Palm/Passion Sunday - Liturgical Payers

I. BLESSING OF PALMS AND PROCESSION

Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Jerusalem: Place of Suffering and of Triumph
We know from the school of life that not every day is a day of joy and bliss: there are also gloomy days of suffering, of disappointments and failure. But today, on Palm Sunday "of the Lord's Passion," we are told in no uncertain terms that this was the freely accepted lot of no less than Jesus himself. First, we see him acclaimed in a small triumph, but then we hear how he is led to his death. One week from now, on Easter Sunday, we will hear it clearly and emphatically stated that his death led to the triumph of his own resurrection; we will also hear of the forgiveness and life he brings us. We unite ourselves with Our Lord in his triumph and in his suffering and death and we pray that he will make our life and death as acceptable and meaningful as his.
B. And the Passion Goes On…
Today and during the whole of Holy Week our attention focuses on the sufferings which our Lord endured for our sake and how they led to his resurrection and our own rising from sin and evil and ultimately from death. But we keep also in mind that Jesus goes on suffering today in his body, that means, in his people who are victims of injustice, of deprivation, betrayal, persecution. Let us pray for them that they may also rise with the Lord and that we may help them to rise.
Prayer of the Blessing of the Palms
Let us pray
        (PAUSE)
God of all life,
we come before you with green branches,
symbols of life and youth,
and of Jesus, who called himself the green wood.
Bless us, and bless these branches.
Let these green twigs and leaves acclaim Christ
as our Lord who brings us life's fullness,
even though we have to go with him
the hard road of suffering and death
toward the final victory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
The priest sprinkles the branches with holy water in silence.
Gospel of the Palm Blessing (Lk 19:28-40): Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord
The people acclaim Jesus, but during his trial, they will shout: "Crucify him!" Where do we stand?

A brief homily may now be given. Then the priest or a minister invites the people for the procession:

And now, with the disciples
and the people of Jerusalem,
we acclaim Jesus with joy as our Lord and Savior.
We follow him, waving our palm branches.
II. THE EUCHARIST
Song: The procession song serves also as Entrance Song. After the procession or solemn entrance, the priest prays immediately the Opening Prayer. Only if there is no procession or solemn entrance, the usual Penitential Act and Kyrie from the missal are said.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray that we may follow Jesus
on his road of service
        (PAUSE)
God our Father,
in Jesus your Son you have shown us
that the road that leads to victory
is the way of loving service
and the willingness to pay the price of sacrifice
for faithful, unswerving love.
Give us the mentality and attitude of Jesus,
that we may learn to serve with him
and to love without counting the cost.
May we thus become victorious with him
who is our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
 
First Reading Introduction: God Will Come to My Help
     The Suffering Servant of God remains faithful to his mission even when persecuted for he relies on God
 
Second Reading Introduction: Jesus Humbled Himself and So Became Our Lord
     God's Son humbled himself to become one of us and to serve us. This is why God raised him up and made him the Lord of all.
 
Passion Introduction: Jesus' Suffering and Death
Note: The passion does not have the customary greeting at the beginning, just the title. Neither does the Lectionary give the usual conclusion at the end ["This is] the gospel of the Lord."
In the passion, Luke presents Jesus as the one who came to seek and save what was lost. He offers God's mercy to people today.
 Homily Prayer:

