Saturday, March 28, 2015

Understanding the Armenian Divine Liturgy

( - I confess that sometimes I feel a type of sadness when I’m celebrating the Divine Liturgy and I sense that there are people in the congregation that aren’t fully appreciating the ancient and potent sacrament of Soorp Badarak, Holy Communion. I know the language is Classical Armenian, and for many the theology and historic origins that underpin the Divine Liturgy are unfamiliar. Nonetheless, for me its like the pearl too which Christ compared the Kingdom of Heaven. A discovery of priceless value. With just a few hours of attention and study, the faithful can transform their perception of the Divine Liturgy, and it would be well worth it.

Thats why this Great Lent I have been offering a special five part seminar to help the faithful better understand the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church, and participate more fully. Its been a great experience for me, encouraging and educational.

I decided to live stream the videos via YouTube to give people with difficult schedules the opportunity to watch from home or work (I won’t tell). As an added bonus the streamed video remains online forever, for anyone that wants to watch at their leisure. This was the first time I’d streamed video in this way, and there were a few funny technical challenges to overcome, particularly audio in nature, but the end product was acceptable.

As I went back and watched the cumulative six and half hours of footage from the seminar series, I became aware of a few other challenges.
  1. Six and half hours of me lecturing is kind of boring, so I tip my hat to you if you find it engaging.
  2. I’ve never heard or seen myself this much. A fantastic opportunity for self-criticism. For example: I say the word “context” too often.
  3. I was upfront at the beginning of the seminar that I am not by any means a recognized expert of Liturgical Theology. I know as much as a parish priest should, which is a good degree more than the layperson, but I did not have answers for everything. These videos are totally unedited and I noticed a few honest mistakes on my part, usually a misspoken word here and there, but if anyone finds error in any of my instruction, please let me know I’ll be happy to place a comment on the video correcting myself.
Understanding that many people won’t be able to commit the time to watching the entirety of the seminar, I’m hoping to produce a few short videos in the near future to succinctly introduce important concepts from the Divine Liturgy.

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