Palm Sunday Service

A Palm Litany

Today we recall the events of the first Holy Week so many years ago.

All: We remember how it started with Jesus entering the Holy City and we recall how it ended with his death outside Jerusalem’s gates.                      

Call to Worship

Our First Reading is taken from – Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good, and his love is eternal. 

2 Let the people of Israel say, “His love is eternal.” 

19 Open to me the gates of the Temple; I will go in and give thanks to the Lord! 

20 This is the gate of the Lord; only the righteous can come in. 

21 I praise you, Lord, because you heard me, because you have given me victory. 

22 The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all. 

23 This was done by the Lord; what a wonderful sight it is! 

24 This is the day of the Lord’s victory; let us be happy, let us celebrate! 

25 Save us, Lord, save us! Give us success, O Lord! 

26 May God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! From the Temple of the Lord we bless you. 

27 The Lord is God; he has been good to us. With branches in your hands, start the festival and march around the altar. 

28 You are my God, and I give you thanks; I will proclaim your greatness. 

29 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good, and his love is eternal.

This spring day, this Palm Sunday is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

All: Our hearts are glad as we rejoice in the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord whose steadfast love endures forever. 

All: Hosanna to the Son of David..

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!Hymn – All glory, laud and honour

1 All glory, laud, and honour
to you, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
You are the King of Israel
and David’s royal Son,
now in the Lord’s name coming,
the King and Blessed One.

2 The company of angels
is praising you on high;
and we with all creation
in chorus make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
with palms before you went;
our praise and prayer and anthems
before you we present.

3 To you before your passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to you, now high exalted,
our melody we raise.
As you received their praises,
accept the prayers we bring,
for you delight in goodness,
O good and gracious King!
 (by Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans, –  760 to 821)             
Prayer of Approach and Confession

Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you with heart and life and voice, not only with outward signs such as palm branches and singing “Hosanna’s”, but with lives turned towards you.

It seems such a distance from this Palm Sunday here to that day when you entered Jerusalem with the shouts of the crowd ringing in your ears. Welcomed as a king, yet riding on a lowly donkey. Greeted with cheers and acclamations which were so soon to turn to jeers and condemnation. From this side of the resurrection, we confidently believe that we could never have been part of the jeering crowd – but would we, if we had been there?                                      

(a time of silent reflection)

Lord Jesus Christ, when our words and actions reflect a reluctance to confess you publicly as Lord of our lives:
All: Forgive us.When we fear that humbling ourselves would be seen by others as weakness, some kind of defect in our character:
All: Forgive us.

When we have betrayed your love for us through our lack of love for you, for others, and for ourselves:
All: Forgive us.When we find ourselves glossing over the events of your passion and death because we look forward to Easter as a time to enjoy holidays and have fun.

All: Forgive us..
Lord Jesus Christ, touch our hearts and our minds with your love and compassion;

All: remake us in your likeness; empty us of all that hinders us from following you.

Gracious and loving God, empower us with your Holy Spirit so that our lives continually glorify you and our tongues forever confess Jesus as Lord. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear the good news: “Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant…and became obedient to the point of death –even death on a cross.” (Philippians 6, 7a, 8b)

Through his obedience we are freed from whatever sin enslaves us.

All: Thanks be to God!

Hymn – You are the King of glory

We hold up our palm crosses while this prayer is said: 

All: God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die, let these palms be for us a sign of his victory; and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

Amen 

Dramatic reading: The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. (Mark Chap:14:Vers: 1 to 10)  

This is how it began:

Narrator:    When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus called two of his disciples and said to them,

Jesus:         “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find    tied there a colt that has never been ridden; bring it to me.  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing  this?  just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'”

Narrator:       They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside

in the street. As they were untying it, some bystanders said to them, 

All:               “What are you doing, untying the colt?”

Narrator:    They told them what Jesus had said; and the bystanders allowed them to take it.

Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches

that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

All:             “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming           kingdom of our ancestor David!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Minister:    Lord God, as did the people of Jerusalem before us, we cry to you, saying: 

All:            Hosanna – blessed is the one who comes in the name of the

Lord.   Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!

Hosanna in the highest!

