Palm Sunday Message by Mother Donna Steckline 4/5/2020
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Delivered By
The Reverend Donna Steckline
Delivered On
April 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Hello Fellow Believers,

Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!!
Today, we embark on a journey to which we know the outcome. This is quite different than those who watched and experienced it ‘live’. So I would encourage you to enter into the mind-set of a stander-by, who is standing in the ‘crowd’ and looking in on the whole situation. How do you feel? What do you say? What does your family believe?
This week is crucial to all that we believe. We have the benefit of all those who have gone before us, and have left their thoughts and devotions for us to draw upon. Stay rooted in the Word of God for His wisdom and direction. Listen to His still small voice for direction, guidance and provision. As we seek Him, He is Mighty to Save! 
As much as this Holy Week will reveal, there is hope at the end of the week. Please be sure to share the hope which we have through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He willingly gave His life for us, as the sacrifice for OUR sins. He gives us the way out, the way to eternal life. He is our hope, and we need to share this with the world who is longing for answers right now. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!
Be prayerful, stay safe, stay healthy and PLEASE stay in touch!
In Christ’s Love, Mtr. Donna+

Christ Church

Gilbertsville, New York



“We will demonstrate God’s unconditional love and forgiveness daily, following the example of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”


April 5, 2020


Sunday of the Passion-Palm Sunday




Before the service

You are invited to pray the following prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit:


Come, Holy Spirit, fill the Hearts of Your faithful and kindle in us the Fire of

Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be recreated-And You will

renew the face of the earth.


O God, Who did instruct the hearts of Your faithful people by the Light of

Your Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever

rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our prayer today is that this special time of worship will be a time when you truly

feel closer to God and that through the experience of both Word and Sacrament

you will come into the presence of the saving love of Jesus Christ.


The Liturgy of the Palms BCP p. 270

The following or some other suitable anthem is sung or said, the people

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.

Celebrant Let us pray.

Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our
salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation
of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and
immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 21:1- 11


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. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, 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.”

This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

“Tell the people of Jerusalem,
‘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 center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”

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.”


The celebrant then says the following blessing

The Lord be with you.
People And also with you.
Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by
which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ
our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in
triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who
spread their garments and branches of palm along his way.
Let these branches 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 in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for
ever. Amen.

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

The Procession: During the procession, all hold branches in their hands, while processing to the front of the church building. At the conclusion of the third verse we will stop at the front doors of the church. As a symbol of Jesus standing at the doors of heaven, He knocks three times on the doors and the doors to heaven are opened to Him. We will then process in, singing the rest of the hymn.

Celebrant Let us go forth in peace.
People In the name of Christ. Amen.

Processional Hymn: B-154 All Glory Laud & Honor




All glory, laud, and honor,

to thee, Redeemer, King,

to whom the lips of children

made sweet hosannas ring.


1. Thou art the King of Israel,

thou David's royal Son,

who in the Lord's name comest,

the King and Blessed One.



2. The company of angels

are praising thee on high,

and we with all creation

in chorus make reply.



3. The people of the Hebrews

with psalms before thee went;

our prayer and praise and anthems

before thee we present.



4. To thee, before thy passion,

they sang their hymns of praise;

to thee, now high exalted,

our melody we raise.



5. Thou didst accept their praises;

accept the prayers we bring,

who in all good delightest,

thou good and gracious King.



During the procession, all hold branches in their hands, while processing into the church building

Let us pray.

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Please be seated for the reading of God’s Word:


The First Lesson is from The Book of Isaiah 50:4-9a


The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
and I have listened.
I have not rebelled or turned away.

I offered my back to those who beat me
and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face
from mockery and spitting.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone,
determined to do his will.
And I know that I will not be put to shame.
He who gives me justice is near.
Who will dare to bring charges against me now?
Where are my accusers?
Let them appear!
See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side!
Who will declare me guilty?
All my enemies will be destroyed
like old clothes that have been eaten by moths!

Reader: The Word of The Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31:9-16 will be prayed antiphonally by verse, the pulpit side reading the even numbered verses, the celebrant side the odd; all beginning and ending with the refrain:

Refrain: Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *

my eye is consumed with sorrow,

and also my throat and my belly.



10 For my life is wasted with grief,

and my years with sighing; *

my strength fails me because of affliction,

and my bones are consumed.


11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and

even to my neighbors,

a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *

when they see me in the street they avoid me.


12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *

I am as useless as a broken pot.


13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;

fear is all around; *

they put their heads together against me;

they plot to take my life.


14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *

I have said, “You are my God.


15 My times are in your hand; *

rescue me from the hand of my enemies,

and from those who persecute me.


16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *

and in your loving‑kindness save me.”



Refrain: Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *

my eye is consumed with sorrow,

and also my throat and my belly.


A reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2:5-11


You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,

he did not think of equality with God

as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;

he took the humble position of a slave

and was born as a human being.

When he appeared in human form,

he humbled himself in obedience to God

and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

and gave him the name above all other names,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Reader: The Word of The Lord.
People Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn: B 474 - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

(The customary responses before and after the Gospel are omitted. The Passion Gospel may be read or chanted by different persons. Specific roles may be assigned to different persons, the congregation taking the part of the crowd in bold face type.)

The congregation may be seated for the first part of the Passion. At the
verse which mentions the arrival at Golgotha the congregation is invited to stand.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 27:11-54

Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”

So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). The soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”


The Sermon: The Reverend Donna Steckline

A moment of silent reflection follows…

(When the Liturgy of the Palms has preceded, the Nicene Creed and the
Confession of Sin may be omitted at this service.)

Prayers of the People Form III


The Leader and People pray responsively


Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church;

That we all may be one.


Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you;

That your Name may be glorified by all people.


We pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons;

That they may be faithful ministers of your Word and Sacraments.


We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;

That there may be justice and peace on the earth.


Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;

That our works may find favor in your sight.


Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble;

That they may be delivered from their distress.


Lord, we ask that you would stop the spread of this awful virus. Protect and keep healthy all who are in the medical field as they continue to care for all of our needs. Please help all who are sick to recover; contain the virus so it won't affect others. May it STOP soon. Help us to be PREPARED and strengthen us as intercessors to fight this spiritual battle. Decrease fear because You are in control, even when we do not see or feel it.

We believe Lord, help our unbelief.


Give to the departed eternal rest;

Let light perpetual shine upon them.


We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;

May we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.


Let us pray for our own needs and those of others.




The People may add their own petitions.

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but
first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he
was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way
of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and
peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you.

The people may greet one another in the name of our Lord


Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations: Birthday blessings: Billie Houghton 4/1


The Children’s Homily:

-children are invited forward to participate


Offertory sentence: I appeal to you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)


Offertory Hymn: B 512 - Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove


Please remember to mail in your stewardship offerings.

The church needs to maintain our normal operations and without your offerings we will not be able to do so.

Please mail to: Christ Church Po Box 345 Gilbertsville, NY 13776



The celebrant receives the people’s offering as the doxology is sung:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost



All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own have we given you. AMEN

(1 Chronicles 29:14)


And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to pray:


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 and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.



The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you forever. AMEN


Closing Hymn (Full verse intro): B 665 - All My Hope on God is Founded




Celebrant: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.


People: Thanks be to God.


Bulletin Notices:



April 5, 2020

Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

April 12, 2020


The Liturgy of the Palms

Matthew 21:1-11

The Liturgy of the Word

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Acts 10:34-43



Psalm 31:9-16

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24


Philippians 2:5-11

Colossians 3:1-4


Matthew 27:11-54

Matthew 28:1-10




Week’s Actual Giving

Weekly Giving Target

Actual Year to Date Giving


Target Giving Year to Date Giving

2020 Yearly Total Estimated Giving and Assessment Target





















Vestry Meetings: are held on the third Sunday of the month after coffee hour.

Next meets

  • April 19, 2020 regular meeting

Easter Flowers: Easter Celebration - Our Easter Services are canceled and all services are postponed until further notice. We will re-evaluate the situation April 15, 2020, taking the lead of our Bishop, Governor and Government leaders. Please continue to make your flower and stewardship offerings by mailing them to PO Box 345 Gilbertsville NY 13776. We thank you for your faithfulness to God and your church in the midst of this pandemic.


Holy Week services: This also means that our Holy Week services are canceled, but please take advantage of the many offerings to spend time in virtual fellowship with our brothers and sisters. The bulletin will be e-mailed to all who are on our listing. If you know of someone who is not receiving it, but would like to, please let us know the e-mail address.

This is a time for concerted prayers for our communities, our families, our nation and the world. Take some extra time to listen to God’s instruction upon your own heart. Consider watching some of the Christian movies which run during this season. Be especially mindful of our neighbors who may be in need. God Bless you! Stay safe, stay healthy and stay in touch!


Lenten Prayer Challenge: Lenten Prayer Challenge: Remember to mail out a card to the person for whom you have been praying during Lent. Include a short note of encouragement and blessing to your brother or sister in Christ.


Bible Studies and Stations are cancelled until further notice

Christ Church Weekly Homily and Bulletin:


Fill your spiritual cup - each Sunday morning, Mother Donna’s Homily and the weekly Bulletin will be sent via e-mail, posted to Christ Church website and announced with link on our Facebook page.


If you have trouble opening the attachments in the e-mail, to listen to Mother Donna's homily and view bulletin:

  1. Go to our website:
  2. Click on the Sermons tab
  3. Click on "Mother Donna's Homily for 3/22/2020 to listen
  4. Click on the attachment for bulletin







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