Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Liturgy: Palm Sunday Lessons and Carols, Mark 10:46-12:44 (March 24, 2024)

  *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

Additional Hymns:

Hymn GTG #199, “Filled With Excitement”
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #200, “A Cheering, Chanting, Dizzy Crowd”

*Call to Worship (Based on Mark 11:8-10)

Leader: The Lord is coming! How shall we greet him?
People: “Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Leader: He rides on a borrowed colt, like no king this world has ever known.
People: “Hosanna! Blessings on the coming kingdom!”
Leader: We lay our branches and coats down before our God and King. 
People: Hosanna! Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession (based on Mark 10:46-49)

Leader: Like the blind beggar Bartimaeus, we call out to the Lord, “Jesus, show me mercy!” And like the crowd, I say to you, “Be encouraged! He’s calling you!” Let us, then, respond to Christ’s call by confessing our sins before God so that we might be shown the mercy we seek.

Popcorn Prayer of Confession (based on Mark 11:15-18)

You are invited to speak a word or short phrase that describes a personal or collective sin of which you repent and seek forgiveness. 

When the gathered community is finished sharing, we pray together:

People: Righteous Lord, we confess that we are guilty of the same sins as those Jesus threw out of the temple. We turn your house and your people into a commodity to be bought and sold. We welcome those who have much to offer us and take advantage of those who have little. And worst of all, we plot to destroy those who seek to hold your Church accountable. Forgive us, O God of justice; show us the tables that need to be overturned in your name and grant us the strength and courage to follow Christ’s example. In your mercy, hear our prayers…

(Silent prayers of personal confession)

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Mark 11:24)

Leader: Jesus declares that whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you. Do you believe that you are forgiven?
People: We believe!
Leader: Then hear this good news: in Christ Jesus, we are all forgiven, indeed!
People: Thanks be to God!

Be Still and Know… (Prayer Candles)

Every week during Lent, we’ll be trying out a different way of experiencing God, things to help us “be still” in God’s presence. 

  • Like prayer beads, we often associate praying with candles with the Roman Catholic Church, but it can be a meaningful practice for us, too!
    • We already use them in corporate worship – communion table, Advent wreath, Christmas Eve
    • Light and flame are ancient and traditional symbols of God.
    • Candles invite stillness and centering, but the movement of the flame reminds us that stillness doesn’t necessarily mean stagnation.
    • Often left lit – but don’t leave unattended!
  • Different types of prayer candles – 
    • (Has more to do with the intention than the actual candle)
    • “Vigil” candles accompany prayers of attention or waiting.
      • May be lit when you’re seeking an answer from God or during times of illness or preparation.
    • “Votive” candles are a form of offering – comes from the Latin word for “vow”
      • Physical indication of an intention to pray for or about something in particular (e.g., supplication on behalf of someone else, thanksgiving, solidarity, etc.)
  • Opportunity to practice in worship:
    • During the offertory, you’re invited to come forward and light a candle in prayer.
      • (You may also leave your tithe in the plate at that time)
    • Although we’ll extinguish the candles when we leave the sanctuary, we’ll leave them out so that you may light one again at any time.
  • Invitation to pray with candles at home:
    • Set aside some time to sit with a candle in a quiet place and sense God’s presence as you gaze at the flame.


Readings are done by three people: one representing Jesus, one representing Jesus' supporters, and one representing Jesus' opponents. They each wear a white, green, or red stole, respectively, to help clarify their roles. 

Palm Sunday: Mark 10:46-11:11
Hymn GTG #197, “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” [vv. 1 & 3]

Fig Tree: Mark 11:12-25
Hymn GTG #176, “If You Only Had Faith” [2x through]

Parable of the Vineyard Owner: Mark 11:27-12:12
Hymn GTG #394, “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation” [vv. 1 & 4]

Trying to Trick Jesus: Mark 12:13-34
Hymn GTG #62, “Love the Lord Your God” [2x through]

The Widow’s Offering: Mark 12:35-44

Leader: This is the Word of the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God!

Hymn GTG #414, “Be Still and Know” [3x total – you are welcome to sing in a round!]

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