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Palm Sunday 2013

28 April 2013

We, and our Mamelodi congregation, were invited to St Thomas’s Orthodox Church in Sunninghill for Vespers of Lazarus Saturday/Palm Sunday. Fr Pantelejmon arranged with one of his parishioners, who runs a taxi business, to send a 16-seater Toyota Quantum to fetch people from Mamelodi, and some brought members of their families who had never been to an Orthodox Church before.

Let out prayer arise in Thy sight as incense

Let our prayer arise in Thy sight as incense

At the end of Vespers the children were given bells to hang around their neck, a reminder that it was children who welcomed our Lord in Jerusalem.

Children receiving bells and willwo branches

Chyildren receiving bells and willwo branches

At the end of Vespers there was a procession around the church. In Serbia palms are rare, so people carry willow branches instead of palms, even though in Johannesburg there is a palm tree in the church garden.

Palm Sunday 2013

As we go in procession around the church, we sing the Troparion for Palm Sunday

PalmSunBy raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy passion
Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God
Like the children with the palms of victory
We cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of death
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!

And

When we were buried with Thee in baptism, O Christ God
we were made worthy of eternal life by Thy resurrection!
Now we praise Thee and sing:
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!

And one of the other hymns explains the meaning of the feast:

O gracious Lord, who ridest upon the cherubim,
who are praised by the seraphim,
now Thou dost ride like David on the foal of an ass.
The children sing hy7mns worthy of God,
while the priests and scribes blaspheme against Thee
By riding an untamed cols, Thou has prefigured the salvation of the Gentiles
those wild beasts, who will be brought from unbelief to fraith!
Glory to Tee, O merciful Christ
Our King and the lover of man.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Afterwards we went to bless a new small meeting room that had been added to the hall. The hall is far to big for small meetings.

Even the teddy got a bell, though some might doubt whether he was a logical sheep

Even the teddy got a bell, though some might doubt whether he was a logical sheep

The branches are supposed to be taken home and put above the door of one’s house.

Palm Sunday 2013

This year Palm Sunday fell on 27 April, which is Freedom Day, and we celebrated the 19th anniversary of our first democratic elections in South Africa. Nineteen years ago South Africa came forth from the tomb like Lazarus. Let’s hope and pray that we don’t creep back there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mondli permalink
    1 May 2013 10:13 pm

    Whats up with the Greek church in Durban.All the rich Greeks sit in front and ignore less affluent members.By the way how many priests have they changed??!!
    Wish I was in Pretoria

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