Palm Sunday B
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: Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:
Liturgy of the Passion: Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:
Suggested opening movement of the service, covering the Palm portion of the day’s Gospel
This assumes that one or the other of the Passion texts will be read during the balance of the service. If this is not practiced, the following movement could be used without the reading of the Palm text as a Call to Worship and Procession to begin the day. Because many Disciples congregations do not regularly use procession as an act of worship, it is wise to have a leader stand before the congregation to preside for this opening movement, and to have assistance for whomever is processing. If weather is good, the entire congregation could process from outside the building to their seats. When children and choir are the only ones processing (which has been the case in many places), it is helpful to have a few adult guides for them. The editor has also found it helpful for the one giving leadership to “practice” the waving of palms, if they are already in the hands of a seated congregation, during the Greeting, by repeating it a few times, and to try to encourage them to continue to wave them during the entirety of the Processional Hymn.
Blessing of the Palms (for use before the liturgy begins) – Rev. William Flewelling
Be in these hands
wands of joy
to celebrate the One
coming in the name
of the Lord; be here
instruments of faith
beyond the common longing
for our ways; be for us
the wave of abandon
to God’s way of the cross
and the victory of love’s
pure sacrifice in hope!
P: Hosanna in the highest!
P: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
P: Hosanna in the highest heaven!
* Story of the Palms: (appointed text for the Palm Sunday liturgy is read and the hymn begins without announcement)
* Processional Hymn
* Litany of the Palms
L: Crosses of palm unite us in our devotion to Jesus of Nazareth,
and focus our gaze on the King, the Lamb, the Son of God.
P: On the way to Calvary, palms were waved to honor the King.
L: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king comes to you, triumphant and victorious is he,
humbled and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
P: On the way to Calvary, palms were waved—
response to One who came to suffer so.
L: He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering
and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom
others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
P: On the way to Calvary, we take up our crosses,
and watch this One who rides toward death and life eternal—
one King, one Lord, one death—for all!
((L: Let us give thanks and rejoice as we join the prayer that Christ taught us:
P: Our Father…))
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.
Hymn of Praise: Palms: 191-193, 129
Passion Hymns: 195-205
Communion Hymn: 383-Savior, thy dying love
Dismissal/Missional Hymn: 207-In the cross of Christ I glory
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 24 (Palm Liturgy) is on p. 735; Psalm 22 (vs. 1-18 for Passion Liturgy) is on p. 732.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Philippians 2:5-11
This mind, all yours, O Christ our Lord,
is to be nurtured in our mingling,
cultivated in our longing
that in this audacious thinking
you alone may sanctify us
searchingly encountering us.
A simple, ordinary life
becomes, in emptying, a gift,
a flair into capacity
that want and timid fare behold
in mercy’s gracious, open well
the cradling crucible of love.
This humble nurture in the shade
obedience and longing make
becomes the surging urgency
that thrives among us, leading all
into the earnest, graceful ways
abandoned to the throes of joy.
126.96.36.199.8.8. Suggested tune: Vater Unser
Note: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer
L: We gather in the presence of Christ to join our hearts and minds in praise of God.
P: God has exalted Jesus and given him a name above every name.
L: So let every knee bend, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess:
P: Jesus Christ is Lord. Glory to God forever!
Act of Confession (created or adapted by the editor)
L: Let us confess our sins together.
P: Most holy and merciful God: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
L: We have not loved you with all our heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
P: Have mercy on us, O God.
L: We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
P: Have mercy on us, O God.
L: We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness. The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives,
P: Our self‑indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of other people,
L: Our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
P: Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts and our dishonesty in our daily life and work,
L: Our negligence in prayer and worship and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
P: Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
L: For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
P: For our waste and pollution of your creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Restore us, O God, for your mercy is great.
Minister: God has promised forgiveness of sins to those who repent and turn in faith. May God keep you in grace by the Holy Spirit, lead you to greater faith and trust, and bring you in peace to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 (even as he taught his disciples, saying, Our Father…).
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 those whose lives are closely linked with our own, whom we name to you in silence. (Silence).
Help, save and defend us, gracious Lord, as we join your people of all ages in boldly offering to you our prayers in the name and spirit of Christ (who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father…).
R=Hear our prayer, O Lord.
With faith and love and in union with Christ, let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.
Have mercy on your people, for whom your Son laid down his life: R
Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations, and have pity on those torn apart by division: R
Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake, and deliver them from evil: R
Look in mercy upon all who suffer, and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation: R
Bring comfort to the dying, and gladden their hearts with the vision of your glory: R
Give rest to the departed and bring them, with your saints, to glory everlasting: R
Let us commend the world, for which Christ died, to the mercy and protection of God.
Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.
Collect of the Day (adapted by the editor)
O God, whose only Son Jesus Christ was betrayed and sold by one whom he called to be his disciple; have mercy upon our weakness, and grant us to so diligently watch and pray, that we may never be overwhelmed by temptation; but that, persevering to the end, we may come to freedom through his bonds, and to life eternal through his death. This we pray through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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 (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the
human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to
take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross,
giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant
that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share
in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
Mark 14:1 – 15:47
In a world of labored accumulation, O God,
you encounter us with gifts –
the nard upon the feet of Jesus
and the distress of disappointment;
the given bread and offered cup
and the prayer in the Garden;
the offering of life against the tide
that in our morrow love might truly abide.
By the cross is giving shown to free us:
Grant us sober realms that resonate with joy.
Service of Table
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”]
Lord Jesus, you who expressed your kingship not by taking but by giving, not by demanding but by sacrificing – bless us now as we follow your example.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
- 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.
- 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…’”]
Go forth in peace to walk the way of the cross and resurrection.
We are sent in the name of the Lord.
May Jesus Christ, who was put to death for our sins, bless you and keep you.
May Jesus Christ who was raised to life for our salvation let light shine upon you.
May Jesus Christ be your life and peace, now and forever.
Amen. Thanks be to God.
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
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 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; 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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