PALM SUNDAY MARKS THE BEGINNING OF HOLY WEEK
Why Palm Branches?
In the ancient Middle East kings could enter a city in two ways. Horses were used for war, so if the king road on a horse, it usually meant trouble. If they came in peace, they would ride a donkey, a humble act. Jesus was sending two clear messages to the people of Jerusalem. The first was that he is a king, the second message is that his intentions were peaceful. The point was not lost on the religious leaders.
Jesus came down the Mount of Olives into the Kedron valley, to the east of the temple. It is a very steep descent. The road was a dirt path. The spring rains made the passage slippery. The people hailing Jesus placed branches and clothing on the road so that the footing was safe. John is the only gospel that mentions that the branches were from palm trees. Matthew and Mark only refer to “branches”. Luke leaves out the branches entirely and simply says that the people put their clothes on the road.
In medieval Europe, people used willow and other branches to celebrate this day, rather than palms which were rare. Some people braid three or more strips of palm to make crosses or crowns of thorns. Next year we will burn the palms to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.
It is very important for us to read God’s Word slowly and reflectively. We are not reading it just to get information or answer questions; we must enable God’s Word to enter us just like liquid polish enters timber that is thirsty for nutrition. A good rule of thumb is to have a question like this in our mind……”Lord, what are you saying to ME in your Word today? Secondly, how can my life be changed, in order to allow God’s Word to find a Home in my being? Finally, as for special Feasts, Advent and Lent, the three Readings are in a sequence which has an underlying thread running through them. In Ordinary time, the First Reading, and the Gospel are bridged…so we generally look for the link. The Second Reading is continuous, and follows on to the next Sunday.
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)
Psalm: Ps 21:8-9. 17-20. 23-24
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend.’ R.
Many dogs have surrounded me,
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet.
I can count every one of my bones. R.
They divide my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.
O Lord, do not leave me alone,
my strength, make haste to help me! R.
I will tell of your name to my brethren
and praise you where they are assembled.
‘You who fear the Lord give him praise;
all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
Revere him, Israel’s sons.’ R.
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
His state was divine,
yet Christ Jesus did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave,
and became as men are,
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Let’s PAUSE again after this Reading, and reflect on it like you did after the first Reading. The Community Acclamation follows and should be sung: e.g ALLELUIA, or PRAISE TO YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST KING OF ENDLESS GLORY. When we are present at our Sunday Eucharistic Celebration, the Alleluia or Praise be to you…should always be sung. Why? It’s a bit like singing Happy Birthday!
We never say it… 🙂
Gospel: Mark 14:1 – 15:47
The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark
N=Narrator. C=Crowd. J=Jesus O= Other Person 1.
N It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death. For they said,
C It must not be during the festivities, or there will be a disturbance among the people.
N Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper; he was at dinner when a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on his head. Some who were there said to one another indignantly,
C Why this waste of ointment? Ointment like this could have been sold for over three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor;
N and they were angry with her. But Jesus said,
J Leave her alone. Why are you upsetting her? What she has done for me is one of the good works. You have the poor with you always and you can be kind to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what was in her power to do; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. I tell you solemnly, wherever throughout all the world the Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told also, in remembrance of her.
N Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, approached the chief priests with an offer to hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted to hear it, and promised to give him money; and he looked for a way of betraying him when the opportunity should occur.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him,
C Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?
N So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
J Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, ‘The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.
N The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
When evening came he arrived with the Twelve. And while they were at table eating, Jesus said,
J I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me.
N They were distressed and asked him, one after another,
O Not I, surely?
N He said to them,
J It is one of the Twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me. Yes, the Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!
N And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them saying,
J Take it; this is my body.
N Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it do them, and all drank from it, and he said to them,
J This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.
N After the psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them,
J You will all lose faith, for the scripture says, ‘I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ However after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee.
N Peter said,
O Even if all lose faith, I will not.
N And Jesus said to him,
J I tell you solemnly, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.
N But he repeated still more earnestly,
O If I have to die with you, I will never disown you.
N And they all said the same.
They came to a small estate called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples,
J Stay here while I pray.
N Then he took Peter and James and John with him. And a sudden fear came over him, and great distress. And he said to them,
J My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and keep awake.
N And going on a little further he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. He said,
J Abba (Father)! Everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it.
N He came back and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter,
J Simon, are you asleep? Had you not the strength to keep awake for one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
N Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came back and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy; and they could find no answer for him. He came back a third time and said to them,
J You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. The hour has come. Now the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is close at hand already.
N Even while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up with a number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. He had said,
O ‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away.’
N So when the traitor came, he went straight up to Jesus and said,
N and kissed him. The others seized him and took him in charge. Then one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.
Then Jesus spoke,
J Am I a brigand that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me. But this is to fulfil the scriptures.
