April 12, 2020

Palm Sunday (Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos)

By Archimandrite Epiphanios Theodoropoulos

From the Horologion of our Church we reproduce the following:

"On Sunday the 18th of March, five days before the passover of the law, Jesus came from Bethany to Jerusalem, and having sent out His two disciples they brought back to Him a young donkey, which He sat upon and entered the city. When the crowd of people there heard that Jesus was coming, they at once took into their hands the branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him; some threw down their garments, others cut down the branches of trees, laying them down on the road upon which Jesus was coming. And they all, along with the children, went before Him and followed Him, crying out saying: 'Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel' (Jn. 15). This bright and glorious festival of our Lord's entrance into Jerusalem is what we celebrate today.

What is signified by the branches, namely the soft branches of the palm trees, is Christ's defeat of the devil and death. Hosanna is interpreted as "save, I pray" or "save now". The young colt of the donkey and the seating of Jesus upon it, an untameable animal and unclean according to the law, signifies the former uncleanliness and savageness of the nations and their later subjection to the holy and evangelical law."

On this day our Church chants:

"We have been buried with You through Baptism, Christ our God, and by Your Resurrection have been made worthy of life immortal. Praising You, we cry out: Hosanna in the highest, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Source: Περίοδος Τριωδίου, Πόρος Τροιζηνίας: Ιερόν Ησυχαστήριον Κεχαριτωμένης Θεοτόκου Τροιζήνος, 2011. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.