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April 2, 2023 - Palm Sunday

Join us in person or live-streamed at 10AM or find our recorded service at your convenience. Details on our Worship page. Service words are below.

Prelude: Wayfaring Stranger

Acknowledgement

Welcome


The Liturgy of the Palms

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.


Dear friends in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of our Lord’s paschal mystery. On this day our Lord Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph. The people welcomed him with palms and shouts of praise, but the path before him led to self-giving, suffering, and death.

Today we greet him as our King, although we know his crown is thorns and his throne a cross. We follow him this week from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by way of the dark road of suffering and death. United with him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life.


Let us pray.

Assist us mercifully with your help, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy into the celebration of those mighty acts whereby you give us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you. And also with you.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 21:1-11

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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.’

The Gospel of Christ. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right to praise you, almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The Hebrews acclaimed Jesus as Messiah and King, with palm branches in their hands, crying, Hosanna in the highest. May we also, carrying these emblems, go forth to meet Christ and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.


The Procession

Let us go forth in peace.

In the name of Christ. Amen.


Processional Hymn: Ride On, King Jesus

Ride on, King Jesus, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, ride on, no one can hinder thee

King Jesus rides into Jerusalem, no one can hinder thee

Hosanna to king David’s son, no one can hinder thee

He rides upon a donkey small, no on can hinder thee

King of Peace, the Lord of all, no one can hinder thee.


Ride on, King Jesus, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, ride on, no one can hinder thee


The children sing and dance and shout, no one can hinder thee

If they won’t praise, the rocks cry out, no one can hinder thee

King Jesus did just what He said, no one can hinder thee

He healed the sick and He raised the dead, no one can hinder thee.


Ride on, King Jesus, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, ride on, no one can hinder thee

The light of God shines on his face, no one can hinder thee

He offers all his pardon ‘n grace, no one can hinder thee

Come join the throng, your voices raised, no on can hinder thee

The King of love deserves your praise, no one can hinder thee.


Ride on, King Jesus, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, ride on, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, no one can hinder thee

Ride on, King Jesus, ride on, no one can hinder thee, no one can hinder thee


At a suitable place, the procession may halt while the following collect is said.

Almighty God, whose Son was crucified yet entered into glory, may we, walking in the way of the cross, find it is for us the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen


Together we pray the Collect of the Day

Almighty and everliving God, in tender love for all our human race you sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take our flesh and suffer death upon a cruel cross. May we follow the example of his great humility, and share in the glory of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen


Lenten Cross Liturgy - Passion/Palm Sunday

(One purple candle and Christ candle are lit prior to worship)

Reader: Today we will extinguish the last purple candle. We have contemplated the barriers in

our lives which separate us from God and which prevent us from living as children of

the Covenant. The final barrier we reflect upon is that lack of commitment.

Reader: Like learning to play a musical instrument or riding a bike, being an active member of

the family of God means hard work and practice. Sometimes we simply don't care

enough to keep on trying. We get tired, or bored, or it gets too difficult and so we quit.

Reader: We can imagine how easy it must have been to shout hosannas with the rest of the

crowd as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Most of us can also imagine how easy it might

have been to shout "crucify him" with the crowd only days later. Being a responsible

person of faith takes commitment. It often means going against the crowd.

Reader: As we put out this candle, let us think of those times when we have not kept our word

and failed to keep our promises. We remember Jesus and the light of his example.

(6th candle is extinguished).

Together we pray:

God, our Saviour, we praise and adore you. In your mercy you have reached out to us. We want to be faithful, O God, yet our feet slip easily from your pathway. Transform our wavering steps into solid conviction. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


Together we pray:

Loving God, there are so many choices before us every day. Choices offered by our friends, our families, our culture, our own past. Some of them encourage the well-being of the earth, ourselves and our neighbors; others are destructive. Help us to distinguish between them. May we learn from the choices of Jesus and embody compassion, justice, and inclusion in all we say and do. Amen.


The Proclamation of the Word


Voices in Jerusalem (from Before the Amen)


Together we pray;

Transport us to Jerusalem today, O Spirit, that we may spend some time with Jesus. Help us to hear his teaching, feel his healing and follow his example. Let us meet Jesus in our hearts that we may take Christ into our world today. Now open our lives so that you may take us where we need to go, making Jesus Christ real for us not only in Passion but in the Compassion of God’s love for all. Amen


The Shofar Sounds a long unbroken blast


The Story from Scripture Mark 11:1-10


Voice 1

I am one of Jesus’ disciples. And I have a question. Why did Jesus want a little colt? The Messiah ought to come to the throne on a might war horse! Didn’t he know how ridiculous he looked on the back of that donkey?


Voice 2

What a great day! I haven’t had this much fun in ages! Did you see that rabbi Jesus enter the city? He came like a crazy little king. Pilate comes charging in on his chariot, leading his army. Jesus trotted in followed by a bunch of peasants. We all grabbed branches and waved them high, shouting and cheering. What a great day!


