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Armenian Jerusalem
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A chronicle (in Armenian) of the epic flight of Anna (Baghsarian) Meneksheian's grandmother and mother, and of their travails along the way, as they sought refuge from the Turkish massacres. A report by Prof Bert Vaux, of Harvard University, following his studies of the peculiar dialect of the Kaghakatsi Armenians living in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The dialect is in danger of dying out as the passage of time claims the older Kaghakatsis.  The 1920 document by a British officer, L.G.A. Cust, outlining in detail, the terms and conditions of the Status Quo in the Holy Places, first ratified by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid in 1852, and prevalent at the time of his writing.
The ancient pagan Armenian cosmology boasted some of the most endearing heroes and deities, chief among them Haig, who is acknowledged as our prime ancestor. Stories of his blood-curdling battles with the evil Pel/Bel are awe-inspiring: they both enthralled, terrified and entertained us as we sat at the feet of our teachers at our parish school, the Tarkmanchats. One of the most inspiring memories we cherish is the discovery of the first known Armenian epic, the tale of Vahakn the Dragon Slayer.
This treatise, by Fr Pakrad Boujekian, a member of the priestly Brotherhood of St James, discusses the tenets of a sermon, delivered by an unknown priest named Grigor Tatevac’i, somewhere around 1674- 1678, enumerating 20 “praises why pilgrimage to Jerusalem is important for a Christian.” The and transcribed by ampther priest named Yeprem. Tatevac’i claims the journey to Jerusalem is a necessity for it is the House of God, stressing the importance of meeting God in His House.
Fr Pakrad Boujekian delves into the mystery of a Mamluk inscription above the main entrance to the convent or monastery of St James. Over the years, the inscription has become almost illegible, but fortunately a copy has been inserted inside the convent entrance. at the request of Armenian patriarch Gregory the Chainbearer. The edict minces no words: “cursed be the one and may he be a son of a cursed [father] and may God the Almighty’s curse be upon him whoever imposes any tax or inflicts an injustice [upon this holy place].”
The official position of our Church towards Cremation is a question that is on the mind of many of us these days, especially in the West, where cremation is the most economical kind of burial. Within 3 hours the corpse gets cremated into ashes, placed in a nicely decorated vase and presented to the relatives to do with it whatever they desire. Some families take the ashes of their beloved and sprinkle them into the ocean and others choose various different venues for the final disposition of the ashes of their beloved.