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THE HIERATIKON

PRAYER AT THE

  BLESSING OF THE PALMS

ON PALM SUNDAY

 

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The Prayer for the Blessing of the Palms is read during Mattins of Palm Sunday after Psalm 50 [51]. In Cyprus, the custom has as follows: After the “Behind the Pulpit Prayer”, the bells ring and the Choir sing the verses from the Praises of Mattins “A very great multitude”. The Priest holding the Gospel Book and the Icon of ‘The Entry into Jerusalem’ and being preceded by lighted candles, the six-winged seraphim, and the censer shall make a procession around the Church followed by all the people. On reaching the western doors, where there has been prepared a table with palms and branches of olive, the Priest shall stand in front of the table facing toward the west and recite the Gospel [Mark 11: 1-11, see Monday of Meatfare week or the Gospel of Mattins]. And straightway after the Gospel He shall recite the Prayer for the Blessing of the Palms. After this, the Choir shall sing the Troparion of the Feast. The Priest shall re-enter the Church, and going into the sanctuary shall give the dismissal in the usual way.

A pious tradition in Cyprus is the leafs of the blessed olive branches, regarded as sanctified, are kept inside the temple for 40 days after which the people take them to their homes and are used throughout the year in place of incense.

Let us pray unto the Lord.

O Lord our God, who sittest upon the cherubim, who hast reaffirmed Thy power and sent Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to save the world through His Cross, Burial and Resurrection: who when He drew near to Jerusalem for His voluntary Passion, the people that sat in darkness and the shadow of death took, as tokens of victory, boughs of trees and branches of palms, thus foretelling His Resurrection. Do Thou Thyself, O Master, keep and preserve us also, who, following their example, on the pre-feast of that day, carry in our hands palms and branches, and who like the crowds and the children cry unto Thee, Hosanna! That with hymns and spiritual songs we may be accounted worthy to attain the life-giving Resurrection on the third day: in Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever: world without end. Amen.