Somehow here we are again — a year on, having Palm Sunday in what’s now a more familiar yet still hard to comprehend way. If you are looking for some liturgical language that meets this moment in ways some of our more traditional language doesn’t quite capture, here is some brand new liturgy offered to you by members of our RevGals community, ready for you to use or adapt for your context. If you can give attribution in written form (orders of service, video descriptions) that’s great. Verbal attribution isn’t necessary.
Call to Worship by Deborah Roof
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the LORD!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven
Come! Gather with the saints to worship and praise!
We come to praise God joyfully with loud voices!
Come! Listen to Jesus and not the naysayers!
We shout because our faith calls us to proclaim this moment!
Invocation by Deborah Roof
Precious Lord, we enter the gates with you now. So many times you have walked with us in our trials. It is we who walk with you in this moment. They will turn on you. We pray that we shall not. Give us courage to leave our silence behind, knowing that if we were silent, the stones would shout! Amen.
Prayer by Kathy Swaar, based on Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 Mark 11:1-11
Blessed are you, Holy One.
Blessed are you who comes in the Name of the Lord,
you Whose kingdom is not static.
You come, you go, you equip, you send.
You send us: into the village, into the countryside,
into every town and place,
into all the world.
And with us goes the blessing of your Presence.
Let us never forget that.
Let us never forget that wherever we go, whatever we do—
whether the road leads to triumphant acclamation
or through the valley of the shadow—or both—
You are present with us, in every moment, in every step.
So let us give thanks.
Let us give thanks and rejoice in God’s Presence.
Let us give thanks for the beauty of creation;
Let us give thanks for the foundation of faith
that holds us fast and keeps us even in the midst of pain and struggle.
Let us give thanks for the Blessed One
who comes with salvation and mercy.
As the crowds laid down cloaks and branches on the road,
so may we lay down our hearts and lives—
all we have and all we are—
an offering of love, in response to your great love.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Stone meditation by Teri Peterson (based on NL reading in Luke “the stones would shout”)
note: we have all been asked to find a smooth stone that fits in the palm of our hands to “bring” to worship this week, whether online or in person.
If these stones could speak…
Would they tell us tales of being washed by the waves,
of being skipped over the surface of the water by children,
of being sniffed by dogs and serving as a perch for seagulls?
Would they tell us tales of being tumbled in the sea,
or of being pressed and pressed some more in the depths of the earth,
hot and cold,
bearing more than we can imagine?
Would they tell us tales of their past as sand or lime or lava?
Would they reveal the words God spoke in the beginning,
to bring them forth from the depths and fashion them into these colours and shapes?
Would we hear about the boulders they once were part of,
moving through the mountains and valleys to where we find them today?
If these stones could speak…
we might hear of times long past
we might hear of places far and near
we might get a different perspective…
Stones have been building blocks for buildings,
housing the joys and sorrows of everyday life,
the complexities of governing,
the mysteries of faith,
soaking up words and sounds and smells,
being carved by artists and visitors and children.
Stones have been the building blocks for roads,
carrying people here and there —
merchants and kings and fishermen and teachers,
women and men and children and animals and carts and cars.
Stones have been the building blocks of both war and peace,
thrown in anger,
stacked into walls,
built into sanctuaries for human and animal alike,
painted to share joy.
What stories these stones could tell!
Hold your stone and listen —
Jesus says that when our voices are silent, the stones will shout.
The whole of creation reverberates with his good news:
The kingdom of God is among you!
The stones have seen kingdoms come and go,
yet still they hold the truth of the very beginning:
God’s word that created all things still runs through the heart of creation.
Listen to the stories the stone will tell,
the gospel it holds:
Jesus the Christ brings God’s kingdom here.
Let us join them in welcoming him.
(During this week, decorate your stone with an Easter message — perhaps a picture of an empty tomb, or an empty cross, or perhaps simply “christ is risen” or “alleluia”, or whatever message you think the stone wants to shout out today! When your stone is ready, take it on a walk and put it somewhere for someone else to find for Easter — the stones shout out the good news even when we can’t sing aloud!)
Offertory Invitation by Deborah Roof
Our God’s generosity has no boundaries. We receive so much from our loving Creator. This is the time for us to step up and give back a portion of the overwhelming treasure we have received so that our meager generosity shouts good news to all the world.
Offertory Dedication by Deborah Roof
Thank you, generous God. The abundance that you gift us is a wonder for us to ponder. We have searched our hearts and now offer these gifts. Bless them we pray, so that they may reach far and wide into the world with joy and good news! Amen.
Here’s a hymn that (if you have the right licensing for John Bell/Graham Maule hymns) you can use in worship:
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