The rapid growth of the Armenian community in America in the last few decades places new challenges before us. In an environment of cultural and social diversity the Church is called to continue her mission to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to nurture the spiritual needs of the faithful with new vigor and always faithful to the traditions passed on from generation to generation.
This book comes to fill a great need in the life of the Church. The translation of the Divine Liturgy into modern English and modern Armenian, along with the classical Armenian text and phonetic English transliteration, combined with its easy-to-follow layout, clear rubrics and instructional commentary, will facilitate the participation of the faithful in the celebration of the Holy Badarak.
The Divine Liturgy is the most sacred Sacrament of the Armenian Church. In it we relive the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, his death on the cross, and his glorious resurrection. Our participation in the Divine Liturgy is our participation in the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that he freely offered to all who receive him in faith.
The publication of this book coincides with the 1600th anniversary of the invention the Armenian alphabet in 405 A.D. and the subsequent translation of the Holy Scriptures and the body of Christian literature, including the liturgies of the Church. Sts. Sahag and Mesrob and their dedicated students, through their translations of sacred literature, opened the gates of salvation and eternal life to the people of God. This book is dedicated in commemoration and in recognition of this most important milestone in the history of the Armenian Church.
The author of this book, Fr. Arshen Aivazian, has spent countless hours over a span of many years in rendering a new translation of the Divine Liturgy for the benefit and spiritual nourishment of our people. As a student of history, with his deep knowledge, appreciation and experience of the liturgy, he is uniquely qualified to fill this great need. And by divine providence the publication of this book coincides with his 40th anniversary of ordination to the holy priesthood. It is indeed a most appropriate and fitting offering to God in this year of significant milestones in the life of the Armenian Church and in the life of Fr. Arshen as a priest.
It is my hope and prayer that this book will help the faithful in their journey to eternal salvation through the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and in the partaking of the life-giving Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America
The Divine Liturgy
The Vesting 14
The Preparation 22
The Symbol of Faith 31
The Great Entrance 34
The Kiss of Peace 37
The Lord's Prayer 49
The Prostration and Elevation 50
The Intinction and Fraction 52
Holy Communion 55
The Thanksgiving 57
The Blessing and Dismissal 59
Requiem Service (Hokehankisd) 63
Addendum when the celebrant is a Bishop 68
Processional Hymns 76
Synaxis Hymns 88
Sy naxis Alleluias 100
Addendum for Feast Days and Solumn Occasions 105
Additional "Der Voghormia" verses 106
Brief Commentary of the Divine Liturgy 108
The Development of the Armenian Text of the Divine Liturgy 113
The Liturgical Structure of the Eucharist 116
Acts of Piety 123
Church Etiquette 127