Blessed be God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
And blessed be God’s kingdom,
now and for ever. Amen.
Dear friends in Christ, in our observance of Lent we have been preparing, by self-examination and spiritual discipline, to celebrate the mystery of our Lord’s death and resurrection. In baptism we are marked with the cross of Christ. Today we begin the solemn celebration of our salvation through his death on the cross and his resurrection to glory. We now recall our Lord’s entry, as king, into Jerusalem, to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us follow him, that, as we died with Christ in our Baptism, so we may share his risen life.
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 Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
GOSPEL OF THE PALMS
read by Rev Janice Aiton
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 11 beginning at verse 1
Glory to Christ our Saviour
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel.
Praise to Christ our Lord.
BLESSING OF THE PALMS
Almighty and everlasting God,
may these palms be for us
a sign of Christ’s victory over sin and death;
and may we who have been baptised in his name,
worship him as king, obey him as Lord,
and follow him in the way of the Cross,
which leads to eternal life.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
COLLECT FOR PURITY
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SUMMARY OF THE LAW
Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”
The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
There is no other commandment greater than these.
Amen. Lord, have mercy.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
God is love and we are God’s children.
There is no room for fear in love.
We love because God loved us first.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.
God our Father, we confess to you
and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,
and in what we have failed to do.
We are truly sorry.
Forgive us our sins,
and deliver us from the power of evil,
for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
God, who is both power and love,
and free you from our sins,
heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,
and raise you
to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen
sung by Dougie Byers
COLLECT OF THE PASSION
who, in your tender love for the human race,
sent your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
to take our nature upon him,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
giving us the example of his great humility:
that we may both follow the example of his passion, and also, be made partakers of his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT READING
ISAIAH 50: 4-9a read by Kate Lidwell
The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication
The Lord God has given me
a trained tongue,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens,
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand in court together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11 read by Margaret Morton
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew 26:14-27:66 read by Rev Chris Wren
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. ” So, the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve disciples, and while they were eating he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Peter’s Denial Foretold
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night, for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
“But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even if all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Now the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all who take the sword will die by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a rebel? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Jesus before the High Priest
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you,
From now on you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of Power
and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face and struck him, and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”
Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A female servant came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another female servant saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Jesus Brought before Pilate
When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
The Suicide of Judas
When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Pilate Questions Jesus
Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Barabbas or Jesus?
Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
Pilate Hands Jesus Over to Be Crucified
So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them, and after flogging Jesus he handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Then two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’ ” The rebels who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
The Burial of Jesus
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who also was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore, command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise, his disciples may go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
THIS IS THE PASSION OF OUR LORD.
Globally our world is in turmoil. We are confronted with strikes in the UK over the cost of living and low pay; protests in Israel over judicial law; protests in France over pensions; protests in China against Covid restrictions and protests against the war in Russia and Ukraine. Crowds have gathered to express their views and register their discontent. In Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago crowds gathered in protest against Jesus, shouting “Crucify him” and not long before that, the crowds had assembled with a different cry- a cry of praise and joy “Hosanna to the Son of David.” On this Palm Sunday we remember the crowds who were filled with excitement and joy at Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem before we turn our thoughts to the Passion where the mood of the crowd changes and the atmosphere is dark and solemn.
The crowds gathered in Jerusalem for Passover. Jerusalem would have been packed. It was not a big city, but as many as two-and-a-half million people may have been there for Passover. All the accommodation in the city would have been taken; innkeepers would have made a handsome profit. Many of the people would have stayed in towns and villages around about and would have come into Jerusalem during the daytime. Overwhelmingly, the crowds are ordinary people, but amongst them there would have been a sprinkling of others. Political extremists would have canvassed for support, moving through the crowd, sharing ideas with likely listeners. Were they around today they would be on the Internet and sending emails and text messages! Along with political extremism, there would have been religious fanatics who would have regarded Passover as a great opportunity to berate the gathering crowds of the faithful. Into the middle of this confusion and chaos and noise comes a man with a small group of supporters: Jesus of Nazareth. Many of the people would have heard his name and stories would have spread quickly through the crowds, “A great teacher”, “The Messiah”.
