Palm Sunday worship - 27th March 2021
Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
Croeso! Bore da! Welcome to you all as we mark Palm Sunday in the blog..
Please do make yourself known to me if you are popping in or if I can help in any way.
+Yn enw'r Tad, a'r Mab, a'r Ysbryd Glan. Amen
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
Today we remember that Christ enters his own city to complete his work as our Saviour and to suffer, die and rise again.
You will have received from our Ministry Area various materials including a blessed Palm cross. Hold the cross up high as we pray.
God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as a Messiah to suffer and die. Let our palm be a sign of his victory and as we hail him as our King, follow him in the way that leads to eternal life. Amen.
The Gospel of Christ according to St Mark
Glory to you. O Lord.
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, ‘Hosanna! 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
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ.
The Collect for Palm Sunday
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever AMEN
Let us sing our opening hymn: All glory, laud and honour
The Passion Reading
The Gospel of Christ according to St John
Glory to you. O Lord.
St Mark 14.1 - 15.47
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For 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.’
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all become deserters; for it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even though all become deserters, I will not.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But he said vehemently, ‘Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And all of them said the same.
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’
Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.’ All of them deserted him and fled. A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.” ’ But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am; and “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power”, and “coming with the clouds of heaven.” ’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ The guards also took him over and beat him.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘I do not know or understand what you are talking about.’ And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them.’ But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.’ But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know this man you are talking about.’ At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’ And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ.
I have fond memories, from when I was much younger, of Palm Sunday at my home church. It was built on a steep-ish gradient and around the church (and church hall) there was a narrow, twisty, steep walkway. Every year this became part of the narrow, windy street that Jesus rode the donkey, the colt, along. The dips and dives on the way were filled with children shouting Hosannas and waving branches, palms, leaves and throwing down clothing on the dusty, gravelly floor. We did not have a real donkey, though I wish that we did! It was a cacophony of joyful noise, children, waving palms and branches, and of almost confusion as Jesus wend his way down the steep pathway and into the modern church hall, across the road. This was just the Sunday School recalling the events of Palm Sunday whilst the worship inside the church went on, waving their palm crosses. There were often over a hundred children there and young people re-enacting the journey. It did, in a way, make a huge point; it was a real event and not just a Bible story.
We heard the Gospel today from St Mark, telling the account of Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem. Here is Jesus coming into the city and, as Mark hasn’t mentioned this before, it comes over as so very dramatic. It is likely that the events of Palm Sunday and Holy week in reality were over a period greater than just five days as we have it in the church’s calendar. But as we walk with Our Lord through the days ahead, today we see Our Lord enter into Jerusalem. There is a school of thought which believes that the great crowds of pilgrims in the city were not here for the Jewish Passover, but rather to mark the Feast of Tabernacles, with their branches of greenery, fresh from the countryside. Whatever, the pilgrims did shout out Hosanna which might have been to receive Jesus the King, but more likely to welcome all the pilgrims and travellers in the city for the Feast.
I knew a couple once, who wanted to marry on Boxing Day, not because the day held special significance but rather the Church was already decorated with tree, lights and candles and the family had already assembled for Christmas festivities. It just made everything more simple and agreeable to take over the one feast for another. Interestingly, years after they said they wished they hadn’t done it and would have rather married on their own special day, without the razzmatazz of Christmas. Did Jesus enter deliberately on this Festival?
So Mark has Jesus coming into the city heralded as the “Son of David” and engulfed by all the crowds around in the narrow streets and alleyways of Jerusalem. They had come from the slopes of the Mount of Olives from Bethphage and Bethany, the former only about two miles from the city, and Bethany closer. He came on an ass, which maybe Jesus had previous arranged for as there was certainly no questioning about this from the disciples or owner. This is an animal not ridden previously so fit for a King and also fit therefore for a holy purpose. They came then to Jerusalem, Jesus appearing to be sat upon his Kingly throne and with shouts of praise being shouted by the crowds. The clothing spread on the roads is likely to be a local custom, though might link back to the Old Testament’s, King Jehu or even simply “preparing the way of the Lord.”
So we stand at the beginning of the most holy and eventful weeks in the Christian calendar. Are we ready to walk alongside Our Lord as His life draws to a close? Do we picture ourselves in the crowd asking what are we doing? Who is that man? Why have we gathered here? Or do we sense the anticipation of something happening to this man who had spoken out, healed and befriended so many. Had we followed his teaching whether we understood or not? So, having shared in this triumphal entry and seen everything, we are only in a small part of the city, had word travelled round? Were, or indeed are, we ready to walk the path which leads to the Cross, to see the agony and death, or is it just part of the energy of everything that is happening?
The choice this Holy Week is yours, whether you stay static, follow or watch safely from a distance. It is up to you!
Intercessions and Lord's Prayer
Let us turn to God, a God of tenderness and compassion, who hears us in all our needs.
We pray for the Church in this country and in every part of the world. As sons and daughters of the one God, may we be united in exposing the powers of evil and live in peace - witnesses to God’s love wherever we are.
Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us.
God so loved the world that that in Christ’s dying and rising we are set free from the domination of evil. Let us pray for all clergy and especially Archbishop John and Bishop June- may they steadfastly lead the Church in loving, compassionate service of the world. Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us.
We pray that we may set aside false distinctions between rich and poor, ethnic diversity and work together to build the kingdom of justice and peace set free in Christ.
Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us.
We remember all who work for peace amongst nations and peoples. We pray today for those nations in conflict and those peoples yearning for self determination. May the Lord bring hope to those who are in need and strengthen those who hunger and thirst for justice and for peace.
Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for the disappeared, those suffering torture and facing death at the hands of agents of evil powers. May God grant them courage and strength, knowing Christ is with them.
Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us
Let us pray for all those we know you are sick and suffering in any way.
For our deceased relatives and friends, for all who have died recently and for all whose anniversaries occur at this time – May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Lord hear us. Response: Lord graciously hear us.
Let us now pray for a few moments in the silence of our hearts, to allow us to walk with Christ on his final days. For strength and commitment and for a sense of purpose as we stand at the beginning of Holy Week 2021.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Our closing hymn is: Ride on, ride on
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and ever more. AMEN
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Ewch mewn tangnefedd i garu a gwasanaethu'r Arglwydd.
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