Author Topic: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?  (Read 2585 times)

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Offline serb1389

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I pass by these two churches every week when I go to the GOA church in the area, which is actually (and ironically) right in between these two churches. 

Here is the link for the "Apostolic Church" = http://www.soorpstepanos.org/tp40/Default.asp?ID=138749

Here is the link for the congregational/evangelical Armenian church = http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Armenian.Memorial.Congregational.Church.617-923-0498

Here is a link explaining the evangelical movement in Armenia, that I found = http://www.ucc.org/about-us/hidden-histories/armenian-congregationalists.html

So...I am definitely confused.  I had heard a story that these two communities actually came from the same group of Armenians, who ended up splitting, almost like a Protestant fraction, splitting into two separate churches, from the same group. 

How prevalent is this?  How did this all really come about?  Just trying to figure out any kind of history or story here.

If this is the wrong section for this, please let me know and feel free to move it...
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 01:39:18 PM »
The Apostolic Church seems to celebrate a Divine Liturgy, so are they a sect off the main Armenian Church?
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 03:37:18 PM »
The first church--St Stephen's Armenian Apostolic Church--is a canonical Armenian Orthodox church. In the 'about us' section it makes clear that it is under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Church which is, "affiliated with and under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, located in Antelias, Lebanon. His Holiness Aram I is the Catholicos of the See of Cilicia."

The Armenian Orthodox Church has come to be known as 'the Armenian Apostolic Church' within the last century or so. I offered my own brief explanation of this on my website:

Quote
Since its occupation under the Soviet Union, the Armenian Orthodox Church has also come to be known as the ‘Armenian Apostolic Church.’ The latter name was one coined and imputed upon the Armenian Church by the Russian Orthodox occupants and undoubtedly reflects their confessional prejudice. As such, whilst most Armenians have unwittingly adopted the title in question in relation to their Church, others, such as His Eminence Arhcbishop Baliozian, consider it disparaging given their conscious awareness of the context in which it arose.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 03:37:46 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 08:00:34 PM »
Thanks, EA.   :)

Offline serb1389

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 11:18:37 PM »
i'm wondering actually more about the other church, the evangelical one...?  Any information about this happening, and how?  Thanks...
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 01:01:28 AM »
Armenian Protestantism started in the 19th century.  Protestant missionaries came to the Ottoman Empire originally to convert Muslims.  Then when they discovered that could get them killed, they switched to converting Orthodox. 

In my grandfather's village they built a school and then required anyone interested in enrolling their child to convert.  My grandfather's grandfather responded to this by building a school of his own where the Orthodox could enroll their children without having to abandon their Church.  The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople rewarded him by sending a letter praising his work and changing his name from Baljanian to Parichanian, which means "one who does good."

There are Armenian Protestant Churches today of various denominations.  I would say that Armenian Protestants make up less than five percent of the total Armenian population, but they are a very visible and active group.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 01:20:48 AM by Salpy »

Offline Gisasargavak

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To me, Armenian chant is as unique as Georgian, Russian, Byzantine, Coptic or any other sort of chant. It is unique in it's own right. It is possible that you may find it similar to Latin because of Gregorian chant? Both in their original forms are monophonic...other than this I can't see any similarity. Armenian chant is very fond of what we would call in the West the "harmonic minor" scale, which gives it its distinctive "Middle Eastern" sound. However, even this doesn't fully explain Armenian chant, because the Coptic Church also uses "Middle Eastern" melodies, and the two traditions sound completely different.

The "westernization" of Armenian chant and liturgical singing probably began somewhere at the beginning/middle of the 19th century when the music started to be dictated using Western notation by people like the Mkhitarists and later Komitas Vartabed and Markar Yekmalian. This new musical setting probably brought a more "western" sound to it due to the nature of Western notation. Still, to me the music is very haunting and is almost nothing like western music, especially if you look at some of the RC's modern songs...

As for the influence of Latin Christianity: you have to realize that the Church didn't exist in a vacuum and was constantly changing hands between Rome, Byzantium, Persians, Arabs (and later) the Turks. At that time, Armenians probably weren't as concerned with perserving "cultural homogeneity" as they are today. They might have adopted certain cultural practices of the empire at the time to show fidelity or just simply because they liked that particular tradition. Personally, I think it's cool when the Bishop comes to serve Liturgy and the deacons have to hold up his hat (mitre) in front of everyone. :D

Offline Severian

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 12:32:17 AM »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 03:02:21 PM »
How Armenian OOs refer to themselves? Just by "Armenian"?

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 03:29:34 PM »
I would think that for historical reasons (the genocide, the large diaspora, etc.) almost all Armenian Orthodox are ethnic Armenians so...all of them? What else would fit?

Offline Alpo

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 03:54:57 PM »
I would think that for historical reasons (the genocide, the large diaspora, etc.) almost all Armenian Orthodox are ethnic Armenians so...all of them? What else would fit?

I don't know. It just occurred to me to ask whether the actual people refer themselves as "Orthodox" or some other name even though the name of the church is "Apostolic" instead of "Orthodox".

Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Apostolic Church/Armenian Congregational/Evangelical...Church?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 06:33:44 PM »
Armenians, when speaking Armenian, usually refer to their Church as "Arakelagan," which means Apostolic.  As EA indicated above, however, that is a relatively recent thing.  If you look at the liturgy and prayers, our Church is referred to as "Ooghapar," which means Orthodox.  For example, St. Nerses' 19th prayer refers to our faith as "orthodox faith":

Quote
Bestower of mercy, grant that I may come to Thee with orthodox faith, good works, and with the communion of Thy Holy Body and Blood. Have mercy upon Thy creatures and upon me, a manifold sinner.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg199055.html#msg199055

The word used in the original is "ooghapar."

In the liturgy, also, the word ooghapar is used when we pray for all "Orthodox bishops" etc. in the litanies. 

So historically, our Church was referred to as Ooghapar, or Orthodox. 

I'm not sure when or how the word "Arakelagan" (Apostolic,) came to be so popularly used.  EA's explanation above is as good as any.