THE SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY

Palm Sunday
March 28, 2021
First Presbyterian Church, Fargo
The Session and members of First Presbyterian Church, extend a sincere welcome to you! We welcome all persons regardless of race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. This includes an open invitation to membership, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, marriage, funerals, memorial services, and to serve as an officer of the church.

Prelude and Preparation for Worship

Prayer of the Day
God of salvation, our Lord entered his passion to raise us to life. In this holiest of weeks, help us to walk the way of the cross, that we may be raised in a resurrection like his and dwell forever in you, Eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
Awake to the day of triumph for our Savior!
Give thanks for this day that leads to the cross!
Come with your branches, hosannas, and songs!
Fill the air with welcome to the Lord!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Let us worship God!
Hymn — Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Pam Burns, Jack Lawrence, Erynn Millard, and Dillon Swanson
Accompanist: Sally Harmon
1 Hosanna, loud hosanna,
the little children sang;
through pillared court and temple
the joyful anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them,
close folded to his breast,
the children sang their praises,
the simplest and the best.

2 From Olivet they followed
'mid an exultant crowd,
the victor palm branch waving,
and chanting clear and loud;
the Lord of earth and heaven
rode on in lowly state,
nor scorned that little children
should on his bidding wait.

3 “Hosanna in the highest!”
That ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer;
the Lord of heaven, our King.
O may we ever praise him
with heart and life and voice,
and in his blissful presence
eternally rejoice.
Call to Confession
Let us confess our sins to God, whose steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that we have sinned, and although we would like to deny it, we have forsaken you. We are horrified by the suffering we cause—to you, ourselves, and the world you have created. Open the gates of your forgiveness and restore us in your love, for the sake of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Children's Message
Prayer for Illumination
Lesson  Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
   ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
   the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
   it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
   O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
   We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
   and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
   you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures forever.

Lesson  Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” ’ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna!
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
   Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Sermon                Palm Sunday Wonderings
Hymn — A Cheering, Chanting, Dizzy Crowd
1 A cheering, chanting, dizzy crowd
had stripped the green trees bare,
and hailing Christ as king aloud,
waved branches in the air.

2 They laid their garments in the road
and spread his path with palms
and vows of lasting love bestowed
with royal hymns and psalms.

3 When day dimmed down to deepening dark
the crowd began to fade
till only trampled leaves and bark
were left from the parade.

4 Lest we be fooled because our hearts
have surged with passing praise,
remind us, God, as this week starts
where Christ has fixed his gaze.

5 Instead of palms, a winding sheet
will have to be unrolled,
a carpet much more fit to greet
the king a cross will hold.

Responding to God’s Word

Affirmation of Faith Brief Statement of Faith
In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church. In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Prayers of the People and the Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Refrain:
All glory, laud, and honor
to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring!

1 Thou art the King of Israel,
thou David’s royal Son,
who in the Lord’s name comest,
the King and blessed One. (Refrain)

2 The people of the Hebrews
with palms before thee went;
our praise and prayers and anthems
before thee we present. (Refrain)

3 To thee, before thy passion,
they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted,
our melody we raise. (Refrain)

4 Thou didst accept their praises;
accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest,
thou good and gracious King! (Refrain)

Charge and Benediction
Postlude
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