"Curriculum for educating infants who are called to the rank of priesthood"

Hratch Tchilingirian (1996) with Arakel Aljalian & Simeon Odabashian, "Curriculum for educating infants who are called to the rank of priesthood: Necessary and useful advice written by Lord Arak'el Bishop of Siwnik', and Grigor [of Tat'ew], the Great Rhetor" in St. Nersess Theological Review (New York) 1:2: 233-245.


Lord Arak'el (c.1356-c.1422), the Bishop of Siwnik', and his maternal uncle, Grigor Tat'ewac'i (1346-1409), the Great Rhetor, underscore the important role of parents to nurture faith in their children —especially parents of those children with a calling to serve as ordained ministers of the Lord. The two Church Fathers composed guidelines in the form of a curriculum and offered guidance for parents educating such children dedicated to the priesthood. For these children, spiritual enrichment and religious education must not simply be a part of their lives, but the very center of it.  

The title of the document, as it appears above, must be derivative, since it incorporates the names of the co-authors and employs two words in conjunction not found in the text: Noracaneal mankanc', literally, "of newborn children." The translation of the latter as "infants" is but a convention that is true to the contents of the text. As for the translated text, it is part of the Mec Mashtod. Raising children has, throughout human history, been a social and cultural priority in order to ensure the continuation, success, and future of societies. Nowhere is this phenomenon more true or better exemplified than within the Christian community, where raising children in the light and example of our Savior Jesus Christ is integral to the preservation, continuity, and growth of the faith. Generation after generation, Christian parents, clergy, and others instill in children faith, morals, and values: love, honesty, humility, dedication, perseverance, commitment, mercy, and forgiveness. This is in keeping with Christ's great commission in which He challenges and commands His disciples to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..."2 Naturally, Christian are called to be themselves the foremost missionaries to discipline their own children. 


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