Posts Tagged ‘Palm Sunday’

Invitation to Worship

We come to prepare for the holiest of weeks.
We will journey through praise,
with joy on our lips;
we will travel through betrayal and death,
cradling hope deep in our hearts.

Jesus leads us through this week,
and we will follow,
for he is the life we long for,
he is the Word who sustains us.
We wave palm branches in anticipation,
we lay our love before him,

to cushion his walk.
Setting aside all power, glory, and might,
he comes: modeling humility and obedience for all of us.
Hosanna! Hosanna!
Blessed is the One who brings us the reign of God.

Song of Praise 

We Will Walk With God 
Words: Eswatini Traditional (trans. J.L. Bell)  
Tune: SIZOHAMBA (Eswatini Traditional) 

Come and walk with me, my brothers. 
We will walk with God. 
Come and walk with me, my sisters. 
We will walk with God. 
We will go rejoicing, ‘til the kingdom has come. (Repeat) 

See-zoh-hahm-bah nah-yay, woh woh woh, 
see-zoh-hahm-bah nah-yay. (Repeat) 

Goom-shlah wen-jah-boo-lah, 
see-zoh-hahm-bah nah-yay. (Repeat) 

Opening Prayer 

Holy God, you have fed us all out of your own generous and gracious hands.
From them, we have received welcome, nourishment, hope, and consolation.
May these things grow in us, alongside the gift of faith, 
so that we may plant their seeds in the world around us. 
Through the Holy Spirit, guide us in the week ahead 
to re-member our place in your great and on-going story 
of resurrection, redemption, and restoration  
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Song of Praise

Wave Your Branches 
Words: Gwendolyn Emery-Owings
Composer: Thomas Pavlechko 

Wave your branches, wave them high,
Jesus now is riding by. 
Wave your branches, shout and sing 
Loud hosannas to your King. 

Wave your branches, wave them now, 
With Jerusalem’s cheering crowd. 
Wave your branches, shout and sing 
Loud hosannas to your King. 


Pastor:  Who comes this way?
People: I wonder who is he? 
Pastor: They say he is the Christ. 
Pastor: That means Messiah, 
People: That means the Anointed One, the Savior, the King 
Pastor: Who comes this way? 
People: Is it really him?
I want him to beat the Romans and save us from poverty and hunger. 
Pastor:  Is he victorious? Is he powerful? Is he scary? 
Pastor: Where is he from? Greece? Rome? Jerusalem? Cullowhee? 
People: They say he comes from Bethlehem  
            and grew up in Nazareth and Galilee. 
Pastor:  “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” 
People: Who comes this way? 
Pastor: Who is he? Why are we cheering him on? 
            Is he good or bad? He must be rich to get such praise. 
Pastor: Stop waving that branch in my face! 
Move away! Let me see around this parade. 
Put me on your shoulders. I need a higher glimpse of him.  
I just want to see his face and then I will know who he is, let me see. 
People: Wait! 
Pastor: Wait! 
People: It is only a man. 
Pastor: And he is just on a donkey, no conquering steed. 
Pastor: It is only a man, what is so great about him? 
People: Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! 
Pastor: Hosanna means “save us” and “we pray” 
Pastor: But who is this man that will save us? 
All:  Who comes this way? 

Song of Adoration   

Come Into the Streets with Me 
Words: Shirley Erena Murray 
Music: Traditional English Melody; arr. Charles Strange 

Come into the streets with me! 
Come to where the crowds will be, 
See a strange and gentle king 
On a donkey travelling – 

Refrain: Come and follow my leader, 
Come and follow my leader, 
Jesus Christ is riding by, 
Come and follow my leader! 

All the people shout his name, 
Waving branches, sing his fame, 
Throw their coats upon his road, 
Glad to praise the Son of God – 


If the soldiers draw their swords, 
Will we dare to sing these words, 
Be his friends for just a day, 
Cheer him on, then run away? 


Jesus goes where things are rough, 
Jesus knows when life is tough, 
Always comes to us, his friends, 
So his story never ends. 


Mark 11:1-11
Common English Bible

When Jesus and his followers approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus gave two disciples a task,  saying to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Its master needs it, and he will send it back right away.’” 

 They went and found a colt tied to a gate outside on the street, and they untied it.  Some people standing around said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”  They told them just what Jesus said, and they left them alone.  They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes upon it, and he sat on it.  Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields.  Those in front of him and those following were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessings on the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest!”  Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. After he looked around at everything, because it was already late in the evening, he returned to Bethany with the Twelve. 

