Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On February 13th, 2019, the eve of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ to the Temple was celebrated at St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral. His Holiness presided over the special service, where Antasdan (Blessing of the Four Corners of the World), presenting the children to the altar for blessing, and the traditional bonfire took place.
In his sermon, the Catholicos recalled the story of Jesus being presented to the Lord in the temple, and emphasized the importance of presenting ourselves to God at all times, stating that worldly encounters place us in front of sin, but only faith takes us back to our Lord. He said that living a Christian life enables us to be part of Jesus Christ’s mystical body, which in turn makes His presence visible in our lives.
At the end of the service, a candle light was brought from the Altar and given to the Catholicos, who initiated the lighting ceremony. Priests received the children and turned them around the Altar for the blessing. Following the ecclesial service, a procession headed by His Holiness moved to the courtyard and lit the bonfire.