The Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ or the Easter Feast is one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church.
Following the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ His body was taken off the cross and placed into the tomb and the entrance to the tomb was closed by a large stone and the soldiers were ordered to control the entrance to the tomb.
After three days the three women, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the Mother of James and Joseph, and the wife of Zebedee brought spices and perfumes to anoint the body of Jesus. They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, so they went in but they didn’t see the body of the Lord.
They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two angels dressed in white appeared and said to them, “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here, he has been raised” (Luke 24:5-6).
The women returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven disciples and the rest. According to Peter more than 500 people saw Christ who had risen from the dead. So, this is the evangelical tiding of the fact of Easter or Holy Resurrection.
Resurrection of Christ became the basis of the Christian doctrine and faith. “If that is true, it means that Christ has been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe” (1 Co 15:13-14).
Christ rose from the dead, by means of His Death He destroyed Death and granted eternal life. “I am the Resurrection and I am the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25).
Christ died for the salvation of mankind and by His Blood took away the sin in the world, so that we should inherit eternal life.
On the day of the Easter feast people dye eggs red as a symbol of fruitful life, salvation and joy.St. Gregory of Datev considered the egg to be the symbol of the world, the shell of which is the sky, the membrane is the air, the white is the water and the yolk is the earth. Dyeing eggs red symbolizes the salvation of the world by means of Blood of Christ.
The Armenian Church celebrates the Easter Feast on the first Sunday following the full moon of the vernal equinox, with 35 days move-ability, during the period from March 21 –April 26.
On Sunday, the day of the feast, a morning service is conducted the Antasdan Service is performed wherein the four corners of the world are blessed. afterwards the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. That day, the faithful welcome each other on the occasion of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ conveying the great tiding: “Christ is Risen from the dead” and receive the answer: “Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.”
Fifty-day period beginning from the Easter Feast – the Holy Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ – and lasting till Pentecost in the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church is called Hinounk or Hinants period. That period is dedicated to the mystery of Resurrection of the Lord, and that is why it is Dominical period.
The name “Hinounk” comes from the word hisounk (fifty). The first forty days of the period are dedicated to the appearances of the Risen Christ: “For forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
The last ten days of the Hinants period are dedicated to the Ascension of Christ.
Hianants period is concluded with the Feast of Ascension. According to the Church laws there are no fasting days during all fifty days of Hinants period, which means that all people can eat everything during that period.
On Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010, Rev. Archpriest Zareh Zargarian celebrated the Divine Liturgy.Holy Trinity Church was packed with parishioners who gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, to pray and receive the Holy Communion.
During his stirring sermon, Rev. Zargarian spoke about the importance of accepting the Lord’s Resurrection as the base and most important fact of the Christianity and to remember it is our responsibility to lead the kind of life which will guarantee an eternal life with our Lord after we pass. Attending the church service every Sunday and being a good Christian by learning and living the Bible is the only way to keep us alert from the temptations of the outside world.
The Church Choir, Deacons and Sub-Deacons accompanied Fr. Zargarian during this great service adding great joy to the Divine Liturgy and mesmerizing the faithful.
Following the prayers, everyone was invited to “Magaros Artinian” Hall to continue with the celebrations. Mrs. Hasmik Abikian from the Women’s Guild congratulated all on the occasion of Easter and with her warm speech invited all to enjoy the afternoon with the presence of their family and friends. The Sunday School, Armenian Saturday School, Bible Study, Women’s Guild and “Seda Pederian” Memorial Bookstore each had a table providing lunch, variety of home made desserts, coffee, decorated Choreks, Easter baskets, colorful eggs and gift items. The proceeds from the sale of each table will be spent to enrich the quality of programs offered by each group and committee.
After lunch, Fr. Zargarian gathered the children and started an exciting egg cracking match. The winner received a nice gift, complements of the “Seda Pederian” Bookstore.
With a video from Armenia’s scenery and music playing in the background throughout the lunch, the faithful had a nice time socializing and celebrating the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of the Christ. “Christ is Risen from the dead – Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ”.