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.

Sunday 28th February: Second Sunday of Lent

Welcome

Welcome to this month’s online worship in Lent.
For those of you who are watching this service on Sunday morning, a reminder that there will be Zoom Coffee at 11.00 am. Log in details for this are in the weekly notice sheet. We would be delighted if you could join us.

As usual, there is a playlist with the whole service in as the first video or you can scroll down and select which to watch and which to read. We start with some organ music, played by Ian, to help us settle in to the service.

WHOLE SERVICE:

INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS:

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Hymn – Forty Days and Forty Nights

Prayer of preparation

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.

Prayers of Penitence

Introduction to Confession

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.
Let us come to the Lord, who is full of compassion,
and acknowledge our transgressions in penitence and faith.

Silence

Confession

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin:

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Against you, you only have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight:

Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Absolution

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Collect – Prayer for the week

Almighty God,
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted
into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things
that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Readings

Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16

Psalm 22: 23-31

23  Praise the Lord, you that fear him;  ♦
O seed of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.

24  For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;
neither has he hidden his face from them;  ♦
but when they cried to him he heard them.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;  ♦
I will perform my vows
in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;  ♦
those who seek the Lord shall praise him;
their hearts shall live for ever.

27  All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the Lord,  ♦
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s  ♦
and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth
bow down in worship,  ♦
or those who go down to the dust kneel before him?

30  He has saved my life for himself;
my descendants shall serve him;  ♦
this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation,
to a people yet unborn,  ♦
declaring that he, the Lord, has done it. 

Hymn – The God of Abraham praise

Gospel reading

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.
The Lord is a great God, O that today you would listen to his voice.
Harden not your hearts.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Mark 8: 31-38

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

If we’d had a service on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, we would have had for the Gospel reading, the story of the woman caught in adultery and taken by the Jewish teachers of the law to Jesus to find out what action he recommended. According to the Law given by God to Moses, the penalty was death by stoning. What would Jesus say?

Jesus said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” The teachers of the law were in full public view – they knew they weren’t qualified to cast that first stone, so they filed out one by one.

Jesus, who had been looking at the ground, writing in the dust with his finger during this time, asked the woman where those Teachers were. Had anyone condemned her?

“No one, sir”, was her reply. Then Jesus said that no more would he condemn her. Then he told her to “Go, and sin no more”

While the teachers of the law were confounded because while they were looking to condemn, Jesus was looking to be merciful.

Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent. The gospel reading would have been the story of the Temptations of Jesus by the devil. Jesus has been fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and is hungry. He will also have been physically weakened by his lack of sustenance. Can the devil get him to act in ways contrary to the Law God had laid down for His people? Three times the devil tried, three times he failed, as Jesus quoted words from the Old Testament scriptures – two quotes from the repeat of the law in Deuteronomy, and once from a Psalm.

The devil was confounded because he seems to have thought that Jesus in his weakened state could be bought, Jesus was prepared to pay the full price so that His people could have freedom from their guilt and sin.

This Sunday we have heard the story of Jesus being tempted again, but this time by his leading disciple, Peter.

Jesus, after calling his disciples to become what He called ‘fishers of men’, was training them to teach the ways of the Kingdom of God. Jesus would also perform miracles of healing, so people’s bodies could be restored; their limbs or other body parts could work harmoniously together again, a great parable of how He wanted his people to work harmoniously together as God had originally intended for Adam and Eve and their descendants.

The disciples seemed to have loved this, but now Jesus had a new lesson to teach them – all this would come at a cost, starting with a cost to Himself, and the disciples needed to learn about this in advance from him.

It came very bluntly and very clearly in our reading.

“Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priest and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”

Talk about blunt. Peter couldn’t take it.

He did have enough self-control to take Jesus aside before rebuking Him, but I wonder if he listened to the whole sentence Jesus said.

Jesus had said he must suffer, be rejected (by the religious leaders), be killed…… and after three days rise again. If Peter did hear the ‘and after three days rise again’ it didn’t stop him launching into Jesus.

Jesus had to rebuke Peter. He wasn’t thinking the way God thinks, he was thinking the way fallen, unredeemed man thinks.

The teachers of the law were confounded because while they were looking to condemn, Jesus was looking to be merciful.

The devil was confounded because he assumed God could be coerced or deceived, while Jesus, filled with His Father’s love, was into rescuing broken relationships so harmony could prevail again.

Peter was confounded because he hadn’t thought about the cost of it all. He only knew of death as being the end. So he couldn’t register the significance of Jesus’ words “and after three days rise again”.

However, a week later, Peter, with two other disciples, James and John, would be taken to see Jesus transfigured in all His glory while He was talking to Moses and Elijah. Then they would hear a voice from heaven repeat what it had said at the time of Jesus’ baptism, authorising the start of His ministry – “This is my Son, whom I love”, this time adding the words “Listen to Him”.

God would be reintroducing Jesus, adding the command to listen to Him. Listen to ALL the words Jesus says.

Do you, like me, get a sense of a hint here, as in ‘even the uncomfortable ones’?

How does this relate to us in Lent?

Giving something up for Lent used to be a common topic when I was younger. But no one ever told me what it was supposed to achieve, unless it was for the feel good factor from having been successful in not having any chocolate for forty days.

Could it be this year we risk engaging with any words God is hinting at us, in case they might turn out to be uncomfortable? Or, do we believe that God knows how much we can take and won’t overstretch us?

If you have already chosen and are working on your Lent practice for this year, you may want to continue it. That’s fine. If you aren’t doing something for Lent, or can’t decide what to do, here are a couple of thoughts.

Lent is an opportunity to grow closer to God. If there are uncomfortable things or habits in your life that get in the way of growing closer to God, then working on giving them up sounds good.

On the other hand, learning something new may sound uncomfortable. Yet it may be that to help you grow closer to God, he wants you to discover something new and helpful about Himself. He may be wanting to open up new gifts or opportunities you for to enjoy in your life.

If so, a suggestion. You make a present to God of a realistic number of minutes to spend with Him on a regular basis. It could be sitting with a cup or mug of something, or perhaps going for a safe walk. Talk to God, listen for a response. Whole conversations may develop. Remember, God is not in a hurry. You may find what He wants to reveal takes several gentle stages. I find making a few discrete notes is often helpful.

And over the five weeks to Easter you may discover you have more than the Resurrection to celebrate. There may be something new about you and your relationship with Jesus to celebrate too.

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge
the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is
worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Intercessions

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

Amen.

Hymn – O for a closer walk with God

Offertory Prayer

Our giving is a response to God’s generosity to us, and enables us to fulfil God’s mission in our church. I and all the PCCs would like to encourage you to give by Standing Order or Direct Debit, which is the most reliable and sustainable form of regular giving, and is the most efficient and cost-effective method for us. Although for many of us, money is not abundant this year, if you are able to increase your giving at this time, we will have more resources to serve our community and to channel into mission.
Thank you for all that you are able to give.

God of abundance,
the author and giver of all good things,
grant us a gracious and humble heart,
that we may give you glory
through offering the first fruits of our lives,
and grow more into the likeness of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Peace

Since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
who has given us access to his grace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Today I will read the institution narrative from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, then offer a time of silence, finishing with the prayer for spiritual communion, which you are invited to join me in saying, and the Lord’s prayer.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIVUK)

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Today, we have printed the traditional language version of Lord’s prayer, but please feel free to pray in whichever language or version you prefer.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn – Will you come and follow me

Blessing and Dismissal

Christ, give you grace to grow in holiness;
to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen

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.