March 24, 2024

24 March 2024

Palm Sunday

God Invites Us To Gather

Words of Welcome 

  • Welcome to worship here at Maple Grove United 
  • My name is Rev. Jessica McCrae and I am so happy to be leading this time of worship with you along with our musicians Dr. Deborah Henry and Eran Rozen, Pat McKee on guitar, our choir, our scripture reader Karen Kerr, our greeters Barb and John Duffin, Charlotte Taylor on live streaming, with Mike McGee on sound. Thank you everyone!
  • Welcome to those who are joining us online today. We are so glad that you chose to join worship in the Grove today!  Please if you have time, drop us a line at the church and introduce yourself.
  • Lenten study group Thursday at 1 pm in the chapel with a special focus on Maundy Thursday
  • Contemplative Prayer happens every Wednesday at 11 here in the sanctuary
  • Good Friday is happening this Friday at 10:30am
  • Easter Sunday on 10:30 Sunday
  • If you would like to make a financial offering to the work of this church there is a plate as you came in, and offerings can also be made through electronic transfer, cheque dropped off to the church, and through Canada Helps.  

Today is Palm and Passion Sunday.  We will be celebrating communion near the end of our service so if you are worshiping online please have something ready.  Here in the sanctuary we are using our cups …

Also I have palm crosses for all of you, please be sure to get one from the greeters on your way out.

Acknowledgment of the Land

Lent is a journey we are called to walk,

So too is the path to reconciliation with the first peoples of this land.

And so we acknowledge that the land upon which we are worshipping, creating our church home, and making our Lenten walk, is the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the credit.  We give them thanks for welcoming us on this common journey toward peace and reconciliation.

Our Christ Candle is lit.  We give thanks for the light of Christ in our life and in the work and worship we do together.  If you are at home I invite you to light your own candle to celebrate the light that lives in our world.  Let us prepare our hearts and minds for our worship, as we listen to our prelude. 


Call to Worship 

We join with the crowd that eagerly awaited the coming of Jesus.

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of God!

Hosanna in the highest!

Jesus entered the city

riding humbly on a donkey.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God!

Hosanna in the highest!

Like the crowd in Jerusalem 2000 years ago

we celebrate, sing, and welcome Jesus,

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God!

Hosanna in the highest!

Hymn: Hosanna Loud Hosanna. VU 123

Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer 

God we welcome you this day in hope and appreciation.

We feel the excitement of the crowds and we cannot help but sing, and hope and wonder at all you are prepared and able to do in our world.

We are so ready for hope

So ready for change.

But we know too God that this day will lead to a week filled with questions, filled with soul searching, filled with shadows.

And so we pray that you will fill us this day with strength and wisdom to begin our Holy Week journey.

as we make our way through fog and shadows to the sunrise of Easter morning,

Give us we pray, on this bumpy and tension filled journey, signs to remind us we are not alone.

May echoes of the hope of this morning, stay with us. 

In the name of Jesus and in words he taught us we pray

Our Creator

in heaven

Hallowed be your name

Your kindom come

Your 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 yours is the kindom

The power and the glory

Forever and ever



The Word of God Proclaimed

Prayer of Illumination (Karen Kerr)

Holy God,
Through all of life’s trials and tribulations
your Word sustains us for the journey ahead.
Send your Spirit upon us
that we might listen, discern, and take heart.

Reading: Luke 19:28-40

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 Now as he was approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,

“Blessed is the king
    who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
    and glory in the highest heaven!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Thanks be to God.

Sermon: Hope Happens

Hymn: Ride On! Ride On in Majesty! VU 127

Our Response to God

Introduction of Offering:  Now let us take time to offer to God and give thanks for the gifts that have been given to our church community throughout our week, and here today.  Our offering will now be received.

Offertory Music: Giver of the Perfect Gift. VU 116 v. 1 & 4

Giver of the perfect gift, 

Only hope of human race,

Hear the prayer our hearts uplift,

Gathered at thy throne of grace.

Oh may these our Lenten days, 

blest by thee with thee be passed,

that with purer, nobler praise

we may keep they feast at last.

Offering Prayer

The crowds offered you their coats to walk on,
they waved palm branches, honouring your presence.
Today we honour you, God,
with our offerings and our love.
We lay these gifts before you,
humble tokens of our love,
a public display of affection for you, our hope.

Prayer of Confession

Jesus, your arrival in Jerusalem was welcomed with a      

show of palms and a shout of praise.  

