Palm Sunday Holy Communion at St Laurence

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)

The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

All:       And also with you

The Peace 

We are the body of Christ.

In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body

Let us then pursue all that makes for peace

and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

All:       And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

(Please turn to those around you, offering your hand, and say

‘The peace of the Lord be with you’)

Prayer of Preparation

All:      Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord.


Prayer of Penitence

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our Cod is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your Cod with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


All:       Amen. Lord, have mercy.

God so loved the world

that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ

to save us from our sins,

to be our advocate in heaven,

and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith,

firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments

and to live in love and peace with all.

All:       Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

who died for us,

forgive us all that is past

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light.


Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:       Amen.

Collect for Palm Sunday 

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.

All: Amen

Our First Reading is – Philippians Chap: 2

5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God.

7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness.

8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death – his death on the cross.

9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.

10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees,

11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This is the word of the Lord.

All:      Thanks be to God. 

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 wondering eyes
to see the 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 power and reign.
(By Henry Hart Milman – 1824) 

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Mark Chap: 11

1 As they approached Jerusalem, near the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, they came to the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead

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

3 And if someone asks you why you are doing that, say that the Master needs it and will send it back at once.”

4 So they went and found a colt out in the street, tied to the door of a house. As they were untying it,

5 some of the bystanders asked them, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”

6 They answered just as Jesus had told them, and the crowd let them go.

7 They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the animal, and Jesus got on.

8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches in the field and spread them on the road.

9 The people who were in front and those who followed behind began to shout, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 God bless the coming kingdom of King David, our father! Praise be to God!”

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem, went into the Temple, and looked around at everything. But since it was already late in the day, he went out to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:       Praise to you, O Christ. 


Last year on Saturday 27 May I went to London to visit a friend. I travelled on the train. So what?

It was the day Coventry played Luton at Wembley I ended up on a packed train of Coventry supporters that filled up even more with Luton fans as we neared Euston. When I got off I was literally swept along with the football crowd -1 had to fight to go in a different direction.

They had one objective -to get to Wembley. They were like a crowd of pilgrims -everyone pulled in one direction.

I imagine that same kind of gravitational pull moving waves of pilgrims along the roads into Jerusalem for the “Festival of Passover”, all surging into the city, through its crowded streets, towards the Temple Mount.

Jesus, too, is drawn to Jerusalem.

In Mark, Jesus moves steadily south out of Galilee for a chapter or two before he announces that’s where he’s going. When the disciples learn that Jesus is leading them to Jerusalem, they are amazed and afraid.

Imagine the pilgrims picking up the pace for the last miles of the journey, their excitement and urgency increasing as they near their destination.

We are told that Jesus is riot swept along with them, but pauses when he reaches the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Mark slows the pace of the story for a moment to describe Jesus’ careful preparation to enter the city. The symbolism of the donkey and the palm branches evoking the prophecies and psalms of the Old Testament.

The humble king, riding a donkey accompanied by cries of Hosanna is in stark contrast to Pontius Pilate’s entrance, on the same day, but by a different gate.

Pilate comes with his entourage of Roman soldiers marching into the city to remind the Jewish people celebrating the Passover,  ironically the Feast of Freedom from slavery and oppression – that Rome is in charge,

But Jesus is kicking up a storm, His entry calls attention to himself in a major way. Tensions are running high, there are expectations of liberation, of freedom, of autonomy.

As Jesus enters on a donkey with the crowd crying out for him the Passion begins. Less than a week after this grand entry the crowds will be calling for Jesus’ death.

I’m sure you’ve heard all that before, back in Exhall later this morning the congregation will be making a pilgrimage around Ash Green re-enacting the events publicly, perhaps you’ve done that sort of thing in the past?

Today, I want to look at what Jesus does when he gets to the Temple Mount,  as described in verse 11.

“Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.”

It’s not often we hear something completely new to us that throws insight on a familiar Bible passage, but that’s what I want to share with you today.

Rabbi Sharon Brous went on the Ezra Klein podcast back in November, ostensibly to talk about the situation in Israel and during the course of the conversation she shared this information:

In the Mishnah (the Mishnah is a Rabbinic document, an edited record of the complex body of material known as ‘oral Torah1 that was transmitted

In the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, published at the end of the second century CE.) In the Mishnah are instructions for pilgrims on their visit to the temple in Jerusalem.

