His Holiness Aram I Consecrates Armenia Church in Abu Dhabi
His Holiness Aram I Consecrates Armenia Church in Abu Dhabi –
12 December 2014. Following the anointment of the baptismal by the Primates of Tehran, Isfahan and Lebanon, on Thursday evening, His Holiness Aram I, on Friday, anointed the altar and dedicated the four main columns of the building to the four Evangelists. Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of Tehran, Bishops Papken Charian, Prelate of Isfahan, and Shahe Panossian, Prelate of Lebanon, continued the ceremony by anointing all the other columns and dedicating them to the Apostles and St. Gregory the Illuminator. After the thanksgiving prayers, His Holiness addressed the pilgrims who had come from different countries of the region.
His Holiness Aram I first paid tribute to Sheikh Zayed, who had offered the land and his contribution towards to construction in 1998. He also thanked the Armenian benefactors and sponsors who had helped to fund the building of the Church, the prelacy, the school and the monument dedicated to the Genocide Martyrs of 1915. In his message, the Catholicos said that it was hard to construct a church, but it is even harder to erect the church as, ‘the people of God,’ the Mystical Body of Christ. The recent destruction of Holy Martyrs Church in Deir Zor (Syria), he continued, “urges us to remind the world that despite all the efforts of the enemy to eradicate our churches and monasteries since the Armenian Genocide in 1915, we have continued building new churches and monuments to honour the memory of our martyrs, and we continue to demand justice.” His Holiness then concluded, “We respond to those who try to destroy our monuments by constructing new ones and we defy death by building new communities.”
His Holiness then participated in a procession with the clergy and the faithful to the garden of the new compound, where he blessed the Genocide memorial, including a “Khatchkar” (Cross-stone), the statue of St. Mesrob and, next to it, a stele engraved with the Armenian alphabet.
The Ambassadors of Armenia and Lebanon and the representatives of Christian communities in the UAE were the special guests at the ceremony.
The ceremony concluded with the Cilicia anthem being sung by all the clergy and the faithful.