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Theme: “Which Parade Are We/You In?”
Blessing of the Palms (hold your palms up high and gentle wave them)
Dotty: Friends, let us raise our hearts and minds to the mystery of the Holy One, who is fully alive in our world, universe and us. Today, we share the excitement of the people in the holy city of Jerusalem as they welcomed Jesus so many eons ago. It is with hope we welcome the Christ recognizing that eternal and everlasting presence among us. We join in the parade of today that celebrates the ministry of Jesus and we believe that ministry will be made real today in our world, through our efforts and the efforts of all believers.
Joan: Sacred Spirit, you whom we call by many names, we bless these palm branches and make them holy. May we, who today hold them high, be bearers of hope as we celebrate the goodness and greatness of all humankind. May we proclaim that all is made new through our individual efforts to create a new parade, a new triumphant entry with our efforts to create the New Jerusalem. We will follow the example of Jesus’s life, his dedication to his purpose, his love for his companions on his journey, and his acceptance of his destiny in standing for justice and peace.
Opening Song: Hosanna to the Son of David by Dan Schutte in the
Refrain: Hosanna to the Son of David! O blest is he, O blest is he who come in the name of the Lord
1. Rejoice, daughter of Zion, in the One who brings great joy! Sing praise, children of Judah for the Lord is close at hand
2. Rejoice, all who are thirsting for streams of living joy! Sing praise, children of Judah, for the Lord is close at hand
3. Rejoice, all who are longing to behold the face of God Sing praise, children of Judah for the Lord is close at hand
4 .Rejoice, all who are searching for the truth of holy light Sing praise, children of Judah for the Lord is close at hand
6. Rejoice, all who are hungry for the taste of living bread Sing praise children of Judah for the Lord is close at hand.
(Lourdes song library Hosanna to the Son of David Dan Schutte)
Transformation Rite - Maryal
When inner turmoil and conflict threaten my peace of mind and heart,
When my life is overly full and I wonder how I will complete what is required,
When I enter into the pain and suffering of the world’s lack of peace ,
Response: I rest in the Peace-Giver’s Presence
When I hurt for friends, relatives, and others who are distressed,
When fear of the future rises up and the way ahead is uncertain and unsettled,
Response: I rest in the Peace-Giver’s Presence
When my life appears empty and loneliness taunts me,
When I live with concern and apprehension over unresolved issues,
When I feel a great distance from the One who is the fullness of peace,
Response: I rest in the Peace-Giver’s Presence
The Liturgy of the Word
Judy and Kevin:
Traditionally, Pilate paraded into Jerusalem on the first day of Passover Week, entering the west gate – the front gate – with legions of chariots, horses, and foot soldiers, dressed for battle and armed with swords and spears. Rome’s authority would not be questioned. The majesty with which Pilate enters the front door of the city was meant to inspire awe and fear, respect and obedience.
Meanwhile, at the east gate – the back gate – another parade is underway. This parade was just as carefully staged as Pilate’s entry into Jerusalem. It was a counter-procession, a different vision of what a Kingdom should be, a subversive action against the powers that ruled Jerusalem. Jesus’ humble, yet triumphal, entry into Jerusalem stood in contrast to the magnificence and brutality on display at the opposite end of the city. Jesus brings peace, while Pilate brings a sword.
Jesus’ entrance was planned this way. Two disciples slip into Jerusalem to secure a colt from its owners, who know they are coming. They even have a pre-arranged password: “The Lord needs it.” Literally, the Greek says for the disciples to tell the colt’s owners that the colt’s owner needs it. The words make no sense unless we understand that Jesus’ triumphal entry was designed to rival that of Pilate’s.
They planned it to be a royal entrance. Jesus riding a colt into Jerusalem reflected the Messianic prophesy of Zechariah Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey; on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Those watching the back-door procession knew Zechariah and the prophesy. Jesus’ entry was a symbol of salvation – the return of God’s king to God’s people.
Being a prophet in today’s world doesn’t wield the star-power you’d think it does. You don’t get parades or accolades or even a living wage. You get the back gate, the grateful support of a few, and a lot of angry folks who don’t want change. God is not kind to God’s prophets. More often than not, they end up on the wrong end of a rope. So it comes as no surprise that God’s Son ends up on a tree by Friday – all because he stood for peace.
These are the words of a scholar from the Hermitage sharing the Palm Sunday Story and we the people affirm them by saying,
All: SO BE IT
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Spirit of the Living God
Second Reading: A reading from the reflections of Joan Chittister, Cry Out, Lent, 2018.
It is your voice and mine, alone as well as together, that are meant to make God’s true nature known in the world. If we don’t point out the breakdowns in human community and make clear the unseen millions in need, they go on being unseen by the many.
It is not a matter of being able to change a thing that must occupy us. It is a matter of being willing to point out the problems – and do something about it – that counts. To be part of a group intent on change, we must raise a great voice…
Most importantly, we must “cry out” the news of what God wants for the world for as long as it takes. Our problem is that we expect change to come in our lifetime. But nothing can ever happen until we ourselves begin to work for it, announcing to others what God desires for us all… We may not see much improvement in our lifetime, but before we go, we can at least salt the atmosphere with questions where they cannot be ignored. And that is valor enough for the moment.
These are the words of Joan Chittister and we signify our acceptance by saying SO BE IT
Gospel: A reading from the Gospel of the apostle called Mark 11:1-10
Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem with his apostles performing miracles and teaching as he traveled. The crowds grew and joined with Jesus as he traveled. Jesus continued to heal them and teach them.
