The Triumphal Entry

“Palm Sunday”

 

Palm Sunday, also called the Triumphal Entry, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on the Sunday before Pascha.

Few days before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ was received by adoring throngs at his entry into Jerusalem on the back of young donkey. The crowds threw palm branches (a symbol of victory) in his path in jubilation, and even the children shouted praises to Him.

Fasting is modified because of the triumphant nature of Palm Sunday, and fish is permitted. Fried cod with garlic sauce and fried vegetables is a traditional dish, but any fish may be served.

An Arabic tradition is to hold candles decorated with flowers for Palm Sunday along with palm branches. Greeks hold crosses woven from either palm branches or bay leaves on Palm Sunday.

From ancient times, palm-branches were symbols of victory and triumph. The Romans used to reward their champions of the games with palm-branches. Also military triumphs, i.e. the celebrations of victory, were observed with palms. It seems that the Jews followed the same custom (Lev. 23:40; I Macc. 13:37) of carrying palm-branches on their festive occasions. That is what happened during the solemn entry of Jesus into the Holy City before His last Passover (Jn. 12:13)

From Jerusalem this celebration of Palm Sunday spread to Egypt, then to Syria and Asia Minor. By the fifth century the feast was celebrated in Constantinople, where the Emperor and his household used to take part in a solemn procession on Palm Sunday. There, besides palms, the faithful were given olive and lilac branches. As they marched in procession through the streets of the city, they sang the beautiful stycheras composed by St. Andrew of Crete (d. ca. 720), St. John Damascene (d. 749), St. Theodore Studite (d. 826) and his brother, St. Joseph Studite (d. 833). The solemn canon at Matins is a masterpiece of St. Cosmas of Maiuma (d. 760).

All of these traditions and customs are good -- as long as they do not replace in our heart the memory of Christ Himself who died for us and has risen for our salvation.

 

إِنْجِيلُ \لْمَسِيحِ حَسَبَ \لْبَشِيرِ لُوقَا

اَلأَصْحَاحُ \لتَّاسِعُ عَشَرَ

 

28وَلَمَّا قَالَ هَذَا تَقَدَّمَ صَاعِداً إِلَى أُورُشَلِيمَ. 29وَإِذْ قَرُبَ مِنْ بَيْتِ فَاجِي وَبَيْتِ عَنْيَا عِنْدَ \لْجَبَلِ \لَّذِي يُدْعَى جَبَلَ \لزَّيْتُونِ أَرْسَلَ \ثْنَيْنِ مِنْ تَلاَمِيذِهِ 30قَائِلاً: «اِذْهَبَا إِلَى \لْقَرْيَةِ \لَّتِي أَمَامَكُمَا وَحِينَ تَدْخُلاَنِهَا تَجِدَانِ جَحْشاً مَرْبُوطاً لَمْ يَجْلِسْ عَلَيْهِ أَحَدٌ مِنَ \لنَّاسِ قَطُّ. فَحُلاَّهُ وَأْتِيَا بِهِ. 31وَإِنْ سَأَلَكُمَا أَحَدٌ: لِمَاذَا تَحُلاَّنِهِ؟ فَقُولاَ لَهُ: إِنَّ \لرَّبَّ مُحْتَاجٌ إِلَيْهِ». 32فَمَضَى \لْمُرْسَلاَنِ وَوَجَدَا كَمَا قَالَ لَهُمَا. 33وَفِيمَا هُمَا يَحُلاَّنِ \لْجَحْشَ قَالَ لَهُمَا أَصْحَابُهُ: «لِمَاذَا تَحُلاَّنِ \لْجَحْشَ؟» 34فَقَالاَ: «ﭐلرَّبُّ مُحْتَاجٌ إِلَيْهِ». 35وَأَتَيَا بِهِ إِلَى يَسُوعَ وَطَرَحَا ثِيَابَهُمَا عَلَى \لْجَحْشِ وَأَرْكَبَا يَسُوعَ. 36وَفِيمَا هُوَ سَائِرٌ فَرَشُوا ثِيَابَهُمْ فِي \لطَّرِيقِ. 37وَلَمَّا قَرُبَ عِنْدَ مُنْحَدَرِ جَبَلِ \لزَّيْتُونِ \بْتَدَأَ كُلُّ جُمْهُورِ \لتَّلاَمِيذِ يَفْرَحُونَ وَيُسَبِّحُونَ \للهَ بِصَوْتٍ عَظِيمٍ لأَجْلِ جَمِيعِ \لْقُوَّاتِ \لَّتِي نَظَرُوا 38قَائِلِينَ: «مُبَارَكٌ \لْمَلِكُ \لآتِي بِاسْمِ \لرَّبِّ! سَلاَمٌ فِي \لسَّمَاءِ وَمَجْدٌ فِي \لأَعَالِي!». 39وَأَمَّا بَعْضُ \لْفَرِّيسِيِّينَ مِنَ \لْجَمْعِ فَقَالُوا لَهُ: «يَا مُعَلِّمُ \نْتَهِرْ تَلاَمِيذَكَ». 40فَأَجَابَ: «أَقُولُ لَكُمْ: إِنَّهُ إِنْ سَكَتَ هَؤُلاَءِ فَالْحِجَارَةُ تَصْرُخُ!».

41وَفِيمَا هُوَ يَقْتَرِبُ نَظَرَ إِلَى \لْمَدِينَةِ وَبَكَى عَلَيْهَا 42قَائِلاً: «إِنَّكِ لَوْ عَلِمْتِ أَنْتِ أَيْضاً حَتَّى فِي يَوْمِكِ هَذَا مَا هُوَ لِسَلاَمِكِ. وَلَكِنِ \لآنَ قَدْ أُخْفِيَ عَنْ عَيْنَيْكِ. 43فَإِنَّهُ سَتَأْتِي أَيَّامٌ وَيُحِيطُ بِكِ أَعْدَاؤُكِ بِمِتْرَسَةٍ وَيُحْدِقُونَ بِكِ وَيُحَاصِرُونَكِ مِنْ كُلِّ جِهَةٍ 44وَيَهْدِمُونَكِ وَبَنِيكِ فِيكِ وَلاَ يَتْرُكُونَ فِيكِ حَجَراً عَلَى حَجَرٍ لأَنَّكِ لَمْ تَعْرِفِي زَمَانَ \فْتِقَادِكِ».

 

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

righteous and having salvation,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim

and the war-horses from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be broken.

He will proclaim peace to the nations.

His rule will extend from sea to sea

and from the River to the ends of the earth. -Zechariah 9:9-10

 

 

TROPARION (Tone 1)

 

O Christ God, when Thou didst raise Lazarus from the dead, before Thy Passion, thou didst confirm the universal resurrection. Wherefore, we, like Children, carry the insignia of triumph and victory, and cry to Thee, O vanquisher of death, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

 

 

"By raising Lazarus from the dead before your passion you confirmed the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the palms of victory, we cry out to you, O vanquisher of death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!"

 

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