N And they all deserted him and ran away. A young man who followed him had nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.
They led Jesus off to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes assembled there. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the high priest’s palace, and was sitting with the attendants warming himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus on which they might pass the death sentence. But they could not find any. Several, indeed, brought false evidence against him, but their evidence was conflicting. Some stood up and submitted this false evidence against him,
C We heard him say, ‘I am going to destroy this Temple made by human hands, and in three days build another, not made by human hands.’
N But even on this point their evidence was conflicting. The high priest then stood up before the whole assembly and put this question to Jesus,
O Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?
N But he was silent and made no answer at all. The high priest put a second question to him,
O Are you the Christ the Son of the Blessed One?
N Jesus said,
J I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.
N The high priest tore his robes, and said,
O What need of witnesses have we now? You heard the blasphemy. What is your finding?
N And they all gave their verdict: he deserved to die.
Some of them started spitting at him and, blindfolding him, began hitting him with their fists and shouting,
C Play the prophet!
N And the attendants rained blows on him.
While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the high-priest’s servant-girls came up. She saw Peter warming himself there, stared at him and said,
O You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.
N But he denied it, saying
O I do not know, I do not understand what you are talking about.
N And he went out into the forecourt. The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders,
O This fellow is one of them.
N But he again denied if. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter,
C You are one of them for sure! Why, you are a Galilean.
N But he started calling curses on himself and swearing,
O I do not know the man you speak of.
N At that moment the cock crew for the second time, and Peter recalled how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he burst into tears.
First thing in the morning, the chief priest together with the elders and scribes, in short the whole Sanhedrin, had their plan ready. They had Jesus bound and took him away and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate questioned him,
O Are you the king of the Jews?
N He answered,
J It is you who say it.
N And the chief priests brought many accusations against him. Pilate questioned him again,
O Have you no reply at all? See how many accusations they are bringing against you!
N But to Pilate’s amazement, Jesus made no further reply.
At festival time Pilate used to release a prisoner for them, anyone they asked for. Now a man called Barabbas was then in prison with the rioters who had committed murder during the uprising. When the crowds went up and began to ask Pilate the customary favour, Pilate answered them,
O Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?
N For he realised it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over. The chief priests, however, had incited the crowd to demand that he should release Barabbas for them instead. Then Pilate spoke again.
O But in that case, what am I to do with the man you call king of the Jews?
N They shouted back.
C Crucify him!
N Pilate asked them,
O Why? What harm has he done?
N But they shouted all the louder,
C Crucify him!
N So Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and having ordered Jesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified.
The soldiers led him away to the inner part of the palace, that is, the Praetorium, and called the whole cohort together. They dressed him up in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on him. And they began saluting him,
C Hail, king of the Jews!
N They struck his head with a reed and spat on him; and they went down on their knees to do him homage. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.
They led him out to crucify him. They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.
They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they crucified him, and shared out his clothing, casting lots to decide what each should get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The inscription giving the charge against him read: ‘The king of the Jews.’ And they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.
The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said,
C Aha! So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself: come down from the cross!
N The chief priests and the scribes mocked him among themselves in the same way. They said,
C He saved others, he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, for us to see it and believe.
N Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
J Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
N This means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said,
C Listen he is calling on Elijah.
N Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink, saying,
O Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.
N But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
(At this point, let’s pause for about 30 secs, and give time for our inner prayer to respond to Our Lord’s)death.
And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he died, and he said,
O In truth this man was a son of God.
N There were some women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger, and Joset, and Salome. These used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And there were many other women there who had come up to Jerusalem with him.
It was now evening, and since it was Preparation day (that is the vigil of the Sabbath), there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in hope of seeing the kingdom of God, and he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph who brought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. He them rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset were watching and took note of where he was laid.
DEEP SEA DIVING INTO THE SCRIPTURES
If you have ever opened your eyes under water, or used a snorkel and face mask, or had the opportunity to use an aqualung, it is a very different world to explore isn’t it? I love snorkelling, and it is though the fish welcome you into their world. However, they need to be treated with respect, and one must be aware of ‘no-go’ zones especially where sharks are known to call that place, ‘home’ especially at meal times. So, this next section is going down into the Scriptures, which opens the pathway for us to be curious about The Word, and it will also develop an appetite in us to do this more often.
Focusing the word
Key words and phrases
King of the Jews.
Son of God.
The Lord comes to my help, so I am untouched by the insults.
My God, why have you abandoned me?
Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself.
God raised him on high.
Inspire us by his love, guide us by his example. Change our selfishness into self-giving.
to the point
The true identity of Jesus, the nature of his mission, and the essence of discipleship are revealed in Christ crucified:
Jesus’ identity: ‘Truly this man was the Son of God’ (Mark 15:39);
Jesus’ mission: ‘This is my blood . . . which will be shed for many’ (Mark 14:24);
The essence of discipleship: ‘to carry his cross’ (Mark 15:21).
