Elections are taking place not only in political circles, but in religious ones as well.

The Armenian Apostolic Church’s General Assembly of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is preparing for the election of a new patriarch to succeed archbishop Torkom Manoogian, who passed away in Jerusalem on October 12 at age 93. He was buried on Monday.

In accordance with tradition, a successor is elected 40 days after the passing of the patriarch, but an interim patriarch is elected until the vote for a new patriarch takes place.

Archbishop Aris Shirvanian is the patriarchal locum tenens of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and among his duties was to preside over Manoogian’s funeral and to organize the election for his successor.

Shirvanian previously served as the Patriarchate’s director of ecumenical and foreign relations.

Manoogian, who was born in February 1919 in a town on the Iraqi-Turkish border, was sent to study in Jerusalem when he was 12. Following his ordination in 1939, he spent most of his adult life in the United States, where his last position prior to his 1990 election as patriarch of Jerusalem was as primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church in America.

Following a two-day ceremony at the beginning of this week, Manoogian was laid to rest at the Holy Savior Monastery at the Zion Gate.

His successor will be the 97th Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem.

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