Call to worship

Let us pray for Christians all over the world that this week’s celebration of Holy Week may be us renewal and deepen our faith. This is the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, one of our holiest days. We commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The events of this week would change the world forever. Let us enter the spirit of this celebration and reflect on the final week of Jesus’ life. We prepare our hearts for the agony of His Passion and the joy of his resurrection.

Centering prayers


(Matthew 21: 1-11)

The whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”

A very large crowd before and behind
cried out with “Hosanna to the Son of David,”
as they spread their cloaks
and strewed leaves from the palm trees,
preparing the way for the king to enter Jerusalem.
The city’s people were dazed and they cried out.
Who can this be, this great one?
Now we cry out too! Who can this be?
We wave psalms in welcome, but we ask,
Jesus of Nazareth, who are you to us?
Our God who walks alongside us?
A king, crowned with thorns?
A light that shows our way to the truth?


(Matthew 26: 14-27, 66)

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him
of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

Sweet Jesus, you so loved the world that you
set your face like flint toward us,
and gave your back to those who beat you,
and your cheek to the ones who plucked your beard!
No? Did you ever shield yourself
when you were struck?
Instead, you humbled yourself and emptied yourself
out of love. Let us be amazed by your love and share in it.
Let us say with the pagan centurion,
“Truly this man was the Son of God!”

The First Reading

(Isaiah 50: 4-7)

“He opens my ear that I may hear.”

Sunrise to sunset, open our eyes
that we may find you in all things.
Jeremiah, Romero and Dorothy Day:
morning after morning, they opened their ears.
Let us, too, hear the cry of the poor,
of the planet, of all in pain
from racial injustice.
Let us speak on their behalf.
Open our hearts that we may love you,
holding nothing back, nothing at all.

The Second Reading

(Philippians 2: 6-11)

“Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave”

No self-concern, no turning away.
Christ, teach us to love in your way.
Filled with your Spirit, let us surrender into your love.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection