THE FEAST OF PALM SUNDAY AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Palm Sunday, April 8/21, 2019, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of the triumphant entry of the Lord in Jerusalem, a little while before His Passion, when the children of the Jews welcomed Him holding palm tree branches and crying out loud “Hosanna to the son of David”.
- Great Vespers
This event was celebrated in the evening at the Catholicon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with Great Vespers, led by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, with co-celebrants Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, under the chanting of the Choir Leader of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Mr. Constantinos Spyropoulos. The service was attended by the newly arrived groups of pilgrims from various Orthodox countries.
- The Palm Tree Branches Procession
On Saturday evening, April 7/20, 2019, Lazarus’s Saturday, immediately after the Service of Vespers at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, many faithful rushed to the South side of the Mount of Olives which overlooks Bethany and is named Bet-Faghi.
His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem also arrived there, escorted by Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Most Reverend Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia, the Dragouman Archimandrite Mattheos and the Master of Ceremonies Archimandrite Bartholomew.
He blessed the palm tree branches by reading the relevant prayer and designated the Most Reverend Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia to lead the procession in commemoration of the triumphant entry of the Lord in Jerusalem, when the children of the Jews welcomed Him by placing their garments on the streets and crying out loud “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
The procession with the large participation of local faithful and pilgrims who were singing the apolytikion of Lazarus came down the Mount of Olives, passed through the valley of Gethsemane, where the Tomb of Theotokos lies, and concluded at the Holy Monastery of God’s Ancestors, Joachim and Anna, by the Lions’ Gate or St. Stephen’s Gate.
- Patriarchal Divine Liturgy
The festivities continued with the celebration of this event on the morning of the feast day at the Catholicon of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, led by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with co-celebrants the Most Reverend Archbishops of the Throne, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, the Most Reverend Archbishops; Theophanes of Gerassa, Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebastia, Demetrios of Lydda, and the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, the visiting Most Reverend Metropolitan George of Diveyevo and other Bishops from the Patriarchate of Russia, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks and visiting Priests from other Orthodox Churches, under the chanting of the Choir Leader of the Church of the Resurrection Mr. Constantinos Spyropoulos. The Service was attended by the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Mr. Christos Sophianopoulos and a large congregation that filled the Catholicon.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a litany, three times around the Holy Sepulchre and around the shrines, while the people held palm tree branches, then the Gospel narrative was read before the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre.
After the litany there was the return at the Patriarchate Headquarters in procession, and all people were holding palm tree branches in their hands.