TEHRAN (Alik)–His Eminence Archbishop Ardak Manougian–the prelate of Tehran who died last Friday–was laid to rest Tuesday–following a solemn ceremony attended by religious leaders and governmental officials.
From 2 to 8 p.m. Monday–the Armenian-Iranian community turned out in droves to pay its last respects to its prelate–who had been leading the Armenian church in Iran for 40 years.
At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday a special funeral Mass was said by Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian representing His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–Isfahan Prelate Arch. Goriun Babian–Catholicosal Vicar General and prelate of Iranian-Azerbaijan Right Rev. Nshan Topouzian and Very Rev. Vruyr Demirdjian–who were joined by the clerics of the Tehran Prelacy.
This was preceded by a special funeral Mass officiated by Arch. Tabakian early the same morning. He then blessed the late prelate’s body and soul and anointed his forehead and right hand with holy water. Arch. Babian joined Tabakian in this ceremony.
Following the solemn funeral Mass–Arch. Manougian’s body was transferred to the graveside–located in the Armenian Prelacy compound adjacent to the St. Sarkis Church. Following the burial ceremony–Babian and Tabakian each presented eulogies.
They praised Arch. Manougian for his years of dedicated service to the Armenian Church–pointing out that at the age of 29 he assumed the responsibility of leading the large and vibrant Armenian community in Tehran.
The two leaders also emphasized the important role Arch. Manougian played in advancing the Armenian theological beliefs through numerous publications and presentations.
Also eulogizing Arch. Manougian were the Iranian-Azerbaijan prelate Right Rev. Nshan Topouzian and Right Rev. Nerses Tosounian of the Armenian Catholic community.
A delegation representing the supreme spiritual leader of Iran and the Islamic Republic government laid a wreath at Arch. Manougian’s grave. Also attending the funeral were members of the Iranian parliament–including representatives of the Jewish community.
Arch. Manougian’s sister Shoushanig and brother Shahen Kasparian were also in attendance.