April 2, 2023 – Palm/Passion Sunday / Sixth Sunday in Lent

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Liturgy of the Palms

Matthew 21:1–11
Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey; the people shout: Hosanna!

Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

Liturgy of the Passion

Isaiah 50:4–9a
The Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Psalm 31:9–16
Be gracious, Lord; my enemies assail me; my life is in your hand.

Philippians 2:5–11
Seek the mind of Christ, who was humble, but exalted by God.

Matthew 26:14—27:66
After the Passover meal, Jesus is betrayed, tried, and crucified.

or Matthew 27:11–54
[abbreviated reading] Jesus is tried and crucified.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

With crowds from ancient times we cry,
Hosanna! Save us!
O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good!
God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you in the house of the Lord!

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the mercy you so freely offer us
through the grace of our baptism—
safe passage through the sea,
justice rolling down like water,
deliverance from sin and death forever.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
teach us to love and serve you faithfully
and reconcile us to you and to one another
as members of one, living body;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
Christ comes to the center of our busy, conflicted lives.
He comes in triumph and humility.
He comes in glory and in mercy.
He comes knowing the best of who we are,
and he comes knowing our worst.
Trusting in God’s grace,
let us make our confession.

Christ our Redeemer,
try as we might,
we do not follow your example.
We do not empty ourselves,
we do not humble ourselves,
we are not obedient.
You simply ask us to care about
this world you created,
but we fail to do even that.
Forgive us.
You have given us the greatest,
clearest example of love.
Heal us, and help us to follow.

Lifting water from the font:
Even in the face of hatred and violence,
we know that Christ loves us.
Even when enduring death,
Christ cares for us;
Christ forgives us.
Thanks be to the God of mercy.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness,
guide us by your Word through these forty days,
and minister to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we may be reformed,
restored, and renewed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15

After the readings:
We proclaim Christ crucified—
the wisdom and power of God.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 1:23–25


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
we bend our knees and lift up our hearts,
giving glory to God forever. Amen.
Philippians 2:9–11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

God’s reconciling act in Jesus Christ is a mystery
which the Scriptures describe in various ways.
It is called the sacrifice of a lamb,
a shepherd’s life given for his sheep,
atonement by a priest;
again it is ransom of a slave, payment of debt,
vicarious satisfaction of a legal penalty,
and victory over the powers of evil.
These are expressions of a truth
which remains beyond the reach of all theory
in the depths of God’s love for humankind.
They reveal the gravity, cost,
and sure achievement of God’s reconciling work.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.09

Prayers of Intercession

In Christ Jesus, we have a great high priest
who knows our weakness and suffering;
therefore, with boldness, let us seek God’s grace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for the church . . .
Let the mind of Christ Jesus be in us—
giving away the riches of heavenly glory,
taking the place of humble service on earth.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for the earth . . .
Let the whole earth tremble this day—
not with the fear of destruction,
but with the hope of redemption.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for all nations . . .
Let the nations see your suffering servant—
who vindicates victims of violence,
who sustains the weary with a word.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for this community . . .
Let us stand with those who suffer—
the outcast, despised, and forsaken;
prisoners, and those condemned to death.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With boldness, we pray for loved ones . . .
Let your face shine upon the weak—
those who spend their lives in sorrow,
those whose souls and bodies waste away.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

To you, O God, we entrust these prayers,
knowing that you alone can provide
grace to help in our time of need;
in the name of our great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus Christ, our Sovereign and Savior. Amen.
Hebrews 4:14–16

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Jesus says: Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Matthew 6:21

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
God of grace,
you have gifted us with life in Christ.
Today we bring the gifts of our work
and the gifts of our hearts.
May all that we bring and all that we are
be your means of grace in the world,
that all people may encounter your good news. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
In our suffering and sorrow, we trust in your saving power,
for you are good and gracious; our lives are in your hands.
With you as our helper, we will not be put to shame.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Betrayed and denied by those whom he loved,
Jesus surrendered himself to death—death on a cross.
There he gave his life in love for the world.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

By your Spirit, let us share the mind of Christ,
who emptied himself, suffering shame and death,
so that all might know the fullness of your glory.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

We give you thanks, Holy One,
for the body and blood of our Lord,
given with love for the world.
Send us out in your Spirit
to share the good news of salvation
and give ourselves for others;
in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the steadfast love of God,
the abundant grace of Jesus Christ,
and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you this day and always. Amen.
Psalm 51:1, 11

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
If any wish to be my disciples
let them take up the cross
and follow me. Amen.
Mark 8:34

“Peter’s Denial”

Simon Bening, ca. 1525–1530

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • All Glory, Laud, and Honor (G) VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN GTG 196, PH 88
  • Hosanna, Loud Hosanna (G) ELLACOMBE GTG 197, PH 89
  • Filled with Excitement / Mantos y palmas (G) HOSANNA GTG 199
  • Hosanna al Hijo de David / Hosanna to Royal David’s Son (G) ANÓNIMA SSS 141


