ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–His Holiness Karekin II–Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–presided over the solemn ceremony of consecration of the newly built of St. Gregory of Narek Church–on Sunday–in Alaverdi–a small industrial town in the northern regions of Armenia.
The construction of the Church started nearly a year ago and it was quickly completed thanks to the sponsorship of Valery Mejlumian–Director of Manes ev Vallex mining-metallurgical plant–and by the people’s support.
His Holiness first consecrated the Holy Altar–and high-ranking clergy consecrated the baptistery basin and the columns named after four Evangelists and twelve Apostles. Later–the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the newly built Church.
Hundreds of people living in Alaverdi and in the surrounding village had come to welcome His Holiness and receive his pontifical blessing. Armen Khachatrian–the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia–Henrik Kochinian–Governor of the Lori Region–and other officials–attended the ceremony.
Following the consecration–by the pontifical encyclical of His Holiness–Valery Mejlumian was awarded the highest Insignia of the Armenian Apostolic Church–the "St. Gregory the Illuminator" Medal. His Grace Bp. Sebouh Chouldjian–the Primate of the Gougark Diocese–read the pontifical encyclical. His Holiness presented a chalice to the Church on this great occasion.
Architectural styles and solutions of three greatest medieval monasteries – Hagpat–Sanahin and Odzoun–are combined in this magnificent Church.