When they had almost reached Jerusalem, as far as Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent on two of his followers saying to them: “Go to the village facing you and as soon as you get there, you will find a foal tethered, which had not been ridden. Untie the foal and bring it here to me. And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just tell them the Master wants it and will be sure and send it back.” The two went and finding a foul tethered outside a door in the street, they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, “what are you doing untying this foal? And the two followers answered them as Jesus told them and then they were allowed to go. Then they brought the foal to Jesus, and, when they had laid their cloaks on it, Jesus seated himself on the foal. Many of the people spread their cloaks on the roads, with some branches which they had cut from the fields. The crowd continued to grow and as they processed into Jerusalem. The crowd kept shouting and waving their branches saying, “God save him!” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of our God! Blessed is the coming realm of our father David and our mother Sarah. God save him from on high!”
These are words attributed to the apostle, we affirm them by saying
All: SO BE IT
PROFESSION OF FAITH: (Jerry and Sue)
We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us and is ever and always present with us.
We believe in Jesus, prophet and teacher, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.
We believe in the Cosmic Christ, the everlasting Presence, one with the universe.
We believe in Sacred Spirit, the breath of wisdom Sophia, the power of the winds enwrapping us in glory.
We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love, who are never far from us, who are separated from us by a mere veil, always near opening our minds to what is difficult to see
We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world. Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.
Prayers of the People: (Anna)
As we prepare for this sacred meal, we pause to remember all those issues and concerns that burden our hearts. We express through our communal prayer our desires for healing and peace…
We bring to the table all elected leaders that they will be true to the mandates of the Constitution in providing for the needs of all people of our country, through passing of laws and the development of programs that justly care for all those in need.
We bring to the table all those waiting at our borders for asylum in our country that we as Americans will remember our roots and welcome those who seek a new and better life for themselves and their families.
We bring to the table the immigrant children still being held in inhumane conditions by our own government. We pray our newly elected officials will act swiftly changing policies that prevent them from receiving asylum in our country.
We bring to the table those we love who need healing. We pray especially for Dianne, Mary Kay, and Sally. We assure them that we hold them in our hearts with much love.
We bring to the table our gratitude that Bridget Mary is “healed and Cancer free”.
We place all these prayers, as well as those in our hearts, on our table of celebration.
Before we enter into the most sacred part of our Liturgy today, let us pause and reflect on the gift of each person with us and extend a silent virtual greeting of peace as we listen to this beautiful song:
Beth: We are blessed by the Holy One in a multitude of ways.
We have bread made from human hands, and wine made from harvested grapes. These are gifts of the earth, and together they will become our spiritual food and drink.
All: Blessed is the Holy One
With this bread and wine, we pledge ourselves to the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels. We accept our call to be present to all persons in our world. We are committed to the teachings and the ministry of Jesus.
All: The Holy One is praised forever.
Joan P With open hands let us pray:
Holy One, we remember the life and ministry of Jesus as we begin this sacred week in our faith history. We join the parade of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. We prepare ourselves to reflect deeply and personally on our call to be true followers of Jesus. We look to the strength of our personal spiritual and prayerful reflections to come to know what it means to us to embrace the full meaning of the Christian life.
In solidarity with Jesus, and with all the faithful men and women who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy
Russ: We celebrate, the wonder and beauty of the gift of life, as we recognize the sufferings and joys of being human. We look with hope toward the building of a future rich in diversity with love and understanding as our heritage, marked by our strength and courage to make all things new.
Jesus, as our teacher you spoke in such ways that hundreds listened to you. You took time to go apart from the chaos in your life and to pray alone. You were not naive. You knew what the end result would be for challenging the powers who sought to destroy the message of our God of Love.
Russ: We, too, are called to speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the numerous injustices our world faces today. We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to go apart and pray. We seek your strength as we make choices to create a “New Jerusalem”.
(Hold your hand over bread and wine)
Joan P.Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us.
Dotty: During Jesus’s life on earth, he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society. Because of his ministry, Jesus was feared by the authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.
Joan: On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends. He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet.
(All lift your bread and pray)
Dotty: When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:
Take and eat, this is my very self. (pause)
All lift your cup and pray)
Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:
Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)
Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope.
Joan: What we have heard with our ears,
we will live with our lives.
As we share communion,
we will become communion
both love's nourishment and love's challenge.
You are the Christ alive today.
Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time
Communion Reflection: Jerusalem, My Destiny
Dennis: Sacred Spirit, we remember Mary, the Mother of Humanity, who birthed Jesus into our world. We rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with the Sacred Presence: Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs. We remember our sister priests, strong extraordinary women: Adele, Judy, Tish, Joan and Michele. We remember, too, family members and friends. We remember all those whose lives have been lost to Covid, to war, to racism and all other “isms” that exist in our world. And we remember those you wish to be remembered… Share the names of your loved ones… All are beloved who have blessed our lives and whose memory continues to inspire us, we remember you.
And we respond together:
Cheryl: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come,
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day you give us all we need.
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage,
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen
(Miriam Therese Winter)
Dotty: Prayers of Thanksgiving and Announcements
Let us raise our hands and bless each other.
Joan M: May we seek truth boldly and love deeply.
May we march in the parade of all Christians who seek to bring healing and hope to our world.
May we honor our personal need for deep prayer and reflection during this Holy Week.
May we continue to be people of faith that our life choices will be a blessing in our times and hope to others.
Closing Song: Canticle of Turning by Rory Cooney
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