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ was greeted on this day as King: grant that as we now honour Him by carrying these palm crosses, so we may always seek Your glory by obedience to Your will: through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

All: Hosanna to the Son of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 

We sing a Hymn as we Process into Church 

Hymn – Ride on, ride on in majesty

1 Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hark! All the tribes hosanna cry.
O Saviour meek, pursue your road,
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

2 Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, your triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

3 Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The angel armies of the sky
look down with sad and wond’ring eyes
to see th’approaching sacrifice.

4 Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Your last and fiercest strife is nigh.
The Father on his sapphire throne
awaits his own anointed Son.

5 Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow your meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, your pow’r and reign.
(By Henry Hart Milman – 1824) 

The Lord be with you

All: And also with you 

Collect for Palm Sunday – 10th April 2022

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. 

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to – Luke Chap: 19

28 After Jesus said this, he went on in front of them toward Jerusalem. 

29 As he came near Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead 

30 with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you; as you go in, you will find a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 

31 If someone asks you why you are untying it, tell him that the Master needs it.” 

32 They went on their way and found everything just as Jesus had told them. 

33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying it?” 

34 “The Master needs it,” they answered, 

35 and they took the colt to Jesus. Then they threw their cloaks over the animal and helped Jesus get on. 

36 As he rode on, people spread their cloaks on the road. 

37 When he came near Jerusalem, at the place where the road went down the Mount of Olives, the large crowd of his disciples began to thank God and praise him in loud voices for all the great things that they had seen: 

38 “God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!” 

39 Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “command your disciples to be quiet!” 

40 Jesus answered, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.” 

Dramatic reading of the Passion: (Mark Chap: 14 Vers: 1 to Chap: 15 Chap  39)

 

Narrator: It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, 

Priest: (to the left side of church)

“Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

Narrator::
While Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the perfume on his head.   But some were angry and said to one another,

Disciples: (to the right side of church)

“Why this waste of perfume?   It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.”

Narrator: They were very upset. But Jesus said,

Jesus:

“Leave her alone; why are you bothering her?   She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me with you. She did what she could.  She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”Narrator:
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.   They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him,

Disciples: (to the right side of church)

“Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

Narrator: So he sent two of his disciples, telling them,

Jesus:

“Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: ‘Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

 

Narrator: The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.   And when they had taken their places at the table and were eating, Jesus said,

 

Jesus:

“I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”

 

Narrator: They were saddened and distressed, and one by one they said to him,

Disciples: (to the right side of church)

“Surely, not I ?” 

Narrator: Jesus replied,

Jesus:

It is one of the Twelve, one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Narrator: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,

Jesus:

“Take it; this is my body.”

Narrator: Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying,

Jesus:

“This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. I tell you the truth; I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God”

Narrator: All of them drank from it and when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,

Jesus:

“You will all become deserters, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,’ but after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Narrator: Peter said,

Peter:

“Even though all will become deserters, I will not.”

Narrator: Jesus answered,

Jesus:

“I tell you the truth, today – yes tonight – before the cock crows twice you, yourself, will disown me three times”

Narrator: But Peter insisted emphatically,

Peter:

 (speaking passionately/vehemently)

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”

Narrator: And all the others said the same.

They went to a place called Gethsemane and here he asked his disciples to pray for him. He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  And said to them,

Jesus:

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.”

Narrator:  Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.   He said,

Jesus:

“Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet, not what I will, but what you will.”

Narrator: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,

Jesus:

“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Narrator: Once more he went away and prayed, saying the same words.  And when he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were very heavy. They did not know what to say to him.  Returning the third time he said to them,

Jesus:

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Get up, let us go. Here comes my betrayer.”

Narrator: Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, appeared. With him there was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.  Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.”   Going at once to Jesus, Judas said “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the teachers of the law assembled there.  Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire.

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for evidence against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’” Yet even then their testimony did not agree.

Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus,

High Priest:

“Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?”

Narrator: But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him,

High Priest:

“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Narrator: Jesus said,

Jesus:

“I am, and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One’ and coming on the clouds of heaven’.”

Narrator: Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,

High Priest:

“Why do we need any more witnesses?  You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?”

Narrator: All of them condemned him as worthy of death.  Some began to spit on him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, saying to him, “Prophesy!”  And the guards also took him and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said,

Servant Girl:

“You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.”

Narrator:
But he denied it, saying,

Peter:

“I do not know or understand what you are talking about.”

Narrator: And he went out into the entrance, and the cock crowed. When the servant-girl saw him there, she began to say to the bystanders,

Servant Girl:

“This man is one of them.”

