Liturgy Alive Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
I. BLESSING OF PALMS AND PROCESSION
Introduction Before the Blessing of Palms
A. Until Where Do I Follow My Lord?
Today is a day of glory for the Lord, with people acclaiming him as God's messenger: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." A few days from now, as we will hear in the Passion story, people will shout: "Crucify him!" We understand this better when we reflect on our lives. We have some days of glorious happiness, of success and joy, but also sad days of contradiction and failure. Today we look at them in the light of the Lord. With him we live happy days, with him we experience sad days, but whether sad or joyful, in all of them we follow the Lord.
B. One With Jesus in Suffering and Triumph
Today's celebration is the opening scene of the drama of Holy Week. It points to the two central acts that brought us forgiveness and new life: Jesus' death and resurrection. We acclaim Jesus as our victorious King when we wave our palms, for he will overcome sin and death on Easter. But to win this victory, he chose to pass through suffering and death, as we are told in the story of his passion. Let us be one with Jesus in his pain, that we may also share in his victory.
Prayer of Blessing of the Palms
God of all life,
we come before you with green branches,
symbols of life and youth,
and of Jesus who called himself the green wood.
Bless us, and bless these branches.
Let these green twigs and leaves acclaim Christ
as our Lord who brings us life's fullness,
even though we have to go with him
the hard road of suffering and death.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
- The priest sprinkles the branches with holy water in silence.
Gospel Introduction: Your Humble King Comes to You
Jesus enters Jerusalem in popular triumph. We too proclaim him our glorious King, but his true kingship was that of the Servant of God and people, who died to bring us life. Do we want to be like him?
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 strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding 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."
- A brief homily may be given.
Then the priest or a minister invites the people for the procession:
With the people of Jerusalem
we honor Jesus as our Lord
and we follow him singing his praise.
- After the procession of solemn entrance,
the priest immediately prays the Opening Prayer.
If there is no procession or solemn entrance,
the usual Penitential Act of the missal is said.
II. MASS Proper
Let us pray to our heavenly Father
that the passion and death of Jesus
may bring us forgiveness and life
God our Father,
in the passion and death of Jesus, your Son,
you have made us aware
of how deeply you love us.
Make us also conscious of how evil sin is
and dispose us to keep believing in your love
when we have to bear the cross of suffering.
For after the cross follows the resurrection,
for Jesus and for us.
Give us this firm faith
through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: God Will Come to My Help
The suffering Servant of God remains faithful to his mission even when persecuted. For he relies on God.
"Lord, if you had been here," said Martha. "my brother would not have died." Lord, make us aware of your presence and of your call to live your life, as we pray to you: R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
- Lord, give new life to your Church and give it courage, that a better Church be born through the testing pains of renewal, we pray: R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
- Lord, pour out your life richly and deeply in adults and children preparing for baptism, that they may live close to you, we pray: R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
- Lord, sustain old people and the dying in the hope that they will rise in you, that they may entrust themselves to you in all serenity and with deep faith, we pray: R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
- Lord, keep inspiring those who suffer, the victims of injustice and misfortune, with the value and the dignity of life, that they may not give up on life, we pray:R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
- Lord, look on our Christian community. Make us appreciate life as a gift and a task so that we can use all our potentials to make it rich and full for ourselves and for others, we pray: R/ Son of the living God, give us life.
Lord Jesus, raise us up above our petty self-sufficiency to a hope stronger than death. Stay with us now and for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
your Son Jesus has given meaning
to death as well as to life.
In his own body
he experienced our sufferings with our joys
and died our death
as an offering to you and to us.
As we join him in his sacrifice,
help us to bear with him
the burdens of our brothers and sisters,
that with him and with you
we may live for ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Let us join in Jesus' prayer of thanksgiving to the Father, the God of Life, for his goodness and the hope of resurrection.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
With hope and trust
we pray to the Father of all life
the prayer of Jesus our Lord. R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and let the peace we ask from you
not be a guilty peace of complicity
in the injustices of this world.
Let it be a liberating peace
that cannot find rest
until all our brothers and sisters are free
with the freedom you have brought us
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus the Lord, who says to us:
I am the bread of life.
All those who eat my flesh and drink my blood
have eternal life.
They live in me and I in them,
and I shall raise them up on the last day. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
God of all that lives,
your Son Jesus has reassured us in this eucharist
that he is the resurrection and the life
and that we have eternal life already now
if we believe in him.
May his body and blood nourish this life in us
and make it grow day after day
that we may live his life to the full
and with him make it a gift
to brighten the lives of others.
Let him lead us to your life of unending joy.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
God our Father wants us to live.
May we gratefully accept life from him
as a gift and an assignment . R/ Amen.
Our Lord Jesus Christ died for us
that we might live.
May we live with him a life
worthy of the sons and daughters of God. R/ Amen.
The life-giving Spirit inspires us
to follow the way of Christ as people living for others.
May he make us always available and open
to anyone in need. R/ Amen.
And may the God of life,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
bless you and keep you in his love. R/ Amen.
Let us go in the peace of Christ. R/ Thanks be to God.