Minister Aram Sargsyan–members of parliament and ministers.
"We are not afraid of challenges ahead," said His Holiness Karekin II. "We are not afraid–because we are convinced that peoples entering the third millennium are guided by the principles of cooperation and common sense in order to overcome tragedies–disasters–wars and devastation–in order to live in peace," he added.
The Catholicos emphasized that "fraternal Christian churches as well as friendly states interested in peace and keen on strengthening friendship among peoples are backing our people–the Armenian Church and the Republic of Armenia today."
President Robert Kocharian congratulated Catholicos Karekin II on his enthronement. In a speech made during the ceremony of enthronement–Kocharian said:
"On behalf of the Armenian leadership and personally–I congratulate the new Catholicos of All Armenia’s on the occasion of his enthronement. I believe that under the guidance of His Holiness Karekin II–Armenia and the Diaspora will rally around the Armenian Church with new commitment and inspiration. I believe that a worthy respected person has ascended the throne of St. Grigor the Illuminator.
"Today–when the October 27 tragic events still echo in our souls–we fully value and understand the great mission of the St. Etchmiadzin Holy See. The mission–which is called together with the Great House of Cilicia–is to bestow blessing and consolation upon our people and stimulate its moral and spiritual awakening–as well as to support the strengthening of the Armenian state. I believe that at this crucial and important moment under the leadership of the 132nd Catholicos–the Armenian Apostolic Church will do its best to see that holy mission accomplished.
"Your Holiness–let me again congratulate you upon your enthronement. Be sure that the Shepherd of All Armenia’s will enjoy the full support of the leadership of Armenia."