Oct 1, 2008

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (Ecumenical Patriarchate),
Metropolitan Valentine of Orenburg and Buzuluk (Moscow Patriarchate)
and representatives of eleven more "sister-churches" accompanied
Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II inblessing the Chrism for
Armenian Apostolic Church in Etchmiadzin on September 28.

Armenian Apostolic Church uses two relics to bless the Chrism: the
Right Hand of St. Gregory, the Enlightener of Armenia, and Holy Spear
of Crucifixion. During the ceremony of blessing the Chrism, the Right
Hand of St. Gregory was used by Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II
(Monophysites), and the Holy Spear was given to Patriarch Bartholomew
of Constantinople (World Orthodoxy).

The following Church leaders and representatives participated the
ceremony: Metropolitan Valentine of the Diocese of Orenburg and
Buzuluk, of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate;
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental
Churches, who led the delegation for the Roman Catholic Church;
His Bishop Benjamin of Menoufeya from the Coptic Orthodox Church;
Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham of Jazirah and Euphrates
of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East;
H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasios, Metropolitan of the Chengannur
Diocese who led the delegation of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian
Church of India; Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe of
the Anglican Church, Mgr. Vartan Ashkarian, General Representative
of the Patriarchal Eparchy of the Armenian Catholic Church; Father
Yeghia Kilaghbian, Abbot of the Armenian Mkhitarist Congregation
of San Lazzaro; as well as representeatives from the World Council
of Churches, and the organization "World Conference of Religions
for Peace".

The day before (on September 28) the same members of "sister-churches"
presided by Garegin II served a memorial service for the victims
of the Armenian Genocide. Prior to the start of the service, a
wreath was laid at the memorial. During the service the participants
offered joint prayers in their own languages for the victims of the
Genocide. Following the service, members of the delegations visited
the Genocide Museum.