Today the Armenian Church marks Holy Tuesday with an observance called the “Remembrance of the Ten Virgins.” The Church has chosen as foremost from the Gospel teachings of Christ the parable of the ten virgins, particularly appropriate for the period of Holy Week, during which we should be especially vigilant and in prayer. Ten maidens waited for their bridegroom (in the custom of that time and place, the bridegroom would fetch the bride from her parents’ home to bring her to his own). Five of the women foolishly took their lamps with no extra oil and when the bridegroom was delayed, could not go out and meet him. Through the parable of the ten virgins the Church is urging us to be always ready to meet the Heavenly Bridegroom with chastity, almsgiving, and the urgent practice of all the other virtues, which are represented by the oil prepared by the wise virgins.
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