Blessing of the Four Corners of the Earth

Andastan is a ceremony devoted to the blessing of the four corners of the world. The purpose of this ceremony is to bring fruitfulness and fertility to the fields or gardens. In ancient times the ceremony of Andastan was conducted outside the church, in the fields and gardens. According to the church calendar the "world" is symbolized by the round the central part (adyan) of the church.

During the ceremony the clergyman first blesses the East (which represents Armenia) with the Holy Cross and the Gospel, in the name of Holy Trinity and the singing of "Amen Alleluia". Then he turns towards the West which represents all the Christian kingdoms and nations. Next he faces the South and blesses the countries, fields and harvest of the South, and finally tuning to the North he blesses the northern side of the earth, its churches, fields, cities, villages and their population.

According to the church calendar the ceremony of blessing the four corners of the earth is conducted on the following feasts:

  • Palm Sunday - in the morning and in the evening
  • Easter
  • Second Palm Sunday
  • Apparition of the Holy Cross
  • Universal Church of Holy Etchmiadzin
  • Transfiguration
  • Assumption of the Holy Mother of God
  • Exaltation of the Cross
  • Octave of Easter (New Sunday)
  • Red Sunday
  • Presentation of the Lord to the Temple (in the evening)
  • Sunday of the World Church (Green Sunday)
  • The morning of Pentecost