Narrator: But again he denied it. Then after a little while those standing near to Peter said to him,

Bystander: (Everyone)

“Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.”

Narrator: But Peter began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them,

Peter:

“I do not know this man you are talking about.”

Narrator: At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Very early in the morning, the chief priests with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole council, held a consultation and reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.  Pilate asked him,

Pilate:

“Are you the King of the Jews?”

Narrator: Jesus answered him,

Jesus:

“You say so.”

Narrator: The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him,

Pilate:

“Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”

Narrator: But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

Now it was the custom at the festival for Pilate to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas who had committed murder in the uprising was in prison. The crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.

Pilate asked them if they wanted him to release to them the king of the Jews because he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.  But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again,

Pilate:

“Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”

Narrator: They shouted back,

Everyone:

“Crucify him!” 

Narrator:  Pilate asked them,

Pilate:

“Why, what crime has he committed?”

Narrator: But they shouted all the more,

Everyone:

“Crucify him!”  “Crucify him!”  “Crucify him!”

Narrator: So Pilate, wanting to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers led Jesus away into the courtyard of the palace.  And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.  And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  They struck his head with a staff and spat on him, and knelt down in homage to him.

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull). And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.  The written notice of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying,

Everyone:

“Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

Narrator:  In the same way the chief priests, along with the teachers of the law, were also mocking him among themselves and saying,

Priest: (to the left side of church)

“He saved others; he can’t save himself.  Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.”

Narrator: Those who were crucified with him also taunted him saying:

Priest: (to the left side of church)

“He saved others, but he can’t save himself!”

Narrator: Those who crucified him also heaped insults on him.

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice,

Jesus:

“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?” Which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Narrator: When some of those standing near heard this they said,

Priest: (to the left side of church)

“Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 

Narrator: One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

Then they left him alone to see if Elijah would come to take him down from the cross.

Jesus then gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus saw how he died, he said:

Centurion:

“Truly this man was God’s Son!” 

A brief Time of Quiet Reflection 

At the end of the reading the minister says:

This is the Passion of the Lord 

(There is no congregational response) 

Hymn – When I survey the wondrous cross

(We are singing this today specially remembering Ukraine)

1 When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.

3 See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.
(by Isaac Watts – 1674 to 1748)

Let us declare our faith in God.

All: We believe in God the Father

from whom every family in heaven

and on earth is named.

  

We believe in God the Son

who lives in our hearts through faith

and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit

who strengthens us

with power from on high.

We believe in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. 

 

‘Activity’ With Prayers of Intersection

We give thanks for Jesus’ courage in the face of hostility; his obedience and his humility in the face of isolation and the cross.

We give thanks for his readiness to confront evil with sacrificial love.

We pray that our community of faith might be bound together in the love of Jesus, creating an environment where each is equal and eager to serve others in ways that empower them.

We pray for a willingness to proclaim the gospel with love and not condemnation, confronting the evils of present day society with a love modelled on the example of Jesus.

We pray for groups in our community which seek to serve and support the needs of the lonely, the housebound, and those who depend on the help of family, friends and care agencies.

We pray for people who exploit the powerless that they may learn ways of justice and peace and compassion.

We pray for local needs…

We pray for those who are unwell at this time… 

We remember those who have died and for those who grieve…

We pray for worship services which will be taking place during this most Holy Week of the year…and our willingness to participate in them…

We say together the prayer Jesus taught us

The Lord’s Prayer

Our father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread,

forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,

now and forever. 

Amen.

Hymn – There is a Green Hill Far Away

1, There is a green hill far away,

outside a city wall,

where our dear Lord was crucified

who died to save us all.

 

  1. We may not know, we cannot tell,

what pains he had to bear,

but we believe it was for us

he hung and suffered there.

 

  1. He died that we might be forgiven,

he died to make us good,

that we might go at last to heaven,

saved by his precious blood.

 

  1. There was no other good enough

to pay the price of sin,

he only could unlock the gate

of heaven and let us in.

 

  1. O dearly, dearly has he loved!

And we must love him too,

and trust in his redeeming blood,

and try his works t                                             (by Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818 – 1895) 

 Closing Blessing

Let us go into the world in peace,
embraced by the steadfast love of God,
blessed by the humility and courage of Jesus Christ
and filled with the immeasurable power of the Holy Spirit.

We process out of the church to the Annexe waving our palms and singing a hymn.

Hymn – Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

© 702211

 

Leave a comment