Sunday 25 March, 2018 – The Sunday of the Passion (Palm Sunday), Year B

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.


As the double name (and the two sets of readings) suggest, this Sunday has a double theme.

One (and the oldest) theme for the service on this Sunday is the passion of Jesus. In a way similar to the service on Good Friday, the service for Passion Sunday focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus. The central focus of the service is the reading of the long gospel, usually the entire passion narrative of the gospel for the year (for year A, the Gospel of Matthew). Drama may be added by using three or more readers to read this narrative. The first and second readings, and the accompanying psalm, reflect this emphasis.

The other theme for this Sunday is Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his death. In Jerusalem in the late fourth century, pilgrims gathered on Sunday afternoon on the Mount of Olives for the reading from the gospel of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Then, while singing hymns and psalms, they carried palm or olive branches down into Jerusalem in procession. In the Western church, this ceremony was added onto the beginning of the eucharist for Passion Sunday. In Lutheran practice, following late medieval piety, the focus on the Sunday in Holy Week became almost predominantly Palm Sunday.

It is important to note that the readings given by the Revised Common Lectionary are intended to be used in the following way:

*     The Palm Sunday gospel and psalm are used for the palm procession and/or entry into the church

*     The Passion Sunday readings, psalm and gospel are for use in the service itself.

It is possible to omit the palm procession, and to use the Palm Sunday psalm and gospel in the service itself instead of the Passion psalm and gospel, but this may result in a rather odd mixture of triumphant jubilation and sorrowful reflection. When we observe the separation of the two themes, the day appropriately begins in shouts of joy, but ends in silence.

Altar colour: Violet

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Mark 11:1-11 Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Procession)
OR John 12:12-16 Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Procession)
OR Isaiah 50:4-9a The obedience of the Lord’s servant
PSALM Psalm 118:1,2,19-29 (Procession)
OR Psalm 31:9-16*For musical settings of these Psalms, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Philippians 2:5-11 Christ- the obedient servant and exalted Lord
GOSPEL Mark 14:1 – 15:47 Jesus’ suffering and death OR Mark 15:1-39(40-47) (shorter version)

Notes on the readings
(PALM GOSPEL) MARK 11:1-11: Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, knowingly going to his death. His entry to Jerusalem in the account of St Mark was to establish in the public mind his claim to messiahship. The mode of entry, seated upon a humble ass (not a militaristic steed) was in keeping with the biblical thought of a royal personage coming in peace. However, in his earthly poverty he even needed a borrowed animal to ride upon. The cries of greeting, with a royal carpet of garments, identified Jesus with the promised descendant of King David, the ruler of a kingdom which would last forever. But his kingdom very soon had to be rejected for God’s plan of salvation to unfold. It is still rejected by the vast majority to this day. The Christ has died, the Christ has risen, the Christ will come again!

ISAIAH 50:4-9: This suffering servant song of Isaiah characterises a faithful prophet of the Lord who is both persecuted and hailed before court. The section portrays his life-long daily learning from the Lord, his readiness willingly to undergo spiteful, degrading and violent treatment in obedience to the Lord, and his rock-solid firmness, despite all, to trust implicitly in his ultimate public acceptance as righteous. He can therefore confidently rise above the seeming victory of his accusers. Jesus again fits the conditions of the prophecy.

PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11: St Paul uses Christ as an example of humility for the Philippian Christians. He who existed in full measure as God did not hesitate to lay aside his rights and majesty by assuming human form. This he did in order to undergo the humiliation and curse of human death, thus to serve the greatest need of humanity. After the cross, however, comes the crown. He now exercises every power, prerogative and glory of the Godhead which is his rightful due. Every knee must bow, whether in wondrous gratitude for free salvation, or in facing final judgment upon its persistent rejection. This reading conveys both the humble majesty of the entry to Jerusalem and the purposeful assumption of rejection and the sorrows of his passion.

MARK 14:1 – 15:47 or MARK 15:1-39(40-47): The Passion gospel reading can be taken either in a longer form which covers the happenings from the Passover celebration through to the death of our Lord, or in a shorter form which focuses on the trial and crucifixion. In either instance, the gospel account does not principally treat the doctrinal implications of the death of our Lord, but rather gives a historical description of the events themselves. It is left to a pagan Roman army officer to see in Jesus’ death the true sonship of God.

Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon

Based on Psalm 118: edited for lay reading sermon – psalm 118 20 – year b – palmpassion sunday
Based on Mark 11 reading:  Pr Heath Pukallus ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; edited for lay reading sermon – mark 11 1-10 – year b – palmpassion
Based on second reading: Pr Stephen van der Hoek
Based on Mark 15 reading: NEW edited for lay reading sermon – mark 15 1-39- year b – palmpassion

Orders of service:
Palm/Passion Sunday Word and Prayer (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt)
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Almighty and eternal God,
since you sent your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
to take our nature upon himself,
and to suffer death upon the cross:
Mercifully grant
that we may patiently follow
the example of his great humility,
and share in his resurrection;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Almighty and eternal God,
you sent your Son, our Saviour,
to take our nature on himself
and to suffer and die on the cross.
Lead us to follow
the example of his great humility,
and bring us to share in his resurrection.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new (revised alternative)
(Let us pray for humility. [silence])
Loving Father of all,
your only Son came as a servant
and was obedient
all the way to his death on the cross.
Make us humble like Christ,
and bring us to be with him in his glory.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

VERSE (after the second reading)
Use either the Verse given in the order of service or the following verse.
Christ humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name that is above every name.  (Phil 2:8,9 NRSV)

OR, if the palm gospel is used as the main gospel of the day:
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor, David!
(Mark 11:9b,10a NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel:
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ (, Lamb of God).
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for suffering and dying for us.
Remember us and save us.

OR, for the Palm gospel only:
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming as a gentle king,
in God’s name.
May we always praise and worship you.

Children’s address: Palm Sunday B

Offering prayer:
Thank you, loving Father,
that your Son was obedient all the way to the cross,
and suffered and died for us.
Make us humble and self-giving,
serving others as he served us.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- PalmPassion B

Resources for services with Holy Communion
It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
On the tree of the cross he gave salvation to all,
so that, where death began,
there life might be restored,
and that the enemy,
who by a tree once overcame,
might by a tree be overcome.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

Every time we eat this bread and drink from this cup
we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Happy are those who are called to his supper.
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

The following variation of the post-communion prayer may be used during Lent.

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, as you did not spare your own Son,
but gave him up to die on the cross for us all:
Grant that we who have received
his body and blood in the sacrament
may live in him and he in us,
so that, as your children,
we may walk in your ways
and serve you all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Loving Father of all,
your only Son came as a servant
and was obedient
all the way to his death on the cross.
As he has served us here at this table,
make us humble like him,
and bring us to be with him in his glory.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

(May) Christ our crucified Saviour draw you to himself,
so that you may find in him the assurance of sins forgiven
and the gift of eternal life; . . .

Go in peace and have the same humble attitude as our Lord.
Thanks be to God.  OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * = Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . = Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS = Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH

Palm gospel: Mark 11:1-11

5    O bride of Christ, rejoice* G4 (mod TIS 336)
7    Come, Thou precious ransom, come G8
10    O how shall I receive Thee (vv 1,2)* G3
18    Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates* G5 (mod TIS 267)
62    My song is love unknown G8 (mod TIS 341)
86    All glory, laud and honour G5 (see TIS 338)
87    Ride on, ride on in majesty (tune Winchester New, mod TIS 348)
733    Daughter of Zion, O rejoice G6
737    Prepare the royal highway G4 (mod TIS 346)
817    O Jesus Christ, to you may hymns be rising G7
211    Hosanna!
328    Tell the city
335    And we stood right there (v 1)
344    The New Road (from v 5) Replace ‘Alleluia’ with ‘Sing hosanna’
444    Hey, King
219    Jesus comes with all his grace
244    Trotting, trotting through Jerusalem
267    Lift up your heads, you mighty gates
279    The King of glory comes, the nation rejoices
333    All glory, praise and honour
336    O bride of Christ, rejoice
341    My song is love unknown
346    Prepare the royal highway
348    Ride on, ride on in majesty
353    The glory of our King was seen
620    O Jesus Christ, may grateful hymns be rising
724    Hosanna!

First reading: Isaiah 50: 4-9a

48    Lamb of God most holy* G5
52    O sacred head, now wounded (vv 1,2,4,5)* G6 (see TIS 339)
55    O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken* G4 (see TIS 337)
57    A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth (Pt 1)* G5
60    Christ, the life of all the living G5
62    My song is love unknown G5 (alt tune A8, G8) (mod TIS 341)
70    Stricken, smitten and afflicted* G3
406    God still lives and His compassion G7
413    Why should cross and trial grieve me? (vv 1,2,5,6) G5
245    You are the prisoner
347    O dearest Jesus
601    Ka mana ‘o ‘i ‘o (Faithful, faithful is our God)
337    O dearest Jesus, why aren’t you acquitted
339    O sacred head sore wounded
341    My song is love unknown