Yet soon you were abandoned.  Even your closest friends left your side. 

We confess that we too make a joyful noise at your

coming, but that we often turn our back on you when the      

going gets rough. 

We often serve you with our lips instead of with our      

whole lives. 

We intend to follow you wherever you go, but we often do not.  Instead, like Peter, we deny you.  We try to fit in with the crowd.  We avoid risking ourselves and living into our faith. 

Forgive us God for being timid, 

Forgive us God for our part in the suffering of others and our world.

God have mercy. 

Christ have mercy. 

God have mercy.

Sung Response:  Kyrie MV 67

Kyrie eleison

Kyrie eleison.

Christe eleison.

Christe eleison.

Kyrie elei – Kyrie eleison (sing 2 x)

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, believe the good news of the Gospel. 

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! 

Let us shout our hosannas with joy!

We are forgiven!  Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!

Communion Liturgy

Holy God as we enter Holy Week we know the shadows and turns that lie further down this road.

It is natural for us to be frustrated as the joy of earlier turns to concern, and then fear,

as the authorities come, arrests are made

and the one in whom we put so much hope faces trial and the cross.

But we know God that you have been with your people

through all of the trials they have faced, throughout millennium.

As the Israelites made their way out of bondage,

You were there.

As the people were taken captive by the Babylonians,

You were there.

As your church received your Spirit

and faced opposition and oppression again,

You were there.

When we fell,

When we sinned,

When we failed to notice you,

Throughout our doubts,

Throughout our wars

Throughout our pandemics.

You are there.

Never leaving us.

Forgiving us despite the pain and hurt we inflict.

You are there.

Through whatever pain we face, wherever the road ahead leads … you have been there, and you will be here.  

With us.

And so now as the week’s journey begins

We follow the one who,

On the night he was sold into the unknown

By one of his friends with whom he ate,

Took a piece of bread

And after giving thanks

Tore it apart saying

“This is my body,

I give it for you.”

In the same way, after supper

He took a cup of wine

And shared it with them:

‘This is my blood,

poured out as a promise

that I will always go before you.”

And so we give you thanks

You who have walked the path before us

You who have known the pain and suffering

You who have hoped and feared

You who have shared the anticipation of what is not

But what may be.

We give you thanks

And we take the cup

From your hands.

We give you thanks

And break the bread 

to share with your children

And we remember in awe

the love which death could not extinguish

And pray

For the justice 

Which still eludes our grasp.

You who put your life into our hands

We put our lives in your hands.

May your spirit come to us

and through this meal may we be nourished for the journey ahead.

Go before us to light the way,

Go behind us to comfort and encourage

God with us

Go with us

Sharing the elements

Jesus Christ, the bread of life.

Jesus Christ, the cup of hope.


It is true that the people welcomed Jesus into their midst.       

Their hosannas rang out, they called upon him as a saviour,      

a mighty king. 

They hoped that that he would cast the oppressors out of      

their land and bring them glory and honour as did King David      

before him. 

But Jesus walked a different path and worked in a      

different way to bring God’s salvation to the people. 

The people did not understand this way – 

and when Jesus was      

betrayed into the hands of the authorities 

and did not fight, they turned on him,  

seeing him as a failure.  

Even as he lay down his life for them, those closest to him      

fled in fear. 

Music for Reflection

Prayers of the People

God of the journey,

as our Holy Week journey begins we pray that the nourishment we have received this day will see us through.

We pray that you will give signposts for our way,

to remind us that we are not alone as our feet tread where we’d rather not go.

We pray that you will strengthen us as we falter, that you will forgive us for the times we turn away in fear.

We pray that you will make us even more mindful of one another and the individual crosses that are carried everyday by your children.

This year God, make us stronger than we have been

and more capable of love than we ever imagined.

Be with us God we pray

as we make our way through the shadows to Easter morning.


*Hymn:  Lift High the Cross. VU 151


As we go out into this world

Filled with hope but mindful of the twists and turns of this path we are on

May we feel the Spirit of God close

May we know that with each step we take

We are not alone.

Sung Blessing: Love Us Into Fullness MV 81

Love us into fullness, touch us with your grace;

Jesus in your mercy, draw us to your face.

Love us into fullness, hold us in your care,

Cheer us with your presence, here and everywhere.

Love us into fullness, and we will be strong;

Jesus walk beside us, fill our hearts with song.