Morning Service for Palm Sunday 2022


In Mark’s account we hear that Jesus rode into Jerusalem after giving his disciples detailed instructions on where to find a colt for him to use. This arrival into Jerusalem is to be no casual affair, Jesus has been walking to Jerusalem ever since his transfiguration on the mountain to the north of Israel.

Morning Service for Palm Sunday 2022

HYMN – All glory Lord and Honour  NEH 509 – St Theodulph 

1 All glory, laud and honour

To thee, Redeemer, King,

To whom the lips of children

Made sweet hosannas ring.

2 Thou art the King of Israel,

Thou David’s royal Son,

Who in the Lord’s name comest,

The King and blessèd One.

3 The company of angels

Are praising thee on high,

And mortal men and all things

Created make reply.

4 The people of the Hebrews

With palms before thee went;

Our praise and prayer and anthems

Before thee we present.

5 To thee before thy passion

They sang their hymns of praise;

To thee, now high exalted,

Our melody we raise.

6 Thou didst accept their praises,

Accept the prayers we bring,

Who in all good delightest,

Thou good and gracious King..

Almighty God, 

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen


God shows his love for us in this: while we were still sinners. Christ died for us. Sure of reconciliation through the death of his Son, we confess our sins to God. Romans 5.8

Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess we have failed you as did your first disciples.

We ask for your mercy and your help.

When we take our ease rather than watch with you:

Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

When we bestow a kiss of peace yet nurse enmity in our hearts:

Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

When we strike at those who hurt us rather than stretch out our hands to bless:

Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

When we deny that we know you for fear of the world and its scorn:

Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Lord, have mercy 

COLLECT for Palm Sunday

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen


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 war-horse 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.   

HYMN – Ride on, ride in majesty  NEH 511 – Winchester New

1 Ride on, ride on in majesty!

Hark, all the tribes hosanna cry,

Thy humble beast pursues his road

With palms and scattered garments strowed.

2 Ride on, ride on in majesty!

In lowly pomp ride on to die:

O Christ, thy triumphs now begin

O’er captive death and conquered sin.

3 Ride on, ride on in majesty!

The wingèd squadrons of the sky

Look down with sad and wondering eyes

To see the approaching sacrifice.

4 Ride on, ride on in majesty!

Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;

The Father on his sapphire throne

Awaits his own anointed Son.

5 Ride on, ride on in majesty!

In lowly pomp ride on to die;

Bow thy meek head to mortal pain,

Then take, O God, thy power, and reign..


Luke 19.28-40

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”


To write his telling of the story of Jesus Luke drew on various sources, the most obvious of them was the Gospel of St Mark. On many occasions Luke does nothing more than précis Mark, but often he will reword and amend to get across his themes and ideas of what Jesus was about, and why he did the things he did. His account of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is a clear example of his tinkering.

In Mark’s account we hear that Jesus rode into Jerusalem after giving his disciples detailed instructions on where to find a colt for him to use. This arrival into Jerusalem is to be no casual affair, Jesus has been walking to Jerusalem ever since his transfiguration on the mountain to the north of Israel. That may well have been in October at Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths, now it is early April and he is about to arrive for what he has predicted will be the last week of his life. The climax to his ministry, when all his teaching will be concentrated and his mission revealed. Clearly the arrival is an important piece of street theatre, one which will give a statement of intent to those who rule Israel as clients of the Romans – the High Priests of the Temple and members of the Sanhedrin. They have been watching Jesus ever since he began healing people in Galilee. So this entry into Jerusalem is to be significant.

At this point some background might help. In 142BC Simon Maccabeus rode into Jerusalem at the head of an army after besieging the city. The first book of Maccabees says, “with praise and palm branches… and with hymns and songs.” A ‘triumphal entry’ you might say, Simon was High Priest and was about to be given the throne, after defeating an occupying power.

Is this to be another ‘triumphal entry’, by a new Son of David, a new Messiah?

Mark tells us that Jesus was accompanied by ‘many’, the multitude, the ‘ochlos’ or country peasantry. They, we are told, followed him from Jericho where he healed blind Bartimaeus. But no army here. And no war horse either, just a donkey. Or rather, a colt, a young horse or ass or donkey. The accent here is on the ‘young’. Mark’s word ‘pollos’ can be any one of a variety of young animals, horses, donkeys, camels, elephants, even children were called ‘pollos’ from time to time. The idea is something as far from a battle horse as possible.

The people yell, ‘Hosanna!’, another puzzle for the modern mind. Hosanna is used in Psalm 118, where the cry is addressed to God, meaning ‘Save now’, but it also is used elsewhere to kings. It seems to have evolved to greet pilgrims and famous Rabbis, becoming a general acclamation rather than a cry for help. Of course, this is Passover and these are pilgrims from the country. But Jesus has been described by others as Son of David – which use of the word is intended. Mark holds the tension by having the crowd shout, ‘Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming.’ No revolution here.

