[ACNS] A Khachker – a traditional Armenian cross made from volcanic stone – has been erected in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin in a service attended by Christian leaders from across the denominations in Ireland as a memorial to the estimated 1.5 million Armenian Christians who were systematically and brutally murdered by the Ottoman regime in the Medz Yeghern – the Great Crime – which took place 100 years ago, beginning in April 1915.
The Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, was joined by the Roman Catholic Archbishop, the Most Revd Diarmuid Martin, the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd Brian Anderson and representatives of other denominations for a service on Saturday at which the stone cross was dedicated by Bishop Hovakin Manukyan, the Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of UK and Ireland,
“Christ Church Cathedral lies at the spiritual heart of Dublin. It is the mother church of the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough,” the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, Dean of the Cathedral, said. “The Armenian Church and community are very close to the dioceses and it felt fitting that the Khachkar should be located here both as a memorial to the victims of the genocide and as a visible sign of the link between our two Churches”.
“The dedication of the Armenian Cross-Stone in the capital of the Republic of Ireland on the occasion of the centennial of the genocide is an expression of the long lasting connection between our church communities,” Bishop Manukyan said. “The Cross-Stone will remain here as a reminder of our friendship and our commitment to peace as well as a memory to those who suffered in genocide and in war.”
In a sermon, Archbishop Micheal Jackson spoke of the “route towards expression and recognition of the Armenian Genocide” that the Armenian people had taken over the past 100
“It has brought us today to the point of articulation and expression of immeasurable national suffering and incalculable individual nobility around a long journey involving children, women and men who are the faces and the voices of the Armenian Genocide,” Archbishop Jackson said. “Once the long journey of killing, grieving, rejection and enforced emigration began – every step of the route became precious, every wind in the road became unforgettable and every life lost became irreplaceable.”
The Khachkar is part of the Armenian Christian identity and are are generally carved from volcanic stone. The Khachkar which now stands in the grounds of the cathedral was designed by Aram Hakhumvan, who lives in Ireland and carved in Armenia by Arta Hambardzumvan.
It features a Celtic Cross with an Armenian Cross standing out of it and the rest of the stone has many Irish and Armenian details including shamrocks and grapes. It is the 167th memorial to the Armenian Genocide located in 52 countries around the world.
Bishop Hovakin Manukyan and Archbishop Michael Jackson during the dedication of the Khachkar. . Photo: Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough