Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

April 4, 2020

Morning Prayer: Rite I

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Christ Episcopal Church | Macon, Georgia

The Rev. Zac Neubauer, Officiant
the Rev. Steve Ayers, Homilist
the Rev. Cynthia Knapp, Intercessor
Jonathan Poe, Cantor
Susan Allen and Lawrence Williford, Lectors


Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Confession & Absolution of Sin

Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of Almighty God our heavenly Father, to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his holy Word, and to ask, for ourselves and on behalf of others, those things that are necessary for our life and our salvation. And so that we may prepare ourselves in heart and mind to worship him, let us kneel in silence, and with penitent and obedient hearts confess our sins, that we may obtain forgiveness by his infinite goodness and mercy. 

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen. 

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you absolution and remission of all your sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen.


The Invitatory and Psalter 

O Lord, open thou our lips. 

And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


Jubilate (chanted)

O Be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.

Be ye sure that the Lord he is God; *
it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; *
be thankful unto him and speak good of his Name.

For the Lord is gracious; his mercy is everlasting; *
and his truth endureth from generation to generation.


Psalm 31:9-16 (chanted)

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

For my life is wasted with grief,and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.

I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. * I have said, “You are my God.

My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”


The Lessons

Philippians 2:5-11

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death–even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


Canticle 14: A Song of Penitence (chanted)

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of all their righteous offspring:

You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.

But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.

O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.

You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.

In your great goodness, Lord, you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.

And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.

I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.

Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.

Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.

For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.

Unworthy as I am, you will save me, in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.

For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.


The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew.

Narrator: Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him,

Pilate: Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus: You say so.

Narrator: But when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him,

Pilate: Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?

Narrator: But Jesus gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to the crowd,

Pilate: Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?

Narrator: For Pilate realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests and the elders had handed Jesus over. While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him,

Wife: ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’

Narrator: Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them,

Pilate: Which of the two do you want me to release for you?

People: Barabbas.

Pilate: Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?

People: Let him be crucified!

Pilate: Why, what evil has he done?

Narrator: But the crowd shouted all the more,

People: Let him be crucified!

Narrator: So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying,

Pilate: I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.

Narrator: Then the people as a whole answered,

People: His blood be on us and on our children!

Narrator: So Pilate released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying,

Soldier: Hail, King of the Jews!

Narrator: They spat on Jesus, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. As they went out, the soldiers came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry Jesus’ cross. And when the soldiers came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over Jesus’ head they put the charge against him, which read,

Soldier: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.

Narrator: Then two bandits were crucified with Jesus, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying,

Passerby: You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Narrator: In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Jesus, saying,

Chief Priest: He saved others, he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him,

Scribe: He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if God wants to; for this man said, “I am God’s Son.”

Narrator: The bandits who were crucified with Jesus also taunted him in the same way. From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice,

Jesus: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Narrator: When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,

Bystander: This man is calling for Elijah.

Narrator: At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said,

Bystander: Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.

Narrator: Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.  (Silence) At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said,

Centurion: Truly this man was God’s Son!

Narrator: Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. Joseph then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said,

Chief Priest: Sir, we remember what that imposter said while he was still alive.  He said, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise Jesus’ disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead,” and the last deception would be worse than the first.

Pilate: You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.

Narrator: So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.




The Apostles’ Creed 

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


The Prayers

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Let us pray

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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 

O Lord, show thy mercy upon us;
And grant us thy salvation.

Endue thy ministers with righteousness;
And make thy chosen people joyful. 

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in thee can we live in safety. 

Lord, keep this nation under thy care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth. 

Let thy way be known upon earth;
Thy saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away. 

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with thy Holy Spirit.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that we, being ordered by thy governance, may do always what is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Gracious God, we pray for the sick and for all those serving on the front lines of this battle against the coronavirus. We pray for our health care workers as they care for the most vulnerable. Place a hedge of protection around them that they might remain healthy and strong in this time of need. Give all your people the desire to work together in the spirit of cooperation as those united by a common enemy. We pray for those in the margins who are dependent on others and lack the resources to ride out this time. We pray for the businesses and workers who are suffering. Give all your people a heart of compassion and understanding that we might find new ways to reach out to one another to be your hand of blessing to meet the needs at hand. Finally, Lord, give us eyes to see your hand at work, bringing unexpected good out of this time, breaking down the strongholds that have divided and been at war against us. In our time of solitude draw us close to your heart that we might become so deeply rooted in you that it will become for us a blessing that will carry forth in the days and even years to come.

Add your own prayers of intercession and thanksgiving.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom 

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name thou wilt be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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