Top Menu

Ejminatsin – The Armenian Vatican

Armenians are deeply religious, churches are packed with people of all ages during mass. Around Easter is an excellent time to visit Armenia, lots of fascinating ceremonies like the candle-lightening ceremony or the blessing of small wreaths offer great photo ops. Both of these ceremonies I did not know about, but literally ran into them. Like when I passed street vendors selling little green wreaths on a street corner near my hotel, I simply followed the buyers and ended up at a small church dating back to 1694. A week later I noticed  people in the street carrying small, lit candles.  I quickly walked back to this church and again I stumbled into the most moving ceremony, the lightening of candles.

 (1 von 1)

Candle Lightning Ceremony


Candle Lightning Ceremony

Candle Lightning Ceremony


Street Vendor outside church


young girls wearing the blessed wreaths

The absolute highlight though is mass at Ejminatsin Cathedral on Easter Sunday. About 20 km west of Yerevan it is the residence of the Catholicos Karekin II, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He himself led through this three hour long mass, a sequence of the most beautiful singing, shorts sermons and swinging those incense burners. The  large number of tourists present were taken photos as if there was no tomorrow and most stayed for the whole service. Not the Armenians, they poured in, lit some candles, listened a bit and then left, just like it is expected in Armenian churches.

Mass at Ejmiatsin Cathedral with Catholicos Karekin II,


Catholicos Karekin II,


Ejmiatsin Cathedral packed with worshippers and tourists

Ejmiatsin Cathedral packed with worshippers and tourists


, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply