On Sunday 28 March 2021, one week before the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Armenian Church commemorated the Feast of Palm Sunday, celebrating the Triumphant Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
On His arrival, a large crowd of people gathered to greet Him, and spread their cloaks on the road before Him, while others cut branches from palm trees and placed them on the path. The crowd exclaimed: “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the Name of the Lord” (John 12:13).
The religious celebrations in the church took on a festive character as the altar, that had been closed since Poon Paregentan, was once again opened and decorated with a multitude of palms.
Rev. Archpriest Norayr Patanian celebrated the Divine Liturgy to a church that was full of adults and children for the first time since Covid-19 had closed our Church doors.
The beautiful sounds of the Karasoun Mangounk Choir, led by their choirmaster, Deacon Vartan Elmasian was another welcome reminder of how blessed we were to be celebrating such a special event together.
The poignant and dramatic Trnpatsek (Opening of the Door) ceremony took place after the Soorp Badarak. Trnpatsek is a foreshadowing of the Second Coming of Christ, the End of Days and the Last Judgment. The ceremony includes a dialogue between two clergy positioned on either side of the closed altar curtain. The hymns are derived from Psalm 117(118):19-20, as one clergy, speaking on behalf of the people, knocks on the door and pleads for admittance, while the other, speaking on behalf of the heavenly Judge, defends the gates of the Kingdom against encroachment by the unworthy. The ceremony reaches its conclusion as the door (altar curtain) is opened.
Finally, the very popular Children’s Blessing took place as the large group of children waited in front of the altar. The Lord Jesus Christ said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10.13-16).