The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has asked Armenian churches around the world to observe moments of silence, followed by sustained bell-ringing, in observance of the Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
On Thursday, April 23, at 9 p.m., the faithful are asked to dim the lights in their homes and light candles in memory of the Holy Martyrs of the Genocide. Simultaneously, bells will toll in local Armenian churches for the three minutes.
On Friday, April 24 (the feast day itself), at 12 noon, the faithful are asked to observe one minute of silence in memory of the Genocide Martyrs. After that period, church bells will toll again for three minutes.
Parishes and people should make these observances according to their respective local time zones.
His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, has instructed all Armenian Church dioceses to convey this information to their people, with the understanding that current circumstances may not permit every church to carry out all the measures.
In the Armenian Diocese of Canada, local parishes will conduct services on the feast day, but these will be closed to the public, per the pandemic restrictions.
Below is the prayer for the Feast of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, which people may wish to recite on this occasion.
Christ our God, you crown your saints with triumph and you do the will of all who fear you, looking after your creatures with love and kindness.
Hear us from your holy and heavenly realm by the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and by the prayers of all your saints, especially the Holy Martyrs who gave their lives during the Armenian Genocide for faith and for the homeland, whom we commemorate today.
Hear us Lord, and show us your mercy. Forgive, redeem and pardon our sins. Make us worthy thankfully to glorify you with the Father and with the Holy Spirit.
Now and always unto the ages of ages. Amen.