10:00 AM - Divine Liturgy
The feast of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem is one of the twelve major feasts of the Church. The services of this Sunday follow directly from those of Lazarus Saturday. The church building continues to be vested in resurrectional splendor, filled with hymns that continually repeat the Hosanna
offered to Christ as the Messiah-King who comes in the name of God the Father for the salvation of the world. We sing the same troparion sung on Lazarus Saturday.
As we carry our branches (both palms and pussy willows, in the Slavic tradition) and sing our songs to the Lord on Palm Sunday, we are judged together with the Jerusalem crowd. For the same voices that cried Hosanna!
on Palm Sunday cried Crucify him!
a few days later. Thus in the liturgy of the Church our lives continue to be judged as we hail Christ with the "branches of victory" and enter with Him into the days of His voluntary passion.
We might think the "narrative" services of Holy Week are specially created for this time of year, but in structure they are simply the regular daily services (Matins, Vespers, etc) with an added focus in their hymns on the themes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. The week begins with the Bridegroom Services on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening. These are really Matins (morning) services. Their theme is "watch, do not be sleeping when the Bridegroom comes at midnight," and monastic tradition actually served them in the middle of the night, as a way of keeping this watchful vigil. In parish use they are brought forward to the evening before, in keeping with this spirit of anticipation. In the same way, the main crucifixion memorial service (an event associated with Holy Friday) is the Matins with 12 Passion Gospels and is served on Thursday evening, and so on.
4:00 PM - Bridegroom Matins (at St Herman's Church)
Behold, the bridegroom comes in the middle of the night
and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching,
and unworthy the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Take care then, 0 my soul, and be not weighed down by sleep
that you will not be given over unto death
and be excluded from the Kingdom.
(Troparion of the First Three Days)
The theme for the first day is simply the end of time. On the second day, we hear the parables of the wise and foolish virgins and the talents. Finally, on the third day we hear of the harlot who anoints Christ's feet to prepare Him for burial and of Judas who judges her, mercilessly condemning her act of mercy.
We sing of our own unpreparedness:
Thy Bridal Chamber I see adorned, O my Savior,
but I have no wedding garment that I may enter.
O Giver of Light, enlighten the vesture of my soul,
and save me.
To learn more about Palm Sunday, click here
Bridegroom Matins will also be served at Holy Trinity on Holy Monday
and Holy Tuesday
at 7:00 PM.