Palm Sunday – Morning Prayer

The service printed here is from The Book of Common Prayer (BCP). To download a printable, PDF version of this bulletin, CLICK HERE.

High-quality recordings of the service music are included for your listening pleasure. If you were not able to join us for the Zoom teleconference, use these recordings to sing along or listen to while you pray.

The Liturgy of the Branches

Celebrant: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
People: Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.
Celebrant: Let us pray. Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading from Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately. This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

The Blessing of the Branches

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Celebrant: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
People: Hosanna in the highest.
Celebrant: Let us go forth in peace.
People: In the name of Christ. Amen.

Hymn 154 “All glory, laud and honor” sung by all; tune: Valet will ich dir geben; 

Refrain: All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King!
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel, thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest, the King and Blessèd One. Refrain

The company of angels is praising thee on high;
And we with all creation in chorus make reply. Refrain

The people of the Hebrews with palms before thee went;
Our praise and prayers and anthems before thee we present. Refrain

To thee before thy passion they sang their hymns of praise;
To thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise. Refrain

Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest, thou good and gracious King. Refrain

Morning Prayer Rite II

Opening Sentence:
Celebrant: Jesus said, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The Confession of Sin
Celebrant: Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
People: Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

 The Absolution
Celebrant: Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen

Invitatory and Psalter
Officiant: Lord, open our lips.
People: And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
All: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Venite    Sung by all;  Tune: Duke Street

O come and sing unto the Lord, And in his saving strength rejoice,
Come now before him giving thanks, And raise glad psalms with every voice.

The Lord is great, above all gods; The earth, the hills are in his hand;
The sea is his and he made it, His hands prepared all the dry land.

Come, let us worship and fall down and kneel before our Maker’s throne;
We are the people of his field, the sheep whom he has made his own.

O let the whole earth stand in awe of God arrayed in holiness;
He cometh yet to judge the world, to judge with truth and righteousness.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom earth and heav’n adore.
Be glory, as it was of old, is now, and shall be evermore. Amen.

Psalm 24  Domini est terra

1 The earth is the LORD’S and all that is in it, *
the world and all who dwell therein.
2 For it is he who founded it upon the seas *
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
3 “Who can ascend the hill of the LORD? *
and who can stand in his holy place?”
4 “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud.
5 They shall receive a blessing from the LORD *
and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, *
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
8 “Who is this King of glory?” *
“The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.”
9 Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 “Who is he, this King of glory?” *
“The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.”

Psalm 29   Afferte Domino

1 Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name; *
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; *
the LORD is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7  The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8 The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9 And in the temple of the LORD *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *
the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11 The LORD shall give strength to his people; *
the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The First Lesson Zechariah 9:9-12

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

Canticle 14: Prayer of Manasseh; sung by all; Tune: Kingsfold

O Lord who rules the heaven’s hosts, O God of Abraham,
Lord God of Isaac, Jacob, and of all their righteous clan;
You made the heavens and formed the earth with all their vast array;
Before you all things quake with fear and tremble in dismay.

But yet your love surpasses all the measure of our mind;
You, Lord, are patient, merciful, and infinitely kind.
You do not judge as we deserve, and in your goodness, Lord,
You offer pardon that we may repent and be restored.

And now, O Lord, I bend my knee and make my sure appeal;
For I have sinned, Lord, and I know my wickedness too well.
I, therefore, make this prayer to you: Forgive me, Lord, forgive;
Let me not perish in my sin, nor let me die but live.

All contrite hearts have you as God, in me your love is shown;
I, though unworthy, shall be saved, thus is your love made known.
I sing your praise unceasingly, both now and all my days.
The powers of heaven sing your praise; and glory age to age.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom we adore
Be Glory, as it was, is now, and shall be evermore. Amen.

The New Testament Lesson 1 Timothy 6:12-16

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16: The Song of Zechariah; Sung by all; Tune: Truro

Blessed be Israel’s Lord and God, for he has come and freed his own;
He sent a mighty savior born of David’s house and for his throne.

He promised through his prophets once to save us from our foes’ intent;
He promised to show mercy and recall his holy covenant.

He swore this oath to Abraham, to set us free from hostile might,
To worship him, free from all fear, holy and righteous in his sight.

And you, my child, shall now be called the prophet to prepare his way,
To teach salvation to his own by putting all their sins away.

In the compassion of our God the heavenly dawn shall bring release,
To shine on those who dwell in fear and guide us in the way of peace.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom earth and heav’n adore.
Be glory, as it was of old, is now, and shall be evermore. Amen.

