There’s nothing more glorious than the birth of a child.
|Our daughter Mandy’s christening – May,1982. Father Paree Metjian officiates; Godfather Aram Aslanian, and Godmother – Aunt Dawn Hourdajian participate.|
The child is baptized as an infant, generally by the 8th day after birth to the 40th day, according to Apostolic Canon #13. This sacrament is administered in the church rather than the home, according to the teachings of the Armenian Apostolic Church – unless it is an extreme emergency, such as a child’s ill health.
Just as birth is necessary to begin life, baptism is necessary for a child to start their life as a “child of God”.
Confirmation provides strength in the child’s body and mind to live as a member of the church. Through Holy Communion, the child receives spiritual nourishment – the body and blood of Jesus Christ, for salvation.
After the ceremony, the celebration begins!
A traditional dish that is served at christening celebrations is Hassa. My Aunt Arpie was the hassa maker for our family’s christenings. Be warned… you must eat this with a very small spoon, and try not to breathe in as you eat it. The powdery ingredients will fill your sinuses!
1 lb. unsalted chick peas, roasted and ground into a powder*
1/3 lb. candy-covered chick peas (set some aside for decoration) *
1/3 lb. candy-covered almonds(set some aside for decoration) *
1/4 lb. candy-covered fennel seeds *
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground anise seed
½ tsp. ground fennel seed
dash ground cardamom*
½ cup powdered sugar
* The starred ingredients can be found in most Middle Eastern grocery stores.
1. Ground chick peas in a blender or food processor. Sift and re-grind any coarse pieces until powdery. Place in a large bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the powdered chick peas, and mix thoroughly.
3. Top with candies that were set aside for decoration.
NOTE: Spices can be adjusted according to your taste preference.