On April 17, Armenian Churches worldwide will observe Palm Sunday, the feast of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On this day the altar curtain, which remains closed in the Armenian Church during Great Lent, will be re-opened with the special Turen-Patzek (door-opening) service.

Jesus comes into Jerusalem riding atop a donkey and the people gather to meet Him with reverence, thus fulfilling the words of the prophet from the Old Testament. The Gospel of St. Matthew, in relating the story, refers to the prophecy, “this was done, that it might be fulfilled, that which was spoken by the prophet, saying “the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you! He is humble and sitting on an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass.”(Mt 21:4-5).

On His arrival, a large crowd of people gathers to greet Him, and spread their cloaks on the road before Him, while others cut branches from palm trees and place them on the path. The crowd exclaims: “Osanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the Name of the Lord”(Jn 12:13).

On Palm Sunday, churches are decorated with branches from willow trees and palm trees. Following a solemn morning service, the blessed branches are distributed to the faithful. This passage from the Gospels reminds each of us about the Coming of Christ, and teaches us to live in a manner that can make us worthy to stand before the Lord and exclaim: “Osanna (Praise God)! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”