The Messiah coming into the Holy City at Passover! This indeed was something special- it was a moment not to be missed. The news would have flown around the city, “He is coming! He is coming!” Daily life and business would have been going on as normal, Sunday being a working day, but at the news the Messiah was coming, trade would have stopped, shops would have closed up, workmen would have put down their tools. Whatever they were doing, people would have stopped. They would be afraid to miss something momentous. The stories would have spread, and the anticipation grown. Then the rather odd parade passes through. It sounds odd, but Jesus knew what he was saying and the people themselves knew. Jesus knew that when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, he was fulfilling the words from Zechariah, “See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The devout people lining the streets also would have known the prophecies of Zechariah. Jesus knew and the people knew that the carpenter’s son from Nazareth was declaring himself to be their king, their Servant King, the King of Peace.
Reading about it today, the picture of someone riding into a city does not mean much to us, but for the people there, it said that the one for whom they had waited so long had at last arrived. Naturally, this was not pleasing to everyone. The clergy would have been concerned at the audacity of this upstart from Galilee. The Roman authorities would have been worried at the prospect of disturbances. There had been riots before bringing Pontius Pilate unfavourable attention from his superiors. Disorder at Passover would be the last thing Pilate would wish to see. Neither the religious leaders nor the civil authorities would have been pleased to see the scene that unfolded on that Palm Sunday. It would be a coalition of those two groups that would bring about the death of Jesus and turn the palms into crosses.
How is it that the palms turned into crosses? Every year we try our best to take these long strips of palm branch and by some feat of engineering, we turn them into crosses. We sometimes don’t fully understand what exactly we are doing. We take these things which are supposed to be instruments of joyfulness and praise for Jesus, and we turn them into crosses, forgetting that this represents the very thing on which Jesus was crucified. The very same things that we are supposed to praise God with, are turned against Jesus. It is easy to forget, as we wave the palm, that the cross is an instrument of death. We see that palm branch, we turn it into an empty cross, and we conveniently pass over the suffering and death in between. But the cross was not always empty.
This is the beginning of Holy Week. Today we start with shouts of Hosanna. Next Sunday is Easter – the day of resurrection and shouts of Alleluia. But we are not there yet. Between the shouts of Hosanna and the shouts of Alleluia there is another shout: “Crucify him, Crucify him.”
In our readings today, we have what we might call the Passion Narrative, the Good Friday account. It is about the crowds shouting: “Crucify Him” and about how Jesus endures the suffering of the Cross. Then we have in our gospel reading a picture of a parade with shouts of joy. This is the “Palm Sunday” picture. It is all about the crowds welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of Hosanna. What do we learn when we see these two pictures side by side? We learn about love. We might call one “Palm Sunday” love and the other “Good Friday” love. These two kinds of love – Palm Sunday love and Good Friday love- show us the difference between how we love, and how God loves.
First there is the love which the crowds show to Jesus on Palm Sunday. It is exciting, it is loud, and it is a big show. They welcome Him into Jerusalem with palm branches and songs and shouts of joy- “Hosanna to the Son of David”. They are welcoming Jesus as their King into the throne of David. But within a few days that same crowd turns on Jesus. When Pilate asks them what they want to do with this Jesus, this King of the Jews, they reply – “Crucify Him”.
The crowd was pretty enthusiastic when things were going well for Jesus. Palm Sunday love is like that. It is a fickle love. It loves when there is a good time to be had, and it stops loving when there are bad times to be had. This way of loving changes with the weather, or with the circumstances! Status, appearance, health, reputation – all these things matter to Palm Sunday love. Palm Sunday love is about loving things more than the person. The crowds didn’t love the person of Jesus. They loved the show, the power, the miracles, the idea that this man would be their king.
