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March 24, 2023 – Palm Sunday

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This bulletin includes the order of service for Palm Sunday. The items in bold italics are intended for audience response.


The Liturgy of the Palms

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.

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.

The Gospel of the Palm

Please hold up your palms.

A reading from the gospel according to Mark.

1-3 When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’”

4-7 They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. Some of those standing there said, “What are you doing untying that colt?” The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted.

8-10 The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,

Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!

11 He entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in. But by now it was late, so he went back to Bethany with the Twelve.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give God 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 of palm 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.

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The Processional

Let us go forth in peace.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Hymn H-154 “All glory, laud, and honor:

1: Thou art the King of Is-ra-el, thou Da-vid’s royal Son, who in the Lord’s Name com-est, the King and Bless-ed One. (Refrain)

2: The com-pa-ny of an-gels is prais-ing thee on high; and we with all cre–a-tion in cho-rus make re-ply. (Refrain)

3: The peo-ple of the He-brews With palms be-fore thee went Our praise and prayers and an-thems Be-fore thee we pre-sent. (Refrain)

Text: Theodulph of Orleans (d. 821); tr. John Mason Neale (1818-1866), alt.; Music: Melchior Teschner (1584-1635), alt. This selection is in the public domain. Copyright Holder (Arrangement): William Henry Monk (1823-1889) Licenses for Use: Copyright CCLI #20716203; CCLI Streaming # 20716210

The Collect of the Day 

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

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.

The Lessons

Old Testament
Isaiah 50:4-9a

A reading from the book of Isaiah

4The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. 5The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. 6I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. 7The Lord Godhelps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31:9-16

We follow the responsive recitation method for the Psalm, where the leader alternates verses with the congregation. In reading, a distinct pause should be made at the asterisk. The items in bold italics are intended for audience response.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *
       my eye is consumed with sorrow,
       and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing; *
       my strength fails me because of affliction,
       and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and
     even to my neighbors,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
     when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
       I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around; *
        they put their heads together against me;
        they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *
        I have said, “You are my God.

15 My times are in your hand; *
        rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
        and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
        and in your loving-kindness save me.”

Philippians 2:5-11

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Passion Gospel

The Passion Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
(You may remain seated until the arrival at Golgotha – the congregation reads the bold italic parts)

Anointing His Head

Narrator: In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week.

High Priests: “We don’t want the crowds up in arms,” 

Narrator: Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves.

Guests: That’s criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.

Narrator: They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.

Jesus: Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.

Narrator: Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the cabal of high priests, determined to betray him. They couldn’t believe their ears, and promised to pay him well. He started looking for just the right moment to hand him over. 

Traitor to the Son of Man

Narrator: On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the day they prepare the Passover sacrifice, his disciples asked him,

Disciples: “Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?”

Narrator: He directed two of his disciples, 

Jesus: “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare for us there.”

Narrator: The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal. After sunset he came with the Twelve. As they were at the supper table eating, Jesus said, 

Jesus: “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators, one who at this moment is eating with me.”

Narrator: Stunned, they started asking, one after another, 

Disciples: “It isn’t me, is it?”

Jesus: “It’s one of the Twelve, one who eats with me out of the same bowl. In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born Petthan do this!”

“This Is My Body”

Narrator: In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said,

Take, this is my body.

Narrator: Taking the chalice, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. He said,

This is my blood,
God’s new covenant,
Poured out for many people.

“I’ll not be drinking wine again until the new day when I drink it in the kingdom of God.”

Narrator: They sang a hymn and then went directly to Mount Olives. 

Narrator: Jesus told them, 

Jesus: “You’re all going to feel that your world is falling apart and that it’s my fault. There’s a Scripture that says,

I will strike the shepherd;
The sheep will scatter.

“But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”

Narrator: Peter blurted out, 

Peter: “Even if everyone else is ashamed of you when things fall to pieces, I won’t be.”

Jesus: “Don’t be so sure. Today, this very night in fact, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

Narrator: He blustered in protest,

Peter: “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” 

Narrator: All the others said the same thing.


Narrator: They came to an area called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, 

Jesus: “Sit here while I pray.” 

Narrator: He took Peter, James, and John with him. He sank into a pit of suffocating darkness. He told them, 

Jesus: “I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

Narrator: Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: 

Jesus: “Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?”

Narrator: He came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, 

Jesus: “Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

Narrator: He then went back and prayed the same prayer. Returning, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open, and they didn’t have a plausible excuse.

