This Sunday, May 12, is Second Palm Sunday (Yergrort Dzaghgazart). The seventh Sunday of Easter is called Second Palm Sunday because of the readings on that day. Beginning with New Sunday and continuing until Pentecost, the Armenian Church reads from the four Gospels every day in their proper order. Luke is read in the morning; John at midday; Matthew at the beginning of the evening hour; and Mark at the end of the evening hour. The sections related to Christ’s entry into Jerusalem coincide with the seventh Sunday of Easter, hence the designation of “Second Palm Sunday.”
There are several feast days in our liturgical calendar dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator, but according to tradition he is also remembered on the fourth day of Hampartsoum, known as Second Palm Sunday. During the years of Gregory’s imprisonment in the deep pit his guardian angel would appear daily to give him nourishment. On the fourth day of the Ascension the angel did not come, and the next day Gregory asked why. The angel told him that the fourth day of Ascension is the feast day for his celestial army of the 4th rank, and he was permitted to remain in the heavens to celebrate the feast day and enjoy Christ in heaven.
A tradition has come down to us concerning the mysterious meaning of this great and wonderful feast; the Enlightener of our souls heard from his guardian angel: On this day there is a great feast in the heavens in my rank. For during the ascent of the heavenly One from earth the heavenly spirits in their ranks celebrated this event with rejoicing, beginning with the angels and concluding with the thrones. The Illuminator’s guardian angel being from the fourth rank hastened to share in the joyful celebration of which the angel in the flesh learned when he asked him a question. This great mystery took place for the salvation of the logical of angels and mankind so that both of them might unite in one.
(From the Liturgical Canons of the Armenian Church for the first Sunday after Christ’s Ascension, known as Second Palm Sunday).
Posted from Eastern Prelacy’s Crossroads E-Newsletter