On Palm Sunday we see a picture of our love for God, fickle and spineless. On Good Friday we see a picture of God’s love for us- faithful and courageous- “Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.” What does that tell us about Jesus’ character? About his love? It tells us about his great love and sacrifice. He has a strength of willpower that says – I will do what I need to do. Jesus shows us that the foundation of love is commitment. He set his face like flint – against everything that will come his way.
Whilst we might change our attitudes with the wind, Jesus’ love is fixed. He is committed to dying on the cross for us. His love knows no bounds. His arms are outstretched on that cross in love for us. His love is not a fickle, changing love but a steadfast and loyal love, that endures. For Jesus, Good Friday love is all about commitment. It means commitment regardless of the circumstances. Jesus is committed to us even when we push him aside because of our work; our church; our family; our leisure; our popularity or our status. These matters are of greater value to us than our relationship with Jesus.
However, Jesus is committed to us when we fail, disappoint, or betray him. Jesus is committed to us even when our circumstances change. He loves us when we are shouting “Hosanna” and he loves us when we are shouting “Away with this man.” Jesus loves us when that love is not returned. He loves us regardless of how we treat him. He simply loves us. He is not merely enthusiastic about loving us when things are great; he is committed to loving us when things are darkest, for us and for him. This is Good Friday love- agape love, sacrificial love that gives and gives and gives- never counting the cost. It is a love so amazing, so divine. This is the love that we are to emulate, and this love demands our soul, our life, our all. Amen.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one substance with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living
and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.
with the Father and the Son,
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
As we recall Jesus entering Jerusalem,
let us gather our thoughts to pray
Jesus the Anointed One,
as the crowds welcomed you and sang your praise,
so today we welcome you more deeply into our hearts and lives,
rejoicing in your unfailing love and kindness.
We do pray that in these days that more people will turn to you,
lean on you and trust in you, and proclaim you as the Messiah,
who brings healing and wholeness.
Lord Jesus, the Anointed One
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, humble Servant
who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey,
we pray for that real humility in our hearts,
which treats status and image casually,
and truth and loving service seriously.
Lord Jesus, humble Servant
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, gifted Teacher,
who said suffer the little children to come unto me.
Reach out in love and care to all children.
We think especially of children,
deprived for one reason or another of an education,
thinking especially of girls in India, Syria, Israel and Palestine
and ask that the respective governments might take
positive steps to make education available for all.
We pray for teachers as they start their Easter holidays
that they might know refreshment and renewal of strength.
We pray for our teachers as they seek to help students
catch up with their studies and prepare for their exams.
Lord Jesus, gifted Teacher
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, gentle healer,
we pray today for those in hospital,
and ask for your gentle healing touch to be upon them.
We lift to you all who are working in our hospitals,
asking that in their busyness you will equip them,
with the strength, courage, and skill they need,
to care diligently and wisely for their patients
Lord Jesus, gentle healer
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, carer and provider,
we are conscious of many people,
who are struggling for financial survival
for themselves, their families and their businesses.
Hear our cry for them that they might receive,
all the support and help they need.
We think of those needing basic supplies
and ask that the food banks are well resourced,
and the needs of the community are met.
Lord Jesus, carer and provider
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace
we think of all who are persecuted for their faith.
Bring peace and courage to them in these days
and work in the agencies that
seek to negotiate and work with governments,
so that freedom to worship might be permitted.
We pray for those who are suffering in body mind or spirit
or are anxious and worried for themselves or loved one
In the quiet we pray for….
draw near and give to them your gift of peace and comfort
Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, the Resurrection and life,
you knew that on Palm Sunday,
you were riding to your death.
We pray for all on their last journey,
that though they be physically alone,
that you are with them,
and that you will not leave them nor forsake them.
Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and Life
Hear our prayer.
Jesus, our guide and our strength,
accompany us as we journey
through the unknown and uncertain,
filling us with your light and hope.
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together
As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
May Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.