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What is Hokehankeesd?

Hokehankeesd is a short memorial service that is offered on the anniversary of the death of loved ones by their family. The word Hokehankeesd means “repose of the soul.” Although it has become customary, out of convenience, to offer the memorial service on Sunday at the end of the Divine Liturgy, it is actually not a part of the Badarak and should more correctly be conducted apart from it. The Badarak itself is the premier prayer for those who have fallen asleep in Christ since it is a celebration of our faith in the risen Lord. “The saying is true: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” [2 Timothy 2:11]. This theme is repeated constantly in the prayers and hymns of the Badarak as we pray for those “who have fallen asleep in Christ.”

The Church forbids Hokehankeest on the five major feast days- Christmas (Theophany), Easter, Transfiguration, Assumption of the Mother of God and the Exaltation of the Cross so as not to distract from the meaning of the feast.

Source: Frequently Asked Questions on the Badarak, The Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church by Michael Daniel Findikyan.

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