Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion

Photo by Jonny Clow on Unsplash

“Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

This Sunday has so much going on that it has two names! We start our Holy Week celebrations this Sunday proclaiming Hosanna, an ancient word meaning save us. We begin this week where we retell the crux of our faith by asking God to save us and waving palm branches around. We quickly learn that God’s method of salvation is not through the power of the sword and shield, but instead is through the power of death and resurrection. We proudly proclaim this week the saving death of Jesus, even though it may make us feel somewhat uncomfortable. We know that this week is not the end of our story, but a beginning as we travel through the cross to the empty tomb.


Procession with Palms
Mark 11:1-11
Jesus enters Jerusalem

Isaiah 50:4-9a
The servant of the Lord submits to suffering

Psalm 31:9-16
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit

Philippians 2:5-11
Humbled to the point of death on a cross

Mark 14:1-15:47
The passion of the Lord

Worship Music

With a wide range of emotion in our readings this week, our music also runs a wide range of emotion. We’ll begin worship by singing our Hosannas and songs of praise with All Glory, Laud, and Honor. After hearing the Passion story, we will turn our eyes toward the great act of Jesus on the cross, singing O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. We’ll close worship singing There in God’s Garden which reminds us that the cross is as much a beginning as it is an ending.

Reflection Questions

What part of the Passion story is the hardest for you to hear? Why?

Which part of the Holy Week story is most important? Does that change over time?

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Dr. Adam Lefever Hughes

Director of Music

Adam served as Director of Music at St. Peter’s from 2015 to 2022.

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