The Canonization Service of the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide was held at Holy See of Mother Etchmiadzin on 23-th of April.
By canonizing the Armenian Genocide victims, the Armenian Apostolic Church does not mention the number of 1.5 million victims and does not specify the names. It proclaims a collective martyrdom in the name of faith and homeland. The Armenian Apostolic Church accepts the sacrifice of the martyrs of Genocide as collegiality.
Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I conducted the ceremony.
Leaders and official delegations of Christian churches that arrived in Armenia on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide participated in the ceremony as well. Among participants of the ceremony were Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church Kurt Koch. the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada Tikhon and other clergymen.
By Pontifical Order of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; the following 14 Holy Relics, out of the numerous Holy relics of the Armenian Church, were used during the Service of Canonization of the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide: Holy Lance ‘Geghard’ , the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator, Relic of the True Cross, Reliquary of Skevra, the Right Hand of the Virgin St. Hripsime, the Right Hand of St. Gevork the Warrior, Cross-reliquary of St. John the Baptist, St. Gregory of Narek and other Saints, Gospel of Zeytun, Cross-reliquary of St. Thaddeus and St. Virgin Sandukht, the Right Hand of Catholicos St. Sahak I Parthev.
Bells at virtually all Armenian churches around the world rang 100 times on Thursday night at the end of a special ceremony at Holy Echmiadzin canonizing the victims of the Ottoman-era Genocide – the first such rite conducted by the Armenian Apostolic Church in 400 years.