Lord, there comes a time in the lives of all of us when we, like Jesus,
must enter into a radical confrontation:
– those in authority have been abusing their power;
– we finally recognise that we need help to overcome an addiction;
– some members of our community have betrayed the cause and must be excluded;
– we need to give up our comfortable situation and move into something new.
At these moments, give us
– and especially those of us whom you have called to be leaders in our communities –
a share in the inner freedom of Jesus,
so that like him we can go on ahead of the rest, as we go up to our Jerusalem.
Help us like Jesus to make our arrangements confident that they will come to pass,
and to allow ourselves to be put in a position of authority.
Help us to be so confident of our cause
that if someone told us to check our followers
we would know that if they kept silence, the stones would cry out.
Lord, we thank you for glorious moments of grace
– we found a friend whom we felt we could trust perfectly;
– we enjoyed intimacy with our spouse;
– one of our children did us proud;
– a new social movement arose in our country.
We were like the disciples when Jesus approached the downward slope of the Mount of Olives:
we joyfully began to praise you at the top of our voices for the miracle which we had seen.
We cried out, ”Blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
We glorified you in the highest heavens.
Lord, it is strange how when the moment of grace comes,
everything seems to fall into place very naturally.
If we need something, we find as the disciples did on the first Palm Sunday,
that all we need say is, “The Master needs it,” and immediately all obstacles are removed.
Lord, we pray that as a Church we may not betray our young people.
Often we lack the courage of our convictions,
are too anxious to please them, and do not go ahead of them.
But when young people today meet leaders who challenge them, they joyfully praise God,
they are ready to spread their cloaks in the road before them,
and welcome them as kings who come in the name of the Lord.
“The important events of history are the thousands of humble actions that heal and reconcile.”   …Cardinal Arms of Sao Paulo in Brazil, 1994
Lord, we thank you for the many humble people who enter Jerusalem in peace.
As we think of them, we praise you at the top of our voices
and cry out, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens.”

General Intercessions
With Jesus we pray and suffer that all people may find forgiveness and life. We pray: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, our Savior, suffering your agony with you, we pray for all who are dying in pain. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.
- Lord Jesus, arrested like a criminal, we pray for all who are in prison. We say: 
R/ Lord, save your people. - Lord Jesus, denied by your best friends, we pray for all who are deserted by those dear to them. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, brought before unjust judges, we pray for all who suffer from injustice, especially in unjust courts. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns, we pray for all who are tortured. We say: R/ Lord, save you people.- Lord Jesus, carrying your cross, we pray for all who don't know how to bear their afflictions. R/ We say: Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, dying on the cross abandoned, we pray for all who are alone in life. R/ We say: Lord, save your people. - Lord Jesus, raised from the dead, we pray you to bring us life and peace and to raise us up with you. R/ We say: Lord, save your people.
Crucified Lord, hear our prayer. Give us here today the bread of resurrection and life. Turn our ways of the cross into roads to life and joy. Be with us for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Loving Father,
on the night before he died
Jesus gave himself to his friends
in the form of bread and wine,
as he does again now here among us.
Give us grateful hearts for all his goodness
and make us strong enough
to give ourselves with him
to those with whom we go through life.
Let this offering bring us reconciliation
with one another and with you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Jesus' cross and death brought us forgiveness and life. He died, that we might live. With Jesus we thank the Father for his love.
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from sin
and from every other evil,
and grant us your forgiveness and peace.
In your mercy, give hope and love
to those who are abandoned
and are agonizing because of their crosses.
Lead us all forward in hope
toward the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Lamb of God, who said:
"Anyone who wants to be great among you
must be the servant of all,
just as I came not to be served
but to serve,
and to give my life as a ransom for all."
Happy are we if we follow the Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Loving Father, in this eucharist
your Son Jesus has given himself to us
as he gave himself totally on the cross.
May we learn from him
to keep our hope in you alive
and to continue going our way in life
also when we do not know
what will come to us in the future
or when we have to bear heavy crosses.
For we trust you, and we know
that we will rise above our miseries
to a life of joy without end,
by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Blessing
In Jesus we have seen today
how love of God and love of people
go hand in hand, are inseparable.
Jesus' love for the Father
made him go all the way in his love for us.
He died in carrying out that mission
and in his death we are reborn.
Let this thought guide us this Holy Week
and inspire our Christian living too:
Jesus is the Master and Lord,
and we follow him.
May God give you strength and bless you:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 
R/ Amen.
Go with one another
the way of Jesus our Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.