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Palm Sunday Liturgy

T  r  a  n  s  i  t  i  o n  and  J  o  u  r  n  e  y

+ Gathering

L:  To gain life, we must lose life.  We have sought the wilderness.
C:  We have been emptied and humbled.  We now seek the gates of life.   

+ The Scattered With Us

L:  In this time of community transition, others near and far have journeyed with us. 

(Reading from Celeste’s Feb. 15 Lenten Book entry)
C:  Lord, we are the body of Christ.  Celeste, Walt, Krista, Korey, Judith and others have been with us step by step.  Let us all join together in worship. 

+ Processional:  “Sanna Sannanina”

San-na, san-nan-ni-na, San-na, san-na, san-na
San-na, san-nan-ni-na, San-na, san-na, san-na
San-na, san-na, san-na, San-nan-ni-na, san-na, san-na, san-na
San-na, san-na, san-na, San-nan-ni-na, san-na, san-na, san-na

+ Prayer

God, so many have journeyed during this season.  We offer prayers for next steps.

For the residents of 3145 Mount Pleasant Street.  Theirs is an unexpected wilderness without an end in sight.     
We pray.  We pray about how to pray; how to help; how to love.   

For restaurant hearings and a reopening in Mount Pleasant, 
We pray for civility, equality, and progress.

For the shopping center that has arrived in Columbia Heights,
We pray for all the people whose journeys are impacted.

For cities in turmoil, as well as those in blossom,  
We pray for wholeness and growth.

For our nation’s journey in an election year,
We pray for leadership — and humility.

God, so much activity within also affects our journeys.  We pray for support and guidance.

For spirits broken, faith shaken, and dreams postponed at 3145 Mount Pleasant Street,
We ask for grace, mercy, and hope.

For the tensions in our souls, and the conflicts between members of this Community,
We ask for humility, forgiveness, and healing.

For the brokenness of spirit, mind, and body,
We ask for strength and care.

For action in the face of not knowing,
We ask for guidance and doorways.           

For transitions in life — schedules, control, moving, jobs, chair storage, death — and the emotions they prompt and decisions they require,
We ask for creativity — and we give thanks.           

We bring these and other prayers before you, Lord.      

(Silent prayer)

+ Hymn (Psalm 118): “O Give Thanks Unto the Lord” (handout)
+ The Word

  • Hebrew Scripture (Isaiah 50:4-9a)
  • Epistle (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • Gospel (Matthew 21:1-11)

+ Homily

+ Song of the Day: “Leaves Don’t Drop, They Just Let Go” (Carrie Newcomer)

+ Prayers of the Community
We place our intercessions before God and each other.  We name the journey, those walking with us, and those we should be walking with.

(A time of silent and spoken prayer; each pray-er place palm branch on altar)

All our prayers, spoken and unspoken, seen and unseen, we offer to God.  Be with us as we seek the right pathways.     
Lord, hear our prayers.  And give us the courage to hear and walk.  Amen.

+ Greeting of Peace
We are on the move from brokenness to wholeness, but we need so much help.  Welcome this mystery of life by embracing and strengthening your brothers and sisters.

As we contemplate the path from point A to point B, greet each other in God’s peace. 

+ Offertory Hymn:  “Will You Let Me Be Your Servant” (handout)

+ Offertory Prayer
Blessed are you, O God, giver of all things.
Through your goodness you have blessed us with the opportunity to follow you.  
We offer with thanksgiving what you have given us:
our lives, our time, and our possessions.

Bless this bread, this wine, and our offerings.
May they bring light to those who walk in darkness
and hope to those who live in despair.
With these gifts we offer ourselves to your service
And dedicate our lives to sharing your love with the world
And to rising to the challenges that disasters and heartbreak require.  Amen. 

Christ now invites to his table
All who long for the good news of the kingdom, which we seek to understand
All who endeavor to live at peace with their neighbors, who we seek to know and love
All who seek forgiveness, mercy, and direction, which are gifts — gifts — like no others. 

+ Breaking of Bread

Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all life and the source of all compassion.
We thank you for life, for each step we take and what we learn, and for the coming world.

We thank you that in your great love you sent Jesus to live, journey, and learn among us, to reveal your presence, to call us to repentance,
to proclaim the good news of your kingdom.
We thank you that you vindicated Jesus’ death with victory
and that we know life is the final word.

Pour out your Holy Spirit, that we may know the unity we share with our brothers and sisters of 3145 Mount Pleasant Street, while also living as a sign of hope for them.

Join our prayers with those everywhere; with those worshipping right now across this city; and with the fire victims entering new places and spaces.  We say your praise:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of your glory,
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna in the highest. 

Jesus cherished his time at the table with his disciples.  They were his most intimate community; his friends; his students asking: why a donkey? why both of us?  He said to them: “I have wanted so much to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer.”  Then he took bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This is my body which is given for you.  Do this in memory of me.” 

He gave them the cup of wine after supper, saying: “Take this and drink from it, this cup is God’s new covenant sealed with my blood shed for you and all people.  Whenever you drink it, do so in memory of me.”
By eating this bread and drinking this cup,
We proclaim Christ’s death,
celebrate Christ’s resurrection,
and await Christ’s coming again. 

Let us pray as our Lord has taught us.
Merciful God in heaven, Holy be your name.
May your new day come, your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us each day our daily bread,
Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the new day, the power, and the glory are yours,

As we break bread we come together in the healing body of Christ.  This community stands together on legs that are strong and shaking, refreshed and weak.
As we pour wine we come together in the new life Christ gives.  This community shares a cup that helps us see our walk as Christ saw his.   

May our eyes and hands be opened to the needs of family, friends, and strangers, especially those not in our Daybooks or Palm Pilots – or even on the same road.
And our hearts to the sharing of God’s gifts with all the world. 
Make yourself known to us in the breaking of bread and the pouring of wine.
Renew us and let us know the gates of Jerusalem are near.
“It’s all gift.”                                                                        (Walt Scarvie)

The gifts of God for the people of God. 

+ Communion Song:  “Take, Oh, Take Me As I Am”

Take, oh, take me as I am
Summon out what I shall be
Set your seal upon my heart
And live in me.
+ Blessing 

In this Eucharist, we affirm our belief
In God, who created all that exists.
In Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord.
In the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us. 

In this Eucharist, we hear the call:
To become who we were created to be.
To accept the joy and cost of discipleship.
To live, serve, worship, and dance as the Community of Christ. 

In this Eucharist, we receive the promise:
Of forgiveness of sins,
Of courage in the struggle for peace with justice,
Of eternal life in the reign of God already begun.  Amen. 

+ Closing Hymn:  “Lord of the Dance” (handout)

+ Benediction

We need not fear return from the wilderness.  Or turmoil.  Or transition.  Or death. 
Go now and let this neighborhood, city, and world know that we will be born anew – and that our neighbors will too.        
Hosanna in the highest!  Amen.

The Community of Christ, Palm Sunday 2008

CofCDC Admin,
Aug 30, 2011, 3:17 PM