Palm Sunday

PALM SUNDAY - Procession of Palms and Mass Hymns 509, 511, 86, 84, 474

PALM GOSPEL Matthew 21.1-11 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

FIRST READING Isaiah 50.4-9a The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backwards. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Responsorial Psalm 31. Response: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in trouble;
my eye is consumed with sorrow, my soul and my body also.
For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails me because of my affliction, and my bones are consumed. R.

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbours,
an object of dread to my acquaintances; when they see me in the street they flee from me.
I am forgotten like one that is dead, out of mind; I have become like a broken vessel. R.

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is on every side;
they scheme together against me, and plot to take my life.
But my trust is in you, O Lord. I have said, ‘You are my God. R.

‘My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
‘Make your face to shine upon your servant, and save me for your mercy’s sake.’ R.

SECOND READING Philippians 2.5-11 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

GOSPEL: the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (Matthew 26:14 – 27: 66).


A very warm welcome to any new readers, and to visitors and newcomers to St Michael's, as we approach the solemn time of Holy Week and the joy of Easter Day. A special welcome to Fr Paul, our celebrant this morning, who will also kindly be leading our worship on Maundy Thursday at 7.30 pm, on Good Friday at 3 pm, on Holy Saturday at 8 pm and on Easter Day at 10.30 am. Do join us for coffee today in the Vestry Hall after the service, so that we can welcome you properly.

Stations of the Cross takes place in church today (Sunday) at 4.15 pm. This service of prayer and reflection should finish at about 5 pm.

Watch of the Passion takes place in the Ascension Chapel on Maundy Thursday evening after Mass – a precious opportunity to “watch and pray” with the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is helpful if you can indicate on the list in the narthex the time you intend to be there, to ensure that all the time between Mass and midnight is covered.

Easter flowers will be done on Maundy Thursday morning from 9.30 am and on Holy Saturday from 9.00 am. Everyone is most welcome to join in, however briefly. Offerings of appropriate greenery, etc., will be particularly welcome.

Chrism Mass at Canterbury Cathedral on Tuesday at 12 noon, when Bishop Norman will be consecrating the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens and the oil of chrism to be used in the coming year. Priests will be available for sacramental Confession before Mass. Bookings for lunch have closed, but Eleanor still has 2 spaces in her car for anyone who would like to join in this inspiring act of worship. This is an opportunity, too, to show our appreciation of Bishop Norman at his last Chrism Mass in this diocese.

Vacancy News: After a meeting with the Archdeacon last week, we now hope to be able to advertise in the May issue of New Directions. Please pray most earnestly that the right priest will see our advertisement and respond.

NB: However, a priest needs to be confident of the support of the people he comes to serve. Is God calling YOU to serve as a Churchwarden or PCC member at this important moment in the history of St Michael's? Elections take place at the Annual Meeting on Sunday 30th April. Let us have a vigorous, committed St Michael's team to prepare to welcome our new priest! There are nomination forms in the narthex – or nominations can be put forward at the meeting.

The Church Electoral Roll Are you on it? Are your details correct? Would you like to be on it? Please speak to Martyn.

The Coronation: our new King needs our prayers. An excellent booklet of prayers for daily use between Easter and the Coronation can be ordered online from Church House Publishing, price £1.50. Remember also our parish Big Lunch on Sunday, May 7th.

Ring for the King! Bellringers everywhere are preparing; contact the Kent County Association if you are a ringer or former ringer who is not yet involved.

From our Tower:

Kent County Association
Maidstone, Kent St Michael and All Angels
Friday, 24 March 2023 in 39m (6-1-24 in C)

1260 Double Bob Minor

  1. Charlotte Elvers
  2. Janice Byrne
  3. Terry Barnard
  4. Mark Elvers
  5. Pam Thomas
  6. Neil Jones (C)

Rung in Commemoration of Paul Couturier Priest, Ecumenist (1953) and Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr 1980.

Could you pass on this sheet to someone else who might like to see it?