Thursday before Palm Sunday
March 26, 2015
Blessed Holy Week
Yes, Holy Week begins this coming Sunday with Palm Sunday (AKA Sunday of the Passion). As with all our services during Holy Week, we have a special liturgy for Sunday. Most of it will be spoken with the exception of the hymns and a couple of liturgical pieces. The music liturgical pieces will be included in the worship bulletin. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
Our opening hymn will be “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” (LSB 443). The sermon hymn will be “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” (LSB 441). Following the Prayer of the Church (taken from The Lutheran Hymnal) and as we turn our eyes towards the Sacrament, we will sing “Be Present at Our Table, Lord” (LSB 775). For our Sanctus we will sing verses one and two of “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” (LSB 940). For our Agnus Dei we will sing “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” (LSB 434). We will have two distribution hymns, “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord” (LSB 637) and “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” (LSB 643). Our final hymn will be “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates” (LSB 341).
The assigned Gospel lessons are rather lengthy. They are John 12:12-19 (actually a rather normal length) and Mark 15 (yes, the whole chapter). The Old Testament lesson is Zechariah 9:9–12. The Epistle lesson is Philippians 2:5–11. It is easy to lose focus when one person is reading for a long time, so the reading of the Gospel lessons will be shared with the congregation.
The choir will be singing “What Wondrous Love Is This.”
The sermon is titled, “The Week that Changed History.” While the sermon will survey all our Gospel reading, the text will be John 12:12. In reality, this message introduces the theme for all the Holy Week messages. So the message for Maundy Thursday is “The Meal that Changed History.” The Good Friday message is “The Death that Changed History.” Easter’s message is titled “The Day that Changed History.”
Below is a sweet video of our opening hymn. The regular choir in the church begins the hymn “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna.” In the opening verse there is the line “The little children sang.” The small children of the congregation join the choir, all bearing palm fronds. The children then sing the second verse.
What follows is a synopsis of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the synod. Following that are some additional notes of interest.
The Son of David Ascends His Throne and Reigns in Love from His Cross
The Son of David comes in gentle humility, “sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet as the King of Israel “in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13–15). He comes to be lifted up in glory on the cross in order to cast out “the ruler of this world” and draw all people to Himself (John 12:23–32). The Church is thus called to “rejoice greatly,” because her King comes with salvation, and “he shall speak peace to the nations” (Zech. 9:9–10). As He is anointed “beforehand for burial” (Mark 14:8), He also ascends His royal throne as “the King of the Jews” by way of His Passion (Mark 15:2, 17–19, 26). He goes “as it is written of him,” wherefore “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power” (Mark 14:21, 62). For the glory of God is love, which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners. So God the Father has “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His cross.
Some Additional Notes
- Saturday we gather at church, beginning at 10:00 am, to spruce everything up for Holy Week.
- Our Holy Week schedule of services will be included in Sunday’s worship bulletin.
- Our adult Sunday morning Bible study continues its look at the “spirituality of vocation.”
- Our Stations of the Cross have been posted in our yard. We will have a Stations of the Cross Service at noon, Holy Saturday. The stations will be taken down following Easter and returned to our wall.
- The new Portals of Prayer (which begin April 1) are here. Copies are in your mailboxes in the narthex. Extra copies are available for you to give out.
- Our seasonal Choir will practice, this week, following our Maundy Thursday service.
- Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 your closest neighbors from pray4everyhome.com. If you have no internet access, speak with Rachel Swain or Kitty Rickert and they will sign you up and get you a list.
Blessings in Christ,