Palm/Passion Sunday Liturgy (Journey)



Invocation responsive

In this very room, we feel your divine breath that blew across the waters. You move in and out of our lungs. You seek to touch our hearts and minds, awaiting our response to your boundless love and dreams for humanity.  Your confidence in us is revealed in your persistence. May we be worthy. May we perceive your Spirit as she lures us ever toward you within the unfolding realm of hope, peace, justice, and boundless love.
May we follow the beckoning Spirit this morning and beyond. Amen.

Journey to Jerusalem

*Call to Worship responsive

We’ve been on a journey for five weeks now.
We began with ashes, reminders that we are created from the earth.
And that it is God who breathes life into us.

We traveled with Jesus who is the gate for us to a better way. He called Lazarus out of the tomb telling us to unbind him.
He reminded us that God’s unfolding realm on earth requires our participation.

With Jesus riding a colt, we arrive in Jerusalem today on that morning when the palms waved and all seemed right in the world. The full manifestation of the kingdom seemed imminent.
We glimpsed the kingdom of God on that day. 

*Sacred Words John 12:12-13 CEB

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the king of Israel!”

*Hymn Ride On, Ride On in Majesty! #191 v. 1 & 2 (Chalice Hymnal)

Journey with Others

Call to Servanthood responsive

On our journey we traveled through the upper room where Jesus shows us that the path to liberation, joy, & justice is through radical servanthood.
Jesus turns the ways of the world upside down. Love of neighbor and expanding hope & justice are cornerstones in the unfolding kingdom on earth.

Hymn Make Me a Servant #99 (Chalice Praise)


Sacred Words John 13:1-9 CEB

Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.

2 Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”

9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”

Offering                                                                                                                                                                                    Invitation
Doxology together
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Circling through earth so all may grow
Vanquishing fear so all may give
Widening grace so all may live. Amen. (traditional tune, words from Eric Law)

The Lord’s Table 
Hymn Here is Bread # 161 (Chalice Praise)
Words of Institution                               
Please take a piece of bread and dip in the center cup as it is passed to you. All bread is gluten-free.

Journey to the Cross

Call to the Cross responsive

Fearful in the midst of a harsh world, clinging to an illusion of their power under the thumb of Rome, the leaders of the Temple manipulate an unjust system to be rid of Jesus.
Jesus is mocked and whipped.

Throughout his suffering, Jesus remains calm and at peace. Trusting God, he follows his calling despite the looming cross.
The trial of Jesus before Pilate and the Temple leaders comes to a conclusion. Christ is crucified!

Sacred Words John 19:16b-22 CEB

16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified. The soldiers took Jesus prisoner. 17 Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). 18 That’s where they crucified him—and two others with him, one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 Therefore, the Jewish chief priests complained to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jews’ but ‘This man said, “I am the king of the Jews.”’”

22 Pilate answered, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”

Hymn Were You There? #198 v. 1 & 2 (Chalice Hymnal)

Call to Hope responsive

Because we’ve journeyed with Jesus, because the breath of God is our very lifeblood we know this will not be the end of the story. Let us pray:
In this world of deep hurt & hatred, of poverty & hunger, alienation & greed, and of human frailty of body & spirit, we turn to you. We celebrate with palms, break bread assured of your love, strive to be radical servants, and grieve at the crucifixions all around us. Fill us with the confidence and peacefulness of Jesus. We long to be hopeful in the knowledge of the coming resurrection. Amen.

Journey Outward

*Sacred Words John 13:31a, 34 CEB

31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said…34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.

*Hymn of Commitment Just As I Am, Without One Plea  #339 v. 1 & 4 (Chalice Hymnal)


Tim is a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, a father of two adult children, and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect children. A former early childhood educator, Tim is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has served as pastor of both Disciples and United Church of Christ congregations. As we enter what we hope is the final phase of the pandemic, Tim is beginning a journey of rediscovering himself and discerning next steps. He writes from his home in Albany, Oregon and wherever the Spirit lures him.

Posted in Holy Week, John, John 12, John 12:12-13, John 13, John 13:1-9, John 19, John 19:16b-22, Liturgies, Liturgy, Palm Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, Passion Sunday, Uncategorized

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All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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