Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
The observance of Good Friday is the holiest mystery of the biblical events in Christian life. On Friday afternoon, His Holiness Aram I commemorated the Passion of Jesus at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Antelias.
Prior to the hymn dedicated to the Veneration of the Cross, Catholicos Aram I delivered his message. He said, “Jesus’s Salvific mission, to liberate man from sin and death, was accomplished through His persecution, crucifixion and entombment. Today we are invited to join the Son of God and descend with him to the tomb and bury our sins with Him.” His Holiness then exhorted the faithful to respond positively to Jesus’ invitation, because, he said, “Jesus is the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
In keeping with the ancient tradition of the Armenian Church, the Good Friday service took place in front of an artifact symbolizing the Tomb, which was covered with flowers and a reliquary in the shape of a cross that contains, by tradition, a piece of wood from the cross of the crucifixion. At the end of the Service, the faithful passed under the “Tomb” of Jesus to be strengthened in their Christian faith and filled with the hope of resurrection. Each person took a flower from the tomb to take home, and the Catholicos blessed them with the reliquary/cross.