Magazine article Anglican Journal

Service Marks Centennial of Armenian Genocide

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Service Marks Centennial of Armenian Genocide

Article excerpt

Montreal--On April 20, a representative of the Anglican Church of Canada joined the Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal and about 2,000 other people, largely from the local Armenian community, in a worship service marking the 100th anniversary of what is remembered as the Armenian Genocide.

From 1915 to 1922, more than 1.5 million Armenians were declared enemies of the state and massacred in what was then the Ottoman Empire and now modern Turkey. Turkey has refused to acknowledge the killings as genocide.

A near-capacity congregation in the basilica of Montreal's landmark Saint-Joseph's Oratory included Archbishop Bruce Stavert, retired archbishop of the Anglican diocese of Quebec, who came on behalf of the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and the Rev. Stephen Petrie, ecumenical officer of the diocese of Montreal. Stavert, now serving as an honorary assistant in a Montreal parish, also filled in for the Anglican bishop of Montreal, Barry Clarke.

The service was jointly organized by both main Canadian sections of the orthodox Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Catholic Church and the Armenian Evangelical Church.

Participants in the partly candlelit service listened to haunting choral music from the liturgical tradition of the ancient Armenian Church and to scripture readings and prayers by clergy of Armenian and other churches, largely from traditions based in the Middle East and now active in the Montreal area. Stavert read the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Luke in English.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal, who delivered the homily, said he was humbled by the great historic tragedy that the event commemorated.

He also referred to recent comments made by Pope Francis when he spoke to Armenian pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Basilica. On that occasion, the Pope said that in the last century humankind had lived through three "massive and unprecedented tragedies"--the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians, which he described as the first genocide of the 20th century, and the other two, perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. …

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