Apolytikion for the Ressurection
Τήν κοινήν Ανάστασιν…
O Christ our God, before Your Passion, You raised Lazarus from the dead to confirm the common Resurrection for all. Therefore, we carry the symbols of victory as did the youths, and we cry out to You, the victor over death, “Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Apolytikion for Palm Sunday
O Christ our God, we have been buried with You through Baptism and by Your Resurrection 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.”
Τω θρόνω εν Ούρανώ…In Heaven, He is seated upon a Throne and on earth He rides upon a foal. O Christ our God,
Accept the praise of the Angels and the hymn of the Children who cry out to You, “Blessed are You who comes to recall Adam.”
Lent- Palm Sunday
The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem
“Observe the wisdom of the Evangelist, how he is not ashamed to parade their former ignorance. That it was written they knew, that is was written of Him they did not know. For it would have offended them if He being a King were about to suffer such things and to be so betrayed. Besides, they could not at that time have taken in the knowledge of the Kingdom of which He spoke, for another Evangelist says that they thought The words were spoken of a kingdom of this world.” St. John Chrysostom. Homily LXVI on John XII, 2
Message from Metropolitan Alexios
As we come to the end of our Lenten journey, our Church celebrates Palm Sunday and the triumphant entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. For the people of that time, His entrance was eagerly anticipated because their land was under Roman rule and they considered themselves an oppressed people. As such, they were impatiently looking for a Messiah, a leader who would deliver them from Roman oppression. They identified that man as Jesus Christ as so they welcomed and glorified Him as their King and liberator.
In their excitement, the people threw down their clothing and palm branches in front of Christ, welcoming Him as a King. Most of them were probably thinking that he would rule as an earthly King, a political leader, who would defeat the Romans. They had their own ideas of who Jesus was, and what His mission was. And a few days later, they condemned Him to a terrible death.
Today, even though we may not need liberation from a repressive occupying army, the message of Palm Sunday remains the same: the Messiah has come to free us.
Though He has not come to free us from earthly oppression, but from sin and death. He has come to bring the salvation of all mankind.
As we enter Holy Week and experience this sacred encounter with our salvation through the worship services of our Orthodox Church, let us look beyond the palm branches and shouts of praise to think about the purpose of our Lord’s coming to us, to reflect on the love that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has for all mankind. This expression of God’s Love, His suffering and death, is so powerful, that it overcomes the power of sin, death and evil, and gives us the eternal hope of salvation.
My beloved ones, I encourage you to go out of your way and make a special effort to participate in the services offered during Holy Week, for your own edification and to uplift your spirit. Do not absent yourself or try to avoid the services, but rather understand them as precious opportunities to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Your local parish community can provide you with a schedule of these services.
God bless us all today on Palm Sunday as we begin this wonderful journey through Holy Week together!
Metropolitan of Atlanta
The period of Great Lent includes the days of Holy Week. This is the time when Christians who went through the whole period of Lent in prayer and fasting approach the Feast of Feasts to celebrate the Passions of Christ and His Resurrection. During the entire Lent the faithful try to practice and live the ideals and standards of this period in the light of Easter. This is why the Hymnology of the entire period of Lent, especially during Holy Week, refers to the Resurrection of Christ as the center of the Christian Faith. Each day of Holy Week is dedicated to the Events and teachings of Christ during His last week on earth. The faithful who participate in the services of this week are more conscious of their duties to themselves and to their neighbors through fasting, praying, giving alms, forgiving the trespasses of others; in other words, participating, day by day, in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9
BRETHREN, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazaros was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazaros was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazaros, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazaros also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazaros out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.