Written by Mary Mukhtarian
The St. Sarkis church of Dallas/Fort Worth was thrilled on Monday, July 15, 2019 to host His Eminence the Primate of the Eastern Diocese Bishop Daniel Findikyan who blessed the cross to be placed on top of the new St. Sarkis church under construction.
The St. Sarkis community in Dallas Fort Worth is in the process of finalizing the building of a new church expected to be consecrated in a few months. To witness the process of blessing the cross to go on top of the church was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone, especially being able to kiss such a holy symbol.
This was the first time the newly ordained Bishop Findikyan was officiating at St. Sarkis both as a Primate and a Bishop. The parish’s pastor, Rev. Fr. Ghevond Ajamian, who has led the faithful to this point, unfortunately was unable to participate in this momentous service, but joined the parish in prayer and spirit from Armenia. The uniqueness of the service for the consecration and anointment of the cross had energized the community, and everyone was at the standing-room-only service. Prominent among them were the generous benefactors of the new church including the Akilians, Kechejians, and Sherenians. The Simonians were out of town. The profoundly moving ceremony had everyone hanging on each word, and appreciating the pageantry of a beloved Bishop leading the community in understanding the significance of the rituals, assisted by three deacons and five sub deacons (and a half counting little Gregory Bolat), who altogether created a visual feast for the faithful.
The impressive metallic cross was placed on the altar, and the Primate followed the traditional service of blessing it with the Holy Myuron starting with the crown, then the right and left arms and at last the trunk of the cross. Each step was met with reverent silence as the parishioners basked in the glory of the proceedings while they waited to be invited to kiss the cross.
As expected, the message of Bishop Findikyan was inspirational. The faithful were treated to the significance of the cross not only as a symbol of Christianity, but as the warm embrace of a Savior who spread his arms on the cross, so that we will all feel His arms wrapped around us, and know that he became a man to die on the cross for our sins. Armenian crosses affirm the resurrection of Christ because the image of a crucified Jesus is not on any of them, just like the one that was anointed on Monday.
The faithful were then invited to the ceremonial veneration of the cross by kneeling before the cross and kissing it. The process took a long time because of the number of faithful, and because everyone appreciated the importance of the occasion and took time to pray for their families and have pictures taken with the cross.
The social hour afterwards was especially jovial because everyone wanted to meet with the new Primate who graciously accommodated the needs of all parishioners. We look forward to welcoming Bishop Findikyan again in a few months for the consecration of the new St. Sarkis.