Palm Sunday Ideas - Printable Version

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Palm Sunday Ideas - Sylvia - 03-21-2007

Hi All,

I've been so super busy and then ill for quite a while so haven't been around. I've been thinking of you though Smile

Palm Sunday just isn't coming together for me this year. I need some ideas, something to start the fire and the juices going.

I like to go from celebratory to contemplative during the service. I have the celebratory part down..... but the contemplative part isn't coming.

In the past we've done narration, readings, we have a large cross and utilize it. We've placed items from the story of Jesus at the foot of the cross, had first person monologues from Andrew, Claudia Procula, The Angel in the Garden, The Servant in the Upper Room, Nicodemus. Music, songs sung and scripture read.

But this year, I am stuck.

I had an idea to use the cross but to lay it flat on some sawhorses. Then we'd have the deacons hammer nails into it for the crossbeams, hands, feet and sign areas as a narrator recounted the story of Jesus from Palm Sunday until his burial..... but somehow that is incongruous.

Palm Sunday Ideas - DeanZF - 03-21-2007

Hi Sylvia! Long time no chat!!

Palm Sunday is always such an odd season. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the coming of a very emotional seder, the betrayal in the garden, the trial and execution... And in today's whirlwind church, picking one theme or even two that bridge that gap until "next Sunday" and teaching all of those events in one fell swoop is really tough.

I've seen lots of interesting things over the years. One of my favorites was kind of a mimed entrance of Christ where the chairs were arranged such that lots and lots of folks formed an aisle and one person led a very tame and gentle donkey into the room. The folks were sporting palm fronds which they waved and which some folks laid as a road for the donkey. There were several stops, with several songs sung in between. Couple of hymns, couple of then contemporary pieces. Ride on, Ride on in Majesty was one of them. There was at least one slow Hosanna song, too. It could be done with narrative and the palms...

Recognizing and teaching on the King that didn't look or act like a king might work.

Personally, I'd not use anything that refers to the cross at all. I'd play it as I would for a church that was going to do an entire week of contemplation on that last week of His earthly life. Maybe provide a written booklet for the folks to think on for the week, 7 or 8 meditations?? And then do a little heavy celebration?

The hammering of the nails is great for a Good Friday service, but not for Palm Sunday. That would really take away from the day, IMO. Powerful, but just not right to give the wrong emphasis on the wrong day.

For contemplative, the Hillsongs' "Hosanna, Hosanna, to the Lamb that was slain" (what the Lord has done in me) might could work. Keeps an emphasis on the hosanna part but still is not just blind celebration. Maybe you could use it as a thread to weave a couple of well-scripted, well-rehearsed testimonies about what the King has wrought in a couple of lives. Crisp, moving, and not dragging in delivery, y'know?

Hope it helps.

Palm Sunday Ideas - Sylvia - 03-30-2007

Thanks Dean Smile

We use the day to go from celebratory to contemplative and then leave our folks in a contemplative state with plenty to take home and think about in the coming week. We do not have a Good Friday service, so we cover the whole week's ups and downs in one service!

Here's what I came up with:

A grand, celebratory entrance with the children, choir, pastor and deacons entering down the center isle. The congregation always has palms branches to wave, so they will again this year, and the children will have them too. The choir will lay down 'cloaks' on the floor as they enter. ( With plenty of warnings not to trip on them Wink ) The pastor and the deacons/slders will represent Jesus and the disciples.

I will lead the congregation in singing as the group makes their entrance.

The Pastor lights the Christ Candle. Leads us in prayer.

We have 4 monologues with scripture readings before and a song afterwards. During the worship in giving time, I have a girl singing 'At The Foot of The Cross' ("I'll trade these ashes in for beauty and wear forgiveness like a crown...coming to kiss the feet of Mercy...")

The monologues begin very upbeat with a Religious Zealot who is anticipating Jesus being king and freeing the Jews from Rome. We'll sing All Glory Laud and Honor.

The next monologue is a Worshipper at Jerusalem. This lady was in the temple when Jesus cleansed it of money changers. We will sing Lamb Of God.

The third monologue is Caiaphas. After he makes his phophetic statement that it is better that one man die for all, I will sing 'Before the Throne of God Above.' ('...I have a Great High Priest whose Name is Love...')

The final monologue is Pilate. Afterwards we sing Behold the Lamb as the deacons place the crown of Thorns and Robe on the 10 foot cross at the front of the sanctuary.

The pastor will extinguish the Christ Candle. We'll sit in contemplative darkness for a moment. Next is communion.

When we open up on Resurrection Sunday Morning we will be in darkness, the Christ candle will be lighted, all the lights will be brought up and we will beging singing See What a Morning! The banners and streamers are brought in, as we go into our cantata which the congregation sings with the choir. This whole service is celebratory, sometimes slow and worshipful but always very upbeat and thankful.

Palm Sunday Ideas - DeanZF - 03-30-2007

As you shared, another possibility that could work for another year might be a mime or danced presentation of Ray Boltz' "Watch The Lamb" I've seen it and heard it hundreds of times. Still chokes me up. Could be very moving with even a powerpoint type presentation or slide show.

One for the files. Smile