a service of worship for passion/palm sunday - april 2, 2023
Traditional worship service 9:000 am
Praise service 11:00 am
This service embodies the sharp contrasts of Holy Week.
In the Entrance with the Palms we experience the joyous demonstration of
loyalty to Jesus as he enters Jerusalem, including festive Palm Sunday music.
In the Proclamation and Response we confront and respond to the story of Jesus'
passion, including somber Passion Sunday music.
It is important not to let the celebration of Palm Sunday crowd out the
observance of Passion Sunday. The passion narratives in Scripture are highly
unified and dramatic, and we need to experience the story in its wholeness
before we reflect at greater length on its various parts during the following
We need also to remember that many persons who attend on Passion/Palm Sunday
will not be in church again until Easter Day. Going directly from the lesser
joy of the entry into Jerusalem to the joy of Easter, without being addressed
by the passion and the cross of our Lord, misrepresents the gospel. There is no
triumph without suffering, no crown without a cross.
Because so much of significance is in this service, and
because this day and all of Holy Week are preliminary to the supreme joy of
Easter, this day is unsuitable for celebrating baptism, confirmation, or the
reception of new members. Baptisms and confirmations at this time of year are
most appropriately held during the Easter Season—the Great Fifty Days from the
Easter Vigil through the Day of Pentecost.