April 12, 2020

Rejoice in the Lord!
Palm Sunday

- Fr. Paul Costopoulos -

Today in Orthodoxy is Palm Sunday. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem six day before the Passover and shortly after He had raised Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus was heralded and received as King of Israel as the people took branches of palms and went out to meet Him crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”. Father Paul shares with us a poignant message about how we can receive Christ into our lives. The first is that we are to be obedient to the commandments of God though adoration and worship and expressing love to others. The second is to do as the Cherubic Hymn exclaims by setting aside all the cares of life that we may receive the King of all escorted by angelic hosts. The Epistle lesson for Palm Sunday comes to us from Philippians 4:4-9 and it clearly tells us how we might receive Christ into our lives as well as it communicates to us how we may set aside cares of life and overcome anxiety, much like the coronavirus pandemic we are experiencing at this present time. To overcome anxiety, we have to keep our focus on Jesus through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving and make our requests known to God and He will set our minds and hearts on Christ Jesus. Saint Seraphim of Sarov says that if we acquire the Holy Spirit and as much of Him as possible, we can find peace, which is fruit of the Holy Spirit and many around us will be saved. If we want peace then we must know our purpose in life and do what God wants us to do and be who God wants us to be, which is accomplished though faith in God and Christian ascetic practices such as prayer, supplication and thanksgiving. Today we are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we should heed the voice of the prophet Zechariah who lived six hundred years before Jesus as he said, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; (which is the Church) behold your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.

Father Paul Costopoulos was born in and grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is one of 6 siblings. A graduate of Gettysburg College (1967) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox

307 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233 | Fr. Gregory Edwards, Dean | 205.716.3080

Photography Credits: Beth Hontzas - Music: Presbytera Katerina Makiej


Father Paul Costopoulos was born in and grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is one of 6 siblings. A graduate of Gettysburg College (1967) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School (1970), Father Paul has served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for over 41 years. He has served as Dean of our Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Birmingham, AL since September, 1996. He also served Greek Orthodox parishes in Huntsville, AL (1975-1978), Jacksonville, FL (1978-1991), and Denver, CO (1991-1996). In addition to his work as a Parish Priest, Father Paul has served and continues to serve our Church in various capacities both at the Archdiocesan and Metropolis levels. He worked 2 years at the Archdiocese in New York as Director of the Campus Commission, served for a number of years on the Archdiocesan Council and Metropolis Councils of Denver and Atlanta, for 13 years served as a member and former President of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, and in 1987 led a mission team of 25 to Kenya to build a church. Since 1999, he has served as Vicar of the Central Conference of our Metropolis. Father Paul is married to the former Penny Clemson, also from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have 2 daughters (Nina and Niki) and 6 grandchildren, all of whom live in Birmingham, AL. Father loves to read, travel, workout, spend time with the family, and watch his grandkids play soccer.