Author Topic: Question about Armenian traditions  (Read 16380 times)

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Offline Salpy

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #90 on: June 08, 2015, 12:36:38 AM »
Just watch what everyone else is doing and do the same.   :)


Offline Alpo

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2015, 09:33:34 AM »
It was today. Rather liked it despite not knowing the rite or the language. I must admit though that the unleavened bread looked a bit out of place.  :P No, I didn't took the communion myself but the seemed like a RC host.

Anyway, after the liturgy there was something that looked like similar to EO Chrismation. The weird thing was that the person  partook the Eucharist before this supposed Chrismation. Any idea that it might have been? Our secong guess that it might have been some kind of pre-marital blessing as he had his seemingly Armenian girlfriend with him. The guy himself looked like a Finn.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 09:40:35 AM by Alpo »
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Offline Aram

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2015, 02:39:08 PM »
It was today. Rather liked it despite not knowing the rite or the language. I must admit though that the unleavened bread looked a bit out of place.  :P No, I didn't took the communion myself but the seemed like a RC host.

Anyway, after the liturgy there was something that looked like similar to EO Chrismation. The weird thing was that the person  partook the Eucharist before this supposed Chrismation. Any idea that it might have been? Our secong guess that it might have been some kind of pre-marital blessing as he had his seemingly Armenian girlfriend with him. The guy himself looked like a Finn.
It's not like a RC host--it's not a hard cracker, but a soft, gummy disc.

You probably saw a betrothal service, which should (though isn't always) be performed separately from the marriage service, and is often done directly after a liturgy.

Offline Severian

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2015, 06:14:02 PM »
Regarding attaching pieces of cloth to trees or bushes near holy places, it is true that it is a custom.  I've never heard, however, that it is to obtain "luck."  I've always interpreted it as a way to leave a little bit of yourself behind before leaving a place of pilgrimage.  I really don't know.  It's not an official teaching of the Church that people are supposed to do that sort of thing.  It's just really a custom or a "popular piety," as some people say.  I heard somewhere that it is one of those customs that goes back to pre-Christian times, and that it has pagan origins, but I can't say for sure.

My friends and I do it whenever we go to St. Antony Coptic Monastery in the Mojave desert in California.  Only we don't use cloth; we use dental floss.   :)  Once when we were doing it, one of the monks saw us.  He didn't say anything, but he gave us an odd look.  I guess Copts don't have that custom.   :)

Regarding the "sacrifice" of sheep, they are referring to something called "Madagh."  I don't know exactly how to translate that word into English, but I would not use "sacrifice," as it has the wrong connotations. 

Basically, it's a blessing service that is said over meat before it is eaten.  You do Madagh on special occasions, like a feast day, wedding or baptism.  It is lamb meat or mutton and it is not supposed to be spiced, except for salt which is specially blessed.  I know someone who was at St. Nerses Seminary and sometimes they would do a Madagh and take the meat over to a homeless shelter.

The "animal sacrifice" accusation comes in because in the Old Country you couldn't just go to the local supermarket and buy your meat all neatly wrapped in cellophane.  It came from an animal and you had to slaughter it before you could eat it.  In the old days, and I think they still do it this way in Armenia, prayers are said over the sheep before it is slaughtered. 

Folk customs have also developed which would probably turn off people from the West, such as brides and grooms stepping in the sheep's blood for good luck, etc.  This is an example of a local village folk custom though, not something the Church tells people to do. 

The priests themselves would not be actually slaughtering the animal, as I think priests are not supposed to ever kill anyone or anything, even an animal.  I've heard more than once that there is a canon saying that a butcher cannot become a priest.
 
Protestants will sometimes refer to Madagh in their polemics, accusing us of still offering animal sacrifices because we don't believe Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough, etc.  None of that is true, however. 

