The stone the builders rejected

The Celebration of the Gospel

Palm/Passion Sunday
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
— Psalm 118.22

      __________The Palms__________


The Entry

Narrator — When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples ahead of them.
Jesus—  Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?’ just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’ ”
Narrator— They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”  They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.  Then those who went ahead and those who followed shouted:
Congregation: Hosanna! Hosanna! Save us, we beseech you!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming of the kingdom of our ancestor, David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!

SONG   All Glory, Laud and Honor  Blue Hymnal # 280


Loving God, we thank you.  You have come among us in such great love in Jesus.  Bless us that we will always hail him as the ruler of our hearts and sovereign of our lives, that we will follow him in gentleness and justice with humility and courage.  Bless us that we will share in his obedience to your will in joy and confidence.  Blessed is the one who comes in your name!   Peace on earth and glory in the highest!  Grant us your salvation, we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

PSALTER    Psalm 118.14-29
The Lord is my strength and my might;
God has become my salvation.
There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.

The Lord has punished me severely,
but did not give me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God:
God has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,
for God’s steadfast love endures forever.

_________The Palms_________

The Anointing
Narrator— It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.” While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.  But some were there who spoke in anger, and they scolded her.
Reader  1— Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for nearly a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor.
Jesus — Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.
Narrator —  Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.


The Preparation

Narrator— It was the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed.  Jesus’ disciples came to him.
Congregation— Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?
Jesus— Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, ‘Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’” He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready.  Make preparations for us there.
Congregation— So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
Narrator— When it was evening, Jesus came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus spoke to them.
Jesus— Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.
Congregation— Surely, not I?    Is it I, Lord?   Am I the one?
Jesus— It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me.

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison.
Grant us peace and mercy.

The Meal     
The Eucharistic Prayer… Communion

The Promise      (Mark. 14. 26-31)

Narrator— When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus— You will all become deserters; for it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.
Congregation— Even though all become deserters, I will not.

Jesus— Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.
Congregation—  Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.

The Prayers

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated.  And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.”  And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”

He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour?  Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.

And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.  He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

SONG     Stay with Me    Black hymnal  # 2198


The Arrest

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.”  All of them deserted him and fled. A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.


The Trial

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying,  “We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ”  But even on this point their testimony did not agree.

Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Human One seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and “coming with the clouds of heaven.’ ” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.

SONG      Ah. Holy Jesus      Blue hymnal  #289. V.  1,2,5

The Denial       
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about”

And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it.
Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.”
At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Kyrie Eleison.  Christe Eleison.  Kyrie Eleison.
Grant us peace and mercy.

The Sentence
Narrator— As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate- —Are you the King of the Jews?
Jesus— You say so.
Narrator— Then the chief priests accused him of many things.
Pilate— Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you!
Narrator— Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed. Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.  Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.
Congregation— Release for us a prisoner!
Pilate— Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?
Congregation— No, give us Barabbas!
Pilate— Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?
Congregation— Crucify him!
Pilate— Why, what evil has he done?
Congregation—  CRUCIFY  HIM!
Narrator— So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Congregation— Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.  We thought he was being punished by God, but he suffered because of our sins, and was wounded by the evil we did.  We all like sheep have gone astray, each one of us turning to our own way, and he has borne the sin of us all.

Pastor— All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death and buried with him. Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For whoever has died is freed from sin.  But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  So consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus

      Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Come, let us follow the lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.

The Mocking
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters ); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.


The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning God wakens—
wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
the One who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?  Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

CANTICLE  Philippians 2.5-11
Have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though divine,
did not cling to equality with God
but became utterly empty,
born a human, choosing the place of a slave,
and in complete humility became obedient to death
— even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted Christ
with a name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess
to the glory of God, the Giver of Life,
that Jesus Christ reigns supreme!

The Crucifixion

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

HYMN      O Sacred Head, Now Wounded  Blue Hymnal   # 286

The King of the Jews

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.  The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,  save yourself, and come down from the cross!”  In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

A LAMENT     from Psalm 31
Into your hands I commit my spirit.
You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”

The Death


The Burial

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

SONG   O Jesus  Steve G-H

The service is ended.   Go in silence.

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