Narrator: He came back a third time and said, 

Jesus: “Are you going to sleep all night? No—you’ve slept long enough. Time’s up. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up. Let’s get going. My betrayer has arrived.”

A Bunch of Thugs

Narrator: No sooner were the words out of his mouth when Judas, the one out of the Twelve, showed up, and with him a bunch of thugs, sent by the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders, brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a signal with them: 

Judas: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him. Make sure he doesn’t get away.” 

Narrator: He went straight to Jesus and said,

Judas: “Rabbi!” 

Narrator: and kissed him. The others then grabbed him and roughed him up. One of the men standing there unsheathed his sword, swung, and came down on the Chief Priest’s servant, lopping off the man’s ear. Jesus said to them, 

Jesus: “What is this, coming after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I’ve been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. What you in fact have done is confirm the prophetic writings.” 

Narrator: All the disciples bailed on him.

Narrator: A young man was following along. All he had on was a bedsheet. Some of the men grabbed him but he got away, running off naked, leaving them holding the sheet.

Condemned to Death

Narrator: They led Jesus to the Chief Priest, where the high priests, religious leaders, and scholars had gathered together. Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard, where he mingled with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

Narrator: The high priests conspiring with the Jewish Council looked high and low for evidence against Jesus by which they could sentence him to death. They found nothing. Plenty of people were willing to bring in false charges, but nothing added up, and they ended up canceling each other out. Then a few of them stood up and lied: 

False Witnesses: “We heard him say, ‘I am going to tear down this Temple, built by hard labor, and in three days build another without lifting a hand.’” 

Narrator: But even they couldn’t agree exactly.

Narrator: In the middle of this, the Chief Priest stood up and asked Jesus, 

Chief Priest: “What do you have to say to the accusation?” 

Narrator: Jesus was silent. He said nothing.

Narrator: The Chief Priest tried again, this time asking, 

Chief Priest: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?”

Jesus: “Yes, I am, and you’ll see it yourself:

The Son of Man seated
At the right hand of the Mighty One,
Arriving on the clouds of heaven.”

Narrator: The Chief Priest lost his temper. Ripping his clothes, he yelled, 

Chief Priest: “Did you hear that? After that do we need witnesses? You heard the blasphemy. Are you going to stand for it?”

Narrator: They condemned him, one and all. The sentence: death.

Narrator: Some of them started spitting at him. They blindfolded his eyes, then hit him, saying, 

Crowd: “Who hit you? Prophesy!” 

Narrator: The guards, punching and slapping, took him away.

The Rooster Crowed

Narrator: While all this was going on, Peter was down in the courtyard. One of the Chief Priest’s servant girls came in and, seeing Peter warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, 

Servant Girl: “You were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”

Narrator: He denied it:

Peter: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

Narrator: He went out on the porch. A rooster crowed.

Narrator: The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, 

Servant Girl: “He’s one of them.” 

Narrator: He denied it again.

Narrator: After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again. 

Bystanders: “You’ve got to be one of them. You’ve got ‘Galilean’ written all over you.”

Narrator: Now Peter got really nervous and swore, 

Peter: “I never laid eyes on this man you’re talking about.” 

Narrator: Just then the rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, 

Jesus: “Before a rooster crows twice, you’ll deny me three times.” 

Narrator: He collapsed in tears.

Standing Before Pilate

Narrator: At dawn’s first light, the high priests, with the religious leaders and scholars, arranged a conference with the entire Jewish Council. After tying Jesus securely, they took him out and presented him to Pilate.

Narrator: Pilate asked him, 

Pilate: “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”

Jesus: “If you say so.” 

Narrator: The high priests let loose a barrage of accusations.

Narrator: Pilate asked again, 

Pilate: “Aren’t you going to answer anything? That’s quite a list of accusations.” 

Narrator: Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed.

Narrator:  It was a custom at the Feast to release a prisoner, anyone the people asked for. There was one prisoner called Barabbas, locked up with the insurrectionists who had committed murder during the uprising against Rome. As the crowd came up and began to present its petition for him to release a prisoner, Pilate anticipated them: 

Pilate: “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews to you?” 

Narrator: Pilate knew by this time that it was through sheer spite that the high priests had turned Jesus over to him.

Narrator: But the high priests by then had worked up the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. Pilate came back, 

Pilate: “So what do I do with this man you call King of the Jews?”

Narrator: They yelled, 

Crowd: “Nail him to a cross!”

