Arevakal Prayers started with the Lenten period for the Armenian Apostolic Churches
“Arevakal” prayers began with the Lenten period within the framework of the calendar organized by the Patriarchate of Armenians of Turkey. Every year, traditionally, Arevakal prayers are taking place during the Lent. This year Arevakal (Sunrise) prayers which endure 6 weeks of the Lent started on Wednesday, February 26th.
On the first day program, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan was in Yesilköy, Archpriest Tatul Anuşyan was in Ortaköy, Rev. Yeğişe Uçkunyan was in Samatya, Rev. Sinork Donikyan was in Topkapı, Rev. Mağakya Beskizyan was in Kumkapı. On this first day of Arevakal, His Beatitude the Patriarch Sahak II preached at the Surp Krikor Lusavoric Church in Kuzguncuk. The church was completely filled by the faithful in the early hours of the morning. The Parish priest Rev. Bedros Bulduyan, performed his morning prayers with the deacons and chorists. Then the prayers of “Arevakal” started under the auspices of the Patriarch Sahak II. After the hymns, the “Light” prayer began by the prayer of the Patriarch and he distributed the “light” to the believers through the candles. The Patriarch preached in Armenian and Turkish and he briefly said: “During the Arevakal period, we visit different churches every weekday for 6 weeks. We sing hymns and we pray. We listen to the Word of God. Perhaps your body gets tired when doing all this, but your soul rests. The purpose of this period is to rest the spirits with the Word of God through hymns, prayers and sermons. If you can do this, you will be happy, you will achieve the purpose of this period.”
After the sermon, the water was blessed by Father Bedros Bulduyan, accompanied by healing prayers. After the last blessing of the Patriarch, the ritual ended, and the blessed water was distributed to the faithful people. After the ceremony, the faithful who fast were given a fast meal by the church administration.
“Arevakal” i.e. sunrise prayers entered into the Armenian Church tradition in the 7th century, go its last form in the 12th-century by the the hymns and prayers added by Aziz Nerses Sinorhali. Today, in this form, it is a tradition practiced only by the Armenians of Turkey.