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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Chester, Vermont

Sunday, April 2, 2023
Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday

The Holy Eucharist

This page will be updated during the week.

The church bell is rung after the prelude.

Organ prelude selected and played by Karlaine Livingston

There will be a short period of silence before the service begins.

We end Lent today and begin Holy Week. Gospel readings have become longer and longer on the Sundays in Lent until today when it requires an entire cast to read the Gospel describing Matthew’s story of the arrest, trial, crucifixion or execution, and burial of Jesus. Today’s service anticipates the entire Holy Week and almost encompasses it. We enter in humble triumph, with expectations not given by Jesus, and end with his
death and burial. The week leads us to be almost inside all those events. Let’s live the week in that spirit.

The Liturgy of the Palms

Presider: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
People: Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.
Presider: Let us pray.
Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Lector: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.(21:1-11)
People: Glory to you, O Christ.

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,  2 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.  3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”  4 This took lace to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,  5 “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.”  6 The disciples went and did as
Jesus had directed them;  7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.  8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  9 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!”  10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?”  11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ.

Presider: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.


Presider: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.


Presider: It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.




The following may then be sung or said:
Presider: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
People: Hosanna in the highest.

The Procession
Lector: Let us go forth in peace.
People: In the name of Christ.



Processional Palm Sunday Hymn 154   (The Hymnal 1982)

(At a suitable place, the procession may halt while the following Collect is said)
Presider: Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.




The Collect of the Day
Presider: God be with you.
People: And also with you.

Presider: Let us pray.
Presider and people: Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



The First Reading - Isaiah 50:4-9a

Reader: A reading from Isaiah.

4  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5  Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 6  A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. 7  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8  The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever. 9  Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear, say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’


Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

People: Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31: 9-16

 9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *
        my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

 10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; *
        my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

 11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
        when they see me in the street they avoid me.


 12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
        I am as useless as a broken pot.


 13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; *
        they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.


 14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *
        I have said, “You are my God.


 15 My times are in your hand; *
        rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.


 16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
        and in your loving-kindness save me.”

The Second Reading - Philippians 2:5-11

Reader: A reading from Philippians

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death -- even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.

People: Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn 158  (The Hymnal 1982)

The Passion Gospel 

Please turn to the booklet of the Passion Gospel according to Matthew in order to participate in the Passion Gospel

The Sermon: The Rev. Bruce L. MacDuffie




The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. So, let us cry out to our Lord, saying, “Crucified King, have mercy on us.”

Presider: Have mercy on your Church, O Lord, for the times we have denied you. We have not been humble as you are humble. We have been unwilling to share the gospel with our friends and families.


Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Have mercy on those who hold authority in the nations of the world, O Lord—especially those who are threatened by your message of love and justice. Have mercy on us for our silence and complicity.


Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Have mercy on those of us who are called to be stewards of your creation, O Lord. We have exploited and mistreated your masterpiece. Have mercy on us and teach us to love what you have called good.

Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Have mercy on us, O Lord. Teach us to value what you value. Increase in us love for our neighbors.


Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Have mercy on all who are sick and suffering, O Lord. Strengthen those whose strength fails them. Comfort and care for those wasted with grief. Make your face to shine upon your servants.

(Invite the congregation to add their petitions and thanksgivings followed by silence)

Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Presider: Merciful Lord, you know the pain of death—even death on a cross. Have mercy on the dying and the dead. Bring them to the joy of everlasting life in you.


Presider: Crucified King,

People: Have mercy on us.

Confession of Sin


Presider: Let us confess our sins to God.

(Silence may be kept)


Minister and people:

God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created. We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf. Forgive, restore, and strengthen us through our Savior Jesus Christ, that we may abide in your love and serve only your will.



Presider: Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.



The Peace


Presider: The peace of Christ be always with you.
People: And also with you.


Offertory Sentence

Presider: Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.

(The collection is taken up to the altar)

Offertory Hymn 474  (The Hymnal 1982)

Presider and People: All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.

Eucharistic Prayer

Presider: God be with you.
People: And also with you.

Presider: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them to the Lord.

Presider: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Presider: It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth.

People:  Glory to you for ever and ever.


Through Jesus Christ our Lord. For our sins he was lifted high upon the cross, that he might draw the whole world to himself; and by his suffering and death, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who put their trust in him. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

The Sanctus 133 (Enriching our Music 2)

The people stand or kneel.

Holy and gracious God: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to
share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and maker of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Celebrant and People
               Christ has died.
               Christ is risen.
               Christ will come again.


Celebrant: We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, Almighty God, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts. Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in Christ. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Savior. By Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forever.




And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say
Presider and People:  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 trespasses, as we
forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Breaking of the Bread and Invitation to communion

Presider:  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People: Therefore let us keep the feast.

S-164 The Hymnal (1982 Service Music)

The Communion
This is the table, not of the Church but of Jesus Christ. It is made ready for those who love God and who want to love God more. So come, you who have much faith and you who have little, you who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time or ever before, you who have tried to follow and you who have failed. It is Christ who invites you to be known and fed here. All are welcome to receive communion. Gluten-free bread is available. Inform the priest if you prefer this option. The communion wine contains alcohol. If you prefer a blessing, cross your arms across your chest.

Communion Hymn 168  (Voices Found)

Post-communion Prayer

Presider: Let us pray.

Presider and People:
Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people, forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior.



Closing Hymn 42  (Voices Found)

Closing Blessing for use from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday


Presider: Bow down before the Lord.

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners. And to suffer death upon the cross; who lives and reigns forever and ever.


Organ Postlude selected and played by Karlaine Livingston



Presider Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Anchor 1

PLEASE!! Take this service leaflet with you. Read the scriptures again. Learn a hymn or two. Use the Great Litany all this coming week. Blessings!


((Note: until warmer weather, all midweek and Sunday worship will meet in Willard Hall))

(Choir rehearsal follows coffee hour)

Use this link to see a more detailed list of Holy Week services

April 3, Monday in Holy Week.  Evening Prayer

5:30 PM – 5:50 PM
April 4, Tuesday in Holy Week.  Evening Prayer

5:30 PM – 5:50 PM


April 5 Wednesday in Holy Week Eucharist

5:30 - 6:00 PM

April 6 Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday
5:30 - 6:15 PM

Holy Eucharist with optional foot washing.

Those wishing to keep vigil do so beginning at 6PM and continuing as signed up for until midnight.

April 7 Good Friday

5:30 - 6:15 PM

Traditional Good Friday Liturgy as printed in the Book of Common Prayer. Our hearts and souls empty as we await Jesus' Resurrection


April 8  Holy Saturday
5:30 - 6:00 PM

Lighting of the new fire if practical and blessing of the Paschal Candle

April 9 Easter Sunday Eucharist

10 - 11:15 AM

April 12 Midweek Eucharist in Easter Week.

5:30 - 6:00 PM


April 12 Vestry Meeting 6:30 PM

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