Serving in the Church comes in various capacities. Some are involved on the administrative level such as Parish Council. Yet, many people choose to participate also liturgically, meaning they desire to be part of the choir or Altar servers guild.
Our St. Gregory Armenian Church is blessed to have the Nairi Choir. It is comprised of several members of our community who lead the singing of worship service and Divine Liturgy. Though the priest is the one who leads the service and bestows the blessings, the choir represents the voice of the people. So when we sing “Christ amongst us is revealed” Krisdos i mej mer Haytnetsav – it is the people singing in joyous celebration that Christ is revealed among us, for this reason we share the kiss of peace.
The Armenian Church historically has not used organ’s or other instruments to accompany it’s hymns. However, most of our Church in North America now have an organ player in order to make the beautiful hymns sound more full.
If the Choir represents the voice of the people, the Altar servers represent the angelic hosts. The Altar servers are made up of 4 ranks: Acolytes, Stole Bearers, Sub-deacons, and Deacons. The word Deacon come from the Greek word diakonos meaning servant of the table. The first Deacon was St. Stephan from the book of Acts. And thus Altar servers are servers of the Holy Table, the throne of God.
Altar servers assist the priest in liturgical services in various capacities, each according to his rank. Some examples of these tasks are: reading certain litanies and chants, as well by reciting the Gospel and swinging the censor. Altar servers are the care takers of the throne of God.
In the Orthodox Church, Altar servers are only male. This practice is because historically, Altar servers eventually became priests (the Orthodox Church only has male clergy). Girls ages 12 and under are permitted to serve on the Altar in order to experience this service.
If you would like to join our Choir or Altar Servers Guild, please speak to the pastor.