Lent and Easter 2019

Introducing their collection of resources (many of them original) for Lent and Easter 2019, Joy Kingsbury-Aitken and Linda Cowan of the Canterbury Lay Preachers Association write:

We thought it might be helpful this year to look at the days that make up the 46 days of Lent as well as Easter Day and the days beyond, and explore some of the special events along the way as well as looking briefly at the significance of Lent.

Download your copy of this resource-packed CLPA newsletter here.

Palm Sunday Prayer of Confession

Palm Sunday Prayer of Confession

donkeyJesus riding on a donkey
We hail you as our king.
Your way is our way,
You are the man for us –

Or at least you are the man for us
until your way becomes too hard.
When it starts to leave us isolated,
when it costs us money or sleep,
when it all gets too tough
then we put down our palm branches
and join the other crowd,
the ones who cry “Crucify”.

Lord, forgive us because we are so fickle.
When we make the commitment to walk in your way,
when we acknowledge you as King of our lives,
help us to do this knowing that the way may not be easy
but that you will strengthen us for the road ahead.
Help us to know that after crucifixion comes resurrection
and this is the way we walk with you.

Jesus riding on a donkey
we hail you as our King.
Your way is our way – whatever the cost
because we know we walk with you.

© Linda Cowan

Palm Sunday – Opening Prayer

palm sunday 02

Palm Sunday: Opening Prayer

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you; righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
(Zechariah 9:9)

As the people spread their coats palm branches on the ground to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, so we welcome him into our lives this morning. King of Glory, King of Peace, Servant King, reign in our hearts and lives this day and all days, that we might praise your holy name.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
ALL: Hosanna in the highest

From http://www.faithandworship.com/liturgy_Palm_Sunday.htm#ixzz1mVljBQRp

Proclaim Him King, by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

Proclaim Him King

by Joy Kingsbury-Aiken

[A full script, in pdf, for this Palm/Passion Sunday drama can be obtained here.]

Dramatis Personae

Shelah (owner of the donkey)
Peleg (owner of the oil press at Gethsemane)
Messenger (servant of Simon the Leper)Martha of Bethany
Mary of Bethany
Simon the Leper
Simon Peter (disciple)
James son of Zebedee (disciple)
John son of Zebedee (disciple)
Judas Iscariot (disciple)
palm sundayThomas (disciple)
Jesus of Nazareth
Lazarus of Bethany
Andrew (disciple)
Philip (disciple)
The Crowd

Scene One
The Village of Bethphage. Two men (Shelah and Peleg) are admiring the new donkey that Shelah and his family have just acquired.

Peleg: He’s a nice looking donkey, Shelah. He’ll serve you and your family well for many years to come.

Shelah: I hope so. I had to pay a substantial part of last year’s harvest for him. He’s a young one, never ridden, but seems to have a placid temperament.

A messenger approaches the men.

Messenger: I’m looking for Peleg the owner of the oil press in Gethsemane. I was told he was visiting his friend Shelah in Bethphage. Do you know where I might find him?

Peleg: I’m Peleg, and this is Shelah my friend. What do you want with me?

Messenger: I have an invitation to a dinner party for you, and for your friend too.

Peleg: Who is having a dinner party?

Messenger: Lazarus of Bethany and his family. The prophet from Galilee and his disciples will be there. Lazarus wants all his friends to meet Jesus.  ….


A full script, in pdf, for the Palm/Passion Sunday drama can be obtained here.

A Lenten Prayer – by Rosalie Sugrue

A Lenten Prayer

Dear God our hope is to:

Fast from unkind thoughts;  May we instead feast on love;
Fast from sadness;  May we feast on joy;
Fast from anger;  May we feast on peace;
Fast from pessimism;  May we feast on patience;
Fast from discouragement;  May we feast on faithfulness;
Fast from bitterness;  May we feast on kindness;
Fast from negativity;  May we feast on gentleness;
Fast from worry;  May we feast on goodness;
Fast from indulgence;  May we feast on self-control.

Gracious God,
during this season of fasting make us keenly aware of the feasting you offer.
Gift us with your presence, so we can be gift to others in carrying out your work.


by Rosalie Sugrue


Prayer of Intercession for Lent

The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
(Psalm 145:14)

God of love
hear the cry of those who yearn for love;
fractured families, broken homes
neglected, unwanted, alone.
God of love
ALL: hear our prayer

God of justice
hear the cry of those who yearn for justice;
persecuted and oppressed,
exploited, ill-treated, broken.
God of justice
ALL: hear our prayer

God of peace
hear the cry of those who yearn for peace;
in battle zones and broken states,
frightened, fearful, anxious.
God of peace
ALL: hear our prayer

God of healing
hear the cry of those who yearn for healing;
physical and spiritual
hurting, weakened, depressed
God of healing
ALL: hear our prayer

God of mercy
Hear the cry of those who yearn for mercy;
convicted, in need of your Grace,
contrite, humble, bowed down,
God of mercy
ALL: hear our prayer

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
(Psalm 116:1, 2)

May you know
The peace of God
The love of God
The justice of God
The healing and mercy of God
This day and all days

The first of five Prayers of Intercession for Lent, available from http://www.faithandworship.com/Lent_intercessions.htm#ixzz1mVmfhMjd

Two Prayers for Lent

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ’s sake, Amen

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397) [http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/christian/compassion/a-heart-to-love-thee.aspx]


Loving Father,
all the fancy words
in the world,
expressed in eloquent prose,
decorated with emotion,
spoken with conviction,
cannot compete with a heartfelt
when all other words fail.
There are times
when we are all too aware
of our limitations,
conscious of sin,
and the distance it creates between us.
Sometimes ‘sorry’
is all the heart can bear to say aloud.
It is only you
who can read and understand
the language of our hearts,
only you who can translate our ‘sorry’
into the prayer we would have prayed,
if we had the words within us.
Then you forgive,
and having forgiven
surround us in an embrace of love,
drawing us close to your heart,
as it was always meant to be.
Thank you, Loving Father,
that you listen to hearts,
as well as voices
Thank you.

One of a number of resources available at http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Lent