Palm Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers

I.  BLESSING OF PALMS AND PROCESSION

Introduction by the Celebrant

A. Jerusalem: Place Of Suffering And Of TriumphWe 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, and persecution. Let us pray for them that they may also rise with the Lord and that we may help them to rise.

Prayer of Blessing

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.

The priest sprinkles the branches with holy water in silence.

Gospel of the Palm Blessing: 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?

Gospel Reading: Lk 19:28–40
After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.
He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.
And if anyone should ask you, 'Why are you untying it?' you will answer, 'The Master has need of it.'"
So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them.
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?"
They answered, "The Master has need of it."
So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount.
As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples."
He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"

Now a brief homily may be given.
Then the priest or a minister invites the people to join the procession:
With the people of Jerusalem
we acclaim Jesus as our Lord
and follow him while we sing his praise.
Song: The procession song serves also as Entrance Song.
  After the procession or solemn entrance, the priest prays immediately the Opening Prayer. If there is no procession or solemn entrance, the usual Penitential Act of the missal is said.


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II.  THE EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION

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.

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.

Gospel 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.

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 your people.
•    Lord Jesus, carrying your cross, we pray for all who don’t know how to bear their afflictions. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.
•    Lord Jesus, dying on the cross abandoned, we pray for all who are alone in life. We say: R/ 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. We say: R/ 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.

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.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
Jesus prayed to the Father
for the strength to do his will.
We join him in his prayer of trust:

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.

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.

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.

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.