Armenian Holy Apostolic Church will celebrate Tsakhkazard (Palm Sunday) on Sunday, which marks the day of the triumphant entrance of Our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The holiday was declared as the Day of Blessing of Children by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians years ago.
The people of Jerusalem accepted the entrance of Jesus with enthusiasm. They held date and olive branches, laid their clothes on the ground and screamed: "Almighty God, blessed be he who comes to us in the name of God, blessed be the kingdom of David that comes. Peace on Earth and Glory to the Heavens" (Marcus 10:9-10).
According to the doctrine of the fathers, throwing clothes in front of Jesus symbolized freeing oneself of sins, while giving branches as gifts was a symbol of honors and ceremonies.
The olive branch was considered to be the symbol of wisdom, peace, victory and glory. Giving olive and date branches to Christ who resurrected the dead Ghazaros is the symbol of victory over death.
Saturday, a day before Tsakhkazard is the initial celebration of Tsakhkazard when the curtain of the altar opens. The next day, the Holy Mass is served after the liturgy. In the morning of Tsakhkazard, the church blesses the olive and willow twigs and distributes them among the people.This means that the S. Sacrament is distributed.
The fruitless willow twigs symbolize the pagans that brought fruit only after th offering of Christ. The softness of the twigs symbolizes the humbleness of Christ's followers. The willow branches are our gift to the Lord, just like the gifts the Magians brought gifts on the Day of Birth. We recognize Jesus Christ as the King with the crown of victory on his head and the one that eliminated the curse and gave life.
On Palm Sunday the children are blessed in churches.