April 5, 2020 Liturgy

PDF for print version HERE. For permission to print and redistribute, comment below.

Palm Sunday

Preparation for worship

Songs:  Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing that contain the word “Hosanna”?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.

Bible:  You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures. You can use this doc or your phone as well . . . but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.

This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:  
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-27 and Matthew 21:1-11

You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.


Gathering Prayer

Loving God,

As we begin this journey through this week with remembrance and hope, 

Help us to understand you and your incredible love for the world more clearly.

Transform our hearts and prepare us for service in your kingdom.

Through Christ, our Lord.


Call to Worship

Leader:          The Lord is our strength and protection; God is our saving help!

All:                  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,  

God’s faithful love lasts forever.

Leader:           The Lord is victorious!  We will sing joyful songs!

All:                  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,  

God’s faithful love lasts forever.

Leader:           Open up the gates of righteousness

                        So we can come in and give thanks to the Lord!

All:                  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,  

God’s faithful love lasts forever.

This is the day the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and celebrate in it!

Song of Praise

Sing one or two songs that focus on singing God’s praises. 

Some suggestions:

Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

O Worship the King

Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher) 

I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy (kid friendly)

Look at this list for other song ideas.  

Reading of the Psalm 

A Psalm of Celebration

(inspired by Psalm 118)

Though we have known hardship and pain,

though life has not always turned out as we had hoped,

we will stand here and say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

Though life becomes more complex,

the deepest questions remain unanswered,

and the mystery of faith deepens, we will say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

And though the pain of the world

often seems more than we can bear or address,

we will stand firm in our faith and say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

~ written by Ann Siddall, in Lent to Easter liturgies: Year C.  
Posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.  

Prayer for Illumination

Eternal God,

Whose Word silences the shouts of the mighty:

Quiet within us every voice but your own.

Speak to us as we hear your word,

That by the power of the Holy Spirit,

We might receive grace to show Christ’s love

In lives given to your service. Amen.


(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen.  Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.) 


Let’s hear the word of God from the book of Matthew.  It says in Matthew 21, 

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task. He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that their master needs them.” He sent them off right away. 

Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said, Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.” 

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.

Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 

And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


Let’s tell the story that we just heard.  How did the story begin?  What happened next? (Go around the circle and tell the story again.)

Paying Attention

Was there a word or phrase that jumped out at you?  

What do you think God was up to in this story?

Is there something we should remember for this coming week from what we heard from the scriptures?


Prayers of the People

God of all Hope,

we pray that you would hear our prayers,

and establish in our minds the same mind that is in you,

that we might be vessels of your humility and grace.

We thank you and we praise you 

for your selfless sacrifice…

for your redemption of creation…

for those offering Christlike service in hospitals, laboratories, grocery stores, restaurants, and warehouses…

for your work as it continues in our community…

We pray for this world:

for all the people in it . . .

for those who lay down their lives . . .

for those who lead . . .

(pause and invite people to respond)…

We pray for this world in need of your healing presence:

for those who are sick, or grieving…

(pause and invite people to respond)…

We pray for your Church . . .

We pray for the courage to follow you with all of our hearts.

(At the end of this time of prayer, close with the following)

Lead us, O God, in the way of Christ.

Give us courage to take up your cross.

And, in full reliance upon your grace, to follow him.

Help us to love you above all else

And to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Give us strength to serve you faithfully 

as we pray together the prayer you taught us to pray


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name, 
thy kingdom come, 
thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, and the glory, 
forever. Amen.

Song of Response

Sing a song of praise to God.

Look at this list for other song ideas.  


May our Lord, whose arms were spread on the cross

to embrace the whole world,

help us this week to take up the cross and follow him. 


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