January 19, the Christmas of the Jerusalem Armenians

Passages Home Blog

~~On the occasion of the Christmas of Jerusalem Armenians, here is a re-posting from the archives.  Holy Christmas to all who carry Jerusalem in their hearts. ~~

On the evening of January 5, across the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond, Christians  participate in the re-enactment of the Nativity Story, and  break bread around a simple, mostly vegetarian meal.  All over the world, in churches that belong to the Eastern Christian denomination, the sweet fragrance of incense mixes with the voices of the faithful, the chants of the choirs with the tolling of the bells, the murmur of prayer with rustle of the cymbals and censers.

So, too, in places far away from the locus of the Christian story, here in Boston, for instance, the Orthodox churches are the sites of illumination and chant, prayer and good wishes for the new year. And while the rest of the world has gone back…

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About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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1 Response to January 19, the Christmas of the Jerusalem Armenians

  1. Kristi Chase says:

    A trip to Watertown this morning revealed throngs of the faithful entering the church. I knew something important was happening but was unaware that it was Christmas. I suspected a funeral for someone important to the Armenian community rather than the celebration of the birth of someone even more important.

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