Worship On Palm / Passion Sunday

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and makes the beginning of his final days toward the Crucifixion and death. This section presents resources that may be used in traditional, creative, and convergence settings of worship.

Introduction To Palm Sunday Worship

The Palm Sunday services rehearse the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Contemporary renewalists draw on the drama and pageantry of the ancient customs as described below.

A Traditional Palm Sunday Service

The following service is a creative adaptation of the traditional pattern and texts for worship on Palm Sunday. It will be of particular help for those who plan more formal worship. For those in nonliturgical churches, the commentary included with this service will provide a guide to thoughtful planning for Palm Sunday.

A Creative Palm Sunday Service

This contemporary Palm Sunday service is appropriate for Protestant congregations who desire a more informal worship. Adapt the order below to local usage and style.

A Convergence Palm Sunday Service

This convergence Palm Sunday service will be compatible with congregations that are developing a worship style that draws on both traditional and contemporary worship forms.

A Palm Sunday Drama

The drama below is a production of the temple scene as it may have been during the Triumphal Entry. It may be used at the beginning of the Palm Sunday service. This service involves the children and gives them a greater sense of the meaning of Palm Sunday. The drama requires two money changers, the crowd (congregation), a lame person, a chief priest, a blind person, rabbi, Pharisee, children's nanny, narrator, Jesus, and temple children.

The Passion Narrative

Traditionally the Passion narrative is read during the Service of the Word in the Palm Sunday service. The narrative represents the shift from the joy of the triumphant entry to be sober reality that this same crowd will deny Jesus and call for his crucifixion.