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Palm Sunday

Marco Bonzini, 21st c.

Below you'll find the call to worship, prayer of invocation, and links to the scripture and sermon in both text and audio formats. If we'd gathered on Palm Sunday for in-person worship, we'd have sung the following hymns:

* Call to Worship Psalm 118 Adapted

One: O, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

All: His steadfast love endures forever!

One: Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

All: Open to us the gates of righteousness,

that we may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

One: This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

All: I thank you that you have answered me

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 14th c.

and have become my salvation.

One: The stone that the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

All: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

One: This is the day that the Lord has made!

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

One: Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!

All: O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

One: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

All: We bless you from the house of the Lord.

One: The Lord is God, and he has given us light.

All: Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

One: The Lord is my God, and I will give thanks to Him.

All: The Lord is our God; we will extol Him.

One: O, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

All: His steadfast love endures forever!

One: In such faith, we greet one another, “The peace of Christ be with you.”

All: And also with you.

* Passing of the Peace

Prayer of Confession (in unison)

Lord Jesus, Holy Son, we gather on this Palm Sunday though unlike ever before on this day. We cannot constitute a crowd. We have no palms to wave in hailing you as manifest love that saves us from sin. The display you put on—your victory parade—we cannot now enact, can only imagine.

Danila Vassilieff, 19th c.

Bless our imaginations, then, that they might open to us your realm.

Bless our word-bound worship that in what we speak and hear there’s a conjuring of your abiding presence.

Bless us as we begin once again this Holy Week, that we might travel with you—witness to your victorious entry into the holy city, and your prophetic anger about what of sin you found there; hearing of your provocations of the powers, and understanding of your pointed parables and what they imply about how righteousness comes to the world.

Bless us to recognize in your triumphal entry a victory that is above any the world would have us know. You save us not as partisans in earthly conflict or some certain group of people against another certain group of people. Rather, you save all from all that would lay waste. You save all from all that is not love.

Hosanna, then. We say it loud: “Hosanna!” Help us! Save us—for blessed are you who has come in the name of the Lord, and blessed our we in our yearning to follow. Amen.

Oleksandr Antonyuk, 21st c.

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