Second reading: Philippians 2: 5-11

11    The advent of our King G4 (see TIS 271)
36    Jesus, name of wondrous love* G6
166    All hail the power of Jesus’ name G8 (see also TIS tune 224(i))
174    All praise to Thee, for Thou, O King divine G7
239    Son of God, eternal Saviour G4 (see TIS 606)
782    At the name of Jesus G7 (see TIS 231)
790    O Lord of light, who made the stars (alt tune 346) G5
807    Lift high the cross GS (see TIS 351)
857    Low, the way is low GS
31    Freely, freely
50    I will sing (v 5)
55    His name is wonderful
139    Christ humbled himself
157    Jesus, name above all names
190    Low, the way is low
261    The Servant King
370    You are glorious
554    Jesus, you’re the one
671    Christ is Lord of all
174    Morning glory, starlit sky
218    Jesus! The name high over all
224    All hail the power of Jesus’ name
225    My heart and voice I raise
231    At the name of Jesus
247    Let all be one in mind and heart
256    From heaven you came, helpless babe
271    The advent of our God
351    Lift high the cross
373    Hail, our once despised Jesus
422    Come Holy Spirit, come (vv 1,2,5,6)
448    Blest are the pure in heart
606    Son of God, eternal Saviour
746    The heavens shall declare

Gospel: Mark 14: 1 – 15:47 ( Mark 15: 1-39 (40-47) )

51    Let Thy blood in mercy poured* G5 (before holy communion)
53    Jesus, refuge of the weary* G3
55    O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken?* G4 (see TIS 337)
59    Jesus, I will ponder now* G8
60    Christ, the life of all the living G5
62    My song is love unknown (final song) G5 (alt tune A8, G8) (see TIS 341)
65    Lord Jesus, we give thanks to Thee* G5 (final song)
70    Stricken, smitten and afflicted* G3
73    Go to dark Gethsemane* G5 (preparation for Holy Week)
79    Lord Jesus, when we stand afar G8 (final song)
85    According to Thy gracious word G5 (final song)
281    Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour G8 (holy communion)
285    To Thy most holy supper, Lord* G5 (holy communion)
620    O dearest Lord, Thy sacred head G6
752    A purple robe, a crown of thorns
753    Downtrodden Christ, to you we pray (final song)
754    Jesus dying on the cross GS (final song)
758    The royal banners forward go G8 (see TIS 332)
759    When his time was over GS
840    Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly pray G8 (holy communion)
857    Low, the way is low GS
22    He was wounded
135    Bitter was the night
139    Christ humbled himself
143    Jesus dying on the cross (final song)
147    When his time was over
190    Low, the way is low (final song)
261    The Servant King
287    Stay here and keep watch with me (final song)
335    And we stood right there
347    O dearest Jesus
374    Always remember me
387    Jesus, remember me
449    Walk him along
635    How deep the Father’s love for us
650    Easy answers
256    From heaven you came
332    The royal banners forward go
337    O dearest Jesus, why aren’t you acquitted
340    Before the cock crew twice
341    My song is love unknown (final song)
345    Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (omit v 6?)
352    O dearest Lord, thy sacred head
354    O Jesus crucified
357    When his time was over
501    Sing my tongue, the Saviour’s glory (holy communion)
502    Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast (holy communion)
515    According to thy gracious word (final song)
519    And now, O Father, mindful of the love (holy communion)

The following paraphrase by David Schütz may be sung to the tune Von Gott will ich (Erfurt), LH 400, or Von Gott will ich (Crüger), LH 130. If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

O Lord, be gracious to me,
for I am in distress.
My eyes are sore from crying,
my soul and body too.
My life is spent in grief,
my years are spent with sighing,
I’m weak from all my troubles,
my bones all waste away.

My enemies reproach me,
my neighbours run in fear,
my friends in fright run from me,
and all who see me flee.
Forgotten like the dead,
I’m like a broken vessel.
I hear the whisp’ring schemers:
they plot to take my life.

And yet, O Lord, I trust you,
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My life and times and future
all in held in your hand.
Deliver me, O Lord,
from those who seek to harm me,
and let your face shine on me,
and rescue me in love.

Music Resources Vol 3– Psalm settings- Psalm 31 p55 , Psalm 31 p56

TIS 74, Give thanks for the Lord is good, is a setting of Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23,24.

The following paraphrase of Psalm 118 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune St Denio (LHS 768, TIS 143). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

verses 1-2,14.
Give thanks to the Lord, for his goodness and love.
‘His love is forever’, let Israel say:
The Lord is my strength, my salvation and might,
the homes of the righteous are filled with glad songs.

verses 19-21
So open the door of the temple to me,
and let me go in to give thanks to the Lord.
The righteous shall enter the door of the Lord.
‘My saving God, thank you for hearing my prayer.’

verses 22-24
The stone that the buiders rejected is now
the chief cornerstone of the temple of God.
The Lord God has done this, a marvellous sight,
The Lord made this day, let’s rejoice and be glad.

verses 25-27a
O Lord, come and save us, and give us success!
We bless you who come in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from Zion, the house of the Lord!
The Lord is our God, he has given us light.

verses 27b-29
In festal procession, with branches in hand,
we go to the altar to give thanks to God.
For you are my God, whom I thank and I praise!
Give thanks to the Lord, for his goodness and love.

Music Resources Vol 3– Psalm settings- Psalm 118 p197 , Psalm 118 p198 , Psalm 118 p200

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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