green watercolor with text: Palm Sunday with Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities

Palm Sunday Ritual at Home // April 5, 2020

To Prepare for Today:

Today, we encounter the paradox that defines our faith: Jesus Christ is glorified king and humiliated servant. We too are full of paradox: like Peter, we fervently desire to follow Christ, but find ourselves afraid, denying God. We wave palms in celebration today as Christ comes into our midst, and we follow with trepidation as his path leads to death on the cross. Amid it all we are invited into this paradoxical promise of life through Christ’s broken body and outpoured love in a meal of bread and wine. We begin this week that stands at the center of the church year, anticipating the completion of God’s astounding work.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the Palm Sunday liturgy is the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem. To help us celebrate, the church invites us to carry palm branches as we gather for prayer today. Even so, we remember that liturgy is not a recreation of a past events. Rather, it is an anamnesis, an active remembering of the past so that we may live those realities today.

Song – Hail to the Lord’s Annointed by The Welcome Wagon

Opening Prayer

Loving God, as we come to the beginning of Holy Week, we remember your triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We sing your praises, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” You alone are the true King, the leader greater than all others. Even so, in your great mercy you chose to become like us, taking on human form and living among us. As we celebrate and shout “Hosanna” today, may we remember what will soon follow. Keep us faithful in word and deed, and help us love you to the best of our ability. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reading – Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Song – Hosanna by Josh Garrels


If circumstances allow, process around the house (inside or outside!), with all responding, “Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” You can use palms from last year that you might still have, other tree leaves you’ve gathered, or even homemade crafted leaves.

We, too, welcome Jesus, the Son of David, the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel. Holding our palm branches, let us acclaim Christ, the Lord.

To Jesus, the True Light, who illumines the darkness and brings us hope during difficult times. Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

To Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who models compassion and inclusion, sensitivity and goodwill. Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

To Jesus, the Teacher, who shows by example how to accompany others, offering gentle guidance and direction. Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

To Jesus, the Great Healer, who cares for the sick with tenderness and mercy, showing love to heal body, mind, and spirit. Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

To Jesus, the Paschal Victim, who dies so that we might rise to new life. Hosanna to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

Reflection Video Poem for Palm Sunday

Prayers of Intercession

Confident that Jesus Christ hears our prayer, let us offer our petitions with open hearts.

For all church leaders: May they continue to boldly lead, offering prophetic witness to the Gospel, and bearing witness to the hope we have in Christ. Today we lift up…

For all people in positions of leadership: May they work tirelessly for peace and justice to ensure the common good for all. Today, we lift up…

For all families and communities, especially those experiencing loneliness and anxiety in this time. May they know the tenderness of compassion and the peace that passes understanding. Today we lift up…

For our own needs this day: Prayers may be offered aloud.

For all who have died: May they rest in peace and rise in power.

Gathering these prayers together, as well as those we hold in the silence of our hearts, we pray in the words that Jesus taught us:

Our Creator, our Mother, 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.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

Song – Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord – Godspell

Share a sign of peace with those around you or call/text someone to share a sign of peace!

*adapted from “Holy Week at Home,” by the editors of Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN