It was a day like no other. More than 10,000 faithful, the largest crowd ever witnessed at St. Leon (Srobts Ghevontiants) Armenian Cathedral took part in the Easter service at on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Nothing, including barricaded surface streets and “no parking” signs, hindered the faithful from proclaiming the three most miraculous words in Christendom – “Christ is Risen!”
Young and old alike flocked the spiritual center of the Western Diocese in celebration of the Feast of the Holy Resurrection. The aerial drone footage captured depicted the renewal of the Christian Faith of the Diocesan faithful. With standing room only, the flock of Christ joyously awaited inside the Cathedral’s sanctuary for the proclamation of Christ’s victory over death. The day’s celebrant was His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North Amierca and Mexico, who along with the Khachadourian Choir, exclaimed “Christ is Risen from the Dead!” (Քրստոս Յարեաւ ի մեռելոց).
Following the service, the faithful gathered at the Turpanjian Plaza where they witnessed the releasing of the doves ceremony symbolizing the news of Christ’s Victorious Resurrection. In the Nazareth and Sima Kalaydjian Hall, the faithful they challenged the Primate in an egg-cracking game, an Easter tradition that has spanned over centuries.
Indeed, this year’s grandiose Easter celebration coincided with another milestone in the life of the Western Diocese, namely the 90th anniversary of the institution’s establishment.