Palm Sunday – 5th April 2020


Good Morning Everyone and welcome to our on line service for All Saints church, on this Palm Sunday Morning.

Bizarrely as I was preparing this service I came across a Palm Cross in the piles of paper on my desk. Now, traditionally, if we were meeting in the church building, you would have been given one of these as you entered.
But as this that is not possible this year, why don’t you at the start of this service take some time to make a paper palm cross like this one and the YouTube clip on this page will help you.

Alternatively, how about a palm branch out of a sheet of newspaper.

To do this you will need a sheet of newspaper, some tape and a pair of scissors.

  • Take your sheet of newspaper and lay it out flat.
    Then starting from one of the short edges roll the paper up.
  • Take a piece of Tape about 3 inches or 10 cm in length and stick the edge down from one end of the roll towards the middle.
  • Then using the scissors make three or four cuts from the top (the opposite end to that you’ve just stuck down to about halfway down.
  • Finally pull out the centre to create your palm branch.

As you do one or both of the activities, remember that is just as much part of our worship and so perhaps as you do so, enjoy the creativity and give thanks to God for whatever comes to mind.


A Gathering Prayer

As we gather, 
Bring your palms and branches, your shouts and praise. 
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Hosanna to the King of Kings!
Let us journey to Jerusalem
To worship the king who came to save us .

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2020.Reproduced with permission.

Are there any songs that jump into your head? 
Why not find them and play them, sing along or just listen to them.  

Prayer of Thanksgiving  

Give thanks to the Lord, 
His steadfast love endures for ever

We celebrate Jesus, arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey, 
coming as a humble peacemaker.

We give thanks to the Lord; 
His steadfast love endures for ever

The crowds came out to wave branches and lay down their coats, shouting ‘Hosanna, Hosanna’. 

We give thanks to the Lord; 
His steadfast love endures for ever

He came to turn the world upside down
To serve, not to be served. 
He came as a liberator, to set people free.

We give thanks to the Lord; 
His steadfast love endures for ever

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.


In August 2014, I got the opportunity to visit Jerusalem. It was at a time when there had been a lot of violence in the months just before I travelled but had eased off slightly just before I left.

So when we were there, there were very few tourists and people about, which was amazing because we got to see the sights without lots of people and without having to queue, but you were very aware of the tensions simmering under the surface. .

One of the places that I visit was Bethphage, the place where our gospel this morning starts and in the courtyard of the church there is this Sculpture of Jesus riding into Jerusalem.

I offer this as a visual aid as you read or listen to our Gospel reading.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”


The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


The annual Passover festival was just around the corner, families and friends were travelling together to Jerusalem in order to celebrate. There was much to prepare and Jerusalem was getting busy as the visitors or pilgrims arrived. Jesus and his disciples were also travelling up to Jerusalem from Jericho for the Passover celebration. When they reached Bethphage, on the Mount of Olives, significant because the Mount of Olives was associated with the Messanic expectations that the people of Israel hoped for, Jesus sends his disciples to find a colt _ a donkey that had never been ridden. And instead of walking into Jerusalem, he rides in. For those pilgrims travelling into Jerusalem it would have reminded them of the words of the prophet Zechariah who spoke of a great Messanic King entering into the city, riding not on a horse but a donkey just as King David and his sons had being willing to do so.

The Pilgrims respond with the laying of their coats on the floor, the waving of Palm branches and shouting ‘Hosanna’ which although shouted as praise, means ‘Save us, Please’. And whereas Jesus had previously tried to keep his identity quiet, in this action he declares to the society around him that he is indeed the one that people had been waiting for, yet at the same time highlights that his kingship is different, for he does not come to fight and overthrow the Roman occupation, but to die a criminals death and rise again.

In the story we see a huge mis-match between the expectations of the crowd and Jesus. The crowd were to be disappointed and within the space of a week would be calling for Jesus to be crucified and yet their words were not wrong for Jesus was to walk into the events that would lead to execution of God’s saving plan for all people.

I wonder how often there is a mismatch between our own expectations and God’s. We see such a limited picture and yet God holds it all. I am always amazed when I notice where God has been working because without fail, it has never been in a way that I might have envisaged.

At this time when we as a community and nation, are limited in a way we have not known before, and life is different than we expected it to be, our gospel this morning reminds us that God indeed holds the bigger picture. We are simply called to trust and to follow.

In the light of this then, what does that mean for you?


Prayers of Intercession

Print out or draw the picture of a Palm leaf above and on the leaves write down the people or places that you want to pray about today.  

Some ideas:  

Pray for the world  

Pray for those affected by Covid-19, 

Pray for the all the key workers, those in the following industries or professions

  •  Health and Social Care 
  • Education and childcare 
  • Key public services  
  • Local and National government 
  • Food and other necessary goods 
  • Public Safety and National Security 
  • Transport 
  • Ultilities, communications and Financial Services  

Pray for your community and the people in the houses around you.  
Pray for your friends and the people you are missing  
Pray for those who you know are on their own or struggling staying at home 
Pray for yourselves

And end with the Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name, 
your kingdom come,
your will be done, 
on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
as we forgive those who sin against us. 
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours 
now and for ever. 



The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.



May the Lord bless you and keep you. 
May the Lord show you his kindness 
    and have mercy on you. 
May the Lord watch over you 
    and give you peace.  

(Numbers 6:24-26, The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

As we leave this place, let us celebrate the King, the liberator, the servant, the one who caused disturbance –  

And let us do the same.  

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2020. 
Reproduced with permission. 


If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to