Liturgy & Music for Palm Sunday

This will be our third year to observe Palm Sunday as a Palm-to-Passion worship experience that recounts the events leading up to Jesus’ death. For some, it will seem like we are ‘jumping the gun’ on Holy Week which highlights the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. This Sunday’s worship fills in the gaps of the story with events, such as the Temple Cleansing, that are often overshadowed by the meal and the cross. By seeing the full sweep of the week this Sunday I hope you will have a fuller appreciation of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. This year, the Gospel of Luke is the featured readings. I hope you will listen to the anthems and read the selections throughout Holy Week as part of your personal preparations for the Easter Feast.


Luke 19:28-40 (Entrance into Jerusalem)

Luke 19:41-44 (Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem)

Luke 19:45-48 (Jesus Cleanses the Temple)

Luke 22:1-6 (The Betrayal)

Luke 23:1-5, 13-25 (The Trial)

Luke 23:26-31 (Simon of Cyrene)

Luke 23:32-43 (The Two Criminals on the Crosses)

Luke 23:44-49 (The Death)



Hosanna by Dan Forrest

And Can it Be? By Dan Forrest

Amen by Dan Forrest

Christus Factus Est by Anton Bruckner

Verily, I tell you by Theodore Dubois (from 7 Last Words of Christ)

Silent Tears by Craig Courtney



Hosanna, Loud Hosanna #278

All Who Love and Serve Your City #433

Why Stand So Far Away, My God? #2180

Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone? #424


Liturgy & Music for Lent Five

This Sunday we will explore the meaning of the offering. Throughout the season, we have been praying prayers of confession. This Sunday it will be in a different place in the order of worship: with the offertory prayer. Why? Read below….


2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Ezra 3:1-7

Psalm 50



“What Gift Can We Bring”

“Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service”

“Take My Life and Let It Be”



Crucifixus by Antonio Lotti

An Offering by Dan Forrest


Call to Worship:

Leader: Remember the great generosity of our Creator.

People: We offer our lives in honor and praise.

Leader: Rejoice in the boundless grace of Christ.

People: We offer our lives in honor and praise.

Leader: Receive the indescribable gift of the Spirit.

People: We offer our lives in honor and praise.


Prayer for Illumination:

O God, who provides us

with every blessing in abundance,

grant us the gift of understanding

to enrich our faith with gratitude

and to inspire us to a life of greater generosity,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayer of Confession & Offering:

Leader: From the depths of God, who is Love,

the Spirit offers us the riches of new life in Christ.

Therefore, let us confess our sin to God and one another:

People: O God our Maker,

we confess that

we have doubted your goodness,

protected ourselves,

and ignored the cries of the needy.

We confess that we have not been

wise managers of your gifts,

generous distributors of your blessings,

or joyful administrators of your grace.

Forgive our sins and free us

to glorify you with our obedience,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Silent Prayer


Leader: Christ sets us free with gifts of mercy, grace and peace.

Our sins are forgiven and our lives are made whole.

People: Praise the God of second chances!

Leader: Therefore, as a forgiven and reconciled people

let us offer ourselves and our gifts in the name of Jesus.

People: All we have, we have from you, O God.

With grateful hearts we present these gifts to you.

By your Spirit, make them be a blessing to others

to the glory of your name. Amen.

Liturgy & Music for Lent Three

This Sunday we will reflect on the ritual of passing the peace of Christ.


Romans 16:16-20

Micah 4:1-7

Psalm 85


Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

Blest Be the Tie that Binds

Let There be Peace on Earth


Grant Us Thy Peace by Felix Mendelssohn:


Call to Worship:

Leader: Insiders and outcasts,

friends and foes,

disciples and disputers

in the name of Jesus,

People: welcome to the house of peace.

Leader: Searchers and strangers,

skeptics and sinners,

dreamers and doubters

in the name of Jesus,

People: welcome to the home of grace.


Prayer for Illumination:

God of all peoples,

through the scriptures

raise our vision of hope for the world.

Teach us your ways of acceptance

and show us how to walk your path of peace

with Jesus Christ our brother and guide. Amen.


Prayer of Confession: United Methodist Hymnal #893

Liturgy & Music for Lent Two

This Sunday’s key ritual will be the diversity of corporate prayers.

The key question is, Why pray together?

This Sunday the prayers of confession, intercession & the Lord’s Prayer will form one litany with the hymn of prayer woven into it.

Notice the diversity of the anthems–by Twila Paris & Dan Forrest–2 contemporary but very different styles.


Acts 4:23-32

Joel 1:13-15; 2:26-32

Psalm 80



Maker, in Whom We Live

Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire

Lord of All Hopefulness



Lamb of God by Paris/Courtney

Selah by Dan Forrest


Call to Worship:

Leader: We were created out of God’s pure delight.

People: Glory, power and praise to our Maker!

Leader: We are saved by God’s tenacious love.

People: Glory, power and praise to Christ!

Leader: We will be united in God’s enduring hope.

People: Glory, power and praise to the Spirit!

