Click here for a search of Palm/Passion Sunday and Holy Week entries for prior years.
Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Liturgy of the Palms:
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Liturgy of the Passion:
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Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
See entries from prior years via link above.
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or
This week: Psalm 118 on page 758; Psalm 22 on page 732
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2013, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
Along the trail of Passion’s tears
the Savior treads in longing strides.
Betrayed and handed over ill
he bears alone the brutal night.
From broken bread, the blessed cup,
the tread of feet descends in woe
for struggle writhes within the soul
to wrench from life God’s victory.
Denied, rejected, all alone,
the Savior faces anger, ire.
Before unwitting faces he
surveys the quality of hope.
Alone and crucified, our Lord,
cries out in isolation’s load,
the tearing of the soul in twain
to bring exhaustion’s full embrace.
Complete at last, the Passion full,
the haunting lull at breath’s last sigh
begins the waiting, shearing heave,
revealing holy places’ birth.
LM Suggested tune: Old Hundredth
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer(adapted by the editor)
Come, let us sing Hosannas to Christ our King. Let us welcome with joy his presence among us. Come, let us worship and bow down, for he will reign forever.
Call to Worship(adapted by the editor)
L: Come, let us sing Hosannas to Christ our King.
P: Let us welcome with joy his presence among us.
L: Come, let us worship and bow down,
P: For Christ will reign forever.
P: Hosanna in the Highest!
Prayer of Approach (adapted by the editor)
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. Eternal God of mercy, we gather in awesome wonder to behold your loving gift of Jesus Christ, who, coming to bring the world to wholeness, was broken by it. Yet by his death we live and know your unbreakable love. As we gather to remember Christ’s gift of fellowship at table, and to recall our frail failings of devotion, pierce our hearts with a conviction of our own betrayals, reassure us of your abiding presence and transform us by the Spirit of Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Confession of Sin
L: Our Lord offers to those who repent of their sins forgiveness, hope, and a peace which passes all human understanding. Let us confess our sins to Almighty God.
P: Forgive us, Lord, for forgetting your sacrifice and for thinking your grace is cheap. Forgive us, Lord, for using the cross as a trinket, forgetting the agony it represents. Forgive us, Lord, for taking our worship for granted, forgetting the struggle that has assured its freedom. Forgive us, Lord, for being calloused to human cruelty, forgetting that every victim is a creature of God. Forgive us, Lord, for being nonchalant about injustice, forgetting that it still nails innocence to the cross. Forgive us, Lord, for thinking that sacrifice is obsolete, forgetting that we still contend against the powers of darkness. Forgive us, we pray, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. (silent confession)
Words of Assurance
L: Christ exercises his kingship, not by force or coercion, but by forgiving our sins by his grace, by calming our spirits with his love, and by inspiring our wills by his example. Accept his lordship by going forth in peace.
P: Thanks be to God.
Intercessions (adapted by the editor)
How we need you anew, each day, O God. Our minds may stray away from what is truly important in search for the things that are seemingly urgent. Yet you keep calling us back to the reality of Christ’s presence with us and are always striving with us to allow his mind to dwell in our midst.
Help us to look with his eyes—the eyes of the servant of servants—upon a struggling and hurting world. Let your church regain its mission in him and be helpers to helpless, a home to the homeless, and healers of those whose health has vanished away.
We pray especially for those whom we have named this day (________), and others whom we name in our hearts, along with our own needs. Silence
Renew us as your people, O God—especially as we enter anew into the paschal mystery of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, that together we may become a fit dwelling place for your Spirit made known in the mind of Christ, for we pray in his name.
Loving God, you sent your Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. We pray that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life.
Especially this day we pray for those within your community of faith who have offended you by our carelessness, and for those whose weaknesses have kept us from rightly serving you by serving our neighbors.
Forgive us our sins and free us for joyful obedience we pray in Christ. Hear us, God of grace as we pray for a new birth for your church; for its unity in witness and service; for its ministers and all those whom they serve; and especially for those who are about to be baptized and begin new life in your Spirit. Empower them to face temptation, suffering and even death with the boldness and zeal of true disciples. Together may we bring to life the gifts you have given for the sake of the mission of your holy church as servant of a dying humanity, we pray in Christ.
We pray to you, gracious giver of life, for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind. For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed. For the sick and the wounded. For those in loneliness, fear and anguish, doubt and despair. For (____), and others whom we name in our hearts (silence). Hear the prayers of your people, we pray, for we commend ourselves to you in the name and spirit of Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship
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.
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.
True and humble king,
hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you
on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory.
Collect of the Day (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2013, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
Without a glimpse of all the depths, O God,
we find the hurry to force the way,
stumbling as we run away
while such disasters as the Cross consume.
Within this whirlwind, all aghast, we stand
and founder on desolation, the cry of woe.
Confirm us in the awful hour
that awe prepare us for the whole desire
you open for us now in Jesus Christ,
Service of Table (by the editor using traditional responses)
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. You who come to me shall not hunger; you who believe in me shall never thirst.” In company with all who hunger for spiritual food, we come to this table to know the risen Christ in the sharing of this life-giving bread.
[If the offering has not yet been received, add: “Let us prepare the Table of the Lord with the fruits of our lives and our labors”]
As we stand in awe at the foot of the cross, we know that no offering could ever express what we feel. Nevertheless, these gifts symbolize our thanksgiving for what you have done, and they signify our commitment to your unfinished task.
Prayer(s) of Thanksgiving
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Lift up your hearts.
P: We lift them up to the Lord.
L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,.
P: It is right and just. [or: “It is right to give God thanks and praise.”]
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
1. Redeeming God, you loved the world so much that in the fullness of time, you sent your only Son to be our Savior. He lived among us. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation; to prisoners, freedom; to the sorrowful, joy. To fulfill your purpose, he gave himself up to death; and rising from the grave, destroyed it, making the whole creation new. When the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end, and provided for us the gift of himself in the breaking of bread. May we who receive this bread, his body, be strengthened in faith and renewed in the covenant until he comes again.
2. When we drink this cup, O Lord, we experience anew the presence of Jesus and look forward to his coming in final victory. Send the power of your Spirit upon us gathered here out of love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may truly be his body, cleansed by his blood. Grant that all who share in these gifts may be one body and one spirit, a living sacrifice in Christ to the praise of your name, until we feast together with all of your people of faith at your heavenly table.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here at the Disciples Center for Faith and Giving Site, for each Sunday’s service.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2012. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2012 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2012; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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