Saturday, June 23, 2018 UTC

MARCH 24 & 25: PALM AND FLOWERY SUNDAY; ANNUNCIATION OF THE THEOTOKOS & “SALAD NICOISE” POTLUCK

3181_640 MARCH 24: VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY – 4:00 PM; MARCH 25: MATINS – 7:00 AM, DIVINE LITURGY – 10:30 AM & “SALAD NICOISE” POTLUCK TO FOLLOW LITURGY.

ABSTINENCE, BUT NO FASTING; FISH & WINE

The Gospel Reading today is from John 12: 1-18, The Anointing at Bethany & The Triumphal Entry, in which this reflects on Jesus’ glorious miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Having anticipated His arrival and having heard of the miracle, the people went out to meet the Lord and welcomed Him with displays of honor and shouts of praise. On this day, Palm Sunday, commemorates the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and marks the beginning of Holy Week. We also receive and worship Christ in this same manner, acknowledging Him as our King and Lord.

In various Eastern European countries the use of pussy willows instead of palm fronds were used because the latter were not readily available in the north. There is no canonical requirement as to what kind of branches must be used.

On March 25th we also celebrate the Annunication of the Theotokos. The 2nd Gospel reading is Luke 1:24-38. In the reading, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary, who was living in Nazareth, and said to her, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you.” Mary was perplexed and wondered what kind of greeting this was. The angel told her not to be afraid, for she had found favor with God. He said, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary responded to the angel by asking how this could happen since she had no husband. The angel told her the Holy Spirit and the power of God would come upon her, and the child to be born of her would be called holy, the “Son of God.” This announcement proclaimed her Theotokos (God-bearer). The angel then proceeded to tell the Virgin Mary  her cousin Elizabeth had conceived a son in her old age (John the Baptist), and affirmed that with God nothing is impossible. In faith and obedience to the will of God, Mary replied to the angel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be according to your word.” Upon her response, the angel departed.

 

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