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Author Topic: Armenian Church Calendar  (Read 3058 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: July 14, 2008, 05:50:42 PM »

A friend of mine sent me a copy he made of a CD, which recorded a lecture by an Armenian priest about our calendar.  Sounds boring, right?  That's what I thought, until I started listening to it.  It's really interesting.  It explains all sorts of stuff I either didn't know, or that I kind of knew but didn't really know well enough.

One of the things he explains, which I kind of knew, but not in detail, is that we have very few holy days which are on fixed calendar dates.  There are six of them.  I didn't know there were six.  I thought it was less.  Two of them are Christmas (Jan. 6) and Presentation of Christ to the Temple (Feb. 14.)  He said what the other four are, but I can't recall them.  I'd have to go back and listen to the CD again to get them.   All of the other holy days move around from year to year.  An example of this is the feast day of St. Hripsime, which is on the Monday after Pentecost.  I mention that in this thread on St. Hripsime, reply #5:

 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15818.0.html

Another thing the priest goes into is how, very early on, the Armenian Church looked to Jerusalem for guidance in spiritual matters, and our "lectionary" and "rites" were copied from those of Jerusalem in the fourth century.  (I'm not too sure what those two words mean   Smiley )  Consequently, when scholars want to research the ancient Jerusalem rites and lectionary, they have to look at the Armenian ones, because that's where they have been preserved.  He spends a lot of time on this, but I couldn't quite understand it all.

Something that I did understand, though, had to do with what days are allowed to be feast days and saint days.  I kind of knew this, but again it was nice to hear it explained.  He explained how you can't have feast days or saint days on Wed. or Fri.  On Sunday, you can have a feast day, like Easter, but no saint days.  So the only days you ever have saint days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  During Lent, it's only Saturdays.

So now I have a question.  (I didn't start this thread just to tell about a lecture I heard.   Smiley )  The question I have is, are there other Churches which restrict their feast and saint days to only certain days?  I don't think the EO's have this restriction.  Also, when I look at the Coptic calendar I have, I see saint days on all the days.  So what about the Ethiopian Church or the Syriac or Indian Churches?   Does anyone know? 
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vasnTearn
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 06:18:32 AM »

The question I have is, are there other Churches which restrict their feast and saint days to only certain days?  

Yes, the Assyrian Church of the East also uses a calendar in which most of the feasts are movable, like in our Calendar. And they also have restrictions, though they are different from those of ours (for example, if I remember correctly, they celebrate saints on Fridays and perhaps Sundays while we don't). Generally, in the principles of formation (not in the contents), the Armenian Church and the Assyrian Church Calendars are similar: While other Calendars are formed according to the days of months, our Calendar is formed (also that of the Assyrian Church) according to the weeks and the days of weeks combined in circles/periods.

I want to add to your above information that though we don't celebrate saints on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, the Holy Mother of God and St Elijah are exceptions: both the Assumption of the Theotokos and St Elijah's commemoration are always on Sundays.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 06:49:14 AM by vasnTearn » Logged
Salpy
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 04:00:08 PM »

Thanks for the info, vasnTearn!  That's interesting that the Assyrian Church also has a calendar with movable feasts.  I wonder if that's the most ancient way of doing it.

Seeing this old thread reminded me to listen to the CD again and get the six feast days that are always on the same date.  I thought I would record them here, just for everyone's information:

1.  The Nativity of Christ:  January 6

2.  The Presentation of Christ to the Temple:  February 14

3.  The Conception of the Virgin Mary:  December 9

4.  The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary:  April 7

5.  The Nativity of the Virgin Mary:  September 8

6.  The Presentation of the Virgin Mary to the Temple:  November 21

Those are the only feast days that are on the same date every year in the Armenian Church.  Everything else moves around according to cycles, as mentioned above. 
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augustin717
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 04:14:15 PM »

The Assyrians, if I'm not mistaken also restrict their saints' commemorations in a manner similar to Arminians'.
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Salpy
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 09:18:40 PM »

I think I found the lecture on line.

This is the title and description:

The Liturgical Year of the Armenian Church: Feasts, Fasts and Foundations of Faith

Speaker: V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan

Description: In a lecture originally delivered on June 18, 2008 at the ecumenical conference, Orientale Lumen XII East, Fr. Findikyan presents a broad survey of the Armenian Church year. He emphasizes the unique theological vision that is expressed in the structure, arrangement, historical development and meaning of the feasts, making comparisons with the liturgical year in the Latin, Byzantine, Coptic and other rites. [41min, 38MB]


http://www.stnersess.edu/classroom/lectures/index.php


http://www.stnersess.edu/globalClassroom/armenianChurchStudies/FindikyanLitYear.mp3
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 09:19:12 PM by Salpy » Logged

ialmisry
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 01:09:21 PM »

Thanks for the info, vasnTearn!  That's interesting that the Assyrian Church also has a calendar with movable feasts.  I wonder if that's the most ancient way of doing it.

Seeing this old thread reminded me to listen to the CD again and get the six feast days that are always on the same date.  I thought I would record them here, just for everyone's information:

1.  The Nativity of Christ:  January 6

2.  The Presentation of Christ to the Temple:  February 14

3.  The Conception of the Virgin Mary:  December 9

4.  The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary:  April 7

5.  The Nativity of the Virgin Mary:  September 8

6.  The Presentation of the Virgin Mary to the Temple:  November 21

Those are the only feast days that are on the same date every year in the Armenian Church.  Everything else moves around according to cycles, as mentioned above. 
Interesting that the preservation of the common date of the Nativity and Theophany on the same day moves the Annunciation as well. Which is interesting as April 6 33 is given by some as a date of the Resurrection, while the Synaxarion we use gives March 25 (which I've never seen possible in any calculation), the connection that there was an early connectin between Christ's death date with His conception or birthdate.
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 08:12:58 PM »

Arminians'.

LOL!
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