Preachers, lace up those running shoes! The liturgical world moves quickly this week, and this Sunday starts the marathon.

What is on your schedule? Palms? Passion? Some of both?

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Our discussions of the Revised Common Lectionary texts and the Narrative Lectionary texts may be helpful. If you’re working ahead, don’t miss this post about Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil planning.

Share ideas, share children’s time ideas, and ask for help. We’re all in this together.

I am holding each of you, and your congregations, in prayer as you prepare not only for Sunday, but for this holy week. Peace be with you.


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.


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20 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Palm/Passion Sunday Edition

  1. working with the Palm Sunday reading from Matthew, and turning over the tables in the Temple.
    taking some palm leaves with me tomorrow from the garden, and thinking about handing out leaf shapes for the response, or prayers of intercession – maybe something about where will we join Jesus in upsetting the status quo – which will need careful wording, and 200 leaf shapes, and it is 5.30 pm on Saturday evening …..

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  2. it has been a long day, the church was a polling booth for a by-election, which means we have the opportunity for some extra fundraising – BBQ, trash and treasure,m books, plants, cakes and handcraft all was sold by church volunteers. also a pie drive, so lots of goodies here at the moment, meat pies, apple pies, a large apple, pear and fig pie, and rocky road – which i think I may have eaten too much of

    tomorrow is a combined service, that is the two Sunday morning congregations are worshipping together.
    i have ditched the idea of everyone having a leaf as part of the prayer time – just can’t imagine cutting out enough leaves.
    I have woven 2 previous sermons together, though i did note there were a few sentences that occurred in both of them. and while it is only just after 9.30 pm, i am about to call it quits.
    after the sermon i will read a poem by by Rev. E. Crumlish: Hold on to the Hosannas.

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  3. Popping in briefly to say welcome to the party! I’m at a Presbytery confirmation retreat until late tonight, so I won’t be able to comment very frequently.

    We are reading, in bug chunks, Matthew’s version of the Passion in lieu of a sermon tomorrow. I hope that was a good decision. I am characteristically second-guessing it now.

    Blessings to each of you.

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  4. The church where I am interim is full-on Palm Sunday. It’s a full Sunday with kids, a couple of important minute for mission presentations, and receiving new members. Focusing on the two parades of the day and why each of them gathered and how God had a totally different idea than either one of them thought. It’s a short sermon but I am ok with that.

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  5. When I first wrote the bulletin, I accidently wrote Matthew 2:1-11 for the scripture reading instead of Matthew 21:1-11. An alert song leader caught the mistake before printing–yay for alert song leaders!

    But now that I’m sitting down to write, I’m thinking Matthew 2:1-11 actually might be a good place to start! “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him…” So right now I’m mulling over the connection between those two passages.

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  6. We begin with palms and the whole congregation processing in, then move on to Passion. We’re doing a multi-voice Passion reading in lieu of the sermon, and I have one voice unconfirmed. I am trying to hold it open for the young man to whom I offered it, but if I don’t hear from him soon, I’m going to have to scramble for someone else. (Though unless something brilliant comes to me, I will probably have one of the confirmed readers take the extra parts.) –Wendy

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  7. We are doing Palm/Passion, using the NL Luke reading for Palm and then excerpts from Luke Passion. I have preachwd the 2 parades almost every year. This year I am doing a brief, impassioned (likely) riff on Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, in which the people don’t know what makes for peace. I may write out a few thoughts or outline tonight. I’m tired and don’t feel well so I may not. My heart breaks for Syria. Juxtaposing empires then and now and the yearning for peace will be my 5 minute message.

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  8. Palms here…though we don’t process anymore, and I think we have basically given up on palm waving as well, choosing instead to use them for decor. Though who knows, I could be surprised tomorrow morning!
    On the NL so using Luke’s story, with the weeping-over-Jerusalem part. I had been thinking I was going to do something about the stones crying out (unique to Luke) but with all that has happened this week, I’m leaning toward something with that ending about ignoring the things that make for peace, breaking God’s heart, etc. I have zero idea where that might go, though.
    I think I’ll make dinner, and be back in an hour…

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  9. Hi there. I’m just back from officiating a wedding. So much fun. But now on to Palms for Palm Sunday. whew and something every day during Holy Week. The marathon is on and this year I’m well enough to be ready and to be filled with all that this time in the holy will offer me as well as others. I’m just getting started on writing the sermon too. Oh boy, but I smell food from the other room so that will sustain me while I write. I do have a question. Years ago there was something pastors were doing with Peeps in the sanctuary-something like hiding them or them being in a different place every week. Do any of you remember that? And if so, do you remember the reason behind it-was it anything theological or just goofy fun? Thanks ladies, I’m off to get a glass of red and then I’ll be back . 😀

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  10. I’m here for the late night party goers!

    I’ve been at a confirmation retreat this weekend, which was full of thought provoking, sometimes radical questions from 7th-9th graders. It was fun, and now I’m exhausted.

    Loving all of your ideas above, and I apologize for not making individual replies.

    Still stuck on a children’s sermon idea for tomorrow. It will likely be my own two, who will likely be extra clingy since I’ve been gone. Sigh. So it goes.

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  11. It’s possible I lied about the “getting down to work” thing.
    I did eat ice cream though….

    For the children’s time I’m collecting One Great Hour of Sharing fish banks–I have the kids “go fishing” in the pews to get them. 🙂

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