April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Prayers

Here are three Palm Sunday prayers from around the world.

This responsive prayer is from the Church of Scotland's (1994) Book of Common Order:
Humble and riding on a donkey,
we greet you;
acclaimed by crowds and caroled by children,
we cheer you;
moving from the peace of the countryside to the corridors of power,
we salute you:
Christ our Lord!

You are giving the beast of burden
a new dignity;
you are giving majesty
a new face;
you are giving those who long for redemption
a new song to sing.

With them, with heart and voice,
we shout:
Hosaana!
Amen.
I (rather loosely) translated this prayer from Gerhard Engelsberger's 2002 book Gebete für den Gottesdienst ("Prayers for the Worship Service"):
You chose your own path. Those who spread branches before you and sang your praises on Sunday, will think they know better by the next day, stretching their necks out, looking for a new savior.

But your path was chosen for the sake of the lowly. You will be disgraced or the sake of losers. For the sake of the weak you will become a nobody. For the sake of life you will confront death.

Dear Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Amen.
This responsive confession of sin is from Australian Prayers (1983) by Bruce D. Prewer:
Hosanna! Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord:
Hosanna in the highest!
If we should hold our peace, the very stones would shout aloud:

Hosanna in the Highest!

God of the King who humbly rides on a donkey, we who are conceited about our image and status, need your salvation:
Come, Lord, save us.
God of the pilgrims who publicly confessed their enthusiasm for Jesus, we, who are embarrassed by public displays of faith, need your salvation:
Come, Lord, save us.
God of the hesitant who watched the holy procession, but were of two minds about joining it, we, who often falter in our convictions, need your salvation:
Come, Lord, save us.

Gracious God, we thank you for the experience of forgiveness and the sense of your presence:
We praise your grace in Jesus Christ, who makes disciples out of sinners, and creates new life in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!

Hosanna! Blessed be the mercy which comes in the Name of the Lord:
Hosanna in the highest!
Here's a beautiful instrumental arrangement of our favorite Palm Sunday hymn:


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