It is an old tradition in the life of the Armenian Church, to bless the couples in love on the feast of St. Sarkis the Warrior who is considered to be the patron of love.
On this Holy occasion, on Sunday, January 31st, a number of couples who took part in Divine Liturgy were invited by Rev. Archpriest Zareh Zargarian, the pastor to receive special blessing from, in front of the Altar.
It was a nice way of celebrating and renewing their commitment to one another and to continue their journey of love.
St. Sarkis, the Captain, Patron of Youth and love
Captain St. Sarkis is one of the most beloved saints among the Armenian nation. Together with his 14 soldiers-companions he was martyred for the sake of Christian faith.
In Armenia it is accepted to celebrate the Feast of St. Sarkis not only according to church rites and prayer, but also according to various folk traditions. St. Sarkis the Captain is the patron of youth. Many miracles happen thanks to his intercession. On the day of the feast young people pray the saint asking him to make their prayers audible to God. St. Sarkis is the realizer of the love longings.
Fast of Catechumens established by St. Gregory the Illuminator precedes the feast. On the eve of the feast, in the evening, young people eat salty cookies and relate the appearance of their future bride or bridegroom in their dream to eating of the salty cookie. Also, on the night preceding the feast of St. Sarkis the faithful people place a tray full of gruel before the door believing that while passing near their door at dawn St. Sarkis will leave his footprint on the gruel symbolizing the fulfillment of their dreams.
People in love present each other cards, flowers or sweets on the occasion of the feast.
On the day of the feast a Divine Liturgy is celebrated in all churches named after St. Sarkis. Following the Liturgy a special ceremony of blessing of people in love will be offered.