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Blessings of the Palms - Year A B C
For Use On Palm-Passion Sunday
At An Ecumenical Gathering
BLESSING OF THE PALMS The Palm branches, leaves, and crosses are brought to the Park and await distribution following the blessing. Due to the ecumenical nature of this service The "celebrant" changes with each major section of the liturgy. OPENING WORDS AND PRAYER Celebrant Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord All Hosanna in the Highest Celebrant Dear friends in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of our Lord's Paschal mystery. On this day our Lord Jesus Christ entered into the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph. The people welcomed him with palms and shouts of praise, but the path before him led to self giving, suffering and death. Today we greet Jesus as our King, although we know His crown is thorns and His throne a cross. We follow Him this week from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by the dark road of suffering and death, knowing that as we are united with him in his suffering on the cross we also share with him in the resurrection. Celebrant Let us pray. All 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 Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen THE READING OF THE WORD (Matthew 21:1-11) Celebrant The Lord be with you All And also with you. Celebrant A reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew All Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ. Celebrant (NRSV) 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 fulfill 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." * GOSPEL RESPONSE - An appropriate song by the Community Choir. BLESSING AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE PALMS Celebrant God be with you. All And also with you. Celebrant Let us give thanks to God our Creator. All It is right to give God our thanks and praise. Celebrant Almighty and Loving God, it is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through Christ Jesus our Saviour. The Hebrews acclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and King with palm branches in their hands, crying "Hosanna in the highest". We pray you, O Lord, bless these branches and make them holy. May we also, carrying them forth from this place and crying out "Hosanna in the Highest" and "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord", acclaim Jesus as our Messiah and King and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life. Amen. HYMN: We suggest a well know song like "This Is The Day" or a suitable Palm Sunday anthem be sung as the Palm Branches and Crosses are distributed. GOING FORTH Celebrant Let us go in the peace of Christ and acclaim him as our Lord and King. All Amen. Celebrant The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. All And also with you.
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