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  • As the source of life, the sun became equated with power and the supreme god.

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    Ararat is mentioned as early as ca. The word Ararat can be divided into three words: Early symbols for gods are closely connected with astral symbols.

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    The first use of the sacred swastika and cross are found in ca. Carvings dating back to ca.

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    By the 5th millennium BC, Ancestral Armenians combined sun worship with sophisticated astronomy. They are now credited with assigning the constellations of the zodiac their design and names, and creating one of the first solar calendars based on days in the year.

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    Also around the 5th millennium BC a series of Vishaps Dragon Stones began to be erected on mountainsides throughout Armenia, near water sources. At first resembling fish dragons in Armenian were thought to be huge fishlike creatures, something like a cross between a whale and a gigantic squidthe monolithic stones were later carved with snakes, the heads of beasts, swastikas and crosses.

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    Around BC, Ancestral Armenians had created a specific iconography and pantheon of the gods. The Armenian gods were still centered on the worship of the sun, but by the Urartian period, they resembled Mesopotamian and Egyptian deities based on animal-human combinations.

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    Human deities emerged during the Armenian Hellenistic period. Though bearing remarkable likeness to Greek gods and goddesses, which first gave speculation as to their Greek origins, it is now thought that many of the Greek gods are actually inherited from Ancestral Armenian sources, with some coming from as far away as India.

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    The heroic legends of Hercules, for example, were first attributed to the legend of the Armenian king-god Haik in the 3rd millennium BC. Pantheon of Armenian gods The Armenian god or goddess is listed with the Greek equivalent deity in parenthesis. Aramazd Zeus - The father of all gods and goddesses, the creator of heaven and earth.

    The first two letters in his name, "AR" is the Indo-European root for sun, light, and life.

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    The celebration in his honor was called Am'nor, or New Year, which was celebrated on March 21 in the old Armenian calendar also the Spring equinox. Anahit Artemis - The goddess of fertility and birth, in early period she was the goddess of war.

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    Elections to the Church Assembly, The Church adopted, at the time that it was still a state church, an administrative structure largely modelled after the state. Direct elections are held to the General Synod Swedish: The electoral system is the same as used in the Swedish parliamentary or municipal elections see Elections in Sweden. To vote in the Church general elections, one must be member of the Church of Sweden, at minimum 16 years of age, and nationally registered as living in Sweden.

    The groups that take part in the elections are called nominating groups Swedish: In some cases the nationwide political parties take part in the elections, such as the Social Democrats and the Centre Party.

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    After the formal separation of Church of Sweden from the State of Swedenthe growing tendency in the elections is towards independent parties forming for candidature, either based on a political conviction, for example Folkpartister i Svenska kyrkan founded by Liberal People's Party members, or a pure church party such as the political independents' Partipolitiskt obundna i Svenska kyrkan POSK and Frimodig kyrka.

    Ordained ministry[ edit ] Sung Mass with the ordinations of two deacons and seven priests by the Bishop of Stockholm, in St Nicholas's Cathedral Storkyrkan The Church of Sweden maintains the historic threefold ministry of bishopspriestsand deaconsand has approximately 5, ordained clergy in total. This is an alternative approach to the sequential ordination of other historic churches including the Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches in which candidates must be ordained in the strict sequence of deacon, then priest, then bishop.

    A Church of Sweden priest will be ordained directly to that office, without any previous ordination as a deacon. In the history of Holy Orders direct ordination seems to have been commonplace in the Church before the fourth century, [17] [18] whilst the two systems direct ordination and sequential ordination seem to have co-existed in different places, until the eleventh century, when sequential ordination became universally normal and requisite, [18] under Pope Gregory VII After the Reformation, the Swedish Church seems to have practiced variously both direct ordination and sequential ordination.

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    Although direct ordination was more widespread, and became normative, the practice of sequential ordination is attested in the seventeenth century Swedish Church. Bishop Johannes Rudbeckius habitually ordained men to the diaconate in advance of ordaining them to the priesthood, [19] and this was said by Archbishop Johannes Lenaeus of Uppsala in to be usual Church of Sweden practice.

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    However, whereas in Roman Catholic or Anglican ordinations the candidates for priesthood will already be wearing the diagonal deacon's stole, in the Church of Sweden candidates for both diaconate and priesthood are unordained at the start of the service.