The following is a short Blessing of the Palms liturgy or service that can easily be modified and used on Palm-Passion Sunday within the sanctuary of your church. It was written for and is used by the Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and United Church of Canada congregations of Golden, BC at their annual, outdoor, Palm Blessing gathering. Following the liturgy each congregation processes from the Park in which the service is held, enters their own building (where those who are unable to attend the Blessing are usually having a hymn sing), marches around the sanctuary waving the Palms - and then makes the transition to the Passion Narrative. We have a very large attendance at the Park and draw in community members who may not belong to any church. Each year different community choirs or groups are asked to sing the Gospel Acclamation.
Further Palm Sunday liturgies can be found as part of our Lent 6 worship services as found on our Year A, B, and C Sermon pages.
BLESSING OF THE PALMS
The Palm branches, leaves, and crosses are brought to the Park and await
distribution following the blessing. Due to the ecumenical nature of this
service The "celebrant" changes with each major section of the liturgy.
OPENING WORDS AND PRAYER
Celebrant Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
All Hosanna in the Highest
Celebrant 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 into 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 Jesus 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 the dark road of suffering and death, knowing that as we
are united with him in his suffering on the cross we also
share with him in the resurrection.
Celebrant Let us pray.
All 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 Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen
THE READING OF THE WORD (Matthew 21:1-11)
Celebrant The Lord be with you
All And also with you.
Celebrant A reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew
All Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Celebrant (NRSV) 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 fulfill 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."
* GOSPEL RESPONSE - An appropriate song by the Community Choir.
BLESSING AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE PALMS
Celebrant God be with you.
All And also with you.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to God our Creator.
All It is right to give God our thanks and praise.
Celebrant Almighty and Loving God, it is indeed right to give you our
thanks and praise for the acts of love by which you have
redeemed us through Christ Jesus our Saviour. The Hebrews
acclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and King with palm branches
in their hands, crying "Hosanna in the highest". We pray
you, O Lord, bless these branches and make them holy. May
we also, carrying them forth from this place and crying out
"Hosanna in the Highest" and "Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of the Lord", acclaim Jesus as our Messiah and
King and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life.
HYMN: We suggest a well know song like "This Is The Day" or a
suitable Palm Sunday anthem be sung as the Palm
Branches and Crosses are distributed.
Celebrant Let us go in the peace of Christ and acclaim him as our Lord
Celebrant The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All And also with you.