Armenian Apostolic Church - Comparison To Other Churches

Comparison To Other Churches

Liturgically speaking, the Church has much in common both with the Latin Rite in its externals, especially as it was at the time of separation, as well as with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. For example, their bishops wear mitres almost identical to those of Western bishops. They usually do not use a full iconostasis, but rather a curtain (which was also used in the West at the time of separation). The liturgical music is Armenian chant. Many of the Armenian churches also have pipe organs to accompany their chant.

Armenian priests below the rank of bishop are allowed to be married before ordination and their descendants' surnames are prefixed with the prefix "Ter" (or "Der" in Western Armenian), meaning "Lord", to indicate their lineage. Such a married priest is known as a kahana.

The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Nativity of Jesus in combination with the Feast of the Epiphany, putting Armenian Christmas on 6 January in the church's calendar. This contrasts with the more common celebration of Christmas on 25 December, originally a Western Christian tradition, which Armenia only briefly adopted before reverting to its original practice.

Since 1923, the church has mainly used the Gregorian Calendar shared by most civil authorities and Western Christian churches (not the traditional Armenian calendar). The only exception is the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where the old Julian calendar is used, putting Nativity celebrations on 19 January in the Gregorian calendar.

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