Thousands of believers took part in the traditional procession and services held on the eve of Palm Sunday all across Romania.
In Bucharest, dozens of priests led a procession Saturday, 8 April 2017, from Radu Voda Monastery towards the Patriarchal Cathedral to mark the triumphal Entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Blessed palms were distributed to believers to carry them in procession.
The priests and the faithful were welcomed on the Hill of the Patriarchate by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania. After blessing the icon of the Entry of Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the Romanian Patriarch addressed the faithful stressing the spiritual and theological dimension a procession, also called pilgrimage, has. His Beatitude referred to the banning of the traditional Palm Sunday Procession during the communist regime.
Sixty years after its banning (1948-2008), Patriarch Daniel restored the Procession that marks Christ’s victorious Entry into Jerusalem. Thus, we have demonstrated that we re-establish a healthy Christian tradition, he said. His Beatitude also spoke about living a Christian life in times of political and social freedom and pointed out that we have a greater responsibility to use freedom in order to draw close to God and our fellow people.
In his speech, Patriarch Daniel explained the symbolism palms and willow branches have. They are a symbol of faith and of the virtues acquired through fasting, confession, often partaking of the Holy Mysteries, through good deeds and words, he said.
They are bright flowers of faith gathered in our souls for forty days. We offer these flowers of faith and spiritual feats to our Saviour as a sign of thanksgiving and as a petition to sanctify our life and to grant us the joy of Holy Easter.
Referring to the willow branches that are carried by faithful especially in Romania, His Beatitude said that they make us think of humility.
A willow resembles a man who fasted for a long period, who knelt many times, who made many prostrations and who has an inner spiritual beauty.
The traditional Palm Sunday pilgrimage takes place nationwide on Saturday, on the eve of the Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem; in Bucharest, the procession followed the route Radu Voda Monastery — the Patriarchal Cathedral.
Credit: Basilica.ro & Lumina Newspaper