A procession to mark the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem (the Procession of Palms) took place in Bucharest on Saturday at the same time with the parade that gathered thousands of Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem. In Bucharest, the procession covered the distance between Radu Voda Monastery and the Patriarchal Cathedral, with two stops underway, in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Spiridon the New, and outside the Church of St. Catherine – University Chapel, where the procession was welcomed by professors and students of the Faculty of Theology, who joined the pilgrims. Litanies and prayers were recited at both stops.
The procession was attended of about 800 clergy from Bucharest and Ilfov County , including charity mission priests who serve in hospitals and social assistance centres, cemeteries, military units, penitentiaries and of course, a flurry of worshippers.
According to a release of the Press Office of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, the event started with the celebration of Vespers in the church of the Radu Voda Monastery, followed by the consecration of the willow branches, a symbol of everlasting life. The procession led by Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest Timotei Prahoveanul set off towards the Patriarchal Cathedral.
The pilgrimage culminated in the consecration of the great icon of the Feast of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem, performed on the Patriarchate Hill and the sermon delivered by Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Daniel.
Palm Sunday marks the start of the Holy Week, which precedes Easter, commemorating events in the last days of Jesus Christ’s life. According to the Gospels, on this day Jesus rode into Jerusalem where the crowds gave him a hero’s welcome during the Jewish Passover celebration.