APRIL 5, 2020

An Order for Personal or Family Worship

April 5, 2020 - Palm Sunday

This order of worship is designed for individuals and families who are worshipping alone or with family due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is an adaptable worship aid; it can be rearranged and its parts can be skipped. Even though we cannot meet together, our goal is to find unity as a church by using the same texts and songs for worship.

If you are worshipping as a group, choose someone to read the included texts and prayers out loud. Texts in bold may be read by everyone in unison. 

Call to Worship - Psalter Reading: Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29 NRSV

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    for his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Let Israel say,

    “His steadfast love endures forever.”

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,

    that I may enter through them

    and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;

    the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me

    and have become my salvation.

22 The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone.

23 This is the Lord's doing;

    it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day that the Lord has made;

    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!

    O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

    We bless you from the house of the Lord.

27 The Lord is God,

    and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

    up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

    you are my God; I will extol you.

29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Hymn: Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing (#501 in the Psalter Hymnal)

Singing in small groups or alone without music can be awkward, and we know that. You may be tempted to skip this part, and it’s okay if you do. If you’re not comfortable singing the included hymns, we want to encourage you to sing something, whether that’s singing an easy song like Amazing Grace or listening to or singing along with a recorded piece of music.

1 Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing

my great Redeemer's praise,

the glories of my God and King,

the triumphs of his grace!

2 My gracious Master and my God,

assist me to proclaim,

to spread through all the earth abroad

the honors of your name.

3 The name of Jesus charms our fears

and bids our sorrows cease;

'tis music in the sinner's ears,

'tis life and health and peace.

4 He breaks the power of canceled sin,

he sets the prisoner free;

his blood can make the foulest clean;

his blood avails for me.

5 He speaks, and, listening to his voice,

new life the dead receive;

the mournful, broken hearts rejoice;

the humble poor believe.

6 Hear him, you deaf; you voiceless ones,

your loosened tongues employ;

you blind, behold your Savior come;

and leap, you lame, for joy!

7 To God all glory, praise, and love

be now and ever given

by saints below and saints above,

the church in earth and heaven.

Prayer of Illumination

Eternal God,

Whose Word silences the shouts of the mighty:

Quiet within us every voice but your own. 

Speak to us through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ,

That by the power of your Holy Spirit

We may receive grace to show Christ’s love

In lives given to your service. Amen.*

Old Testament Reading: Zechariah 9:9-17

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!

    Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

Lo, your king comes to you;

    triumphant and victorious is he,

humble and riding on a donkey,

    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim

    and the war-horse from Jerusalem;

and the battle bow shall be cut off,

    and he shall command peace to the nations;

his dominion shall be from sea to sea,

    and from the River to the ends of the earth.

11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;

    today I declare that I will restore to you double.

13 For I have bent Judah as my bow;

    I have made Ephraim its arrow.

I will arouse your sons, O Zion,

    against your sons, O Greece,

    and wield you like a warrior’s sword.

14 Then the Lord will appear over them,

    and his arrow go forth like lightning;

the Lord God will sound the trumpet

    and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.

15 The Lord of hosts will protect them,

    and they shall devour and tread down the slingers;

they shall drink and roar as if drunk with wine,

    and be full like a bowl,

    drenched like the corners of the altar.

16 On that day the Lord their God will save them

    for they are the flock of his people;

for like the jewels of a crown

    they shall shine on his land.

17 For what goodness and beauty are his!

    Grain shall make the young men flourish,

    and new wine the young women.

New Testament Reading: Matthew 21:1-11 NRSV

1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

    humble, and mounted on a donkey,

        and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

    Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Sermon: “Your King is Coming”


Joys and Concerns and Prayers of the People

Spend some time taking prayer requests (if you’re in a group) and praying through the needs of our congregation, community, and the world. Finish by praying the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

forever. Amen.

Hymn: All Glory, Laud, and Honor (Suggested Tune: St. Theodulph, #375 in the Psalter Hymnal)

1 All glory, laud, and honor 

to you, Redeemer, King, 

to whom the lips of children 

made sweet hosannas ring. 

You are the King of Israel 

and David's royal Son, 

now in the Lord's name coming, 

the King and Blessed One. 

2 The company of angels 

is praising you on high; 

and we with all creation 

in chorus make reply. 

The people of the Hebrews 

with palms before you went; 

our praise and prayer and anthems 

before you we present. 

3 To you before your passion 

they sang their hymns of praise; 

to you, now high exalted, 

our melody we raise. 

As you received their praises, 

accept the prayers we bring, 

for you delight in goodness, 

O good and gracious King! 

Closing Prayer

Grant, O Lord, that what has been said with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and that what we believe in our hearts we may practice in our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.*

* Reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004, CRC Publications