Voice 3

I waved a branch today, too. And I laughed. But even more, I hoped. I hoped that maybe this Jesus means to change things. I’m just like one of those peasants following him. They know how hard life is. Jesus knows, too. So hoping that just maybe he might be a new messiah, I joined the crowds and shouted:


Congregation shouts:

Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest! Hosanna! Hosanna!


The Shofar sounds a shevarim (three short blasts) reminding us of the brokenness of life and a large metal bowl /platter is placed on the altar and coins are poured in noisily.


Voice 4

That Jesus is nothing but trouble! He came into the city today and went straight to the Temple. He started yelling and pushing over the tables where the coins were exchanged and sacrificial doves were sold. He scared people away by saying we had made the temple into a den of robbers! He said it should be a house of prayer for all nations. All Nations!! Are we supposed to let just anybody in?


Voice 1

Thant Jesus is trouble! He goes around forging sins and healing and teaching that everyone can know God. No one made him a priest. Nobody gave him permission. Who gave him authority to do these things?



Voice 2

That Jesus is real trouble! We tried to catch him saying something wrong. We asked him if it was legal to pay taxes to Rome. Instead of taking the bait, he asked whose image was on the coin. When we took one out and showed him that Caesar’s image was on it, he looked at us as if to say that it was clear where our true allegiance lay. Then all he said was to give to Caesar what belonged to Caesar, but to give God what is God’s. He made us look like fools and sell-outs! Jesus is serious trouble!


The Story from Scripture Mark 11:15-18


A large scroll is placed on the altar during the singing of

Hymn: Two Processions Entering Jerusalem

Two processions entering Jerusalem,

Two opposing kingdoms on display.

Which of these processions are we part of?

Which one will we follow on its way?


Will we shout “Hail Pilate” or “Hosanna”

When we have a choice whose praise to sing?

Will we trust the violent mighty ruler?

Will we trust the peaceful peasant king?


Two processions entering Jerusalem,

power of love against the love of power.

Will we choose the path of domination?

Will we let compassion have its hour?


God has had a dream of joyful justice

Rome has spun a nightmare of neglect.

If we join the commonwealth of servants

we may bring God’s joy and justice yet.


Two processions entering Jerusalem:

Realm of hope, dominion built on fear.

As we choose the path that love has opened,

we will see the realm of hope draw near.


Voice 3

That Jesus is amazing! I am a scribe, so I know the law. I asked Jesus which commandment is first of all. Even the elders have debated this. But Jesus spoke right up and said: “The first is, ‘Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”


Voice 4 (A Woman)

That Jesus is amazing! For years I’ve felt invisible. I am poor and a widow, but I serve God as best I can. I give my last two pennies, knowing that two cents won’t keep me in food or shelter. I gave them because God will have to keep me now. But Jesus saw me bring my offering to God. He said my gift was greater than all those others. That Jesus is amazing, he was the only one who saw me!


The Story from Scripture Mark 12:41-44


Offertory Hymn: Communion Song

In the upper room, twelve men are sitting round the Lord

As He stands to share the meal they hear Him say; This is my body which is broken for you, and for you I’ve known the pain. This wine you drink recalls my blood that is shed, please don’t let it be in vain. For two thousand years believers have remembered still

that a Saviour died and rose and calls today; This is my body which is broken for you and for you I’ve known the pain. This wine you drink recalls my blood that is shed, please don’t let it be in vain. Ev’ryone through all of time is dead or dying now;

what this good gift means: that we can live again; This is my body which is broken for you and for you I’ve known the pain. This wine you drink recalls my blood that is shed, please don’t let it be in vain.


Voice 1

So much of what Jesus did, he did around the supper table. He even welcomed us women to eat with him. Women have always had to wait to eat until the men were done! But Jesus wanted us all to be there together, as equals. I could see that while Jesus claimed us all as friends, he was making real enemies in Jerusalem. I was afraid that no one was taking this danger seriously. So at dinner one night I came in and anointed Jesus for his burial. Some of the men were outraged. Jesus said I would be remembered for my vision.


Voice 2

So much of what Jesus did he did around the supper table. We were celebrating Passover together, all of us. Passover reminds us how God set us free from bondage in Egypt. Jesus said the unleavened bread was his body. The cup left for Elijah, the symbol of our hope for God to act, Jesus said that this was his blood. It is to be a new covenant for everybody.


Voice 3

Jesus meant everybody. He said one of us would betray him, and he told Peter he would deny him, and that we would all run away. And still, Jesus shared the meal, and the covenant with us all. What Jesus did at the supper table was to claim every last one of us as his family, no matter what.


Sanctus:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is one that comes in the name of the Lord

Blessed is one that come in the name of the Lord

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might Heaven and Earth of your glory are full Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest.

Words of Institution Mark 14:22-25


The Presider says:

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the realm of God.”


God of justice and compassion, in remembrance of these your might acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by Christ’s blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world until Christ comes with peace and all your children may feast united together. Amen


Communion is shared


Communion Hymns: Ride on to Die Save Us from the Time of Trial


After the communion the shofar sounds the teruah (ten short staccato blasts) a groaning and yearning for God’s restoration of the world. Or other suitable music during which a black cloth is draped on the altar.


