The Feast of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary, one of the great holidays of the Christian world, was celebrated with enthusiasm.
The Ascension of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on the 15th of August or the nearest Sunday, according to church traditions. A special ritual was held at the Büyükdere Surp Boğos Armenian Catholic Church for the holiday, which is popularly known as the Grape Festival according to Armenian traditions.
Gisasargavak Jan Acemoğlu, clergymen, the Surp Hovhan Vosgeperan Choir led by Zaven Agay attended the ceremony under the direction of High Priest Hayr Vartan Kazancıyan. Participants sat with social distance in accordance with the coronavirus outbreak measures.
After the sacred ritual, the grapes were blessed and distributed to the congregation in accordance with the Armenian Rite. During the Ascension of the Virgin Mary ritual, the Church Choir sang Gomidas Vartabed’s Surp Badarag hymns.
Special Mass for the Feast of the Virgin Mary in Mersin
As in some provinces of Turkey, Mary’s dive into eternal sleep and the day of celebration of the liturgical memory of the Ascension was celebrated on August 15 in Mersin Greek Orthodox Church of St. Michael and St. Gabriel. Church members who attended the ritual directed by Church Father İspir Teymur, sat in the rows of churches intermittently as part of the coronavirus measures. Father İspir Teymur blessed grapes and unleavened bread at the end of the ceremony in accordance with the Greek Orthodox rituals. The blessed grapes and bread were distributed to church members.
Historical Story of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary
The Feast of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on August 15, after a two-week fasting period according to the rules of the Holy Orthodox Church. As the history of the church informs the Christians, approximately 15 years after the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the Virgin Mary was 58 years old, the Lord Jesus Christ informed her the day of her death through the angel. Meanwhile, while the Virgin Mary made the necessary preparations, the apostles were busy spreading the holy word and gospel in various places. With a divine miracle, the apostles came together in the town of Getsamani, except for the apostle Thomas who was in India, and the Virgin Mary surrendered her holy spirit to the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostles buried her holy corpse along with hymns and lamentations. With a divine measure, the apostle Tomas saw that the body of the Virgin Mary was carried by the angels. Arriving miraculously among the apostles, Tomas wanted to see the coffin. On the third day of burial, they went to the grave and saw that the coffin and shroud were empty. Thomas recounted the miracle he saw at that moment, and the apostles fasted for the Virgin Mary for two weeks. This tradition continues to this day.