Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over the Divine Liturgy for Palm Sunday at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, in Sydney.
The Archbishop blessed the palm branches and spoke about the glorious event that the Church celebrates on this day.
“Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem is interposed between two deaths and two resurrections. “The death and the resurrection of Lazarus and the death and the resurrection of Christ,” he stressed, “The people were confused. On the one hand, they were shouting ‘Hosanna,'” which means ‘God, save us,’ thus recognizing Christ as the savior. On the other hand, they were shouting ‘King of Israel,’ seeing Christ as the possible powerful ruler who would liberate them from Roman rule.”
The Archbishop called on the congregation to consider “what we ultimately ask of God.” “The people of Israel were asking for strength,” he remarked. “Let us ask for salvation.” “The people of Israel,” he continued, “demanded liberation from the Roman Empire. Let us ask for liberation from our passions and weaknesses. The people of Israel wanted glory. Let us ask for humility. And so, all together, let us walk and reach through the Crucifixion and the Descent to Hades to the Resurrection of Christ.”
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Archbishop distributed the palm branches, and then received the wishes of the young children of Sunday school, who offered him flowers and red eggs for Easter.
On the afternoon of Palm Sunday, Archbishop Makarios presided over the Service of the Bridegroom (Orthros of Holy Monday) at the Cathedral of the Annunciation.