Jesus entrance to Jerusalem
And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Beth'phage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass." The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.
The parable of the ten maidens
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The ceremony of “Nahiré or Wa’déh dalmino” (reaching the harbor)
The week of passion begins with a ceremony called “Nahiré or Wa’déh dalmino” (reaching the harbor). This ceremony takes place at the evening of Palm Sunday. With this ceremony the passion commences.
Some sings we may notice in the church during this ceremony.
- All electrical lights shall substitute by wax lights or candles.
- The decoration of church replace with black ones.
- The clergy men and deacons decorations shall be replaced with black ones too.
- The main curtain of the altar shall be close until the end of this ceremony
- In this ceremony believers take lights in there hands in stead of the usual electrical lights of church which have to be turned off.
All priests and deacons leave the altar and begin a journey around the church with lights in there hands, while a deacon praying special supplications about death and the end of life “Bmathlé Malel Forouqan” (The Lord talked to us with parables). The journey ends in front of the main stairs of the altar (the curtain shall be closed) prayers take place and their main theme is the Parable of the ten maidens.
The journey displays the trip of every human being in his/her life on earth and his deeds on earth until reaching the harbor of life where every body has to recount all the events of his life. Here special hymns about asking for mercy sing. These hymns are “Bra’okh moran noqeshno” (I’m knocking at your door my Lord) and “Al Haw Tae’o Baroyo” (behind that outer door). At the end of these two hymns the head of the higher priest takes the cross and goes up to the higher stair of the altar and say three times “Moran Ftah Lan Ta’okh” (Lord open your door) after the third request of opening the door, the main curtain opens, all the church lights turn on, the clergy and deacons go up to the altar again while the choir sings “Toubayhoun l’Abdé Tobé” (blessed are the good servants). Priest preaches about the parable of the ten maidens and its meaning.
This ceremony encourages the believers to wash there hearts by recounting there accounts and pure there hearts in order to enter the week of passion.