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March 24, 2024 - Palm Sunday
Rev Dr John Smith
Rev Dr John Smith
Sunday, March 24, 2024
Service and Hymns
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March 24th, 2024

PALM SUNDAY         

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Leading us today in Worship:
     Minister: Rev. Dr. John G. Smith
     Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
     Scripture Reader: Marilyn Parkin

Leader: regular font ~ All: bold font ~ Sung words: bold italics

We Gather

“Prelude” from English Suite #4 - J.S. Bach


*INTROIT: VU #123 
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,   vs. 1& 3

1) Hosanna, loud hosanna
the happy 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.

3) ‘Hosanna in the highest!’
That ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer;
earth, let your anthems ring.
O may we ever praise him
with heart and life and voice,
and in his humble presence
eternally rejoice!

Today we light the Christ candle in solidarity with the pain of the world.

We remember the hurting and vulnerable.

We remember the frightened, the hungry, those fearing for their lives.

We remember the children in all the war-torn places of the world.

As we light the candle this Palm Sunday, let our hope and courage come from the story of Jesus,  which tells us that there is nothing on earth greater than the power of God’s love.

Let us hear the story again and be comforted with the depth of its truth.

Let us know that the Christ light in our hearts can never be extinguished.


We believe all people are made in the image of God and are entitled to dignity and respect.  At Grace United Church we try to offer a safer, inclusive and generous space for all who are seeking a faith community.  We offer full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, all races, ages and abilities in the life and work of the ministry.

Grace United Church is situated on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Petun, Huron-Wendat, and Mississauga peoples, located within the boundary of Treaty 18 region of 1818. We humbly acknowledge the First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples of Canada as traditional stewards of the land on which we work and worship and are committed to working actively toward genuine restitution and reconciliation.

*HYMN: VU #333  
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

1) Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

2) Come, almighty to deliver;
let us all thy grace receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

3) Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee,
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

OPENING READING: (From Psalm 118)
We give thanks to you, O Love Eternal, for you are kind!
Your steadfast love endures forever.
Let all the people of the earth proclaim:
Your steadfast love endures forever.
Let all creation proclaim:
Your steadfast love endures forever.
Let all hearts and spirits proclaim:
Your steadfast love endures forever!

Out of my distress I called upon Your Grace.
Out of my time of trouble and discouragement,
 I raised my heart to you.
You answered and set me on a new path.

You walk beside me, and I am not afraid.
Your love is deep within me, and helps me face the fears inside.
It is better to surrender to your Love than to seek all the riches of the world.

Yes, Love Eternal, Source of Love and Light,
you have shown me the path that leads to new life.
You have opened to me the gates to the city of peace.
You have placed before me the Door to Life in all its fullness —
all who know your love shall enter it.

Blessed are those who enter through your gates!
Blessed are those who dwell in the Household of Love!
Blessed are those who follow your way, for you bring light into darkness, hope into fear, and love into our midst.

We give thanks to you O Love Eternal:
Your steadfast love endures forever!

O God, we love the procession of palms.
We are grateful for their message:
that all may enter in to the deepest dwelling place of all:

your eternal heart.

We are grateful O Love Everlasting,
that you have shown the pathway for Life to us.
As WE follow the path Jesus made for us,
help us to find the echoes of his footsteps in our own lives.

Like him, help us to be courageous and selfless with others.
Help us to be generous and compassionate.

Help us to offer the light of Christ to others in our life,
to those who are grieving,
to those who are sick,
to those who are struggling to make ends meet.

In the midst of all the darkness and difficulty of our world,
your light O God still shines in our hearts.

Holy One, bless this day before us with your grace.
Bless this Holy week with gifts of insight and learning.
Bless our whole lives with the great gift of your abiding presence,
and bring us to an ever-growing awareness
of your deep love for our lives


*HYMN: VU #124
He Came Riding on a Donkey: vs. 1 & 3

1) He came riding on a donkey,
he came riding into town;
slow and easy kind of lowly
he came riding with the dawn.
His disciples walked beside him,
staying close, a little shy;
not too sure where he would guide them,
on to live or on to die.
But all the morning sang his praises;
waking birds and dancing wind;
here he is, the Son of David;
riding on to take his throne.