The Story from Scripture Mark 14:32-38, 66-72

Voice 4

I was one of those Jesus invited to pray with him. But there was a gentle breeze that night and we had eaten so much. I knew he was troubled. I wanted to be there for him. I watched him as he prayed. He cried. I fell asleep. Why couldn’t I stay awake with him?


Voice 1

I am Judas and I know what you think of me. Don’t ask me why I did what I did. I’m not sure that I even know. What seemed so clear in the day became confused in the night. I led the thugs and guards to the garden where they could capture Jesus. I stayed at a distance and watched for a long time. I think I hoped they would hear us come as Jesus was praying and be able to escape. But they all fell asleep, all except Jesus and he was wrapped up in prayer. Finally the guards compelled me to act. I knew it was all coming apart. Jesus didn’t flinch. I kissed him for all he had meant to me. I kissed him to beg forgiveness. I kissed him, the guards grabbed him, and everyone of his disciples deserted him.


Crowd/Congregation SHOUTING

We are the guards we have come to seize Jesus. We brought swords and clubs even though he taught peace. Grab him now!


Voice 2

I have heard blasphemy and torn my robe. I am the high priest who questioned Jesus. We knew he was trouble from the moment he showed up in Jerusalem. He just got bolder and bolder. When I asked him if he was the Messiah he said he was! Rome is nervous enough at festival time; at least we can quiet this rabble rouser.


Voice 3

I can’t believe what I did! I can’t believe the words came pouring out of my mouth! They grabbed him and questioned him and condemned him right there. They spit on him and taunted him as I watched. I denied I ever knew him! Not once but three times.


The sound of a rooster crowing twice is heard,


During the hymn a chain is brought in and placed on or in front of the altar


Hymn: Bitter Was the Night

Bitter was the night, thought the cock would crow forever.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Jesus he came by but I said I didn’t know him.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Told them all a lie, and I said it three times over.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


What did Judas do? Sold him for a bag of silver.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Judas died of shame hanged himself upon an alder.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Thought I’d do the same thought the night would last forever.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Father I forgive, for they don’t know what they’re doing.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


Without, Lord, your love there would be never be a morning.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.

Bitter was the night before the break of day.


The Story in Scripture Mark 15:6-20


Voice 4

I am Pilate, Roman governor of Jerusalem and Palestine. I hate the festivals when hordes of peasants come pouring into the city. You just know someone will bring up this “messiah” myth and start talking rebellion. This Jesus was a sorry example. How anyone would think he could be a king is beyond me. He didn’t even seem to be a militant or a rebel. Too much noise and too much trouble. That is what got Jesus killed. Rome does not tolerate insurrection of any kind. Jesus became the example of Rome’s complete power over these peasants.


Crowd/Congregation SHOUTING

Earlier this week we waved our palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” Now we call “Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!”


Voice 1

We made ourselves a king today! I’m one of Pilates soldiers and he gave us the “King of the Jews” to crucify. We found an old purple blanket and made it his robe, we made a crown of thorns and had a royal coronation. We pledged our loyalty and never laughed so hard. Then we got to work.


A purple cloth is placed around the cross on the altar. A Crown of thorns may also be placed there while singing the following:


Hymn: Into Jerusalem Jesus Road

After the hymn a drum beats slowly and increases in intensity through out the reading of the scripture


Voice 2

I have never felt a cross before. I’m the Simon they forced to carry the cross beam that Jesus dropped. He was so weak. It cut my hands and left splinters under my skin. I was afraid that when we got to Skull Hill they would nail me right up there with him. I ran away as soon as they let me go, the pounding ringing in my ears.


Crowd/Congregation SHOUTING

Jesus you said you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Messiah! King of Israel! See how you have been lifted up!


Voice 3

I don’t know how Jesus had breath left enough to cry out like that. All his followers ran away like sheep. Not one came to stand with him. As a Roman soldier, I’ve seen men cry on the cross before. But he cried that even God had forgotten him. It’s enough to make you believe in something greater than yourself.


SILENCE Christ has died


Confession

Too often we leave you on the cross, O Jesus. We have heard you teach and felt your healing touch. But some how we prefer you hanging silent. Open our hearts to reach out wherever people suffer that we may minister to you. You faced the forces of violence with peace and love and conquered them by compassion. Open our hearts to feel the love of God, who desires peace above blood. Forgive us our ability to be bystanders when Christ needs us to act in love. Too often we leave you on the cross. O Jesus, Forgive us still. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer (sung: Cameron)


A white linen cloth is draped on the altar.


The Story in Scripture Mark 15:42-47


Voice 4

I am Mary. The one you probably do not know. I watched it all happen. I saw the others run away. I saw Jesus crucified. I watched him cry out and breathe his last. I saw Joseph take his body. I know the tomb where they have laid his body. The Sabbath is starting, so we can’t touch the body now. But I will watch the tomb until Sabbath is over and then I will finish the burial rituals. Jesus deserves that last act of compassion. Will you watch with me until Sabbath is over?


The Shofar sounds the tekiah gedolah (a single blast held as long as possible), calling us to repentance and signaling the end of worship.

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