Palm Sunday – Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem
Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Philippians (4:4-9)
Brethren: Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, ‘Rejoice!’ Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Fret not about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (12:1-18)
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, who had been dead and whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son who was to betray Him, said, ‘Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money bag and took what was put therein. Then Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; against the day of My burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you, but Me ye have not always.’ Many people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there. And they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted, that they might put Lazarus also to death, because by reason of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. On the next day many people who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord!’ And Jesus, when He had found a young ass, sat thereon, as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Sion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.’ These things His disciples understood not at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things unto Him. The people therefore who were with Him, when He called Lazarus out of his grave and raised him from the dead, bore record. For this cause the people also met Him, for they heard that He had done this miracle.
Troparion of Palm Sunday (Tone 4)
In confirming the common Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst raise up Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion.Wherefore, we also, like the children bearing the symbols of victory, cry to Thee, the Vanquisher of death: Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Kontakion for Palm Sunday (Tone 6)
Being borne upon a throne in heaven, * and upon a colt on the earth, O Christ God, * Thou didst accept the praise of angels and the laudation of children as they cry to Thee: * Blessed is He that cometh to recall Adam.
Synaxarion for Palm Sunday
After Lazarus had been raised from the dead, many, on beholding this event, came to believe in Christ. And indeed, a resolution was passed by the Jewish synagogue that Christ, and Lazarus himself, should be killed. Jesus, therefore, departed, letting evil run its course, and the Jews meditated how they might kill Him on the Feast of Passover. Some time after His flight, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, and there, after a supper had been made, Lazarus ate with Him; his sister Mary poured out ointment on Christ’s feet. On the following day, He sent His Disciples to fetch the ass and the foal. He Who has Heaven for His throne entered Jerusalem, riding on the foal of an ass. The children of the Hebrews themselves spread their garments under Him and, cutting down palm branches, threw some of them in the way and carried others in their arms, and they cried out as they escorted Him: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.”
This took place because the All-Holy Spirit moved their tongues to praise and laud Christ. Through the palms (the name given by the Hebrews to the tender branches) they signified Christ’s victory over death. For it was customary for the victors of athletic contests and wars to be honored and borne about with branches of evergreen trees. The foal signified us, the people of the Gentiles, sitting and resting on whom Christ is proclaimed victor, conqueror, and King of all the earth.
About this Feast the Prophet Zacharias said: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; for behold, thy King is coming to thee, meek and riding on an ass and the foal of an ass.” And again, about the children, David says: “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou perfected praise.” When Christ entered the city, the whole of Jerusalem quaked and, goaded on by the High Priests to defend it, the crowds sought to do away with Him. He eluded them by hiding, and when He did appear, He spoke to them through parables.
By Thine ineffable compassion, O Christ our God, make us victors over irrational passions, and vouchsafe us to behold Thy clear victory over death, Thy radiant and life-bearing Resurrection, and have mercy on us. Amen.