Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

Holy WeeK Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion




Holy WeeK


Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion


  1. Until Where Do I Follow My Lord?
  2. One with Jesus in Suffering and Triumph




Introduction Before the Blessing of Palms


  1. Until Where Do I Follow My Lord?

      Today is a day of glory for the Lord, with people acclaiming him as God’s messenger: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” A few days from now, as we will hear in the Passion story, people will shout: “Crucify him!” We understand this better when we reflect on our lives. We have some days of glorious happiness, of success and joy, but also sad days of contradiction and failure. Today we look at them in the light of the Lord. With him we live happy days, with him we experience sad days, but whether sad or joyful, in all of them we follow the Lord.


  1. One with Jesus in Suffering and Triumph

      Today’s celebration is the opening scene of the drama of Holy Week. It points to the two central acts that brought us forgiveness and new life: Jesus’ death and resurrection. We acclaim Jesus as our victorious King when we wave our palms, for he will overcome sin and death on Easter. But to win this victory, he chose to pass through suffering and death, as we are told in the story of his passion. Let us be one with Jesus in his pain, that we may also share in his victory.


Prayer of Blessing of the Palms

God of all life,
we come before you with green branches,
symbols of life and youth,
and of Jesus who called himself the green wood.
Bless us, and bless these branches.
Let these green twigs and leaves acclaim Christ
as our Lord who brings us life’s fullness,
even though we have to go with him
the hard road of suffering and death.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

– The priest sprinkles the branches with holy water in silence.


Gospel of the Palm Blessing: Your Humble King Comes to You

Jesus enters Jerusalem in popular triumph. We too proclaim him our glorious King, but his true kingship was that of the Servant of God and people, who died to bring us life. Do we want to be like him?


At the Procession with Palms – Gospel: Mk 11:1-10

When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,
to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives,
he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately on entering it,
you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone should say to you,
'Why are you doing this?' reply,
'The Master has need of it
and will send it back here at once.'"
So they went off
and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street,
and they untied it.
Some of the bystanders said to them,
"What are you doing, untying the colt?"
They answered them just as Jesus had told them to,
and they permitted them to do it.
So they brought the colt to Jesus
and put their cloaks over it.
And he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
and others spread leafy branches
that they had cut from the fields.
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!"


or Jn 12:12-16

When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel."
Jesus found an ass and sat upon it, as is written:
Fear no more, O daughter Zion;
see, your king comes, seated upon an ass's colt.
His disciples did not understand this at first,
but when Jesus had been glorified
they remembered that these things were written about him
and that they had done this for him.


  • A brief homily may be given. Then the priest or a minister invites the people for the procession:

            With the people of Jerusalem
            we honor Jesus as our Lord
            and we follow him singing his praise.


                  After the procession of solemn entrance, the priest immediately prays the Opening Prayer. If there is no procession or solemn entrance, the usual Penitential Act of the missal is said.


Opening Prayer

Let us pray to our heavenly Father
that the passion and death of Jesus
may bring us forgiveness and life
God our Father,
in the passion and death of Jesus, your Son,
you have made us aware
of how deeply you love us.
Make us also conscious of how evil sin is
and dispose us to keep believing in your love
when we have to bear the cross of suffering.
For after the cross follows the resurrection,
for Jesus and for us.
Give us this firm faith
through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.


At the Procession with Palms — Gospel:  Mt 21:1-11

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
"Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
'The master has need of them.'
Then he will send them at once."
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
"Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden."

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
"Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest."
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, "Who is this?"
And the crowds replied,
"This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee."


First Reading: God Will Come to My Help

      The suffering Servant of God remains faithful to his mission even when persecuted. For he relies on God.


Reading 1: Is 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.


Responsorial Psalm: Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

(2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
"He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him."
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
RMy God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
"You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!"
R.  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


Second Reading: Jesus Humbled Himself and So Became Our Lord

      God’s Son humbled himself to become one of us and to serve us. This is why God raised him up and made him the Lord of all.


Reading 2: Phil 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


Verse before the Gospel:  Phil 2:8-9

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.


Passion: The Suffering Servant of God

      In his suffering and death, Jesus is the Savior foretold in the Scriptures. His death will overcome death and bring life to all.


Gospel: Mk 15:1-39

As soon as morning came,
the chief priests with the elders and the scribes,
that is, the whole Sanhedrin held a council.
They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate questioned him,
"Are you the king of the Jews?"
He said to him in reply, "You say so."
The chief priests accused him of many things.
Again Pilate questioned him,
"Have you no answer?
See how many things they accuse you of."
Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them
one prisoner whom they requested.
A man called Barabbas was then in prison
along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
The crowd came forward and began to ask him
to do for them as he was accustomed.
Pilate answered,
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?"
For he knew that it was out of envy
that the chief priests had handed him over.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd
to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
Pilate again said to them in reply,
"Then what do you want me to do
with the man you call the king of the Jews?"
They shouted again, "Crucify him."
Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?"
They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him."
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd,
released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged,
handed him over to be crucified.

