Prayer at home on Palm Sunday

Prepare your prayer space:  place a candle, crucifix, and some palm or other branches from your garden (if possible) or add a plant from your home 

Perhaps the most memorable part of the Palm Sunday liturgy is the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem. To help us celebrate, the church invites us to carry palm branches as we gather for prayer today. Even so, we remember that liturgy is not a recreation of a past events. Rather, it is an active remembering of the past so that we may live those realities today.  

Opening Prayer:  

Loving God, as we step into Holy Week, we remember your triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We sing your praises, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” You alone are the true King, the leader greater than all others. Even so, in your great mercy you chose to become like us, taking on human form and living among us. As we celebrate and shout “Hosanna” today, may we remember what will soon follow. Keep us faithful in word and deed, and help us to love you always. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.  

Reading: Matthew 21:1-11  

When they 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 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.” 

Litany  (if you have children you might pray this in a small procession around your home or garden area) 

We, too, welcome Jesus, the Son of David, the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel. Holding our palm branches, let us acclaim Christ, the Lord.  

To Jesus, the True Light, who illumines the darkness and brings us hope during difficult times.  

R/. Hosanna to the Son of David!  

To Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who models compassion and inclusion, sensitivity and goodwill.  

R/. Hosanna to the Son of David!  

To Jesus, who shows us by example how to accompany others, offering gentle guidance and direction.  

R/. Hosanna to the Son of David!  

To Jesus, the Great Healer, who cares for the sick with tenderness and mercy, showing love to heal body, mind, and spirit.  

R/. Hosanna to the Son of David!  

To Jesus, the Paschal Victim, who died so that we might rise to new life.  

R/. Hosanna to the Son of David!  

Prayers of Intercession:  

Confident that Jesus Christ hears our prayer, let us offer our petitions with open hearts.  

For Pope Francis and all church leaders: May they continue to boldly lead, offering prophetic witness to the Gospel. R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For all people in positions of leadership: May they work tirelessly for peace and justice to ensure the common good for all.     R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For all families and communities, who are finding life difficult at this time: May they know the tenderness and compassion of Christ in the words and actions of those around them.  R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For all who are working to care for those suffering from covid-19. May the Lord be their strength in these days.   R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For all who keep essential services operating for us: may they experience respect and kindness from all whom they encounter.    R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For our own needs this day: add your own prayers     R/. Lord hear our prayer 

For all who have died: May they rest and rise in Christ.   R/. Lord hear our prayer 

We pray in the words that Jesus taught us. Our Father . . .  

Closing Prayer:  

Loving God, We praise you in a special way today as we celebrate Palm Sunday. Be with us as we begin our journey through Holy Week that we may draw closer to you, knowing suffering and death, yet remaining hopeful in the life you promise. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.