"Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" exclaimed the children of Israel, as our Lord proceeded into the Holy City, surrounded by many people who thought that He had come to overthrow the Romans. This, after it was widely reported about how He had raised Lazarus from the dead.
The ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla; +2008), in a sermon given by him in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, during the All-Night Vigil of this feast many years ago, stated that the same people who praised him with palms and branches, as was the custom in that part of the world, later shouted: "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"
Let this be a reminder to us also not to fall into this horrible sin: of first praising our Lord, then causing Him much pain by our lack of repentance.
This feast is at once very joyful, as the Lord comes to us for the purpose of laboring for our salvation; but, at the same time, we are filled with sadness, knowing what awaits Him.
As is traditional, the brothers and seminarians at Holy Trinity Monastery prepared boughs of palms and pussy willows, as well as candles, for handing out to the faithful at Vigil. His Grace Luke, Bishop of Syracuse, officiated the divine services, co-served by monastery clergy.
The following day, Bishop Luke celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by monastery clergy. During the Hours, His Grace tonsured John Ilyn a reader.
That evening, Great Vespers was served, and the solemn period of Passion Week began, when the Church commemorates and accompanies our Lord on the journey to His Passion.