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In The News

Community Circle Dance


Celebrating the Feast of Ascension Dancing Around the Church

Shakeh Major Tchilingirian leads the community in a large circle dance

e-Newsletter, Issue 20 (Volume 4), 18May 2013


Last Sunday, 12 May, 2013, the Parish Council of the St Sarkis Church has organised a special celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of Christ (Hampartsum,Hambarcum), and thank God the weather cooperated! At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the faithful were greeted with traditional Armenian music as they gathered in the front yard. Shakeh Major Tchilingirian welcomed all and explained the typical Armenian patterns of circle-dance and their meaning. The faithful were then invited to join in the circle dance with simple steps.


Within a few minutes a long circle of Armenian dancers of all ages, led by Shakeh, encircled the beautiful building of St Sarkis Church. After several turns around the church on a beautiful and sunny day, the dancers entered the Nevard Gulbenkian Hall to continue the festivities with more dancing and light lunch, courtesy of the Ladies’ Committee of St Sarkis Church. Nextfollowed the group-singing of Hampartsum Yayla, a traditional Armenian song associated with the Feast of Ascension which was sung by several singers of the London Armenian Opera group who were present in the Hall. Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, was invited for his concluding remarks, in which he thanked the Parish Council, Hratch and ShakehTchilingirian, the Ladies’ Committee, the London Armenian Opera group, and all the faithful for such an inspiring and traditional celebration of “Ascension.”