  • Seek Ye First (E) LAFFERTY GTG 175, PH 333
  • In an Age of Twisted Values (E) CHURCH UNITED GTG 345
  • Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak (O) CANONBURY GTG 722, PH 426
  • Bless That Wonderful Name of Jesus (E) Stephen Key, AAHH 295


  • An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare (G) O WALY WALY GTG 202, PH 94
  • Bread of the World in Mercy Broken (E) RENDEZ À DIEU GTG 499, PH 502
  • In Remembrance of Me (E) RED GTG 521
  • Author of Life Divine (EG) AUTHOR WAS 3166


  • Ride On! Ride On in Majesty! (G) ST. DROSTANE, THE KING’S MAJESTY GTG 198; PH 91, 9
  • A Cheering, Chanting, Dizzy Crowd (G) CHRISTIAN LOVE GTG 200
  • When Peace Like a River (OEG) VILLE DU HAVRE GTG 840
  • Jesus, I Live to You (E) LAKE ENON NCH 457

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 118:1–2, 19–29

  • Este es el día / This Is the Day [ESTE ES EL DÍA]; GTG 391, SSS 191
  • This Is the Day the Lord Hath Made [NUN DANKET ALL’]; GTG 681, PH 230, PAS 118E
  • The Glorious Gates of Righteousness [ZERAH]; PAS 118A
  • Give Thanks to God for All His Goodness [RENDEZ À DIEU / GENEVAN 98/118]; PAS 118H, LUYH 196
  • I Thank You, Lord, for You Are Good [ D with refrain]; SGP 174
  • Blessed, Yes, Blessed Is the One [PROMISED ONE]; PP 226
  • Hail and Hosanna!; PAS 118B, LUYH 147, SSS 147–148 (refrain only)
  • This Is the Day the Lord Has Made; PAS 118G
  • Hosanna in the Highest [VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN]; HTP1 110
  • Fling Wide the Gates; PSA 118
  • Blest Is the One Who Comes; SP 52
  • This Is the Day / Éste es el día; SSS 379 (refrain only)

Psalm 31:9–16

  • You Are My Refuge, Faithful God [MORNING SONG/CONSOLATION]; GTG 214
  • Be Gracious to Me, O My Lord [CMD]; SGP 49, setting 2
  • Be Gracious, Lord, for I, in Anguish [WAYFARING STRANGER]; PP 58 (with refrain), PCW 31b (as
  • I Give My Spirit; PAS 31A
  • Into Your Hands, O Lord; SP 17
  • Haz resplandecer / Make Your Face to Shine upon Your Servant [GLÁUCIA]; GTG 811, PAS 31D, SSS 514–515
  • My Times Are in Your Hands [MARGARET]; PAS 31C, LUYH 458
  • Have Mercy on Me, O God [HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN]; HTP1 112

Organ Music

  • “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” Organ Expressions for Palm Sunday through Eastertide, Michael Shea, LOR (ME)
  • “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” Organ Impressions for the Church Year, Jacob B. Weber, AF (E)
  • “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” Orgelchoral I, II, & III, Ernst Pepping, Schott (ME)
  • “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” 6 Lenten Chorales for Organ, Paul Kickstat, MSM (E)
  • “My Song Is Love Unknown,” RHOSYMEDRE, Augsburg Organ Library: Lent, R. Vaughan
    Williams, AF (M)
  • “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” GETHSEMANE, Augsburg Organ Library: Lent, David Cherwien, AF (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Ride On, King Jesus!,” arr. Moses Hogan, HAL, SATB div, pno (MA)
  • “Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord,” Lloyd Larson, LOR, SATB, child, pno (ME)
  • “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” arr. Caleb French, BP, SATB, pno (M)
  • “Let This Mind Be in You,” Craig Courtney, BP, SATB, pno (M)
  • “Blessed Is He Who Cometh,” Charles Gounod, CPDL, SATB div, solo, org (M)
  • “Hosanna to Son of David,” Michael Barrett and Stan Pethel, SHAW, SATB, pno, vln, cl, vc, perc (M)
  • “Christus Factus Est,” Felice Anerio, HAL, SATB, acap (M)
  • “Motet for Passion Sunday,” Frank Ferko, ECS, SATB, acap (A)
  • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Alice Parker, SATB div, solo, keybd or hp (MA)

Handbell Music

  • “Seek Ye First,” Jeffrey Honoré, 3–5 oct, CON, 97-6809, Level 2
  • “In Remembrance of Me,” Jason W. Krug, 3–6 oct, opt 2 oct hc, HOPE, 2909, Level 2+
  • “Hosanna,” Kevin McChesney, 3–5 oct, LOR, 20/1551L, Level 2


Liturgy of the Palms

  • Breaking of a Palm Leaf for the Entry into Jerusalem, Giotto di Bondone (VDL)
  • Hallelujah, Mike Moyers (VDL)
  • Palm Sunday, Jan Richardson (JR)

Liturgy of the Passion

  • Peter’s Denial, Simon Bening (VDL)
  • Christ Crucified, John Petts, 1964 (VDL)