THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
April 2, 2023
Palm Sunday (Dzaghgazart)
As a reminder, Der Hakob has requested that all visitors find a place in the pews to worship and not to stand in the back. This will allow the deacons to perform their duties with ease.
This day recalls Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. He is greeted by throngs of people laying their cloaks and palm branches on the road before him as a royal carpet of welcome. Matthew understood the event as the fulfillment of specific prophecies, including Zechariah 9:9 (today’s reading). Therefore, for many gathered, this was the entrance of the Messiah and conformed fully to Old Testament prophecy and Jewish expectations. Yet how poorly the crowd understood the nature of the kingdom and the king they were welcoming since not long afterwards their “Hosannas!” turned to the jeering shouts of “Crucify him!”
The service of the Opening of the Doors is also held on Palm Sunday, during which the priest and people pray for entry once again into God’s presence. The term Dzaghgazart (“adorned with flowers”) may refer to an older pagan feast. Discuss/reflect: In Matthew 21:10 we read that “when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked: “Who is this?” Has he entered your heart? Are you prompted to know more about who He is?
From Today’s Scripture Readings
Matthew 20:29-21:17 The healing of the two blind men is a poignant prelude to the story of Jesus’ triumphal arrival in Jerusalem (see below). The two persist in loudly declaring their faith despite the crowd’s rebuke. Upon being healed by their Lord, they follow him. The passage continues with the Palm Sunday story (21:1-11) and the account of Jesus driving the moneychangers from the Temple. Discuss/reflect: If Jesus said to you (as he did to the blind men) “what do you want me to do for you?” how would you answer?
Philippians 4: 4-7 In a letter overflowing with the joy of knowing Jesus, St. Paul sums it all up in these few verses: Rejoice in the Lord, know that he is near, be gentle with everyone, don’t worry about a thing, pray your gratitude, and God’s peace will guard your heart in Christ Jesus.
Discuss/reflect: Personalize verse 7 and memorize it: “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Pray this throughout the day.
Zechariah 9: 9-15 Set in the context of the Jews’ return from the Babylonian exile and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, Zechariah looks expectantly to when God will transform his people into a holy nation. In these verses, we see a striking prophecy of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem “gentle and riding on a donkey.” Discuss/reflect: What images of peace and restoration can you identify in verses 9-10? Why a donkey (v.9; see Matthew 21:5 ) and not a warhorse?
PALM SUNDAY BANQUET: TODAY is ACYOA DAY. Immediately following Church Services, ACYOA is sponsoring a Banquet. No tickets will be sold at the door.
Fellowship on Easter Sunday – There will not be a Coffee Hour Fellowship following Badarak on Easter Sunday, thus allowing our faithful to be able to spend more time with family and friends as they celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
However, we will be having our Easter Eve Fellowship which will follow Badarak that begins @ 7 pm on the evening of April 8. We will also conduct the traditional Home Blessing service in Santerian Hall. We hope you will join us and invite you to bring an offering of food that will be shared among everyone, which is as though our own Easter meal is being blessed.
PALM SUNDAY PALMS and PALM SUNDAY FLOWERS are donated by:
- Paul G. Bogosian in memory of Armand Bogosian
- Garo and Cece Garibian in memory of Hyarpie and Karapet Garibian and Niaz Karibian
- Mr. & Mrs. Gary DerHagopian in memory of Nicole DerHagopian
- Jan D. Mirijanian in memory of John Diran Mirijanian
- Ronald A. Kashkashian in memory of Ardelle, Arsen Jr., John & Nicholas Kashkashian
- Mr. & Mrs. Michael Alexanian in memory of Gregory & Stephanie Alexanian
- Virginia Knott in memory of Charles Sisian
- David and Marta Brann in memory of John & Mary Mirakian and Armen & Theodora Mirakian and A.D. & Lula Brann
- Michael & Lynn Hajatian
- Matthew Saiyan & Serena Groff in memory of Hank Mardigian and Wardeh Kawar
- Jennifer Hagopian in memory of her parents Jack & Eleanor Hagopian
- Vlad & Kristina Bagdasarian in memory of Rimma Yegiazarova
- Florence Boyajian in memory of Vahan Boyajian and Janice Pinkerton
- Albert Dandegian Jr. in memory of Albert & Florence Dandegian, Michael & Rose Karabian and Ruth DeStefano
- Mary Yeretzian in memory of Berj and Edward Yeretzian
HELP ASTHMATIC CHILDREN IN ARTSAKH BREATHE.
Fund for Armenian Relief’s AYO! is teaming up with the Red Cross to get medication to Artsakh for these children. $300 will take care of one child for a year! So, any donation will go a long way. Go to http://www.weareayo.org
BOOK NEWS: We are pleased to inform our faithful that we are offering Dn. Albert Keshgegian’s “Communicate in Holiness: Reflections on the Divine Liturgy” free for those who attend church services. The book consists of 32 easy-to read reflections (many with full color illustrations), each including the English text of the Soorp Badarak, its significance, and a personal life application message for our everyday lives. A great book for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of this familiar, yet mysterious, worship experience of Armenian Christians. Copies are available at no cost in the Parish Council area where you enter the church.
ZOOM BOOK CLUB: Please join us on Thursday evening, April 20 at 7:00 to discuss “The Sandcastle Girls” by Chris Bohjalian. Every April, the Armenian community around the world pauses to remember and commemorate “the great catastrophe” in our history. In his novel, Bohjalian expertly weaves in the hard facts of the Armenian Genocide with a compelling and personal story of its impact on those who suffered, on those who survived and on the generations that followed. Our facilitator will be Suzanne Sherenian. To receive the Zoom link, go to email@example.com.
THE KISS OF PEACE: After the gifts of the Eucharist are brought to the Altar Table, the deacon proclaims, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” The person giving the greeting says, Kristos ee mech mer Haydnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us. The recipient would respond, Orhnial eh Haydnootiunun Kristosee – Blessed is the revelation of Christ.
ATTIC TREASURES – BAZAAR 2023: Please do not bring your Attic Treasures to the church until September 15th. While we appreciate the donations, we ask you to store them at your homes as we do not have a storage area. Thank you.
Seeking Part-time Organists – the Choir of Holy Trinity is looking for multiple talented musicians who would be seriously interested in playing the organ for the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy (Badarak) on a rotating schedule. Organ lessons will be provided to the interested candidates, along with one-on-one direction from a senior choir person. For further information, contact Karinne Andonian @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHURCH CALENDAR (please mark your calendars)
- TODAY – Palm Sunday
- Thursday April 6 – Holy Thursday
- Friday April 7 – Holy Friday
- Saturday April 8 – Easter Eve
- Sunday April 9 – Easter Sunday
- Every Wednesday, 7 pm, Zoom Bible Study with Fr. Hakob