Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
On Wednesday, February 5th, following the morning service, the prayer of collective confession was recited and blessing of water was conducted on the occasion of breaking the fast of the Catechumens.
The fast of Catechumens is particular to the Armenian Church, and It is marked on the Monday preceding the feast of St. Sarkis. In the ancient times, the custom was to fast for five days, however, today the fast is extended over three days.
After St. Gregory the Illuminator was called forth from Khor Virab (the deep pit he was held captive in), he cured King Dertad (King Tiridates III) who converted to Christianity and proclaimed Christianity as state religion, thus Armenia became the first state to officially adopt Christianity. During the following 65 days, St. Gregory preached our Lord Jesus Christ’s word and then ordered everyone to fast for five days before dedicating their lives to Christianity and cleansing themselves from their pagan practices.