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Order of Worship with Triumphal Entry painting

Palm Sunday

March 31, 2023

April 2, 2023 | Palm Sunday

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Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week.

Palm branchPrelude

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna (ELLACOMBE), Setting by J. Wayne Kerr

Today’s prelude on ELLACOMB is both joyful and triumphal. The text of the hymn setting recounts the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem as children waved palms and sang hosanna to their king. The tune name, ELLACOMB, was first found in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg in 1784 and is named for a village in Devonshire, England. The text is almost 100 years older than the tune and is by Jeannette Threfall (b. 1873). It is found in the Glory to God hymnal as hymn #197.

Call to Worship

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you,
humbly on a donkey.
Come, let us worship God!

Hymn #196, “All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor
to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring!

1 Thou art the King of Israel,
thou David’s royal Son,
who in the Lord’s name comest,
the King and blessed One. (Refrain)

2 The people of the Hebrews
with palms before thee went;
our praise and prayers and anthems
before thee we present. (Refrain)

3 To thee, before thy passion,
they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted,
our melody we raise. (Refrain)

4 Thou didst accept their praises;
accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest,
thou good and gracious King! (Refrain)

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession (together)

Holy God, sure of your faithfulness even in your dying, comforted by your compassion toward your people in every age, we ask for your mercy for our lack of gratitude. We have looked to you for paltry favors, when you have given everything. We have withheld from your people, our neighbors, and from your creation, our Earth, the care and tending they deserve.We have rejected the cornerstone you sent to build a people of righteousness even here, today. Forgive our failings. Heal what we have broken, nurture what we have neglected, and lead us to your vision, so that we may know the peace of wholeness in you.


Music (lyrics: repeat Kyrie Eleison)

Assurance of Pardon

Response of Praise: Hymn 582, “Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”

1 Glory to God, whose goodness shines on me,
and to the Son, whose grace has pardoned me,
and to the Spirit, whose love has set me free.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

2 World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

Passing of the peace

Life in Community

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Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Holy One, 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 the Holy Spirit we may receive grace to show Christ’s love in lives given to your service. Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures

Hymn: O Save Us, Lord! Hosanna!

1 “O save us, Lord! Hosanna!” the people cried and sang;
Through pillared court and temple, their urgent anthem rang.
To Jesus who stood by them, the One who heard their plea,
The people sang their longing, their hunger to be free.

2 They followed down the mountain, a cheering, chanting crowd,
Their palms raised high in protest, their voices clear and loud.
They sang no songs to Caesar; they gave the king no laud.
Instead the donkey rider they hailed as blessed of God.

3 From Seneca to Stonewall, from Selma ’till today,
In chants of “¡Sí, se puede!” in voices bold and brave,
When people cry for justice, for rights, or for release,
Still echo those “Hosannas!” still rides the Prince of Peace.

4 “O save us, Lord! Hosanna!” we hear our children sing.
From school, and street, and sidewalk, we hear their voices ring.
And there in every protest, ’till weapons kill no more,
Still rides defiant Jesus, just as he rode before.

Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 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. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘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.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 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!’

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

Sermon: “Save Us!”

Call to Offering

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Hallelujah, Mungu wa, composed by Israeli E. Reitan & Michael Burkhardt.

Sung in Swahili:
Hallelujah, Mungu wa Israeli.
Hakuna Mungu kama wewe.

Hallelujah to the God of Israel.
There is no other God like you.

Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God of grace, you amaze us with your grace and the depths of your love. Accept these offerings as signs of our gratitude and bless the energy, intelligence, imagination and love we put into furthering Christ’s ministry among your people. Amen.

Prayers of the People and 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 #203, “My Song is Love Unknown”

1 My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
O who am I
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?

2 He came from heaven’s throne
salvation to bestow;
the world that was his own
would not its Savior know.
But O my Friend,
my Friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend!

3 Sometimes we strew his way,
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to our King.
Then “Crucify!”
is all our breath,
and for his death
we thirst and cry.

4 Unheeding, we will have
our dear Lord made away,
a murderer to save,
the prince of life to slay.
Yet steadfast he
to suffering goes,
that he his foes
from thence might free.

5 Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine:
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my Friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.



Organ Sonata No. 2: Allegro maestoso e vivace, Felix Mendelssohn

Today’s postlude comes from the third movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s second organ sonata. The publication of Mendelssohn’s organ sonatas heralded a new era in Romanticism and brought about a resurgence of interest in organ music, which had declined in the decades following the death of J. S. Bach. Though difficult to believe today, Bach’s music had fallen into obscurity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Mendelssohn’s performance of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion in 1829 singlehandedly brought about a renaissance of Bach’s music in both public awareness and academic circles. Today’s postlude was chosen for its majestic and triumphal character, fitting for Palm Sunday.


  • Dorothy Boulton, Associate Pastor
  • Keith and Kathy Glennan, Ruling Elders, video production
  • Wendy Johnston, Organist and Assistant Director of Music
  • Greg Knauf, Director of Music
  • Kenneth E. Kovacs, Pastor
  • Vickie Lord, social media support
  • Dottie Marshall, Ruling Elder, sanctuary set up
  • Susan Jaeger, Ruling Elder, liturgist


  • Book of Common Worship (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018).
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
  • “Kyrie eleison,” from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Common Ground: A Song Book for All the Churches (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1993).