Palm Sunday

Welcome to our Palm. Sunday written service, the day when we commemorate Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week. In this service you can read the extended Gospel reading, join us in prayer and listen to the anthem and hymn for today.

We open with our unifying Christian message, a prayer for peace in the world and remember those facing unrest and sadness.

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; 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.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.   John 14.27


The Collect

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. 


Palm Sunday Reflection

Rev Derek Akker

On this Palm Sunday let us bring the donkey back into the story with the words of:

‘The Donkey’ by G K Chesterton.

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
Of all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

The poem is told through the voice of the donkey and its of the sad existence. The donkey opens with the unsettling words of blood red moon and flying fish, the prelude to the birth of something ugly. The words have a bitter tone reinforcing the negative status of the donkey in the world.

The poem ends where the donkey with his long-ears, huge-head and screeching cry, carrying the Prince of Peace. An event leading towards Jesus’ unthinkable appointment with death. Jesus had his face towards the cross, where he would, defeat death by his own death.

The poem concludes with the donkey having the last word, a word of honour, finally being recognised by the people. As Christ rode him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, it was as if everyone loved donkeys now, because they were tied to this story and the events of Holy Week.

The story portrays the absurdity of Palm Sunday: just think, the Messiah, the King of Israel entered Jerusalem with no throne or army at his side, but on a donkey. This animal, a downtrodden beast, has hosted the majesty of the Christ.

There’s a wider point not just about Easter but human life as a whole: we’re invited to see in the lowly and unimpressive, glimpses of glory and dignity. All humanity is graced to be made in the image of God, all humanity is wonderfully made.

In a society still so locked into superficial judgements, there is a timely warning in the events of Palm Sunday. It’s God – not human judgements – who gives creatures their glorious dignity, our God often turns things upside down.



Readings for today

At the Procession with Palms – Gospel. Luke 19:28-40. Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. …

Isaiah 50:4-7. The Lord GOD has given me. …

Philippians 2:6-11. 



The Intercessions

(Intercessions are taken from – Passiontide and Holy Week – Common Worship Seasonal Material)

Let us pray to the Father, who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to give us life. Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for your Son. Give us grace to lift heavy loads from those we meet and to stand with those condemned to die.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

Your Son watched the soldiers gamble to share his clothes. Transform the hearts of those who make a profit from their victims, and those whose hearts are hardened by their work.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

The thief, who was crucified with Jesus, was promised a place in your kingdom. Give pardon and hope, healing and peace to all who look death in the face.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

From the cross Jesus entrusted Mary his mother and John his disciple to each other’s care. Help us also to care for one another and fill our homes with the spirit of your love.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

In Mary and John your Son created a new family at the cross. Fill our relationships, and those of new families today, with mutual care and responsibility, and give us a secure hope for the future.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

The centurion was astonished to see your glory in the crucified Messiah. Open the eyes of those who do not know you to see in your Son the meaning of life and death.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

Joseph of Arimathaea came to take your Son’s body away. Give hope and faith to the dying and bereaved, and gentleness to those who minister to them.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

Simon and Joseph, Mary and John became part of your Church in Jerusalem. Bring into your Church today a varied company of people, to walk with Christ in the way of his passion and to find their salvation in the victory of his cross.

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


The Anthem

The anthem for Sunday is: Hosanna to the Son of David – Orland Gibbons


Hymn NEH 511

Ride on, ride on in majesty


Closing Prayers

Lord Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant, and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation: give us the mind to follow you and to proclaim you as Lord and King, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.