Holy Thursday – Night Vigil- (Խաւարում) Betrayal Service

Khavaroom (darkening) or all-night vigil:

Before the crucifixion they made Jesus wear a crown of thorns, mocked, vilified and crucified Him, gave him vinegar instead of water and pierced His side with a lance. Nevertheless Christ endured all the humiliations and brutality and breathed out the spirit on the cross for the salvation of mankind and for the expiation of their sins.

The service begins with twelve candles lit on the altar. One of them is placed in the center and symbolizes Christ. There is also one standing out among other candles. It is black and stands for the betrayer Judah. During the night of Khavaroom seven passages are read from the Gospel which reflect the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Judah, the commitment of Jesus to the crowd, His standing before Ann and Caiaphas, His being struck and mocked, Peter’s three denials and regret. The readings from the Gospel are intermitted wwith the readings of psalms and the singing of hymns (sharakans) written by St. Nerses the Graceful. After each Gospel reading one candle is put out – one from each side, until in the end only one candle remains. Then all the lights are turned off in the church and “Glory to God in the highest” (“Park ee Bardzuns”) is sung, which was for the first time uttered by the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). After the last words of this song the lights are turned back on. Putting out the lights of the candles symbolizes the apostles who escaped and the single burning candle in the center stands for Christ who was left alone.

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Date(s) - 28th March 2024
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

St. Yeghiche Armenian Church

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