Click on a window of our Sanctuary to view it.
There are 3 Altars: The Center or Main Altar and the 2 Side Altars, featuring mosaic images, on the left, of Saint Gregory the Illuminator and on the right of Saints Sahag and Mesrob. The elevated area is the Bema.
Left and right are determined facing away from the Main Altar which is the front of the Sanctuary
The lower area immediately in front of the Bema is the Chancel (tas) .
The picture of the Madonna adourns the Main altar. The twelve elevated candles signify the 12 disciples. The right altar shows the creator of the Armenian alphabet Saint Mesrob Mashdotz and the translator of the Greek Bible into Armenian, Saint Sahag Bartev. Above the left altar is a likeness of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who is responsible for the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301, the very first country in the world to do so. It was a vision of Christ striking the ground with a golden hammer that inspired him to build our Mother Cathedral, Holy Etchmiadzin, the oldest standing Christian cathedral in the world. The cathedral is constructed of stone brought from Mount Ararat, the resting place of Noah's Ark. He is holding that Cathedral in his hand.
The Badvantan is a small dais in front of the Holy Altar. Only the officiating clergy is allowed to step on it during the Divine Liturgy. This means that he is of higher rank and has greater responsibilities than the others on the Pem. Only the ordained clergy can do so as they are known as the "Disciples of Christ". There are 2 Niches, 1 on either side of the Main altar. The right side contains the Chalice (Sgih) and the left side contains the wine. These are used during the Badarak.
The one great steeple (kmpet), has 12 sides in honor of the 12 disciples. (another view)
The architectural design of the Armenian Church was the inspiration for Gothic Architecture.
The fan (kshotz) can trace its origin to the early days of Armenian Liturgy. Each kshotz, attached to a wooden staff, is engraved with the figure of a cherub and is adorned with 12 bells which produce a rattling sound made by turning the staff back and forth. It was first used to keep insects away from the Eucharist. Today, it is only used during specific times in the Badarak.
Sung by Isabel Bayrakdaryan
Symbolism of the Armenian Church