Morning Prayer Worship at Home
You may wish to light a candle and have some reflective music playing in the background.
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. God is close to those who trust in him. – Nahum 1.7
O Lord, open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.
Pause for reflection as you offer the day to God.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
You may wish to say Psalm 23 or another psalm here, such as Psalm 16 or Psalm 139
1 - The Lord is my shepherd;
therefore can I lack nothing.
2 - He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
3 - He shall refresh my soul
and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 - Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 - You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil
and my cup shall be full.
6 Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
You may wish to use the weekly pattern of short readings given below, or choose a passage of your own.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
Narrator 1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.
JESUS “Go into the village over there- As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
Narrator 2 This took place to fulfil the prophecy that said, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’ The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the centre of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
CAST “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord Praise God in highest heaven!”
Narrator 1 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
JESUS As you go into the city you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’
Narrator 2 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. While they were eating, he said,
JESUS “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
Narrator 1 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”
JESUS One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
Judas “Rabbi, am I the one?”
JESUS “You have said it.”
Narrator 2 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying,
JESUS “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
Narrator 1 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said,
“Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
Narrator 2 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 On the way, Jesus told them,
JESUS “Tonight all of you will desert me.But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”
PETER “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”
JESUS “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
PETER “ No Lord Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!”
Narrator 1 And all the other disciples vowed the same. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane,
JESUS “Sit here while I go over there to pray “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Narrator 2 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying,
JESUS “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Narrator 1 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter,
JESUS “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Narrator 2 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed,
JESUS “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”
Narrator 1 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said,
JESUS “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
Narrator 2 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal:
Judas You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. “Greetings, Rabbi!
JESUS My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
Narrator 1 Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
JESUS Put away your sword .Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realise that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now? Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfil the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.
Narrator 2 At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered.
Narrator 2 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.
Narrator 1 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony.
Narrator 2 Finally, two men came forward who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus,
High Priest “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?”
Narrator 1 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him,
High Priest “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
JESUS “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
High Priest “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”
CAST “Guilty!” “He deserves to die!”
Narrator 2 Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him,
Servant “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”
PETER . “I don’t know what you’re talking about,”
Servant “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
PETER “I don’t even know the man,”
Servant “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
PETER “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!”
Narrator 1 And immediately the rooster crowed. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind:
PETER “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
Narrator 2 And he went away, weeping bitterly
Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Narrator 1 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realised that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders.
Judas “I have sinned for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
CAST What do we care? That’s your problem.”
Narrator 1 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. The leading priests picked up the coins.
High Priest “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury, since it was payment for murder.
Narrator 2 After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, They took the thirty pieces of silver—the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel, and purchased the potter’s field,as the Lord directed.”
Congregational Response Sheet Passion Sunday Gospel
Narrator 3 will say ‘ Will you please Stand?’
Narrator 4 Now at the festival Pilate used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.
Pilate “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”
Narrator 3 For he realised that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd
Crowd No, Release Barabas!
Pilate “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?”
Crowd “Crucify him!”
Pilate “Why, what evil has he done?”
Crowd “Crucify him!”
Narrator 4 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.
Narrator 3 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him
Congregation “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Narrator 4 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.
After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Narrator 3 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
Narrator 4 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.
The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.
Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying,
Congregation “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
Narrator 3 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
Jesus “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Narrator 4 : When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,
Congregation “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.”
Narrator: And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink,
Congregation “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said,
Congregation “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Narrator 3 There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Narrator 4 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time.When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you that you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Keep us from falling into sin or running into danger; order us in all our doings and guide us to do always what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
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. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Materials are drawn from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, Common Worship: Pastoral Services, and Common Worship: Daily Prayer, all of which are copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.