|Background Information on the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord
The Nativity Fast (Phillip's Fast) in the Byzantine Tradition
Heesnagats (Advent) in the Armenian Tradition from the Domar of the Armenian Church
The Two Births of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ in Byzantine Tradition
The Armenian Feast of the Theophany or Epiphany by Most Rev. Bishop Shnork Kaloustian
An Ancient Account of the Blessing of the Waters by the Medieval Latin Canon Willebrand
On the Dating of the Nativity of our Lord by Rev. Sub-Dn. Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian, M.A.
The Armenian Church's Observance of Theophany by Rev. Fr. Nerses Manoogian
The Prayer of St. Basil the Great for the Blessing of the Waters
Homily on the Nativity of our Lord by St. John Chrysostom
Homily on Holy Theophany by St. Gregory the Theologian
Theophany Messages by Rev. Fr. Vazken Movsessian
The Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos by Sub-Dn. Der-Ghazarian, M.A.
St. Nicholas of Myra adapted from the Domar of the Armenian Church
St. Nicholas in Armenia by V. Rev. Fr. Daniel M. Findikyan
Return to the home page of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Institute
|The Holy Nativity in the Flesh of our Lord
Jesus Christ and Holy Theophany
in the Armenian & Byzantine Traditions
|The Traditional Armenian Theophany Greetings:
Kreesdos Dznav yev Haydnetsav / Christ is Born and Revealed!
Orhnyal eh Haydnootyoonun Kreesdosee / Blessed is the Revelation of Christ!
|-Keep "Christ" in Christmas:
(This is self-explanatory)
-Keep Santa Claus on his day:
(Celebrate St. Nicholas on his
feast-day, December 6th)
-Keep "Mass" in Christ-mas:
(Go to Church and worship
Christ our God on the feast-
day of His Holy Nativity!)
|Since the early fourth century, a feast was celebrated in both East and West on January 6 to commemorate the
birth of Christ, the adoration of the Magi, and his baptism in the River Jordan. Its name was the celebration of the
divine Theophany, the manifestation of Christ our God and his declaration to the world that He was the beloved
Son of the Father. The observance was theological rather being concerned about historical dating.
Later, the birth of Christ came to be celebrated in Rome on December 25, in order to christianize the feast of the
birth of the Invincible Sun (Natalis solis invicti) which the Romans celebrated on that day since the time of Emperor
Aurelius Caesar (274). The birth of the Invincible Sun became for Christians the birth of Jesus Christ, the Sun of
Justice and Light of the World. This feast was adopted in the East where Byzantine writers and hymnographers
sang of the incomprehensible manner in which Christ was born of a virgin and stressed the maternity of Mary as
Theotokos. After the Council of Ephesus, in 431, the Byzantine Church established a special feast of the Maternity
of Mary and celebrated it on the day after Christmas (adapted from -Byzantine Daily Worship).
The Armenian Church has maintained the primitive observance of the three feasts (the Nativity of our Lord, the
Adoration of the Magi, and the Baptism of our Lord) all celebrated together as Theophany on January 6th. The
Byzantine Church, around the time of St. John Chrysostom, began to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord and the
Adoration of the Magi on December 25th and the Baptism of our Lord (Theophany) on January 6th. The Latin
Church eventually separated all three observances celebrating first the Nativity (on December 25th), then the
Adoration of the Magi (which they call "Epiphany") and, lastly, the Baptism of the Lord.