After climbing up the steps to the temple mount they would come to an arched entryway and pass through it into a courtyard where they were to turn either right or left. The usual pattern was to turn to the right, move around the edges of the courtyard, then exit the way they had come in. But there were different instructions for pilgrims arriving at the temple ‘broken hearted’. These pilgrims climbed the stairs like all the others and passed under the same arch, but they were to turn left to begin their circle around the courtyard.

When these pilgrims travelling in opposite directions inevitably met, the person coming from the right was to ask, “what has happened to you?” And the broken-hearted one was to share the reason for their sorrow. After listening, the Pilgrim from the right was to give a blessing to the person who had told their story, then each continued on their way.

Could this Mishnah have shaped practises in the temple at the time Jesus was there?

Since the temple was destroyed just over thirty years after Jesus’ death, we can be fairly confident these instructions were known to him.

Throughout Mark’s story as Jesus moves towards Jerusalem he travels in the same direction as other pilgrims but moves at a pace and purpose that is his own so it is easy to imagine him stepping into the halting rhythm of holy lament and holy listening the Mishnah describes.

While the frantic buzz and flurry and tension of the Passover festival swirls around him Jesus steps into the rhythm of the temple, before retiring to stay with friends and beginning His gruelling journey through Holy Week.

I wonder, which way did Jesus turn?

We know he was already broken-hearted, because he wept for Jerusalem before entering.

We also know he had great compassion for the people. Did he turn right with the majority and take the opportunity to listen to those with broken hearts and bless them?

Or did he turn left?

I leave you with two thoughts:

  1. In prayer If you have a broken heart-imagine Jesus is walking towards you, he will stop and ask,

‘What happened to you?’

He’ll listen and he’ll bless you.

  1. Can we step out of the stream and pause, either to meet the broken- hearted ones in our community, to bear witness to their sorrows, or to share our own heartbreak?

Amid the buzz and flurry and tension of our time, can we too step into a different rhythm and follow in the way of Jesus, moving at his pace of compassion and love?


We say together

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

All:      I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Prayers of Intercession 

During the intercession this response is used:

Lord, in your mercy

All:       Hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith

Strengthen Ruth our bishop and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Charles our King; give wisdom to all in authority; and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace; that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours, that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation, remembering our King and the Princess of Wales at this difficult time.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of

Christ……; according to your promises,

grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St. Laurence, St. John, St. Wilfred, St. Michel and all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father,

All:      Accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.


Heavenly Father,

you have promised through your Son Jesus Christ, that when we meet in his name, and pray according to his mind, he will be among us and hear our prayer: m your love and mercy fulfil our desires, and give us your greatest gift, which is to know you, the only true God, and your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:      Amen. 

The Eucharistic Prayer 

The Lord is here.

All:      His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts,

All:       We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All:      It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right,

it is our duty and our joy,

at all times and in all places

to give you thanks and praise,

holy Father, heavenly King,

almighty and eternal God,

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

For he is your living Word;

through him you have created all things from the beginning, and formed us in your own image. 

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin, giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;

You raised him from the dead and exalted him to your right hand on high. 

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you nave sent upon us your holy and life-giving Spirit, and made us a people for your own possession. 

All:       To you be glory and praise for ever.

Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying: 

All:       Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,

through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,

and as we follow his example and obey his command,

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us his body and his blood;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

took bread and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

All:      To you be glory and praise for ever.

Therefore, heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself made once for all upon the cross; we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup

we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord. 

All:       Christ has died: Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest, this our sacrifice of thanks and praise, and as we eat and drink these holy gifts in the presence of your divine majesty, renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love and unite us in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All:      To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him, and with him, and in him, m the unity of the Holy Spirit,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven, we worship you, Father almighty, in songs of everlasting praise; 

All:      Blessing and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever.


Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us 

The Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name;

Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.


Breaking of the Bread 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ. 

All:       Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

All:      Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Draw near with faith

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you-

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.


We say together the –

Post Communion

All: Lord Jesus Christ,

you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,

and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:

give us the mind to follow you

and to proclaim you as Lord and King,

to the glory of God the Father.


Hymn is – Here is love, vast as the ocean,

The Blessing

May God himself, the God of peace,
make you perfect and holy,
and keep you safe and blameless, in spirit, soul and body,
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;
and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All:      Amen.

Hymn is – How Deep The Fathers Love For Us

Final Prayers and the Dismissal

Go in faith to love the Lord.

All: In the Name of Christ


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