Madagh is briefly explained here:

http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/religion/feasts_p4.html#Madagh
It interesting to note that in the Coptic Orthodox Church, a believer must receive an absolution from a Priest before slaughtering an animal. Is this universal throughout OOy?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2015, 06:20:49 PM »
Not in India, anyway.  On my visits there, I am certain that the animals I ate at lunch were slaughtered by people who did not first go to church that morning.  :P
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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #95 on: September 11, 2015, 12:58:19 AM »
Regarding attaching pieces of cloth to trees or bushes near holy places, it is true that it is a custom.  I've never heard, however, that it is to obtain "luck."  I've always interpreted it as a way to leave a little bit of yourself behind before leaving a place of pilgrimage.  I really don't know.  It's not an official teaching of the Church that people are supposed to do that sort of thing.  It's just really a custom or a "popular piety," as some people say.  I heard somewhere that it is one of those customs that goes back to pre-Christian times, and that it has pagan origins, but I can't say for sure.

My friends and I do it whenever we go to St. Antony Coptic Monastery in the Mojave desert in California.  Only we don't use cloth; we use dental floss.   :)  Once when we were doing it, one of the monks saw us.  He didn't say anything, but he gave us an odd look.  I guess Copts don't have that custom.   :)

Regarding the "sacrifice" of sheep, they are referring to something called "Madagh."  I don't know exactly how to translate that word into English, but I would not use "sacrifice," as it has the wrong connotations. 

Basically, it's a blessing service that is said over meat before it is eaten.  You do Madagh on special occasions, like a feast day, wedding or baptism.  It is lamb meat or mutton and it is not supposed to be spiced, except for salt which is specially blessed.  I know someone who was at St. Nerses Seminary and sometimes they would do a Madagh and take the meat over to a homeless shelter.

The "animal sacrifice" accusation comes in because in the Old Country you couldn't just go to the local supermarket and buy your meat all neatly wrapped in cellophane.  It came from an animal and you had to slaughter it before you could eat it.  In the old days, and I think they still do it this way in Armenia, prayers are said over the sheep before it is slaughtered. 

Folk customs have also developed which would probably turn off people from the West, such as brides and grooms stepping in the sheep's blood for good luck, etc.  This is an example of a local village folk custom though, not something the Church tells people to do. 

The priests themselves would not be actually slaughtering the animal, as I think priests are not supposed to ever kill anyone or anything, even an animal.  I've heard more than once that there is a canon saying that a butcher cannot become a priest.
 
Protestants will sometimes refer to Madagh in their polemics, accusing us of still offering animal sacrifices because we don't believe Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough, etc.  None of that is true, however. 

Madagh is briefly explained here:

http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/religion/feasts_p4.html#Madagh
It interesting to note that in the Coptic Orthodox Church, a believer must receive an absolution from a Priest before slaughtering an animal. Is this universal throughout OOy?

That's news to me!
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #96 on: September 11, 2015, 10:00:28 AM »
Regarding attaching pieces of cloth to trees or bushes near holy places, it is true that it is a custom.  I've never heard, however, that it is to obtain "luck."  I've always interpreted it as a way to leave a little bit of yourself behind before leaving a place of pilgrimage.  I really don't know.  It's not an official teaching of the Church that people are supposed to do that sort of thing.  It's just really a custom or a "popular piety," as some people say.  I heard somewhere that it is one of those customs that goes back to pre-Christian times, and that it has pagan origins, but I can't say for sure.

My friends and I do it whenever we go to St. Antony Coptic Monastery in the Mojave desert in California.  Only we don't use cloth; we use dental floss.   :)  Once when we were doing it, one of the monks saw us.  He didn't say anything, but he gave us an odd look.  I guess Copts don't have that custom.   :)

Regarding the "sacrifice" of sheep, they are referring to something called "Madagh."  I don't know exactly how to translate that word into English, but I would not use "sacrifice," as it has the wrong connotations. 

Basically, it's a blessing service that is said over meat before it is eaten.  You do Madagh on special occasions, like a feast day, wedding or baptism.  It is lamb meat or mutton and it is not supposed to be spiced, except for salt which is specially blessed.  I know someone who was at St. Nerses Seminary and sometimes they would do a Madagh and take the meat over to a homeless shelter.

The "animal sacrifice" accusation comes in because in the Old Country you couldn't just go to the local supermarket and buy your meat all neatly wrapped in cellophane.  It came from an animal and you had to slaughter it before you could eat it.  In the old days, and I think they still do it this way in Armenia, prayers are said over the sheep before it is slaughtered. 