Narrator: Pilate objected, 

Pilate: “But for what crime?”

Narrator: But they yelled all the louder, 

Crowd: “Nail him to a cross!”

Narrator: Pilate gave the crowd what it wanted, set Barabbas free and turned Jesus over for whipping and crucifixion.

Narrator: The soldiers took Jesus into the palace (called Praetorium) and called together the entire brigade. They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: 

Soldiers: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” 

Narrator: They banged on his head with a club, spit on him, and knelt down in mock worship. After they had had their fun, they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they marched out to nail him to the cross.

The Crucifixion

Narrator: There was a man walking by, coming from work, Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. They made him carry Jesus’ cross.

Narrator: The soldiers brought Jesus to Golgotha (please stand as you are able) , meaning “Skull Hill.” They offered him a mild painkiller (wine mixed with myrrh), but he wouldn’t take it. And they nailed him to the cross. They divided up his clothes and threw dice to see who would get them.

Narrator: They nailed him up at nine o’clock in the morning. The charge against him 


was scrawled across a sign. Along with him, they crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: 

Passers By: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!”

Narrator: The high priests, along with the religion scholars, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: 

High Priests & Religion Scholars: “He saved others—but he can’t save himself! Messiah, is he? King of Israel? Then let him climb down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then!” 

Narrator: Even the men crucified alongside him joined in the mockery.

Narrator: At noon the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. At three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, 

Jesus: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” 

Narrator: which means, 

Jesus: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Narrator: Some of the bystanders who heard him said,

Bystanders: “Listen, he’s calling for Elijah.” 

Narrator: Someone ran off, soaked a sponge in sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, 

Someone: “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”

Narrator: But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. 

Narrator: At that moment the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle. When the Roman captain standing guard in front of him saw that he had quit breathing, he said, 

Roman Captain: “This has to be the Son of God!”

Taken to a Tomb

Narrator: There were women watching from a distance, among them Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women followed and served him, and had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Narrator: Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He was one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.Narrator: Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Joses, watched the burial.


The Prayers of the People (Form VI)

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For all people in their daily life and work;
For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

For this community, the nation, and the world;
For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

For the just and proper use of your creation;
For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

For Michael our Presiding Bishop, and Carlye our Bishop; and for all bishops and other ministers;
For all who serve God in his Church.

For the special needs and concerns of this congregation.

Silence.   The People may add their own petitions

Hear us, Lord;
For your mercy is great.

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life.

Silence.  The People may add their own thanksgivings

We will exalt you, O God our King;
And praise your Name for ever and ever.

We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom.

Silence. The People may add their own petitions

Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;
Who put their trust in you.

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

The Peace 

The peace of our Savior be always with you.
And also with you. 


The Holy Communion

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.   Ephesians 5:2

During the Offertory, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.


(Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), para. of Psalm 117; Music: Old 100th, melody from Pseaumes octante trois de David, 1551, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois (1510?-1561?); Licensed for Use: CCLI Copyright License 20716203; CCLI Streaming License 20716210

Representatives of the congregation bring the people’s offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the Altar. The people stand while the offerings are presented.

At the Presentation 

All things come of you, O Lord;
And of your own have we given you. 

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Now let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
How good it is to give thanks and praise.

I invite all here who long for the grace and blessing of God through our Savior Jesus Christ, to join together in this Prayer for Communion.

Blessed Jesus, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I offer my praise and thanksgiving. I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

And now, in the words that Jesus taught us, we pray:

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.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

These are the gifts of God for you, the people of God.

(AT THE COMMUNION: We encounter the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this Sacrament of Holy Communion. All who desire a closer relationship with God are encouraged to come forward: for a Blessing or, if you are baptized, for the Bread and Wine. NOTE: Until all restrictions have been lifted, only the bread is offered for communion.)

(Please wait for an usher until forming a distanced line in the aisle and come forward to receive from the priest.)

Post-Communion Prayer 

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

The Blessing 

Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor everyone; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and the blessing of God Almighty, (+) the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen 

The Recessional

Hymn H-154 “All glory, laud, and honor:

4: To thee be-fore thy pas-sion they sang their hymns of praise; to thee, now high ex-alt-ed, our mel-o-dy we raise. (Refrain)

5: Thou didst ac-cept their prais-es ac-cept the prayers we bring who in all good de-light-est thou good and gra-cious King. (Refrain)

The Dismissal 

Let us go forth in the name of Christ. Thanks be to God.

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