6 is the date that Christian churches used to celebrate Christmas until
about the 4th century.
Local Armenian churches are holding religious celebrations for
Christmas Eve on Saturday and Christmas on Sunday morning.
"Mainly, it's a religious holiday," said the Rev. Vazken Atmajian of
St. Mary's Apostolic Church. "Some Armenians exchange gifts on New Year's
or around Christmas, but mostly it's centered around the church and
St. Mary's will host a candlelight Christmas Eve service on Saturday
evening. Most families will then head home to eat the traditional holiday
dinner of fish and a side dish prepared with spinach and eggs.
Sunday morning, the church will host a special Christmas service with
Holy Communion and a blessing of the water.
Religious officials will bless holy water with holy oil to symbolize
the baptism of Jesus Christ. Congregation members will all take a sip of
the water and take a cupful home to family members, Atmajian said.
This year's Christmas message will be a little different at St.
"We're going to tell them that last year we had a very shaky year
especially in America," Atmajian said. "We're going to pray that this
year is a better year for peace on earth, health for everybody, for all
the families that suffered last year and for our soldiers that are out of
the United States. We'll ask God to give us a more peaceful and
prosperous year in 2002."
Glendale Memorial Hospital is also bringing a little Christmas to its
Armenian patients this week. Hospital employees will hand out Armenian
breads to the patients on Friday morning.
Here's a sampling of the Armenian Christmas activities going on in
WHO: Armenian Church of the Nazarene.
WHAT: Christmas service.
WHEN: 10:45 a.m., Sunday.
WHERE: 411 E. Acacia Ave.
WHO: St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church.
WHERE: 500 S. Central Ave.
WHAT: Christmas Eve service.
WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday.
WHAT: Christmas morning service.
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Sunday.