Saints and Feasts (According to the Liturgical Calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church)

The Liturgical Calendar of the Armenian Church is divided into three categories: 

I.              Dominical Feasts

II.             Days of Fasting/Abstinence

III.           Feasts of the Saints 

 

I. Dominical Feasts

Dominical feasts are divided into three groups: 

A.     Feasts of Christ

B.     Feasts of the Holy Mother of God (“Sourp Asdvadzadzin,” “Theotokos”)

C.     Feasts of the Holy Cross and the Holy Church 

 

A. Feasts of Christ

1. Theophany

                         i.        Nativity (Christmas) and Baptism, January 6

                       ii.        Naming of our Lord, January 13

                      iii.        Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, February 14

 

2. Transfiguration: 

3. Resurrection: 

Celebrations related to the resurrection of Christ include: The Resurrection of Lazarus, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, the 40-day period from Easter Sunday to Ascension, and Pentecost (10 days after Ascension)

 

B. Feasts of the Holy Mother of God  (“Sourp Asdvadzadzin,” “Theotokos”)

1.      Annunciation – April 7 (fixed)

2.      Discovery of the Box (Fifth Sunday after Pentecost) 

3.      Assumption (observed on the Sunday closest to August 15) 

4.      Discovery of the Belt (Second Sunday after the Assumption) 

5.      Birth – September 8 (fixed)

6.      Presentation to the Temple – November 21 (fixed)

7.      Conception –  December 9 (fixed)

  

C. Feasts of the Holy Cross & Feasts of the Holy Church 

 

1. Feasts of the Holy Cross

          i.        Apparition of the Holy Cross (Fourth Sunday of Easter) 

        ii.        Exaltation of the Holy Cross (observed on the Sunday closest to September 14)

       iii.        Holy Cross of Varak (Third Sunday of the Exaltation) 

      iv.        Discovery of the Cross (Seventh Sunday of the Exaltation) 

 

2. Feasts of the Holy Church

          i.        New Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter) 

        ii.        Green Sunday (Third Sunday of Easter) 

       iii.        Red Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Easter) 

      iv.        Holy Etchmiadzin (Second Sunday after Pentecost) 

        v.        Ark of the Covenant (Saturday preceding Transfiguration, “Vartavar”) 

      vi.        Shoghagat (the Saturday preceding Assumption) 

 

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Fixed feast days in the Armenian Church Calendar:

1.         Nativity (Christmas) and Theophany 

2.         Presentation of the Lord to the Temple 

3.         Annunciation 

4.         The Birth of St. Mary the Theotokos 

5.         Presentation of the Holy Mother of God 

6.         Conception of the Virgin Mary 

 

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II. Fasting or Abstinence days

There are approximately 160 fasting days prescribed by the Armenian Apostolic Church. Fasting days are classified as follows:

 

1.      Daily fast Wednesdays and Fridays. However, there is a dispensation from fasting during the forty days after Easter (until Ascension) and during the octave of the Theophany.

2.      The Fast of Great Lent (7 weeks)

3.      Weeklong Fasts. There are ten weeklong fasts. These fasts are observed from Monday through Friday, except the fast of Nativity which is a 6-day fast:

                  i.        Fast of  Nativity/Theophany

                 ii.        Fast of the Catechumens

               iii.        Fast of Elijah

               iv.        Fast of our Holy Father St. Gregory the Illuminator

                v.        Fast of Transfiguration

              vi.        Fast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God

             vii.        Fast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

            viii.        Fast of the Holy Cross of Varak

               ix.        Fast of Advent

                x.        Fast of St. Hagop

 

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III. Feasts of the Saints 

January–February 

*          St. Basil the Great

*         St. John the Baptist / Forerunner

*          St. Gregory the Theologian

*          The Twelve Prophets

*          St. Thaddeus the Apostle and St. Santookhd

*          St. Sarkis

*          St. Sahag Bartev

*          Sts. Ghevond and priests

*          Sts. Vartanank

*          The 150 Fathers of the (Ecumenical) Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.)

 

March–April–May 

*          St. Cyril of Jerusalem 

*          St. John of Otsoon (Hovnan Otsnetsi), St John of Vorodn (Hovnan Vorodnetsi), and  St. Gregory of Datev (Krikor Datevatsi)

*          Forty Martyrs of Sebastia

*          St. Gregory the Illuminator 

 

June–July–August

*          Sts. Hripsimiank

*          Sts. Gayaniank

*          St. Nerses the Great

*          Sts. Drtad, Queen Ashkhen, and Khosrovidookht

*          12 Apostles of Christ and St. Paul the 13th Apostle

*          Sts. Thaddeus and Santookht

*          The 200 Fathers of the Holy Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.)

*          STs.Joachim and Anna (parents of the Holy Mother of God)

 

September – October

*          318 Fathers of the Holy Council of Nicea (325 A.D.)

*          St. George the General

*          Seventy-two Disciples of Christ

*          Holy Translators – Mesrob, Yeghishe, Moses (Movses) the Poet, David (Tavit) the Philosopher, Gregory of Nareg, Nerses of Kla (grace-filled) 

*          Holy Apostles: Ananias, Mathias, Barnabas, Philip, John, Silas, and Silvanus

*          Holy Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

*          The Twelve Teachers (Vartabeds) of the Church: Hierotheus of Athens, Dionysius the Areopagite, Sylvester of Rome, Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephraim the Syrian, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Theologian, Epiphanius of Cyprus, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria

 

November–December

*          Holy Archangels Gabriel and Michael

*          Sts. Gregory the Wonderworker, Nicholas and Bishop Myron 

*          Holy Apostles and first Illuminators Thaddeus and Bartholomew

*          St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

*          Sourp Hagop (of Nisibis)

*          Sts. David the Prophet and James the Apostle

*          St. Stephen the Proto-Deacon and the First Martyr 

*          Apostles Peter and Paul

*          James the Apostle and John the Evangelist, Sons of Thunder

 

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There are two kinds of fasting: 1) abstinence from meat and animal products – “bahk” and  2) total abstinence – “dzom”.

Here we have listed merely those saints that our Sunday School students should be familiar with. In the Armenian Church, saints are commemorated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Normally more than one saint is commemorated on a given day. 

Christian Education