Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Divine Service Setting One (audio of this liturgy). The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week. This week the schoolchildren will assist us in our song.
The Cross and Passion of Our Lord Are the Hour of His Glory
“Behold, your King is coming to you . . . humble and mounted on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9–12; Mt. 21:1–9). Our Lord rides in this humble fashion because He is entering Jerusalem to humble Himself even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:5–11). His kingly crown will not be made of gold but of thorns, the sign of sin’s curse. For His royal reign is displayed in bearing this curse for His people, saving us from our enemies by sacrificing His own life. The sinless One takes the place of the sinner so that the sinner can be freed and bear the name “Barabbas,” “son of the Father” (Matthew 26 and 27). It is at the name of this exalted Savior, Jesus, that we bow in humble faith. With the centurion who declared, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:54), we are also given to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11).
Collect of the Day: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Palm Processional: John 12:12-19
Old Testament: Zech. 9:9-12
The Passion According to St. Matthew
Bishop Theodulph is said to have been confined for a time by Louis the Debonair, son and successor of Charlemagne, in a prison at Angers, during which time the hymn “Goria, laus” [All Glory, Laud, and Honor] is said to have been written. The story states that the bishop sang the new hymn from his dungeon window as the emperor was passing to the cathedral on Palm Sunday, in the year 821, and that as a result the bishop was liberated from his captivity. The hymn is still used in the church as a processional hymn on Palm Sunday.
Pop music, because of its nature, must be current and contemporary. The wordcontemporary means “with the times.” Popular music changes every couple of months. The most popular songs, whether in the secular realm or played on “Christian” radio, are very short-lived in their popularity. Most of the hymns that I know I have sung my whole life. I don’t wonder if “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” is old or “out.” The hymn transcends time. “Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart” was sung by my parents and by my children and will be sung by my grandchildren and great- grandchildren. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” has been sung by Christians for 1,600 years. How long were these hymns contemporary and “popular”? Actually, they have been for centuries. They are “catholic.” Pop music, by definition, cannot be catholic. Pop songs are like the tide: in today, out tomorrow.
The knowledge that she is in the incarnate presence of Christ elicits a response from the congregation. She has heard His Words spoken over the bread and the cup; she has seen Him in the Sacrament displayed at the elevation; and she has received His greeting of “peace be with you” in the Pax Domini. Now she confesses her faith that He is truly present in the Sacrament and prays His blessing: ”O Christ, the Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us…grant us Your peace.”
Vexilla regis is a Latin hymn in long metre by the Christian poet and saint Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers. The hymn was first sung in the procession (November 19, 569) when a relic of the True Cross, sent by the Byzantine Emperor Justin II from the East at the request of St. Radegunda, was carried in great pomp from Tours to her monastery of Saint-Croix at Poitiers.