Connecting the Word
to the passion and the procession with palms
Jesus’ disciples did not understand (gospel at the procession) that Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was not about immediate acclamation and glory (‘Hosanna . . . king of Israel’) but a glory realised only through the cross (Mark’s passion).
to religious culture
Traditionally we observe three hours of silence on Good Friday; discipleship, however, calls us to proclaim the gospel at every hour.
Understanding the Word
The passion of Jesus in Mark’s gospel
The suffering and death of Jesus is the centrepiece of Mark’s gospel. Hints of the passion are found already in chapters 1 and 2 (1:14; 2:7) and, by chapter 3, a plot against Jesus is being planned (3:6). Exactly half way through in the gospel (in the eighth of sixteen chapters) Jesus begins a series of three predictions that details his fast-approaching suffering and death. In chapter 11 Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the events this Sunday’s liturgy enacts ritually – the Palm Sunday procession. Thus, six of the gospel’s sixteen chapters (11–16) are devoted exclusively to the last week of Jesus’ life, while the first ten chapters cover the rest of his life and public ministry. This has led scholars to call Mark’s gospel a passion narrative with an extended introduction.
This aptly draws attention to two of Mark’s major theological concerns. First, while it is true that Jesus is the Son of God (1:1; 3:11; 15:39), the Messiah (8:29; 14:61; 15:32), even the King of Israel (11:10; 15:2, 18, 32), Jesus cannot be properly understood apart from his death on the cross. His mission to inaugurate the Kingdom of God and to cast down the power of Satan can be accomplished only at the cost of his own death. For this reason Mark emphasises the suffering of Jesus: he is rejected by his own people, betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, forsaken by disciples, condemned by religious authorities, beaten by Romans, crowned with thorns, unable to carry his cross, reviled by passersby, and abandoned by God. All this suffering is prelude to, and necessary before, the resurrection. To summarise Mark’s theology succinctly: no cross, no glory. Second, understanding who Jesus is affects discipleship: an improper understanding of Jesus as the suffering Son of God leaves disciples in a constant state of misunderstanding (4:12; 8:17, 21; 9:32), while disciples who truly know Jesus will realise that they must take up their own cross and follow where he leads (8:34). Disciples are to see their own story in the story of Jesus – no cross, no glory.
NO GREATER LOVE. PASSION (PALM) SUNDAY
Dr Brian Gleeson, a Passionist priest, lectures in systematic theology at the Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne. He recently stepped down as the Head of the Department of Church History and Systematic Theology at YTU. He joined the faculty at the beginning of 2001. His previous appointments were at Catholic Theological College Adelaide (2 years); St Paul’s National Seminary Sydney (13 years); Catholic Theological Union Sydney (8 years); Pius XII Regional Seminary, Brisbane (1 year); and Good Samaritan Teachers’ College, Sydney (4 years). His postgraduate studies were with the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium; the Gregorian University, Rome; and the Melbourne College of Divinity. Fr Gleeson is also an active member of ACTA (Australian Catholic Theologians’ Association).
Today we begin the best week in the whole liturgical year, the week we know as ‘Holy Week’. We follow Jesus every step of the way. We start with his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where he is welcomed, applauded and acclaimed, by a big crowd of followers. On Thursday we join him at table and receive the gift of himself in bread and wine. Afterwards we walk with him
along the path that leads from the Upper Room to the Garden of Olives. There we watch him falling to the ground in fear and anxiety about the cruel death that awaits him. Friday finds us standing beside his mother at the foot of the cross, and feeling compassion for him in both his physical agony and mental torment. There at the cross we feel some of his sense of being betrayed and deserted by friends and followers, and of being alone and abandoned, even by God his Father. On Saturday we are quiet and silent around his tomb, as we remember the injustice, hostility and cruelty, of all those wicked men who murdered him. Then, late on Saturday, we move from the darkness of our journey to the place of the brightly burning fire. There we join the procession of the great Easter Candle, symbol of the risen Christ lighting up the darkness of our church and lives. There and then, the pain and sadness of our journey with Jesus to Calvary, will give way to the hope and joy that comes with our convictions. Jesus Christ is not dead and gone. No, he is alive, alive in himself, and alive in us through the gift of his Spirit, his second self.
A realhomilie from Fr Kevin Walsh
Dear One and All,
One week from today is Easter Sunday! We will celebrate the triumph of Jesus over the final enemy … death! It is only correct and just that if we wish to join in the victory, then we should enter into the struggle, which precedes it. During Lent, we have been given the opportunity to reflect upon the quality of our lives in the face of the Lenten Invitation: Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Today, as we receive our Blessed Palm, and give thanks and praise to God, we are given the chance to enter into the spirit of Holy Week. We can take this opportunity to walk with Jesus through this week in all its moods and complexities, to finally rejoice in the Father’s glory when ‘life’ was re breathed into Jesus His Son: that new life which is offered to all of us.
