Holy Building, Holy Place: The Breath of Faith and Worship in St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral with Father Garabed Kochakian

Join the Zohrab Information Center in welcoming Fr. Garabed Kochakian, a priest of the Armenian Apostolic Church and a specialist in Armenian art and architecture with an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin for his presentation “Holy Building, Holy Place: The Breath of Faith and Worship in St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral” at 7 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2018IMG_4432

This exciting presentation will inaugurate the Zohrab Information Center’s series of talks and presentations celebrating the 50th anniversary of the dedication of St. Vartan Cathedral. For this series, beginning with Fr. Garabed’s presentation, we will do something a little different: our talks with partially take place in, and make reference to, the cathedral sanctuary itself. St. Vartan Cathedral is a magnificent structure and a striking presence in Manhattan; these presentations will celebrate that presence and deepen our understanding of the relation between the church structure and the liturgical life of the Armenian people. Each presentation will have a meditation or liturgical element incorporated into the talk, offering the full richness of St. Vartan Cathedral.

Holy Building Holy Place Der Garabed ZIC Presentation 10.11.001

With “Holy Building, Holy Place,” Fr. Garabed will provide an overview of the art and architecture of the cathedral, with reference to the history of the construction of the cathedral. After a portion of the presentation in the cathedral, Fr. Garabed will lead the group outside to view the facade and the beautiful monumental doors, of which he was instrumental in their addition to the cathedral. The official program portion of the evening will end with a short service, modified from the Armenian Church’s Service of Baptism, that makes reference to the doors and to entering the church.

The evening will conclude with a reception in the Guild Hall.


Fr. Garabed Kochakian, ordained to the priesthood of the Armenian Apostolic Church in 1976, is originally from Massachusetts. He studied graphic art at the Vesper George School of Art and Boston Museum School of Art, majoring in graphic design, before earning a BA from Iona College in New Rochelle, a Masters of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary while studying at the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, and later an MA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin. As a priest, he served in parishes in Worcester, MA, in Racine, WI, as the Chancellor of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, and most recently was the pastor of St. John’s Church in Southfield, MI for nearly 20 years. He has written books on Armenian sacred art and is himself an iconographer.

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