Great and Holy Week
"Make Radiant the mantle of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me!"
Six days before the Passover, Jesus entered Jerusalem. People were awaiting a Messiah (which literally means, “the Anointed One”) to free them from the Romans and all their oppressors. While someone with power usually enters triumphantly into a city he has captured, Jesus entered Jerusalem humbly, riding a donkey. This fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy which said, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
People waved palm branches on that day, to symbolize that their Messiah had come. For this reason, we also bless palm branches at our Churches on this day. The Bishop or Priest distributes them to all the faithful after the Divine Liturgy, to remember this very important feastday in the Church.