A Home Liturgy for Palm Sunday 2020

If you have a garden and can get some greenery, then get enough to give a piece to each person in isolation with you.
If you cannot cut some greenery but have a potted plant, place that on the table – it will remind you and anyone with you of the strange year we are in.

Sit down around the table you are normally at for meals. If you do not have such a common table, then sit around where you normally eat.

Sisters and brothers, this Sunday we gather as individual households or alone in our homes. In all instances God is with us, the Christ is among us, and the Church is at prayer. This prayer resource is for you this Sunday.

 Opening

Have a piece of greenery in your hand

Leader or together:

Sisters and Brothers, we have observed the 40 days of Lent. We unite ourselves to the Church Universal and pray that we may enter this Holiest of Weeks with reverence and hope.

We pray: God of all creation, these branches recall for us the joy of that day when Jesus, fulfilling the scriptures, made his entry into Jerusalem. Bless this greenery we hold in our hands that it may go with us throughout the coming year.

All: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Reader: Matthew 21:1-11.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’
Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt,
the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and scattered them on the road.
The crowds going ahead of him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked,
“Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Then together say:

O Gates lift high your heads;
Grow higher ancient doors.
Let him enter the King of Glory!
Who is the King of Glory?
He, the Lord of Host, he is the King of Glory.

Spend a few minutes in silence thinking about the Gospel. Then talk together about what Jesus will do in Jerusalem in the coming days. What will happen on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday? Remind one another that Jesus is present in this domestic liturgy: ‘for where two or three have gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt 18:20).

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader: Let us pray.

Let each in turn lead an intercession:

We pray for all those infected by the Coronavirus around the world, for those who care for them, for health specialists and authorities who are combatting the spread of infection, and for all who at this time are feeling anxious.

Lord hear us.

All: Lord, graciously hear us

For all believers: that we take up the cross each day and remain faithful to the Lord.

Lord hear us.

All: Lord, graciously hear us

For world leaders: that they may govern with mercy, justice and respect for the rights of all people for just treatment, food, water, shelter and safety.

Lord hear us.

All: Lord, graciously hear us

For wealthy nations and people; that they act with compassion and concern for the poor and marginalized.

Lord hear us.

All: Lord, graciously hear us

Make your own prayers for those who are sick or in need. Ask God to protect them. Finish each prayer with:

Lord, hear us.

All: Lord, graciously hear us

Then the leader says:

We pray for those who have died that they may rest in the loving presence of the Lord.

Lord hear us.

And now let us pray together as Jesus taught us:

Everyone prays this together

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.
Amen.

Leader: May God bless us and keep us safe.

All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

With thanks to Professor Thomas O'Loughlin