On Palm Sunday, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian celebrated Divine Liturgy and delivered the sermon at Holy Martyrs Church in Encino. Following Divine Liturgy, the Children’s Procession took place, and subsequently the Opening of the Portals ceremony.
Among the hundreds of faithful in attendance were Consul General of Armenia the Honorable Grigor Hovhannisyan, Central Executive member Khajag Dikijian, and Executive Council members Garo Avakian and Khatchig Yeretzian.
Prior to delivering his sermon, the Prelate thanked God for the opportunity to celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. He then greeted the faithful on this joyous occasion and specifically the Consul General, thanking him for his service and asking him to convey his well wishes to the leadership of Armenia and Artsakh.
The Prelate’s sermon focused on the message of Palm Sunday which is the spiritual blossoming and preparing to celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord on Easter. He stated that there were three types of people who greeted Jesus during His entry into Jerusalem; those who heard, listened, and believed in His promise of salvation, those who heard His message but did not abide by His message, and those who opposed Him and would later condemn Him to death. He urged the faithful to relive the atmosphere of that first Palm Sunday and affirm that we belong to the group who heard, listened, and believed that He is our Lord and Savior Who shed His blood for our salvation, to faithfully follow His commandments, invite Him to live in our hearts, as we proclaim “Hosanna, blessed are You Who comes in the name of the Lord”. The Prelate continued that as pilgrims of this special day, we must pray to the Lord to save us from our weaknesses and strengthen us in our faith, we must renew ourselves and grow spiritually, and furthermore we must plant the seeds of faith in our children and youth to prepare them to be our leaders of tomorrow.
The Prelate was then led from the altar to the church courtyard for the Children’s Procession, where the children and faithful were lined up to receive his blessings.
The Prelate and faithful returned to the hall where the Prelate conducted the Opening of the Portals ceremony, after which he beseeched Almighty God to bless the Godfather Gary Nareg Berberian and all the youth and lead them on His righteous path.
The services concluded with the collective singing of the Cilician and Armenian anthems.