Worship for Palm Sunday

Again, welcome to our time of circuit worship today. Please do use the following prayers, readings and activities as you wish, remembering that we are entering Holy Week, the depths of pain and then the unexpected joy of the resurrection.

Hymn: Make way, make way for Christ the King (StF 264)


Prayer of praise

The hour has come! The Lord has need of us!

Open the doors that we may enter with joy!

You are God, we thank you. You are God, we praise you!

The crowds are gathering! Excitement is mounting!

Lead on to God’s house in a procession of praise!

You are God, we thank you. You are God, we praise you!

God’s word is fulfilled! The Messiah is here!

Come give him the honours that are due to our King!

You are God, we thank you. You are God, we praise you!

God’s answer to sorrow, to grief and to sin!

Good news for the poor and afraid- he is King!

You are God, we thank you. You are God, we praise you!

(Companion to the Revised Common Lectionary Volume 2)



To think about

When have you been part of a crowd celebrating something big? A music or sporting event, perhaps? Have you been part of an angry or passionate crowd, perhaps a demonstration or march? In either case it’s easy to lose oneself and get swept away in the moment. Beware the crowd, because crowds can turn.


Prayer of confession

Loving God, forgive us when we get swept along by the opinions of others and forget you.

Forgive us when the opinions of others mean more to us than your valuing of us and your call to live as you wish us to.

Forgive us when we say and do things in the heat of the moment of which we are later ashamed.

Help us to walk alongside you today and every day- thank you that your forgiveness is always there for us.



Hymn: Jesus calls us o’er tumult of this world’s restless sea (Stf 250)



Is 50: 4-7 

The Lord God has given me a disciple’s tongue,

for me to know how to give a word of comfort to the weary.

Morning by morning he makes my ear alert to listen like a disciple.

The Lord God has opened my ear and I have not resisted; I have not turned away.

I have offered my back to those who struck me,

my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard;

I have not turned my face away from insult and spitting.

The Lord God comes to my help; that is why insult has not touched me.

This is why I have set my face like flint and know that I will not be put to shame.

Matt 21: 1-11 

When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once””. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet:

“Say to the daughter of Zion:

Look, your King is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey,

And on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden”.

So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them. They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them. Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path. The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting:

“Hosanna to the son of David!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heavens!”

And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, “Who is this?” and the crowds answered, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee”.

Hymn: Ride on, ride on in Majesty (StF 265)

Reflection (Click to follow link)

Sit quietly for a few minutes, then read the gospel reading through a couple of times. Imagine you are someone in the scene. Perhaps someone in the crowd, or someone who wants to know what is going on, or one of the disciples. Try to visualise the event. What can you see, hear, touch? What do you think when you see Jesus? What does he look like? How do you feel about him riding on a donkey?

After a few minutes imagining the scene, imagine that you are speaking to Jesus in a quiet place. What do you want to say to him? What does he say to you?


Hymn: All glory, laud and honour (StF 262)


Prayers of response

Prayer activity: Doodle prayers.

Some of us find it much easier to think and reflect when we are doodling.

For this time of prayer, draw a cross on a piece of paper, then doodle the names and/or situations for which you would like to pray either on the cross itself or else around it. Use as many colours and make it as beautiful as you wish. Keep it and look at it again later as an aid to prayer.

Prayers of intercession (from Roots)

Lord Jesus,

We pray for all those who give sacrificially, whose lives are dedicated to serving others.

Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray for those working in areas of conflict, who bring food, shelter and healing to those in need, sometimes putting their lives on the line. And for those working so hard to keep communities functioning during this time of crisis.

Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray for those in our communities who need our unconditional love- those hurting from broken relationships, abuse, bullying; children and adults whose lives are bereft of love and hope.

Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray for those who are ill, those who have died, and those who are anxious or grieving.

Let us travel together and lighten the load.

We pray that we might be Easter people, laying down our lives to serve others,

Bringing the hope of the cross and resurrection.

Let us travel together and lighten the load.


The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: We are marching in the light of God (StF 483)

As we end our time of worship, let us celebrate the king, the liberator, the servant, the one who caused disturbance-

And let us do the same