The Homily   The Rev. Sallie Schisler, Christ Church-Ironton

On Palm Sunday, the daily lectionary which we’re using for our service of Morning Prayer doesn’t include any of the long passion narratives from the gospels, although we will hear John’s account on Good Friday.

Instead, our important reading today comes from the 9th chapter of the book of Zechariah, which includes the prophecy that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem… fulfills.

A little background on the book of Zechariah. As composed, it  falls into two major sections. The date for the material in “First Zechariah,” which includes Chapters 1-8, is placed in the second to the fourth years of King Darius, who ruled the Persian empire from 522-486 BCE, thus the text was probably written around 520 BCE, when Persia was the greatest empire the world had ever known; much to Judah’s expense.

Dating of the material in “Second Zechariah,” which includes Chapters 9-14, from which our lesson comes this morning isn’t so easy, but Chapters 9-11 and 12-14, are each introduced as “An Oracle;” otherwise known as prophecy. Chapter 9 leads off with a series of prophetic sayings against a string of foreign cities whose residents are enemies of Jerusalem. The LORD is portrayed as the “Divine Warrior,” sweeping down the Mediterranean coast and destroying Jerusalem’s enemies as he passes through.

And that’s the point where the lesson for today picks up. News of the destruction of Persia’s enemies is cause for rejoicing in Jerusalem, here named “daughter Zion” or “daughter Jerusalem.” There’s another cause for rejoicing. The king, portrayed as triumphant and victorious, enters the city. Yet, there’s something unusual about this king. He doesn’t come mounted on a white charger, riding high and looking out over his people. This king comes “humble and riding on a donkey.”

But it’s clear, that even though this is a king of a different sort, this is the king! Verse 10 sounds the familiar messianic melodies from the royal psalms and the earlier prophets. This king will initiate a disarmament program; his rule will result in shalom or peace for all nations which will extend “from sea to shining sea.”

Zechariah 9 concludes with more good news for the people of Jerusalem, announcing freedom for prisoners, further victories; and goodness and beauty for all.

All four of the Gospels identify Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the events of Palm Sunday as the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy.

The one who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey was the long-awaited King or Messiah, the one promised in all the writings of the Old Testament.

As Christ-ians or Messiah-ists, we’re people who confess that Jesus who was crucified and raised from the dead, He is our Messiah, our King, our Master. We confess that through his death Jesus saved us from sin and all the powers of evil.

Today, we’re the people who shout Hosanna, and thanking God for sending  Jesus to be the Messiah of the world so that we, as Messiah-people, don’t need to live haunted by guilt; and possess the knowledge that death isn’t our end, but a new beginning. It’s these promises that mean we can raise our blessed branches high in joy.

No matter how full the world around us is of disease and death, we’re people who believe that our king has come, not to conquer the world, but to save the world.

As we sit by our computers and our tv sets these days, it’s hard to see the coming king, but he’s there, moving in great humility through the hands and feet of first responders, doctors, nurses and therapists to bring life, hope and healing to a world that needs it so badly.

Rejoice, people of the river cities, we have not been abandoned. Our king has come, and we must be quick to say. “Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.” Amen

The Announcements

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer Traditional

Suffrages A

Officiant: Show us your mercy, O Lord;
People: And grant us your salvation.
Officiant: Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
People: Let your people sing with joy.
Officiant: Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
People: For only in you can we live in safety.
Officiant: Lord, keep this nation under your care;
People: And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Officiant: Let your way be known upon earth;
People: Your saving health among all nations.
Officiant: Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
People: Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Officiant: Create in us clean hearts, O God;
People: And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Collect of the Day: Palm Sunday
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who places solitary persons in families: We commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech you, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in marriage, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Office Hymn 494 “Crown him with many crowns” Sung by all; Tune: Diademata

Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own;
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown him the Son of God before the worlds began,
And ye, who tread where he hath trod, crown him the Son of man;
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for his own, that all in him may rest.

Crown him the Lord of life, who triumphed o’er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those he came to save;
His glories now we sing who died, and rose on high,
Who died, eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.

Crown him of lords the Lord, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

Crown him the Lord of heaven, enthroned in worlds above;
Crown him the King, to whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown him with many crowns, as thrones before him fall,
Crown him, ye kings, with many crowns, for he is King of all.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Dismissal and Grace
Officiant: Let us bless the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Officiant: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

All Saints' Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, OH