Leader: Let all the hosts above and all on earth below

proclaim the glory, power and praise of the Eternal, Triune God!


Prayer for Illumination:

Sovereign Lord,

who made heaven and earth, sea and sky,

open our hearts to know and bear

the tragedy and beauty of this world

with the help of your Spirit.

Shake the foundations of our lives

with the truth of your holy servant Jesus. Amen.


The Prayers of Confession, Intercession & Dedication :

Sing: “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” #492 v. 1-2

Leader: In honesty and vulnerability,

let us confess our sins to God whose presence encircles us.

People: we confess that we have

complained more than rejoiced,

worried more than prayed,

argued more than shared.

We have suppressed the spirit

and stifled the voice of prophets

through our tolerance of evil.

Forgive us for the many ways

we have closed ourselves off

from one another and from you,

Loving God. Amen.

Sing: #492 v. 4

Leader: May God who makes everything holy and whole,

restore your life—body, mind and soul.

The One you called you is faithful.

Our sins are forgiven.

Our new life is in Christ.

People: Thanks be to God.

Sing: 492 v. 5

Leader: And because we have experienced the mercy of God,

we join with the saints in heaven and believers around the world

to pray with confidence for others who need God’s mercy this day.

Jesus, Word of the Creator,

protect and preserve all creatures, great and small,

on land, sky and sea through our humble service.

In your mercy,

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: Jesus, Judge of all nations,

restrain and direct the power of leaders and governments

for the common good and a lasting peace.

In your mercy,

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: Jesus, Savior of the World,

uplift and empower the poor and the oppressed

with your gentle justice.

In your mercy,

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: Jesus, Healer of humanity,

comfort and restore all who are suffering in body, mind or soul

with the knowledge, skill and compassion of their caregivers.

In your mercy,

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: Jesus, Shepherd of our souls,

carry in the arms of your mercy all who have died

and comfort with your unfailing love all who mourn.

In your mercy

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: Jesus, Pioneer of our faith,

lead and love your Church here and around the world

with your peace that overcomes divisions,

your power that ends persecution,

and your truth that confronts complacency.

In your mercy

People: receive our prayers.

Leader: In the unity of your Spirit we unite our voices in the prayer you taught us:


The Lord’s Prayer

Sing: 492 v. 6

Liturgy & Music for Lent One

Each week, we will post links for the music and the liturgy for the upcoming Sunday as part of our focus on worship as a spiritual practice. The rituals we will be focusing on for the first Sunday are the call to worship and receiving the light of Christ.

Scripture: John 1:1-5, 10-16; Exodus 3:1-6; Psalm 63

Hymns: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing; Spirit of Faith, Come Down; Christ is the World’s Light

Anthems: Eternal Light by Leo Sowerby &  O Nata Lux by Morten Lauridsen


Call to Worship (Based on the opening hymn “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”)

Leader: Come and sing our Great Redeemer’s praise!

People: Jesus Christ is our life and health and peace.

Leader: Come and sing the glories of our God and King!

People: Jesus Christ breaks the power of sin and sets the prisoners free.

Leader: Come and sing the triumphs of God’s grace!

People: Jesus Christ died and rose for me.



Prayer for Illumination (Based on John 1)

God of grace and truth,

as the scriptures are read

hush the chatter of our minds

so we can hear your Word;

dispel the darkness in our hearts

so we can see your Light—

Jesus Christ who animates our lives.



Prayer of Confession (Based on Exodus 3 & Psalm 63)

Leader: The faithful God of Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah

calls us by name to the holy place of forgiveness.

Therefore, let us confess our sin to God and one another.

People: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

we confess that we have worshipped the gods of self and society.

We have sacrificed compassion and justice for entertainment and apathy.

Forgive us and free us to accept our limitations

and embrace the mystery of your grace in Jesus Christ. Amen.

[Silent Prayer]

Leader: Hear the good news!

We have received grace upon grace in Jesus Christ

who quenches our thirsty souls.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven.

People: Amen.








Te Deum & Prayer of Dedication

This Sunday’s stewardship celebration will feature Te Deum’s by Mark Hayes and Dan Forrest. The Te Deum is an ancient prayer from the 4th century that follows the outline of the Apostles’ Creed and petitions based on the psalms. It is fitting on Stewardship Sunday to focus on praise because our giving is a sacrifice of thanksgiving for God’s blessings. Here is the prayer of dedication based on the Te Deum that we will conclude our service with:

Leader: We praise you, O God:

our strong Mother,

our gentle Father,

the ruler of our lives,

the keeper of our souls.

People: With all creation we praise your name.

Leader: We praise you, O Christ:

our sin-bearing brother,

our mercy-keeping judge,

the light for our path,

the source of our joy.

People: In union with Christ’s gifts for us, we bring our offering of praise.

Leader: We pledge our gifts to you, O God.

By your Spirit use them as instruments

to save the world and bless our descendants.

Govern their use and sanctify their effects.

People: Day by day,

we will honor you with the sharing of our lives.

We will trust your mercy,

we will celebrate your love. Amen.