Sunday March 28th – Palm Sunday

WHOLE SERVICE

INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS

Welcome

Welcome in the name of Christ.
God’s grace, mercy and peace be with us all. Amen

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 118)

This is the day the Lord has made!
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good!

The Lord is our strength and our song.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good!

He has become our victory!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good!

Hymn – Ride On Ride On in Majesty

Prayer of Preparation

Lord God Almighty, we come to worship you.
In our imagination, we join with the crowds who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.
We rejoice that we can share in the wonder and joy of that occasion and we ask that you will guide us in our worship today. Amen

Confession

Lord Jesus, you came to change the world.
Forgive us when we become complacent.

Lord Jesus, you came to serve others.
Forgive us when we put our own needs first.

Lord Jesus, you came to bring peace.
Forgive us when we upset others and don’t stand up for justice.

Lord Jesus, you came to meet us where we are.
Forgive us when we don’t help each other through our struggles.

Absolution

May the God of love
bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Palm Sunday Bible reading based on Mark 11 1-11 & John 12 12-16

Hymn – We have a King who rides a donkey

Talk by Lucy Willshaw

Hello everyone. It is lovely to be with you here today and to be part of your family service for Palm Sunday.

For those of you who I haven’t met yet, my name is Lucy Willshaw and, since last autumn, I have been working as a youth and children’s worker in the Byland Group of Churches and also in Ampleforth and Kirkdale Benefices and Helmsley Parish. I have lived in Helmsley for twenty years and so I know and love this area very much. I am very much part of the local church community and I see my new role as a real gift, in that I am able to put time into reaching out to young people in a way that isn’t usually possible for churches in small, rural communities. I am really looking forward to being able to get out and about and more involved with life in the Byland Group as restrictions begin to ease.

But let’s get back to today! Today, we have been hearing all about what happened on the first Palm Sunday, about two thousand years ago in Jerusalem. I wonder what your favourite part of the story is. Maybe it is the donkey – the fact that Jesus knew just where to send the disciples to find it and that he chose a donkey over something grand, like a horse to ride into Jerusalem on. Maybe you like the fact that the crowd covered the road with cloaks and leaves to make a carpet for the donkey to walk on. Maybe you like the words the crowd were shouting – “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Whichever bit you liked best, we know that there were lots of people gathered and there was a great deal of noise and celebration.

Celebration. There doesn’t seem to have been much of that in the last twelve months, does there? But I am sure we have all found moments of celebration in the last year. I wonder what sorts of things you have celebrated… birthdays, Christmas, finally learning the 7 times table, a new job, Yorkshire Day, going back to school. Human beings love to celebrate special occasions and achievements.

And I wonder how we celebrate?

In normal times, one of the important things in a celebration is being able to gather together with family and friends. And in Jerusalem crowds of people gathered along the road when Jesus was arriving. I imagine that people were there in family groups or with their friends. They lined the streets in excitement just like we might do if we heard someone famous was visiting our town or village, or there was a special parade.

Our celebrations often centre around food – a birthday cake, chocolate at Easter time, a particular meal. And after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he did go on to have a special meal, with his friends, to celebrate the Passover Festival.

We might wave things around as part of a celebration – streamers or flags or balloons. And in Jerusalem they waved palm branches as Jesus approached.

And we like to sing and chant and play music at a party or celebration. We have heard that everyone in Jerusalem was making a right old racket!

I wonder what Jesus thought of all the people and all the noise as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey that day… I think he certainly would have liked all the noise, because in the Bible it says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

So, no wonder we like a celebration if Jesus did! Just as those people in Jerusalem celebrated two thousand years ago, it is only right that we should celebrate with Jesus and celebrate Jesus, full stop. And not only should we should celebrate with the people of Jerusalem today, on Palm Sunday, but also in all areas of our lives.

Do you know, we have got a whole year coming up to do some extra celebrating! In the Diocese of York, a festival called the Children of Light Festival has just begun. This is a whole year of celebrating and encouraging young people in our churches. It began last weekend with a commissioning service led by the Archbishop of York, in which young people were sent out as beacons of light into their churches. I wonder what that means to you … to be a beacon of light. We have been through some dark and sad times in the last twelve months and we all want to see light at the end of the tunnel. Light is connected to hope. Young people are full of light and hope and life – something some of us older people in churches should remember and respect and learn from.

There will be some special events to get involved with and to enjoy together over the next year. But also, the year is about churches recognising how important it is to have young people as part of their church family and what they can do to encourage and nurture young people in their faith and as part of the church community. It wouldn’t have been just adults welcoming Jesus in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, children would have been there too, and our churches should reflect that, everyone welcoming and following Jesus together. And to help with that, the diocese will be providing training and resources, throughout the year, specifically to help churches and schools as they seek to inspire and support young people in their faith.

The year is about pilgrimage – going on a journey together – young people and older people together – travelling in faith and companionship. Just as Jesus journeyed with his disciples into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, in celebration and hope, so we journey together with Jesus throughout this year and beyond.

Do you know what else I think the festival is an opportunity for? I think it is time for young people to make a noise – just like the crowds who lined the streets on the way into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It’s time to sing and shout and get noticed! It’s time for churches to listen to young people.

That’s something worth celebrating, isn’t it?

We will now enjoy another song – Hosanna Rock.

Hymn – Hosanna Rock

Our Affirmation of faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Collect for Palm Sunday

True and humble King, hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen

Offertory Prayer

Gracious God, accept our gifts
and with them our lives
to be used in your service
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayers

In our prayers, we look towards Holy Week and to walking the way of the cross with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, as we remember the crowds cheering on Palm Sunday when you rode into Jerusalem, we thank you for everything good in our lives.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Holy Monday, when you turned over the tables of the money lenders in the temple, remind us of all the things that are so much more important than money.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Holy Tuesday, when you taught the crowds about kindness and compassion in the Kingdom of God, help us to look after one another and to see God in all people.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Holy Wednesday, when the woman poured expensive perfume all over your feet, help us to be generous people and to do what we can for people in need.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Holy Thursday, when you ate supper with your friends, help us to be good friends and neighbours, and to share things willingly and unconditionally.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Good Friday, when you were crucified, even though you had done nothing wrong, we pray for people who suffer, and we remember that you care for us all.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, as we remember Holy Saturday, when all was quiet and dark and no-one visited the tomb, we pray for people who feel alone; help us to be a comfort to one another.
Holy God, be with us this Holy Week

Lord Jesus, together we look forward to Easter Sunday, remembering that God has promised new life for all and that there is nothing, not even death, that can overcome His love for us.
Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

Sending Out

Merciful God, as we enter Holy Week, turn our hearts again to Jerusalem
and to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Stir up within us the gift of faith, that we may not only praise Him with our lips,
but may follow Him in the way of the cross.
Amen

Hymn: Meekness and Majesty

Blessing & Dismissal

May the road rise up to meet us.
May the wind be always at our back.
May the sun shine warm upon our face;
the rains fall soft upon our fields and, until we meet again,
may God hold us in the palm of His hand

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

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

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