ISTANBUL — Bishop Sahak Mashalian was enthroned as the 85th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople on Saturday January 11, in a ceremony held at Surp Asdvadzadzin (Holy Mother of God) Patriarchal Church in Istanbul.

Bishop Mashalyan entered the Mother Church with a solemn procession. Then his inauguration took place and handing over the patriarchal scepter. During the enthronement ceremony, Catholicos of All Armenians awarded the rank of Archbishop to Mashalyan. After the enthronement, a reception was held, and the attendees congratulated and wished the Patriarch success in his service.

Attending the event were representatives of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Catholicoasate of Cilicia and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The congregation included Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, representatives of other Christian denominations in Turkey and foreign diplomatic missions in Istanbul.

Turkish Deputy Interior Minister Muhterem Ince and Chief Rabbi of Turkey Rav Isak Haleva also took part in the ceremony.

The first liturgy of newly elected Patriarch Sahak Mashayan took place on Sunday. In his first message, the patriarch gave a Christmas autistic speech, expressing gratitude to those gathered to share this memorable day with him.

Hundreds of believers welcomed the patriarch, receiving his paternal blessing. During the Divine Liturgy the name of the Sahak II Patriarch was first mentioned.

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