Call for Reconciliation

After a year of struggling to follow Jesus faithfully, we know how we have worn down others by our angry words, how we have wearied loved ones with poor choices. Yet, we also recognize, that in every moment of every day, God has been with us with that love which never gives up, that grace which is always offered freely to us. So, let us come with our prayers, to God’s heart, so we may enter forgiveness and life anew. Let us pray together, saying,

Prayer for Forgiveness (in unison)

We have been so busy this last year, focused on ourselves, Enduring Love, that we have forgotten to imagine what was on Jesus’ mind in those days. We long to shout for joy on a day like this, smiling as we remember waving our palms, even as we look at our empty hands. We harden our faces, not in discipleship, but to turn away those who are still struggling in these days. Yet, because he was fully human like us, God whose compassion never fades, we can be more like Jesus, if we dare. So, as we begin our journey through another Holy Week of worshiping apart, yet strangely more together than we imagine, help us to always choose humility over hubris, weakness over strength, tenderness over bullying, and to seek to stay faithful as we can in these days. We pray this in the name of our Teacher, Jesus. Amen.

Silence is kept.

Assurance of Pardon

God dares us to think like Jesus, because God knows that if we do, we will find the strength to live through these days, to walk with others, to offer our lives in love and service to all. God hears our prayers, listens to our hearts, fills us with forgiveness, and walks with us in these moments and in all the ones to come. Thanks be to God for such incredible mercy! Amen.

This is the Day
Composer: Leon C. Roberts

This is the day the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
This is the day the Lord has made;
Let us be glad, be glad, be glad, be glad and rejoice in it!
Let us be glad, be glad, be glad, be glad
Alleluia! Glory, glory!
Alleluia, let us be glad!

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Common English Bible

Open the gates of righteousness for me
so I can come in and give thanks to the LORD!
This is the LORD’s gate;
those who are righteous enter through it.
I thank you because you answered me,
because you were my saving help.
The stone rejected by the builders
is now the main foundation stone!
This has happened because of the LORD;
it is astounding in our sight!
This is the day the LORD acted;
we will rejoice and celebrate in it!
LORD, please save us!
LORD, please let us succeed!
The one who enters in the LORD’s name is blessed;
we bless all of you from the LORD’s house.
The LORD is God!
He has shined a light on us!
So lead the festival offering with ropes
all the way to the horns of the altar.
You are my God—I will give thanks to you!
You are my God—I will lift you up high!
Give thanks to the LORD because he is good,
because his faithful love lasts forever.

Reflection on the Scriptures
Rev. Tonya Vickery

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Thank you, God for constant love.
Please help our church family grow
deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.

Song of Faith

Not on a War Horse, But a Humble Donkey
Words: David M. Miller

Not on a war horse, but a humble donkey,
the Son of Man came to Jerusalem;
great city full of faithful Hebrew pilgrims
received one more as she had often done.
And yet this time, Christ journeyed into danger;
to be betrayed, to suffer and to die.
They paved his way with scattered cloaks and branches
a prelude to the coming victory.

Crowds of disciples shouting out their praises;
“Glory to God! Hosanna to the King!
Bless’d is the one, Jesus has come to save us.”
The very stones would cry out if they could.
His friends knew not the horrors that awaited,
imagining an end to Roman rule.

Instead God’s plan was moving to fruition;
his Son would gain a greater vict’ry still.
Not by the might of gathered rebel armies,
but strength of purpose and submissive will.
So let us pause, as we this day remember
our humble King who gathers up the lost;
how great his trial, how strong the love he shows us;
how weak a faith that does not count the cost.

We walk with him, come through into the city;
one final meal, a symbol for God’s grace.
Out into darkness, Jesus’ time is coming;
a kiss to greet, a sign – “this is the one”
The soldiers mock, yet still our Lord is silent;
the sentence passed and all our crimes his own.
Christ hoisted high, humanity is ransomed;
through Jesus’ death, we all are given life!

Sending Out

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Blest Be the Tie
Words: John Fawcett
Tune: DENNIS (Nägeli)

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again. 

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.  


  • The invitation to worship, call for reconciliation, prayer for forgiveness, and words of assurance were written by Thom Shuman, and posted on his excellent Lectionary Liturgies blog.
  • The opening prayer was written by lutheranjulia, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.
  • The litany was written by Shannon Keeney at First UMC, Littleton, NH.
  • The hymns were sung by Mindy. The anthem was sung by Mindy, Michelle, Elizabeth, and Tonya. Michelle played the guitar. Tonya played the piano. Tessa played the flute.

Permission to print the words to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.

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