Liturgy by TLW



Palm Sunday
The Sunday of the Passion

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The Palm Sunday Liturgy recreates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as we wave our palms and make our procession into the church. This joyful mood soon changes to sober contemplation of our Lord's Passion at the Gospel. Thus, Holy Week begins.




The people gather outside the church doors, weather permitting.


P. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

C. Hosanna in the highest!


A. The Holy Gospel according to Matthew/Mark/Luke.
C. Glory to you, O Lord.

Processional Gospel:   A. Matthew 21:1-11,  B. Mark 11:1-11,  C. Luke 19:28-40


A. The Gospel of the Lord.
C. Praise to you, O Christ.

Blessing of Palms;

P. The Lord be with you.

C. And also with you.

The people raise their palm branches.


P. We praise you, O God, for redeeming the world through our Savior Jesus Christ. Today he entered the holy city in triumph and was proclaimed messiah and king by those who spread garments and branches along his way. Bless these branches and those who carry them. Grant us grace to follow our Lord in the way of the cross, so that, joined to his death and resurrection, we enter into life with you; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  (ELW 386)

C. Amen


P. Let us go forth in peace,

C. In the name of the Lord.

The people follow the cross and ministers in procession into the church and remain standing.


Processional Hymn:


Refrain: All glory, laud and honor.
To you, redeemer, king,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.


1. You are the king of Israel
    And David's royal Son,
    Now in the Lord's name coming,
    Our King and Blessed One.   Refrain


2. The company of angels
    Are praising you on high;
    Creation and all mortals
    In chorus make reply.   Refrain


3. The multitude of pilgrims
    With palms before you went.
    Our praise and prayer and anthems
    Before you we present.   Refrain


4. To you, before your Passion,
    They sang their hymns of praise.
    To you, now high exulted,
    Our melody we raise.   Refrain


5. Their praises you accepted;
    Accept the prayers we bring,
   Great Author of all goodness,

   Our good and gracious King.   Refrain


Repeat the stanzas until all are standing in their places. Then the minister continues


P. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

C. Hosanna in the highest.!


Prayer of the Day





First Lesson

Second Lesson

Hymn  "Go to Dark Gethsemane," stanzas 1-2

Gospel:   The Passion According to St. Mark/Matthew/Luke

Hymn  "Go to Dark Gethsemane," stanza 3



Period of Silence

Hymn of the Day  "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth"


Litany on the Stations of the Cross:

A. Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." In the name of Jesus, we pray:

C. Lord, help us to take up our cross and follow you.


A. You stood before Pilate, your life condemned, your word rejected, your innocence ignored:

C. Keep us from rejecting your word of truth and salvation.


A. You carried your cross on the wounded stripes of your back, for love of us and for all the world.

C. Help us to bear our cross, for love of you and for love of others.


A. The weight of your cross was the weight of our sins which make us stumble and fall.

C. In our weakness, we turn to you for strength.


A. Although you suffered, you still reached out to care for your mother.

C. May our cross-bearing never keep us from caring for our families.


A. As you struggled to bear your cross to Calvary, a passerby was drafted to help you.

C. Make us as willing as Simon to bear the burdens of those in need.


A. Others also took risks to comfort you.

C. Strengthen our faith to take loving risks for our needy brothers and sisters.


A. Sin weighed heavily upon you as you stumbled along the way.

C. Forgive us, Lord, for the sins which make us fall.


A. Your suffering under the cross caused the women of Jerusalem to weep.

C. Make our suffering in life a share in your suffering.


A. The full burden of our sin crushed you mightily to the earth.

C. Do not forsake us in our falling, but bring us to repentance and faith.


A. Stripped and jeered, you endured humiliation without complaint.

C. Humble us in our work and daily lives.


A. Nailed to the cross, you took your place among the condemned.

C. Take your place beside us sinners, and bring us through faith to the Paradise of God.


A. When your sacrifice was complete, you handed your life to the Father, and he did not forsake you.

C. Keep us close to your cross and death, now and at the hour of our death.


A. Faithful friends and loving women took loving care of your lifeless body.

C. Turn the darkness of death into the brightness of day for those we love.


A. In the tomb you were laid, but from the tomb you arose.

C. Be the Lord of the resurrection for us and for all the baptized.


P. Loving Jesus, for the sake of your cross and passion, we are justified in faith, washed cleaned of our sins by baptism and repentance, and made one with God. We thank you for your cross and for the depths of your love for us. Help us to bear our cross in the world and follow you until you bring us into your heavenly kingdom; where you reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C. Amen







Offertory Hymn:
C. (sing) God, whose giving knows no ending, / From your rich and endless store: / Nature's wonder, Jesus' wisdom, / Costly cross, grave's shattered door, / Gifted by you, we turn to you, / Off'ring up ourselves in praise; / Thankful song shall rise forever, / Gracious donor of our days.  (ELW #678:1)


Offertory Prayer: "Blessed are you..."

Great Thanksgiving (sung)

Holy, Holy, Holy

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Lent (ELW IV, LBW III)

Our Father (sung)


At the Breaking of Bread:

P. This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.

C. We do not presume to come to your table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy to gather up the crumbs under your table. But you are the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ, and so to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. Amen



     "Lamb of God" (seated)

     Hymn  "Beneath the Cross of Jesus"


Post-Communion Prayer




Benediction & Dismissal



There is no closing hymn as we enter Holy Week.
All remain standing until the ministers and acolyte depart.