Today being Palm Sunday we already had the reading of the Crucifixion at the Eucharist. This sets the tone for the rest of the week. This prayer service too aims at getting you into the Spirit of the Holy Week by incorporating certain aspects of the Week. The service may be celebrated either before lunch or dinner on Palm Sunday.
You will need palms which you may pick up at church. You will need to have a candle stand placed on the table. The candle will be kept alight right through the service & even during the meal. Blessed Bread is being distributed to each family today. If you do not have this, you may use any single loaf of bread. Have different members of the household take up parts. Reading ‘A’ with its prayer is optional. Everything should be decided & set up before the prayer starts. Please adapt the prayer as necessary. All gather at the entrance of the home.
My dear family members, during Lent we have been preparing ourselves with works of love and self-sacrifice for the celebration of our Lord's death and resurrection. Today we come together as a family in union with the Church throughout the world. Christ enters His own city to complete His work as our Saviour, to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us be with Him in faith and love, so that, united with Him in His sufferings, we may share His risen life.
Prayer : [By the Head of the House, Palms in hand]
God our Saviour, whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer and to die, let these palms 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 with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
[With palms - if you have them - move to the room where the family meal will be served. If possible gather around the table. While entering you may recite or sing this hymn or any other appropriate Hymn]
|Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna||Jesus, Jesus, Jesus|
|in the highest||is the King of kings|
|Lord we lift up Your name||Lord we lift up Your name|
|With a heart full of praise||With a heart full of praise|
|Be exalted, oh Lord my God||Be exalted, oh Lord my God|
|Hosanna in the highest||Jesus is the King of kings|
Lighting of the Candle : [The Mother lights the candle which is placed in the centre of the table after which she reads]
Blessed are You Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, You have sanctified us by Your commandments and have called us to be a shining light in the world today. As we kindle this light let us pray that its brightness inspire us and bring spiritual joy and promise. Set us aflame with the fire of Your love, and bring us to the radiance of Your heavenly glory, through Your Son Jesus Christ, the true Light of the World. Amen.
All: May the light of Christ, banish all darkness from our hearts & minds.
[All sit around the table]
READING ‘A’ (optional) : Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet [John 2, 5 12 – 15, 34,35]
While the evening meal was being served Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. When He had finished washing their feet, He put on his clothes and returned to His place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Prayer: Father, on the night Your son ate His last meal with His disciples He washed their feet. Today, we as a family commit ourselves to follow His example of love and service.
Lord, hear us and may we reach out to each other.
All: Lord, hear us and may we reach out to each other.
READING ‘B’: Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life." [Jn 6: 35, 37, 39, 48 – 51]
Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty…. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away... I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
BLESSING OF THE BREAD
Response : Lord You are the Bread of Life
Head of the House: [Raising the bread in his hand]
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, through Your Goodness we have this bread to offer. May we always trust in your provident care for us. R/-
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, its only when a grain of wheat falls and dies does it bear fruit. So may we die to our selves in serving you. R/-
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, just like this bread which comes from many grain of wheat, may we too though many, be ever united as one loving family. R/-
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, You are the Bread of life. May we live our lives as a family, ever in close communion with you. R/-
Head: Most merciful Lord, as we partake of this one bread
May we remember that Your Son, Jesus Christ
is truly the Bread of life, that nourishes and sustains us.
May we who eat of this one bread,
realise our oneness in Christ
and make every effort to grow in this unity
with You and each other.
We also pray for our larger family, the Church and
all peoples of the world, that we may all be one in You, Amen.
Thanksgiving: [Each person may give thanks for a particular blessing that he/she has received]
For example: “I thank the Lord for my exams which went off well….”; “ thank the Lord for our neighbours who are so helpful…”