Armenian Church marks Palm Sunday

Armenian Apostolic Church will celebrate Tsakhkazard (Palm Sunday) on
Sunday, which marks the day of the triumphant entrance of Jesus Christ
into Jerusalem.

On the occasion of the holiday all the churches give liturgies and
people bring with them olive and palm branches to churches and take
home after blessing them there. followed today the liturgy in Yerevan St. Sargis Church,
witnessed the dominating festive moods.

A group of people selling symbols of the holiday were this time
complaining of the reduction of volume of trade. `As compared with the
past year people have either become fewer or have less money,’ a
resident of Arshaluys village, ethnic Yezidi Gule Avloyan said. Every
year she brings palm branches to St Sargis church’s court.

Another woman was complaining of social condition of the country,
saying people have to sell branches to earn for bread. She said she
was the resident of Dalma gardens territory that’s why did not want to
name herself.
The people were visiting church, buying symbols of the holiday and
complaining for them being expensive.

Distributing blessed palm branches to the faithful on the feast of
Palm Sunday is one of the spiritual customs of the Armenian Church.

The olive branch is considered to be the symbol of wisdom, peace,
victory and glory. Giving olive and date branches to Christ who
resurrected the dead Ghazaros is the symbol of victory over death.

Throwing clothes in front of Jesus symbolized freeing oneself of sins,
while giving branches as gifts was a symbol of honors and ceremonies.

The people of Jerusalem accepted the entrance of Jesus with
enthusiasm. They held date and olive branches, laid their clothes on
the ground and screamed: “Almighty God, blessed be he who comes to us
in the name of God, blessed be the kingdom of David that comes. Peace
on Earth and Glory to the Heavens” (Marcus 10:9-10).

According to the Armenian Church’s website, the offering of branches
symbolizes several things. First, it shows God’s mercy towards man
through the olive branch (which the dove brought to Noah, showing that
the flood waters had receded) and the victory over sin, death and
Satan through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection through the palm

Second, in ancient times, humanity worshipped the tree and offered its
branches to the idols of demons. Using this same gesture, the Jewish
people inspired by the Holy Spirit, offered branches to Jesus, after
they discovered that He was the True God. This is just as the wise men
presented their mysterious gifts to Him in the cave in Bethlehem –
gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Third, as God cursed the earth for the original sin committed by Adam
and Eve: “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; . . . .”
(Genesis 3:18) the faithful laid green branches in front of the Lord
in order to spare Him their curse of bringing thorns.
Fourth, during the Olympic Games in ancient times, the winners were
crowned with olive wreaths. The faithful understood that Jesus
defeated death by resurrecting Lazarus (John 11:30-46) and met Him
with palm branches as He was the winning King.

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