After the entry Luke has Jesus go straight to the Temple and then begin to cleanse it, turning over tables and the like. But significantly he has changed Mark once again, Mark merely has Jesus enter the Temple, look around and then return to Bethany. Mark sets up the tension, creates the feeling of a popular rising with a popular prophet/king, and then dispels it with an anticlimax. Now is not the moment, one piece of theatre at a time. Jesus needs this week to complete what he needs to do, to fulfil his mission, he must get to the passover.

The subtleties of the telling of this event may entrance the theologian, but what earthly use is it to us? I believe that It helps us to understand the dangerous line Jesus was treading, between a secular revolution and a religious protest movement, between a political demand for justice and a godly call for compassion. This week is, writ large, what Jesus’ life has been all about since he was baptised and the Spirit of God descended upon him – a call to acknowledge the demands of God, not in a crude transfer of power from one tyrant to another, but in recognition that to acknowledge God means to acknowledge his command for everyone to live forgiving, caring, compassionate lives – and to live that out in every situation we may face, to the best of our heart and mind and soul and strength.

And that’s a principle that works for today as it did for first century Palestine.


Though he was divine, he did not cling to equality with God,

but made himself nothing. Taking the form of a slave,

he was born in human likeness. He humbled himself,

and was obedient to death even the death of the cross.

Therefore God has raised him on high, and given him the name above every name:

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.  Amen. Philippians 2.9-11

HYMN – Who is this in garments gory  H&S 111 – Ebenezer

1. Who is this with garments gory,

Triumphing from Bozrah’s way;

This that weareth robes of glory,

Bright with more than victory’s ray?

Who is this unwearied comer

From his journey’s sultry length,

Traveling through Idumè’s summer

In the greatness of His strength?

2. Wherefore red in Thine apparel

Like the conquerors of the earth,

And arrayed like those who carol

O’er the reeking vineyard’s mirth?

Who art Thou, the valleys seeking

Where our peaceful harvests wave?

I, in righteous anger speaking,

I, the mighty One to save.

3. I, that of the raging heathen

Trod the winepress all alone,

Now in victor garlands wreathen

Coming to redeem Mine own:

I am He with sprinkled raiment,

Glorious for My vengeance hour,

Ransoming, with priceless payment,

And delivering with power.

4. Hail! All hail! Thou Lord of Glory!

Thee, our Father, Thee we own;

Abraham heard not of our story,

Israel ne’er our name hath known.

But, Redeemer, Thou hast sought us,

Thou hast heard Thy children’s wail,

Thou with Thy dear blood hast bought us:

Hail! Thou mighty victor, hail!


Dear Lord on Palm Sunday we remember that many who claimed you as King on that day, shouted “Crucify Him” by the end of the week. Confirm our faith that it will remain constant and we offer our prayers to you. We pray for the Christian church worldwide and ask for your blessing on those ministering in troubled, war areas and places where worship is forbidden. Bless our benefice and churches here and give guidance and strength to all those who contribute in many ways to them.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. 

Lord we bring before you all human society, the countries of the world and all who govern them. We pray for those places where there is war and especially for the countries of Ukraine and Russia. We hold before you the peoples of those countries, every child and every adult and we cry out for peace. Protect those who only desire and deserve to live in security and safety. Change the hearts of those set on violence and aggression and fill leaders with the wisdom that leads to peace. Father of us all hear our prayer and bring us peace and make us whole.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. 

We pray for our local community and all who live and work here. We thank you for all the privileges and benefits we receive. We pray for local councillors and those involved in local government and ask that they deal fairly and with understanding the people they help. Bless our families and friends, those about us now and those we will meet in the coming week. Thank you God for all those who love us, pray for us and help us on our way.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. 

We bring before you all those suffering in body, mind or spirit. We pray for those who fear for their lives, the homeless and the refugees, for the wounded and sick and the dying. We name any known to us who need your comfort………… Please bring them relief from their pain, your strength in their weakness and peace in their lives.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

We hold in your presence God, all who mourn and are bereaved, we pray that they may know the comfort of your presence. We pray now for ourselves and that you will confirm our faith and that our love for you may remain constant and that we may not falter from always acknowledging you as King.

Merciful father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven, 

hallowed be your name, 

your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins 

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.

If you have a palm cross from a previous year you may like to find it and say with us the prayer we use to bless the palms:

God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ 

entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die;

let these palms 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 is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

HYMN – When I survey the wondrous cross  NEH 95 – Rockingham

1 When I survey the wondrous Cross,

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ my God;

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to his blood.

3 See from his head, his hands, his feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4 His dying crimson like a robe,

Spreads o’er his body on the Tree;

Then I am dead to all the globe,

And all the globe is dead to me.

5 Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.


Christ crucified draw you to himself,

to find in him a sure ground for faith,

a firm support for hope,

and the assurance of sins forgiven; 

and the blessing of God almighty, 

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 

be among you, and remain with you always. Amen

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