The soldiers led him away inside the palace,
that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort.
They clothed him in purple and,
weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him.
They knelt before him in homage.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the purple cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him out to crucify him.

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon,
a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country,
the father of Alexander and Rufus,
to carry his cross.

They brought him to the place of Golgotha
—which is translated Place of the Skull —
They gave him wine drugged with myrrh,
but he did not take it.
Then they crucified him and divided his garments
by casting lots for them to see what each should take.
It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
The inscription of the charge against him read,
"The King of the Jews."
With him they crucified two revolutionaries,
one on his right and one on his left.
Those passing by reviled him,
shaking their heads and saying,
"Aha! You who would destroy the temple
and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself by coming down from the cross."
Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes,
mocked him among themselves and said,
"He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Let the Christ, the King of Israel,
come down now from the cross
that we may see and believe."
Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.

At noon darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"
which is translated,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
"Look, he is calling Elijah."
One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed
and gave it to him to drink saying,
"Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down."
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
When the centurion who stood facing him
saw how he breathed his last he said,
"Truly this man was the Son of God!"



Strengthened by the word and example of Jesus, let us pray to our Father in heaven that the pain and death of his Son may bear fruit in us and in all. Let us say.

                  R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For a serving Church that is faithful and fearless in preaching to all the Good News of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, let us pray:

                     R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For all Christians, that we may learn to follow Jesus in his way of service and self-denial so as to bring joy and hope to those around us, let us pray:

                     R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For a better and more honest society, in which no one is trampled upon  and in which people are concerned about each other,  let us pray:

                     R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For people who are broken and discouraged, that they may again encounter Jesus who continued, alone and in pain,  on his way of suffering  and experienced the joy of the resurrection, let us pray:

                     R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For those who have to face death, that they may be strengthened by the presence of the Lord Jesus and the encouraging support of those dear to them, let us pray:

                      R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

–                   For all of us, that the coming days of Holy Week may be a time of grace for us and bring us closer to the Lord, let us pray:

                     R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord.

God our Father, hear our prayers, and help us understand the language of trust and mercy, of reconciliation and forgiveness, of freedom and understanding, in Christ Jesus our Lord. R/ Amen.


Prayer Over the Gifts

Loving Father,
on the night before he died
Jesus gave himself to his friends
in the form of bread and wine,
as he does again here among us now.
Give us grateful hearts for all his goodness
and make us strong enough
to give ourselves with him
to those with whom we go through life.
Let this offering bring us reconciliation
with one another and with you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.


Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

Jesus’ cross and death brought us forgiveness and life. He died that we might live. With Jesus we thank the Father for his love.


Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Jesus prayed to the Father
for the strength to do his will.
We join him in his prayer of trust. R/ Our Father...


Deliver Us

Deliver us, Lord, from sin
and from every kind of evil,
and grant us your forgiveness and peace.
In your mercy, give hope and love
to those who are abandoned
and agonizing because of their crosses.
Lead us all forward in hope
toward the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  R/ For the kingdom...


Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God, who said:
“Anyone who wants to be great among you
must be the servant of all,
just as I came not to be served
but to serve,
and to give my life as a ransom for all.”
Happy are we if we follow the Lord.  R/ Lord, I am not worthy...


Prayer after Communion

Loving Father, in this eucharist
your Son Jesus has given himself to us
as he gave himself totally on the cross.
May we learn from him
to keep our hope in you alive
and to continue going our way in life,
even when we do not know
what will come to us in the future
or when we have to bear heavy crosses.
We trust you, and we know
that we will rise above our miseries
to a life of joy without end,
by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.



Jesus lived for us, Jesus died for us.
Let us accompany him this Holy Week
on his way to the cross,
that he may always accompany us
on our way of service and commitment
to God and to one another.
And may almighty God give you strength
and bless you. the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Go with one another
the way of Jesus our Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.



Want to draw your attention on two small details that we find in Mark alone. We find a young man following at a distance at the time of the arrest of Jesus. He was covering himself with a blanket and when the soldiers caught him, he leaves the blanket and runs away naked! What is the significance of this curious and funny detail that Mark presents to his readers? There are two interpretations from the scripture scholars of the present day: First, the young man was Mark himself – in whose house Jesus and his disciples had their last supper.

The young boy – Mark who was getting ready for bed gets fascinated with these group of people who ate the Passover meal in his house and secretly follows them to the mount of Olives in the night. He just had a blanket on him because he was already prepared to go to bed. He thus became a witness to the events in the Garden of Gethsemane till the arrest of Jesus and then had to run for his life.

By presenting the story of the young boy running naked, Mark is signing his work – as if to tell his readers that he too was present at the scene when it all had happened.

Second explanation is that Mark is presenting a glimpse of the resurrection of Jesus. The body of Jesus was covered with a linen as it happens with the young boy who was covering himself with a blanket. The forces of evil that comes to capture Jesus the source of Life, believed that they have caught hold of him. But the torture, crucifixion and death could not contain the person of Jesus. All that they could manage to retain was the linen that covered his body. Jesus is Risen!


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Liturgical Calendar 2020

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