When we speak about Jesus in the Mass, for example, we use the past tense. “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life” … “By your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free”. In other words, Jesus has already completed his part of the formula for salvation; now the rest is up to us. Of course, we are not alone in this venture; the Holy Spirit is alive within God’s household. This week is a sacred time; it is up to us whether we wish to enter deeply into the spirit of it or not. The secular world is well and truly geared up for huge Easter egg sales and massive attendances at the Easter Show, let alone getaway holidays. The beginning and end of these secular activities is often the $$$$ … but for us, the end of this week is New Life! When we enter into the Church’s Liturgy at the Easter Triduum … Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/Sunday, this newness of life and attentiveness to God’s Mission for us can be nourished and sustained in us. If we take ‘time out’ as family and individuals to make this journey, the results will have lasting and indelible effects on us.
There is a time and place for celebration, but it becomes all the more worthwhile when it has been earned through solid attentiveness to Jesus, who invites us to be truly servants of each other; to be responsive to His constant invitation to be with Him in prayer; to walk the Way of the Cross; and to allow the Cross to speak to our hearts. By entering into this mystery, we can rejoice in our God who loves us into life, and gives us the responsibility through our Baptism, to share it gladly with others.
Now is the time to plan our week! Now is decision time! There will be many inviting alternatives, which could take up our time and promise us rewards. However, this is the week of all weeks in which we as a family and community can be renewed through prayerfully and seriously walking the road to Calvary together … and then into the light of Resurrection.
Our reward? A greater alertness to the suffering Christ in His people today, and the strength and quality to be ‘Joyful Easter People’ in a world where His Word is still to be proclaimed and heard.
May this week be a source of blessing for all of us? God Bless you all and your families and May we never forget each other in Prayer.
Sincerely in Christ Crucified,
PS: I have added a few questions for personal reflection and sharing….why not try it with the family at a time that is special to you all?
- Our genes and DNA teach us that all human beings are indeed related. How does this deepen your sense of our common humanity? How does it affirm, challenge, or change your attitudes towards others?
- The Eucharist is central to the Christian experience of communion in Christ and with each other. Though many, we are one body as we gather around the Table of the Word and Eucharist. What have been the most powerful experiences of ‘communion’ for you?
- Human suffering can bring communities together or break communities apart. What signs or examples of both of these have you witnessed?
- Easter is about dying and rising, letting go and starting again. What ‘new beginning’ is God inviting you to make this Easter?
OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………
This is a great opportunity to gather the Family in Prayer. Having a Prayer Setting really adds to and designates this time as a ‘special’ time together. You might like to have a nice coloured cloth on a coffee table, or on the centre of the Dining Room Table. You will need a candle, Crucifix, Bible …in the opened position, even at the Gospel of the Sunday, and maybe a flower. During Holy Week you might like to place some purple and red material on your devotional altar. You might like to create your own permanent ‘sacred space’ in your home, where the Word of God is open, and a small tee light within a fire proof glass, could awaken in the minds and hearts of your family of the ‘real presence’ of God in His Word. Prayer time needs to be able to engage as many of our senses as possible. The burning of some fragrant oil also can evoke in the minds of your family, ‘prayer time’. Someone in the family might like to be the leader of the intercessions, then other family members can share the prayers….everyone can be invited to join is spontaneous shared prayer…
Leader: We pray now to our Lord Jesus who in his deep love went all the way and saved us by his death and resurrection. Let us say: R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, by the food and drink of the Eucharist, accompany us on the road of life, be our strength and joy, we pray you: R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, by your agony in the garden assist all the dying in their hour of struggle and give to all the courage to do the Father’s will, especially when it is very difficult, we pray you:R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, by your unjust imprisonment and condemnation remember those jailed for their convictions or condemned by corrupt judges, we pray you: R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, betrayed and deserted by your friends, be near to all those who are lonely; give your people the capability of making friendships, we pray you: R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, by your way of the cross, lighten the burdens of all who suffer and make them mild and understanding of others, we pray you: R/ Lord, heal your people.
• Jesus, by your death on the cross and your glorious resurrection forgive all sin, give life to all, we pray you:R/ Lord, heal your people.
Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones and ipads….who are some of the people in our Global village or need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., we pray you:R/ Lord, heal your people.
Leader: Merciful God, you heard the cry of Jesus and raised him to eternal glory: hear these our prayers that one day we might also share in that glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.
Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
Leader: The Cross
ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.
ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.
ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.
ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.
ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.
ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.
ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.
ALL WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.