One of the Dominical and fixed feasts of the Armenian Church is Presentation of the Lord, in Armenian, Dyarnuntarach. It occurs invariable forty days after the Theophany of Christ, or on February 14. This feast represents an important event in Jesus’ infancy. It is regarded as a scriptural confirmation of His Revelation as God. “Dyarnuntarach,” as it is known in Armenian, symbolizes the presentation of the 40 day-old Christ Child to the Temple in Jerusalem.
On February 13, 2020, the eve of the feast at 6:00 p.m., with the participation of Archpriest Fr. Manoug Markarian, the Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsesian and the Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazyan, the Diocesan Primate His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian presided over the Dyuarnuntarach service at St. Leon (Srbots Ghevontiants) Armenian Cathedral.
The evening's homily was delivered by Rev. Fr. Vazken Movesian. In his message to the congregation Fr. Vazken explained that the symbolism of the bonfire. To young families, here is an opportunity for purification and presentation (see Luke 2:22). Then, he shared the prayer of the great patriarch of the Armenian Church, St. Nersess Shnorhali as a meditation that evening:
O Christ, who are the Living Fire,
inflame my soul with the fire of Your love, which You did send forth upon the earth,
that it may burn the stains of my soul,
sanctify my conscience,
purge the sins of my body and
kindle in my heart the light of Your knowledge.
Following the traditional blessing of the Four Corners of the World, Andastan, the clergy led a processional to the Turpanjian Plaza for the lighting of the bonfire, symbolizing the Light and Wisdom of Christ.
Nearly 500 people flocked the spiritual center of the Western Diocese to take part in the observance of the feast.
After receiving a blessing from the clergy, couples who celebrated their first Dyarnuntarach together distributed the Light of Christ to the faithful who took the lighted candles home in continuing the sweet tradition of sharing the Light of God with their families and neighbors.