13 Sep Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Armenian Apostolic Church observes a five-day fast, called the Fast of the Holy Cross from September 9 through September 13, in preparation for the Feast of the Holy Church in view of the Holy Cross, which they celebrate on September 15.
September 14 is observed as the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Khachverats in Armenian), a feast which continues for several days thereafter. It is counted as one of the five major feasts of the Armenian Church, and the most important of the four feasts of the Holy Cross. According to Armenian tradition, the first one to “exalt” the Cross was the Apostle James of Jerusalem, the “Brother of the Lord”. On the Sunday nearest September 14, the liturgy is marked with an antasdan service (blessing of the fields) during which the processional cross is adorned with basil (a symbol of royalty) and the four corners of the church are blessed as a sign of the sanctification of the world.
On the Sunday nearest September 28 (always two weeks after the Exaltation) the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak (Varaka Khach) commemorating the third century placement of an authentic relic of the cross in Armenian soil at Varakavank. This is a cross feast unique to the Armenian Church.
On the Sunday closest to October 26, the Armenian Church celebrates the Discovery of the Holy Cross (Kyood Khach), commemorating the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena (327 AD).
This Sunday, September 15, Prelacy churches across Canada, will celebrate marking the season of our Lord’s Cross.