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Assumption (Asdvadzadzeen Աստուածածին

This feast day is celebrated on the Sunday nearest August 15. It commemorates the "assuming" -taking up into heaven- of the Mother of God at her death. According to tradition, when she died in Jerusalem, the apostles buried her in the Garden of Gethsemane, but St. Bartholomew was away. When he returned, he wanted to visit her tomb, but when he arrived it was empty; her body was gone. The apostles were convinced the Lord took her body to heaven. A church, built over the site of St. Mary's tomb in Jerusalem, may be visited to this day. This holy place is under the protection of the Armenian and Greek Churches.

On this day, the church performs the Blessing of the Grapes (Խաղողօրհնէք Khaghoghorhnek) after Divine Liturgy and distributes them to the faithful. In the Old Testament tradition of offering the first fruits of the harvest, the people bring grapes as an offering to God, thanking Him for His blessings and asking for an abundant harvest. Grapes have multiple, symbolic significance in Christianity. Jesus often referred to wine in his teachings and likened the Church to "the vine and the branch," references which are still repeated in the Divine Liturgy. Most importantly, wine and bread are the components of Holy Communion, offered during each Badarak.

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