The Sixth Sunday in Lent
The Sunday of the Passion with the Liturgy of the Palms
Palm Sunday is celebrated at the beginning of Holy Week. In the Three Year Series and the Revised Common Lectionary this, rather than the Fifth Sunday in Lent, is the Sunday of the Passion.
Liturgical colour: Red.
The Liturgy of the Palms
Whenever possible the community gathers in a place apart from the church building, so that all may go into the church in procession. Palms or other branches to be carried in the procession may be brought by the congregation, be given to people as they arrive, or they may receive them after the prayer of blessing.
All standing, the service begins with the following or another greeting
Grace and peace to you from God.
God fill you with truth and joy.
The presider uses these or other appropriate words.
E te whanau a te Karaiti/ Dear friends in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the church throughout the world. Christ entered Jerusalem this day in triumph, a triumph that led through suffering and death to resurrection and new life. In faith and love may we follow this messiah, the humble ruler, who comes riding on a donkey.
Let us pray.
God of our salvation,
help us to enter with joy
into the celebration of those mighty acts by which you have given us fullness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
Then one of the following is read. Year A – Matthew 21:1-11 Year B – Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16 Year C – Luke 19:28-40
The presider then says the following blessing.
The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.
It is right to praise you, Sovereign God, for the acts of love by which you have set us free. On this day Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly to suffer and to die and was greeted with branches of palm. Let these branches be for us symbols of martyrdom and majesty. May we who carry them follow Christ in the way of the cross which leads to life; through Christ who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
Then may be said or sung.
Let us go in peace.
Amen. We go in the name of Christ.
During the procession, all hold branches in their hands, and appropriate hymns, psalms (such as Psalm 118:19-29), or anthems are sung.
The Eucharist continues with the Collect of the Day, the readings and the Synoptic Passion account.
The reader of the Passion Gospel says
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to …
The customary responses before and after the Gospel are omitted. Specific roles may be assigned to individuals and to the congregation. The congregation may be seated for the first part of the Passion. At the verse which mentions the arrival at Golgotha (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33) all stand.
When the Liturgy of the Palms has begun this Eucharist, the creed and the confession are normally omitted.
Variation/Addition to the Great Thanksgiving: Passiontide.
Alternative introduction to the Lord’s Prayer:
Let us pray for the forgiveness of our sins as Jesus taught us.
Let us ask God to forgive our sins
and to help us forgive those who sin against us.