3) In our fasting, and our feasting,
called to follow in his way;
called to walk his road to Easter,
called to live his cross today.
Hosanna to the Son of David,
hosanna in the heavens above;
blessed is he who comes to save us,
blessed is he who brings his love.
Let us join to sing his praises;
open hearts and souls to God;
he is with us, Son of David;
God’s Messiah, Christ the Lord.


Mark 11:  1- 11   (New International version)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”  They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.  When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

These words from scripture are meant to guide us, nurture us, and teach us.
Thanks be to God!

ANTHEM: “Ride on in Majesty”   H.R. Fisher

SERMON:  “A City of Peace”

We Respond 

*HYMN: VU #682  
“O Day of Peace”

1) O day of peace that dimly shines
through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth, and love,
delivered from our selfish schemes.
May swords of hate fall from our hands,
our hearts from envy find release,
till by God’s grace our warring world
shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace.

2) Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,
nor shall the fierce devour the small;
as beasts and cattle calmly graze,
a little child shall lead them all.
Then enemies shall learn to love,
all creatures find their true accord;
the hope of peace shall be fulfilled,
for all the earth shall know the Lord.

The work of creating a world that works for all,
requires many gifts, many talents, many resources.
We bring all that we have, our courage, our strength,
our prayers and our dreams,
our gifts of time and treasure,
and all the love and acceptance we embody,
to create God’s world of justice and joy.
Thanks be to God.

Donate online: select, “Give”,
     or contact the office by email:
phone: 519-599-2438 to arrange a cheque pick-up, or an e-transfer
     Mail: Grace UC, 140 Bruce St. S. PO Box 219, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
     or  Offering Plate: at the back of the sanctuary.

     Care, Prayer, Share


What’s Up at Grace

We Go Out 


Mark 14:  12 - 31
The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there”.
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.  While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
“It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.  “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”

But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

*HYMN:  VU  #560 “O Master Let me Walk with Thee”

1) O Master, let me walk with thee
in lowly paths of service free;
teach me thy secret, help me bear
the strain of toil, the fret of care.

 2) Help me the slow of heart to move
with some clear, winning word of love;
teach me the wayward feet to stay,
and guide them in the homeward way.

3) Teach me thy patience; still with thee,
in closer, dearer company,
in work that keeps faith sure and strong,
in trust that triumphs over wrong,

4) in hope that sends a shining ray
far down the future’s broadening way,
in peace that only thou canst give,
with thee, O Master, let me live.


We Leave in Silence


OPENING READING: from Psalm 1181written and arranged by Rev John G Smith
Prayers: written by Rev. Dr. John Greg Smith
- “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna:”  Words: Jennette Threlfall 1873. Music: traditional 18th-century German tune. Adapted by Xavier Ludwig Hartig. Public Domain
- “Love Divine All Loves Excelling:”  Words: Charles Wesley. Music: Rowland Huw Prichard. Public Domain
- “He Came Riding on a Donkey:”  Words, Music: Gordon Light © 1986 Common Cup Company. Arrangement: © 1995 Nan Thompson. Words, Music: Common Cup Company. Arrangement: Nan Thompson. One License #608577
- “O Day of Peace:”  Words: Carol P. Daw, Jr. © 1982 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Music, Arrangement: © 1916-44-77 Roberton Publications. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, sole representative USA and Canada, Theodore Presser Company, 588 North Gulph Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA. Words: Carol P. Daw, Jr. © 1982 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Music, Arrangement: © 1916-44-77 Roberton Publications. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, sole representative USA and Canada, Theodore Presser Company, 588 North Gulph Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA. One License #608577
- “ O Master Let me Walk with Thee”  Words: Washington Gladden 1879. Music: Henry Percy Smith 1874. Public Domain
Scripture Passages  from the New International version
Prelude:  “Prelude” from English Suite #4 - J.S. Bach
Anthem: “Ride on in Majesty” - H.R. Fisher.  Copyright © 1964 by Boston Music Co.