Posted in Azad-Hye Yahoo Group on 07 Jun 2003
First Armenian Church built in Bulgaria in the last 100 years
By Elizabeth Boghossian
The ?Holy Trinity? (Sourp Yerortoutyun) chapel was opened with an inauguration ceremony on May 15th at the Armenian cemetery in Bourgas. The divine service was lead by His Eminence Archbishop Dirai r Mardikian, who was specially invited by the ?Baklayan? foundation.
The ceremony started with the ?Tranpatsek? (Open the gates) liturgy, when the prelate of the Bulgarian and Romanian diocese Dirair Mardikian, the Armenian priest Der Zareh Genanyan, archdeacon Vartan Ananyan and the lay clerk Garnik Ktikian stood kneeling in front of the chapel's gate. After the blessing, the executive director of the ?Baklayan? foundation, Mr. Kevork Sarafyan symbolically unlocked the gates. Washing the altar with holy water and laying of holy oil followed.
Immediately after the ceremony, Mr. Sarafian, as a host of the event, addressed those present, thanking the Mayor of the city for his assistance, the architect of the chapel Mr. Stefan Karagyozov and the builder ?Bourgasstroy? company, who has put their souls in this beautiful creation, unanimously qualified as ?a real piece of jewelry?.
The national benefactor and patriot, Hrant Baklayan, while still living, established a foundation in aid of charity and bequeathed the building of an Armenian chapel in the cemetery.
?This is the first Armenian chapel built in Bulgaria for the last 100 years. It is not only a prayer house for the Armenian Christians, but a peculiar slap in the face against all the ?insanities? that demolished our churches some time ago.? -said arch. Mardikian. He reminded that building of a church is equal to immortality. After that he hold a service in memory of the chapel's donor, Hrant Baklayan.
The event was attended by the five deputy mayors of the municipality, members of the Bulgarian Orthodox church, Catholic and evangelic pastors, the President of the eparchial council of the Armenian Apostolic and Orthodox church in Bulgaria, Dr. Rupen Krikorian, compatriots and fellow citizens.
03 Jun 2003