Palm Sunday Celebrated in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On March 28, the Armenian Church solemnly celebrated the Feast of Palm Sunday, which commemorates the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Years ago, with the Blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; Palm Sunday is declared to be the Blessing of Children Day. On this occasion, following the Morning Service, His Holiness Karekin II presided over the blessing service of the four corners of the world (Andastan) and the Blessing of the Children in the courtyard of the St. Gayane Monastery. At the conclusion, the blessed willow branches were distributed to the faithful. On the occasion of the Feast, the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin participated in the Divine Liturgy in the St. Gayane Monastery. The Celebrant was His Grace Bishop Artak Tigranian, Dean of the Monasteries of the Mother See. In His sermon, Bishop Artak, reflecting on the sacrament of the feast, stated in part: “When the Lord entered Jerusalem, people were shouting Hosanna joyfully and sincerely, however, the same people, who had become a mob, some days later, standing before Pilate should demand icily: "Crucify, crucify, Him!" (John 19:6). Jesus knew everything, yet, with all this, filled with love towards the humankind and being obedient to the will of the Father, directed His steps to death, which would give life to the humanity”. Reflecting on the ceremonies held in the churches on the occasion of Palm Sunday, His Grace Bishop Artak noted: “Today, this magnificent decoration of churches is just an example, a chance and source of inspiration, to adorn ourselves, our inner and spiritual and moral personality with flowering sprigs of faith. The flowering branches of faith are our thoughts and feelings anointed with our kindness; our God-pleasing words and deeds; our life and behavior filled with virtue; our peace-loving and peacemaking soul and our loving devotion; our charity and generous mercy; our true piety and humanity”. Bishop Artak also referred to the epidemic and wars that have shaken the world in recent year, emphasizing: “These days, when all our thoughts and prayers are directed to change the current situation, to dispel our inner turmoil; today more than ever, we need to look up to heaven, to our God, for regret, conversion and repentance; we need to live in our inner moral Golgotha; to morally renew and create a new style and permanent values; so that the Lord may hear our prayers from heaven, forgive us, and treat the pandemic that troubled the world, and stop ethnic wars”. Concluding the sermon, Bishop Artak once again prayed to God, asking for the Blessings of the Lord for all, then urged the attendees: “Dear people, today you also, accepting the Lord in your hearts with blessed branches taken from your spiritual garden; glorify and send hosanna to the Creator of the heaven and earth; never forgetting that we will always remain loyal to Him in everything; Who sacrificed even his life for us, and He, Who is crucified or resurrected, is always waiting for us with open arms today and always, Amen”. Following the Divine Liturgy, in front of the St. Trdat Open Air Altar, a Blessing Service of the Children was offered, during which the Catholicos of All Armenians once again conveyed his blessings to the children arrived at the Mother See on the occasion of the Feast; and distributed them crosses.