Religious and Public Murals
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Belmont, MA - On May 28, 2006, at the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church, located on Lexington Street, Belmont, MA, there will be the unveiling of two historical murals, and an art exhibit by the artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian.
The murals are 48"x79" each, they are located on the side walls of the church, and depict the Baptism of King Drtad and the Creation of the Armenian Alphabet.
To the left of the center altar, one mural celebrates the 1,700th anniversary of Armenia Christianity. This panel depicts the Baptism of King Drtad as the first Christian King in 301 AD. Saint Gregory the Illuminator stands on the bank of the Euphrates River and baptizes the King, who is bow ed in humility. Queen Ashkhen and the king's sister Princess Khosrovitookht stand behind him, wile two soldiers witness the event. Also depicted in the mural are Mount Ara! rat in the distance, and in its shadow, the Holy Echmiyadzin Church, which was built 305 AD by Saint Gregory and King Drtad.
Located on the wall to the right of the center altar, the second mural celebrates the 1,600th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet and Armenian culture. It depicts Saint Mesrob Mashdotz who created the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD for the purpose of translating the Bible into the Armenian language. In this panel, Saint Mesrob holds a pen while through a stream of light the alphabet floats to him through divine inspiration. Behind him, there is the symbolic image of Ft. Mekhitar, who in the 1700's founded the Mekhitarist Order in the island of San Lazarus. Also depicted in the background is the bell tower of the San Lazarus Monastery, because its congregation was devoted to the advancement of learning and the publication of works in the Armenian language, in addition they established schools in populated Armenian communities throughou! t the world.
"The Mekhitarists contributed to the influence of the Italian Renaissance in the Armenian culture," said Father Raphael Andonian, who has been with the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church since 1993. Nine years ago, after viewing several religious and corporate murals in Italian Renaissance style painted by Varoujan, Father Raphael believed that the artist had the spiritual understanding and the cultural background to paint beautiful murals that would meet his expectations.
He commissioned Varoujan to paint the Last Supper and Christ Rising from the Cross. This 21'x17' mural is located behind the center altar of the church. "The cross is not the end, it is the preparation of the resurrection," explained Father Raphael.
Last year Father Raphael engaged Varoujan to paint the dome of the church above the altar as a continuation of the original mural. A dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit soars above the rising body of Christ. These murals give the impression that space is not confined within the w! alls of the physical church building, and Mass is celebrated "in the open world." The beautiful sky expands the space beyond the altar, and symbolically merges the celebration of Mass with the Last Supper depicted in the mural. This is a space of worship with a sense of light and harmony. It is joyful, peaceful and very inspiring.
These murals give the impression that space is not confined within the w! alls of the physical church building, and Mass is celebrated "in the open world." The beautiful sky expands the space beyond the altar, and symbolically merges the celebration of Mass with the Last Supper depicted in the mural.
The second mural on the right celebrates the 1,600th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet and Armenian culture. It depicts Saint Mesrob Mashdotz who created the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD.