The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Liturgy of the Palms

Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29 . . . praise of the Lord’s salvation
Matthew 21:1-11 . . .  Jesus comes to the holy city of Jerusalem and is hailed as the promised Sone of David
Sermon # 1

Most of us like the comfortable and the familiar. Jesus, however, sometimes sends us ahead of him to places we have never been before. MaryAnn McKibben Dana, popular speaker, preacher, conference leader, and writer, preaches from Matthew 21:1-11. In today’s Palm/Passion Sunday passage, Jesus sends the disciples to the village ahead instead of the one they had already visited. Dana says, “It takes faith to follow Jesus. It takes blind faith to go ahead of Jesus into the unknown. It takes irrepressible faith to walk down a road your feet have never walked before. It takes intrepid faith to look back over your shoulder and see Jesus…” urging you ahead. Dana reminds us that it is not the crowd that followed Jesus, but the crowd that “prepared the way of the Lord” that made a difference. Are you a follower or are you preparing the way of the Lord?

Liturgy of Passion


Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility:  Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

Isaiah 50:4-9 . . . the servant who speaks for the Lord and suffers persecution, but still trust in God’s help and vindication
Psalm 31:9-16. . .  trusting in the Lord’s mercy and protection
Philippians 2:5-11 . . . From one of the earliest Christian hymns we hear how Christ Jesus accepted the condition of a servant, was obedient even to the point of death, and was then given the name above every name.
Matthew 27: 11-54 . . . the story of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, his final sufferings and death.

Richard W. Voelz is an Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. His sermon for this week draws on the eyewitness account of Egeria, an early pilgrim to Jerusalem, who marveled at the devotion of the all-day Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. What can we learn from those pilgrims?