In the Venetian lagoon there is a small picturesque island called San Lazzaro degli Armeni
In the Venetian lagoon there is a small picturesque island called San Lazzaro degli Armeni. The island was abandoned in the 16th century and in 1717 was given by the ruling council of Venice to a group of Armenian monks who had escaped Turkish persecution five years earlier placing themselves under the protection of the Pope and eventually making their way to Venice. Mekhitar and his 17 monks built a monastery, restored the old church and enlarged the island to its present 30,000 sq. metres.
It is a beautiful place for an Armenian marriage.
The ceremony takes approximately one hour, with each part having a special meaning. The priest blesses the couple, they exchange rings. The right hands of the bride and groom are joined as a symbol of their unity.
Then the crowning takes place – crowns worn by bride and groom are symbols of their own kingdom or home, bride and groom face one another, the best man stands between them and holds a cross over their heads.
Following on there is a blessing of the common cup, which has a small amount of wine – this is done in the memory of the marriage at Cana of Galilee where Christ was present.
Finally the priest blesses the couple and asks Christ to protect them under the shadow of thy holy and honourable cross in peace