Palm Sunday Worship

Welcome to our Palm Sunday worship offering containing the prayers and readings for the day, a Palm Sunday reflection, some intercessions and music links. It will take about half an hour to use this offering so find a quiet place and enjoy!

We begin our worship with a lively song and images for Palm Sunday.

Prayer for Today (The Collect)

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.

Reading: Matthew 21: 1-11. Jesus’ Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?”  The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Hymn: Ride on, Ride on in Majesty

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 
Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry; 
O Savior meek, pursue thy road 
with palms and scattered garments strowed.

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

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 
The angel-squadrons of the sky 
look down with sad and wondering eyes 
to see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh; 
the Father on his sapphire throne 
expects his own anointed Son.

Ride on! ride on in majesty! 
In lowly pomp ride on to die; 
bow thy meek head to mortal pain, 
then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

A Reflection: by Revd Jane Cresswell

Palm Crosses Standard size - Pack of 50 ~ African Palms

What is Palm Sunday without palms and processions?  Many churches bless and distribute palm crosses each Palm Sunday which are kept throughout the year in people’s homes and no doubt these will be missed this year as we stay in our homes this Sunday, unable to gather together.  But, if you’ve read the account in Matthew’s gospel, you will see that there is no mention of palms … only an improvised red carpet of clothing and branches.

Wherever we find ourselves, with whatever resources we have, we can take a moment to worship – fashioning a cross out of garden twigs, or placing a sprig of evergreen in a vase as a reminder that today we too, can find courage, just as the people of his time momentarily found the courage to acclaim Jesus as their King, and can worship him in our hearts and lives

“Hosanna to the Son of David”!

Jesus entered Jerusalem as a pilgrim, riding down to begin what was to be his last week on earth.  He made that journey not for fun, but to give up his life.  It was, you might say in today’s language, an essential journey.  In his passion and death, he became truly King.  Not the kind of King the crowds envisaged, rescuing them from Roman occupation.  Rather he became the King we really needed.  One who comes to save and renew his people, defeating the powers of death and evil.

As we begin this Holy Week, it seems particularly appropriate to commit ourselves to walk with Christ towards the cross.  Our concerns for our loved ones, our nation, our world, and ourselves during this crisis period help us understand a little better the weight of God’s concern for us, concern that found expression in a way that defies comprehension as he gave up his life for us.  

Jesus went to the cross and made his final journey through death to eternal life. We place our hand in his, sharing that lonely journey, empty, weak and worn, knowing that beyond the cross lies joy and hope and life.

To help us share with Christ in the journey of his Passion, I encourage you to read prayerfully this week Matthew’s account of his passion: (this link is available on this website from Palm Sunday) Matthew 26:14 through to the end of Matthew 27

Hymn: All Glory Lord and Honour

Intercessions: [from the Church of England]

Let us stand with Christ in his suffering.

For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For grace to seek out those habits of sin which mean spiritual death, and by prayer and self-discipline to overcome them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For Christian people, that through the suffering of disunity there may grow a rich union in Christ, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who make laws, interpret them, and administer them, that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who still make Jerusalem a battleground, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who have the courage and honesty to work openly for justice and peace, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those in the darkness and agony of isolation, that they may find support and encouragement, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who, weighed down with hardship, failure, or sorrow, feel that God is far from them, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

That we, with those who have died in faith may find mercy in the day of Christ, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Anthem: O Saviour of the World

“O Saviour of the world, who by thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us, save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee O Lord. Amen.”

Notices

  1. Our Worship opportunities: The next worship offering online will be a Good Friday reflection available here next Friday morning. Following that, there will of course be a worship offering for Easter Sunday.
  2. Our Christian Action: In our generation there has never been a stronger need to be more Christ-like than now. We are seeing wonderful acts of kindness and generosity and, with increasing frustrations and fears within our community, the need for positive and real support for those around us is acute. We are Christ’s witnesses and we need to act accordingly.
  3. Our Finances: Without our church services, we estimate that we will lose over £1000 per month at a time when we actually need to increase our income by over £1000. Might you consider a special donation to help us through this, or could you raise your weekly offerings? Click the link to ‘Giving to church’ if you can help.
  4. Our Prayers: There is nothing more important than our prayers and, given that we are ‘stuck’ at home more, perhaps we could try to identify more time to be listening to God and making our supplications. If you need support for this, click the ‘Personal Prayer’ section of this website and/or click the Coronavirus Reflections Post. In addition, Bishop Steven is asking us to say ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ daily at 11:00 (Click ‘A Daily 11am Prayer…‘) and you can go to the Church of England website for more prayer resources and worship opportunities.

Final Hymn: In Christ Alone

A Blessing

On our heads and our houses – the blessing of God;

On our comings and going – the peace of God;

In our life and believing – the love of God;

At our end and new beginning – the arms of God to welcome us and bring us home. Amen. [John L Bell]

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