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Is this Armenian Eucharistic adoration?

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The photo shown below is from the interior of Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in Montebello, CA. It is the cathedral of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Church in America.



To a Roman Catholic, this looks like a monstrance used for Eucharistic adoration behind the candles.  In fact, it is a monstrance because I have seen exact copies used for Eucharistic adoration in Roman Catholic parishes.

I've been to this cathedral before and remember looking at the center of this monstrance and seeing what looked like the unleavened bread used in the Soorp Badarak.

Was it really the Eucharist though?

It didn't look like there was a relic of a saint in the center.

If any of our Armenian forum members could clear this up for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

God bless,

GC


 
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Yesterday, I visited Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church with an acquaintance who is a Jesuit priest.

The church happened to be open and we stepped inside for prayer.  The curtain before the altar was open so we were able to see the various objects on the altar, including a monstrance on the top center. When Father saw it, he thought it was the Blessed Sacrament. I replied that it wasn't, even though I could see that the  monstrance had the appearance of something white in the center which a Roman Catholic would automatically associate as being the color of the Host.

I looked at it as best as I could from where I stood since I did not dare step up to the sanctuary. I could not see anything that would look like a relic (e.g., bone fragment) in the center. It looked very much like what I saw at Holy Cross cathedral in Montebello.

I found two photos from the parish website that give a good view of the monstrance:

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/images/stories/2011%20Armenian%20Christmas%20Eve/Holy%20Trinity%201-06-2011%20003.jpg

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/images/stories/2011%20Armenian%20Christmas%20Eve/Holy%20Trinity%201-06-2011%20004.jpg

Any guesses?
 

JLatimer

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griego catolico said:
Yesterday, I visited Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church with an acquaintance who is a Jesuit priest.

The church happened to be open and we stepped inside for prayer.  The curtain before the altar was open so we were able to see the various objects on the altar, including a monstrance on the top center. When Father saw it, he thought it was the Blessed Sacrament. I replied that it wasn't, even though I could see that the  monstrance had the appearance of something white in the center which a Roman Catholic would automatically associate as being the color of the Host.

I looked at it as best as I could from where I stood since I did not dare step up to the sanctuary. I could not see anything that would look like a relic (e.g., bone fragment) in the center. It looked very much like what I saw at Holy Cross cathedral in Montebello.

I found two photos from the parish website that give a good view of the monstrance:

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/images/stories/2011%20Armenian%20Christmas%20Eve/Holy%20Trinity%201-06-2011%20003.jpg

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=338&Itemid=96

Any guesses?
Does look curiously like a RC monstrance.
 

Crucifer

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Could it be a ripidion standing behind the altar?
 

LBK

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Tallitot said:
Could it be a ripidion standing behind the altar?
Far, far too small to be a ripidion. Ripidia come in pairs, and have a bas-relief of a six-winged seraph in their centre. This item does not.
 

Salpy

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griego catolico said:
Yesterday, I visited Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church with an acquaintance who is a Jesuit priest.

The church happened to be open and we stepped inside for prayer.  The curtain before the altar was open so we were able to see the various objects on the altar, including a monstrance on the top center. When Father saw it, he thought it was the Blessed Sacrament. I replied that it wasn't, even though I could see that the  monstrance had the appearance of something white in the center which a Roman Catholic would automatically associate as being the color of the Host.

I looked at it as best as I could from where I stood since I did not dare step up to the sanctuary. I could not see anything that would look like a relic (e.g., bone fragment) in the center. It looked very much like what I saw at Holy Cross cathedral in Montebello.

I found two photos from the parish website that give a good view of the monstrance:

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/images/stories/2011%20Armenian%20Christmas%20Eve/Holy%20Trinity%201-06-2011%20003.jpg

http://www.holytrinityfresno.org/images/stories/2011%20Armenian%20Christmas%20Eve/Holy%20Trinity%201-06-2011%20004.jpg

Any guesses?
You could always contact the priest of the church and ask him.
 
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I was able to ask an Armenian Apostolic priest about  it.

Yes, it is the Eucharist!

Monstrances are used to reserve the Eucharist, similar to a tabernacle, on the altar.  It's purpose is to reserve for the sick and those who cannot attend liturgy.

There does not exist any form of adoration as one would find in the Roman Catholic Church.
 
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I was able to make a visit to Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in Montebello and ask about the picture above. I was told that it is the Eucharist in the monstrance.



The Eucharist is also in the monstrance placed at the top of the altar. There are two Byzantine tabernacles on either side of the monstrance.
 

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In my experience, these objects house unconsecrated communion wafers (nushkhar in Armenian).  I've never seen the one in my parish switched out, the wafer inside is a bit stale to say the least.  I've never seen this particular thing used for anything but ornamental purposes.  Reserved eucharist is usually held in a small metal box on the altar. 
 
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Aram said:
In my experience, these objects house unconsecrated communion wafers (nushkhar in Armenian).  I've never seen the one in my parish switched out, the wafer inside is a bit stale to say the least.  I've never seen this particular thing used for anything but ornamental purposes.  Reserved eucharist is usually held in a small metal box on the altar.  
Aram,

Thank you for your reply.

So, these monstrances then hold unconsecrated bread and not the Eucharist?

When I asked the pastor at one Armenian Apostolic parish about the monstrance on the altar, he replied, "Communion". When I asked the priest at the Armenian Cathedral whether it was the Eucharist that was in the monstrance in front of the burning candles, he replied, "Yes."  It's possible they meant to say that it is the bread that eventually is used for communion or that eventually becomes the Eucharist.

I was reading online that an unconsecrated nushkhar is presented to a family when their home is blessed or is placed on the chest of the deceased during a wake service (http://www.prosphora.org/page42.html ).

Is it correct to say there is a veneration for the unconsecrated nushkhar, which would explain it being placed in monstrances?

I found other photos from the Western Prelacy website which show the monstrances containing the nushkhar  in the blessing of basil on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at Holy Cross Armenian Cathedral:

http://www.westernprelacy.org/Pages/Photos/2007Events/Khachverats/HolyCross.htm

http://www.westernprelacy.org/Pages/Photos/2009%20Events/Khachverats/Khachverats.htm
 
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