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The Organization Of The Armenian rite

The neighboring peoples' churches had already organized their adoration rules until Armenia became officially a Christian country in 301 due to The Illuminator and the Armenian church was constructed. The apostles Tatyos and Partoghomios did not let any trace of rite in our literature in Armenia. Before The Illuminator, when Christianity entered Armenia, due to the preachers of the Greek and Syriac churches, they brought with them to Armenia the adoration invented by their churches with the preaching of the Christian religion. This could not be different, because the Armenian Christianity and the Armenian church were going to be organized after three centuries from the Syriac and the Greek ones, while these two churches were going to have time to be organized before us, to progress, to have exceptional patriarchs and saints, who due to their help those churches improved and progressed, while we were still suffering from the paganism.

The Armenian rite and the Armenian adoration were organized such a bunch, being picked by Syriac and Greek churches inheritance which existed before us and being used by us temporarily. The Armenian divine service, the holy mass, the hymns, all of them resemble to those churches such a warp.

After the arrival of St. Gregory The Illuminator, because of the inexistence of the Armenian letters, the Armenian church continued to adore with the same foreign rites and languages. Before the Armenian symbols discovery, the Armenian adoration by the preaching of The Illuminator continued to be done particularly with the Greek language. As to Parbetsi, after the political division of Armenia in 387, the Syriac language succeeded to the Greek one because the Greek language was pursued in the Persian part. Khorenatsi (the right reverend 23rd ) witnessed that : "they were conducting the convents and the people of the Armenian church by working in the church and learning to read the Syriac letters" (A. Trvank. J.), while in the Greek part they were continuing "to conduct with the Greek letters and not with the Syriac ones". The same way continued from The Illuminator till Sahag Mesrob, Drtad The Great till the king Vramshabouh’s period, and till the Armenian symbols discovery.

The Armenian letters discovery

The foreign rites being translated into Armenian or the transition from the Syriac influence to the Greek one are the result of the subversion and the improvement made by St. Sahag Bartev (387-436) and St. Mesrob Mashtots (351-436) in the formation of the Armenian rite. The conversion made by the Armenian church was done when it adopted the calendar and the mass-book of the church of Jerusalem. It was written in Greek and celebrated in Saghimic language.

Except the merit of the Armenian letters providential discovery, the honor of the success of the Armenian rite and the adoration, the Armenian liturgy, the divine service, the calendar and Mashtots’s creators. These patriarchs arranged them "by translating from Greek into Armenian" (11th. 17), according to our conditions. Our prayer-book held on its cover the title "The result of the translations of our saints Sahag and Mesrob".

In the 4th century, Sahag Mesrob inspired by Christ and consecrated by the credit of Jerusalem, being the world first church, and by the scent of its holy places and sanctuaries, also because of pastoral reasons, they decided to adopt the mass-book and the calendar of the Church of Jerusalem. The same Greek mass-book of the Church of Jerusalem had an influence also on the other eastern rite mass-books, such on the Byzantian, Syriac and Coptic. In addition to the mass-book and the calendar, the Armenian holy mass and the Armenian divine service originated also from the church of Jerusalem. The same excellent credit that had the Syriac church of the Holy Country enabled to the Armenians to change the Syriac rite with the Greek one without difficulty.

In the 4th century, beginning with The Illuminator, many patriarchs and preachers, succeeding each other, helped for the creation of the Armenian rite, for its arrangement, organization and progress, some in the Holy mass, others in the divine service, others in the book of rituals and the calendar, others in the hymn and singing fields.

“Particularly in the 5th century, after the Armenian letter discovery and the Holy Bible being translated into Armenian, the rite started to be done in Armenian. First of all by translating and immediately by the new development, by the hymns invention, and by editing prayers, the rite became edited in Armenian with special arrangement. The patriarch St. Sahag, St. Mesrob Mashtots and especially Hovhan Mantagouni became the principal architects of the Armenian ritual system of the sacraments and of the common adoration in the divine services.

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