August 21, 2020 - 10:44 AMT
Liturgy to be served at Turkey's Aghtamar Armenian church

Preparations have begun for a Holy Mass to be served at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a medieval Armenian church on Aghtamar Island, in Lake Van, Turkey, TRT Haber reports.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, though, a limited number of people will be able to participate in the ceremony on September 6.

The first ritual in the historic church was held on September 19, 2010, after a 95-year break.

According to Turkish media reports, though thousands of tourists from Turkey and abroad are expected to attend the ceremony this year, their entry to the territory of the church will be limited.

The 1,100-year-old Akhtamar Church, a medieval Armenian place of worship in Turkey’s eastern Van province, was built between 915-921 A.D by architect Bishop Manuel, under the direction of King Gagik I Artsruni of Armenia.

Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has carried out renovation and restoration works, and the church is now classed as a secular museum.