Folk customs have also developed which would probably turn off people from the West, such as brides and grooms stepping in the sheep's blood for good luck, etc.  This is an example of a local village folk custom though, not something the Church tells people to do. 

The priests themselves would not be actually slaughtering the animal, as I think priests are not supposed to ever kill anyone or anything, even an animal.  I've heard more than once that there is a canon saying that a butcher cannot become a priest.
 
Protestants will sometimes refer to Madagh in their polemics, accusing us of still offering animal sacrifices because we don't believe Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough, etc.  None of that is true, however. 

Madagh is briefly explained here:

http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/religion/feasts_p4.html#Madagh
It interesting to note that in the Coptic Orthodox Church, a believer must receive an absolution from a Priest before slaughtering an animal. Is this universal throughout OOy?
How about swatting flies?
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #97 on: September 14, 2015, 10:51:55 PM »
Regarding attaching pieces of cloth to trees or bushes near holy places, it is true that it is a custom.  I've never heard, however, that it is to obtain "luck."  I've always interpreted it as a way to leave a little bit of yourself behind before leaving a place of pilgrimage.  I really don't know.  It's not an official teaching of the Church that people are supposed to do that sort of thing.  It's just really a custom or a "popular piety," as some people say.  I heard somewhere that it is one of those customs that goes back to pre-Christian times, and that it has pagan origins, but I can't say for sure.

My friends and I do it whenever we go to St. Antony Coptic Monastery in the Mojave desert in California.  Only we don't use cloth; we use dental floss.   :)  Once when we were doing it, one of the monks saw us.  He didn't say anything, but he gave us an odd look.  I guess Copts don't have that custom.   :)

Regarding the "sacrifice" of sheep, they are referring to something called "Madagh."  I don't know exactly how to translate that word into English, but I would not use "sacrifice," as it has the wrong connotations. 

Basically, it's a blessing service that is said over meat before it is eaten.  You do Madagh on special occasions, like a feast day, wedding or baptism.  It is lamb meat or mutton and it is not supposed to be spiced, except for salt which is specially blessed.  I know someone who was at St. Nerses Seminary and sometimes they would do a Madagh and take the meat over to a homeless shelter.

The "animal sacrifice" accusation comes in because in the Old Country you couldn't just go to the local supermarket and buy your meat all neatly wrapped in cellophane.  It came from an animal and you had to slaughter it before you could eat it.  In the old days, and I think they still do it this way in Armenia, prayers are said over the sheep before it is slaughtered. 

Folk customs have also developed which would probably turn off people from the West, such as brides and grooms stepping in the sheep's blood for good luck, etc.  This is an example of a local village folk custom though, not something the Church tells people to do. 

The priests themselves would not be actually slaughtering the animal, as I think priests are not supposed to ever kill anyone or anything, even an animal.  I've heard more than once that there is a canon saying that a butcher cannot become a priest.
 
Protestants will sometimes refer to Madagh in their polemics, accusing us of still offering animal sacrifices because we don't believe Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough, etc.  None of that is true, however. 

Madagh is briefly explained here:

http://www.hyeetch.nareg.com.au/religion/feasts_p4.html#Madagh
It interesting to note that in the Coptic Orthodox Church, a believer must receive an absolution from a Priest before slaughtering an animal. Is this universal throughout OOy?

I never heard of that before.  Interesting, though.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2015, 02:52:22 AM »

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Question about Armenian traditions
« Reply #99 on: November 06, 2015, 11:05:42 AM »
Article about madagh in Los Angeles:

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84938986/
That article (Titled "After bizarre freeway sign death, a spotlight on misunderstood church tradition of 'sacrifice'") was written as a follow up to this one:
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-animal-sacrifice-freeway-sign-death-20151105-story.html

Something seems perhaps "off" to me about the two articles themselves. I think the newspaper might have written the second one to smoothe over any potential misunderstanding the first article had about the Madagh. For example, the first article was titled "Lamb sacrifice performed for man days before he was ejected onto freeway sign", and perhaps the second one was meant to explain what that meant, because proposing a "lamb sacrifice" to a man's accident sounds like they are suggesting that the lamb sacrifice and accident were quirky and related to each other. What else was the point of mentioning the lamb sacrifice in the first article?

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« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 11:19:50 AM by rakovsky »
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