On April 14, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Armenian Church celebrated the Feast of Palm Sunday, which commemorates the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is also annually declared to be the Blessing of Children Day.
Following morning services, after the festive songs and psalms of the Morning Service, His Holiness presided and offered the blessing service for the four corners of the world (Andastan) and Blessing of Children Day in the courtyard of the Mother Cathedral.
The Catholicos of All Armenians conveyed his blessings to all children gathered in the Mother See and granted crosses to the children and blessed branches were distributed to the faithful.
On the occasion of the Feast, the Brotherhood of the Mother See attended the Divine Liturgy in the St. Gayane Monastery. The Celebrant was His Grace Bishop Moushegh Babayan, Director of the Administrative Department of the Mother See. The Divine Liturgy was attended by Benefactors of the Mother See from different countries.
Bishop Moushegh stated in part: “Dear friends, whenever the Lord entered Jerusalem, people were shouting hosanna joyfully and sincerely, however, the same people, who had become crowded, some days later, standing before Pilate should cold-hearted demand: " Crucify, crucify, Him!" (John 19:6). Jesus knew everything. He knew that the triumphal entry was simultaneous an ending. Yet, with all this, filled with love towards the humankind and being obedient to the will of the Father, directed His steps to death, which would give life to the humanity. He entered the earthly Jerusalem to make it a heavenly Jerusalem. Let's together find and understand where the people who exclaimed hosanna made a mistake, where he was misled that changed the psalm singing “Blessed He is” to “Crucify” chanting. In the same way we, where are we mistaken and misguided in our course of life? For in those days when Christ was talking with people and taught them, it was not only for them but for each of us, who today joyfully welcomes the Savior and maybe again condemns Him to death.
Bishop Moushegh also affirmed that Jesus loves children and urges us to be as clean and blameless as they are to receive the Kingdom of Heaven.
Following the Divine Liturgy the Pontiff of All Armenians offered a prayer of blessing service for children in the courtyard of the St. Gayane Monastery, during which His Holiness blessed about 200 children from twelve different orphanages in Armenia and granted them crosses. The children also attended a festive event organized for them in the "Hrach and Susan Tufayan" Youth Center of the Mother See. Afterwards, the children were hosted at the soup kitchen acting under the auspices of the Mother See and the AGBU by the Social Service Department of the Mother See.
Conveying his Patriarchal blessings to the children, His Holiness noted with satisfaction that pilgrimage to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is a vivid expression of their love towards Echmiadzin. The Catholicos of All Armenians urged the children and teens to pray continually so that they always communicate with God and be blessed.
At the conclusion, following the Lord's Prayer, His Holiness Karekin II granted crosses to the children.