Posts Tagged ‘palm sunday’

We are now entering the most solemn period for Christians—Holy Week—leading us to our most sacred holiday, Easter and the Resurrection. The week before Easter marks a series of events in the life of Jesus that were ordained or prophesied. These events include the raising of Lazarus (described above) and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he is greeted by large assembly of people carrying olive and palm branches.

       On Palm Sunday (Dzaghgazart) the altar curtain, which was closed at the beginning of Lent, is open. The palms are blessed and distributed to the faithful. Children dressed in their best clothes and carrying beautifully decorated candles, parade around the church in a procession. In the evening, or as now done immediately following the Divine Liturgy, the faithful gather at the door of the church or at the closed altar, for the Opening of the Doors (Trnpatsek) ceremony, symbolizing the opening of the gates to the Kingdom of God. This solemn penitential service in preparation of Holy Week is unique to the Armenian Church.

       Each day of Holy Week (also called Great Week, Avak Shabat) is a holy day. Monday commemorates the barren fig tree (Matthew 21:18-20). Tuesday commemorates the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:13). Wednesday commemorates the Anointment and Betrayal of Christ (Matthew 26). Thursday is Maundy Thursday, which originates from Christ’s command that His disciples love one another (John 13:34). In the evening the Washing of the Feet (Vodunlva) takes place in remembrance of the events of the Last Supper. Late Thursday evening the betrayal and torment of Christ, Tenebrae (Latin for darkness; in Armenian Khavaroum), is commemorated. In one of the most dramatic ceremonies, Gospel readings describing Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal by Judas, and denial by Peter, are read interspersed with the singing of hymns composed by Nerses Shnorhali, some of the most beautiful hymns in the Armenian Church. Holy Friday (Avak Ourpat), the solemnest day in the Christian calendar, commemorates the crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord.



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       This Sunday, April 1, is Palm Sunday commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week. The Church is joyful after forty days of repentance. Christ is coming into the city of Jerusalem. He is coming in the name of the Lord in fulfillment of the prophecy (Zechariah 9:9-16), in the imagewords of the Introit of Palm Sunday, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, for behold your King Christ, seated on the new colt, shows meekness and comes to enter into your chamber. … Cry aloud, Hosanna, blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, who has great mercy.”

By Catholicos Sahag Bartev 


King, you came to this world
By way of the city of Jerusalem,
Riding the ordinary donkey, close to the soil,
and called the pagans to reverence.


The old with branches of the olive,
The young with branches of palm, came.
And flock by flock, choruses sang:
Hosanna, blessed is your coming, Lord!


All of the kingdoms of Zion rejoiced.
All of the holy churches were enthralled.
With elation they welcomed the blessings
of your coming, savior of this world.

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This Saturday, March 31, the Armenian Church commemorates the Raising of Lazarus as told in the Gospel of John, Chapter 11.

       Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus. Their home in Bethany (near Jerusalem) was Jesus’ home whenever he was in Jerusalem. Lazarus’s sudden death threw his sisters into deep mourning. Jesus also wept for his friend. John’s gospel accountimage emphasizes the fact that Lazarus was indeed dead by pointing out that his body was in the tomb. Jesus’ raising of Lazarus convinced many people of his unique powers, and according to John, the authorities took steps to try to silence him.

       Lazarus personifies the whole of humankind and Bethany represents the whole world. Lazarus Saturday is the real beginning of the Cross. Its major themes are the forthcoming victory of Christ over death, the supreme sacrifice of love, and the resurrection as the ultimate triumph of love.

       A hymn traditionally sung on Saturday evening (eve of Palm Sunday) says: “With the raising of Lazarus by which the dead were given hope, the descendants of Adam were also raised….” Thus, as the Lenten period comes to an end, we are greeted by the hope of Christ’s promise of the resurrection of humankind.

       The forty days of Great Lent (Medz Bahk) come to an end with Vespers on the Friday prior to the commemoration of the Raising of Lazarus. A new fasting period for Holy Week begins on Monday and continues through Holy Saturday.

Posted from Armenian Prelacy’s (Easter) E-Newsletter.

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PALM SUNDAY at St. John’s

April 17, 2011 – Palm Sunday

Divine Liturgy 10:00 A.M.
Opening of the Great Door Service 11:30 A.M.


At the conclusion of the church services on Palm Sunday, our Sunday School teachers and parents of the students will once again prepare and serve brunch to everyone. We cordially invite everyone to attend.

Կիրակի Ապրիլ 17, 2011 Ծաղկազարդ

Ս. Պատարագ                      Ժամը 10:00-ին
Դռնբացէք                            Ժամը 11:30-ին

Յաւարտ Ծաղկազարդի Ս. Պատարագի ու դռնբացեքի արարողութեանց, Կիրակնօրեայ Վարժարանիս ուսուցչական կազմն ու աշակերտութեանց ծնող-ները այս տարի եւս պիտի սպասարկեն՝ մեր եկեղեցիէն ներս աւանդութիւն դարձած՝ Ծաղկազարդի Նախաճաշ: Սիրով կը հրաւիրենք մեր հաւատացեալ ժողովուրդը սոյն նախաճաշին:

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