Saturday, 5 April 2014

Hymn for Passion / Palm Sunday



It is increasingly familiar to observe the Sunday before Easter as Passion / Palm Sunday, noting that many people do not attend pubic worship during Holy Week. If we pre-empt something of the passion of Christ at the beginning of the week, we encourage folk to pause to reflect at the foot of the cross and don't allow them to skip straight from "Hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord" to "Alleluia, He is risen!" without confronting "My God, why have you forsaken me".

I wrote this hymn a few years ago to draw people from the Triumphal Entry towards Gethsemane and Golgotha. It is set to "Finlandia", a tune missing from our current hymn book, "Rejoice and Sing". Please feel free to reproduce it for use it in worship on a non commercial basis, but do comment to let me know if you do.

Not on a war horse, but a humble donkey,
the Son of Man came to Jerusalem;
great city full of faithful Hebrew pilgrims
received one more as she had often done.
And yet this time, Christ journeyed into danger;
to be betrayed, to suffer and to die.

They paved his way with scattered cloaks and branches
- a prelude to the coming victory.
Crowds of disciples shouting out their praises;
"Glory to God! Hosanna to the King!
Bless'd is the one, Jesus has come to save us."
The very stones would cry out if they could.

His friends knew not the horrors that awaited,
imagining an end to Roman rule.
Instead God's plan was moving to fruition;
his Son would gain a greater vict'ry still.
Not by the might of gathered rebel armies,
but strength of purpose and submissive will.

So let us pause, as we this day remember
our humble King who gathers up the lost;
how great his trial, how strong the love he shows us;
how weak a faith that does not count the cost.
We walk with him, come through into the city;
one final meal, a symbol for God's grace.

Out into darkness, Jesus' time is coming;
a kiss to greet, a sign - "this is the one"
The soldiers mock, yet still our Lord is silent;
the sentence passed and all our crimes his own.
Christ hoisted high, humanity is ransomed;
through Jesus' death, we all are given life!

tune "Finlandia"
David M. Miller © 2010 The Millery

(Image by Corinne Vonaesch from http://www.c-vonaesch.ch/ from a series entitled "Gospel of John")


20 comments:

  1. I would like to use this hymn for this Sunday's service at Port Edwards United Methodist Church in Port Edwards, Wisconsin. Beautifully written. Love the Finlandia tune. Blessings, Pastor David Guse

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    1. Hi David,
      Delighted to hear from you; thank you for your kind words. Hope your congregation appreciate the hymn too.
      Blessings,
      Dave
      The United Reformed Church in North Staffordshire

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  2. I am also thinking of using your hymn, as it moves us nicely from Palm to Passion. Am I missing something or is there no title?

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  3. Dear Nostalgic Kiddo,
    Thank you for commenting. No title as I hadn't thought one was needed beyond the first line. Suggestions welcome.
    Hope you decide to use it.
    Blessings
    Dave

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  4. Thank you for these beautiful words, which move us from the palms to the passion. I plan to use your song next Sunday at the Pascoe Vale South Uniting Church in Victoria, Australia.

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    1. Thanks Judy, delighted that you are using it.

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  5. Thanks! Fits with our worship this Palm Sunday 2017 at Forest Grove United Church, Toronto.

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    1. Thanks Cam,
      Pleased you are using it.
      David

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  6. I plan to use it this Sunday at the Columbus Community Congregational Church, UCC in Columbus, MT. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Tracy, delighted you are using it.
      David

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  7. We plan to use this in our Ecumenical Palm Sunday Service in Orroroo South Australia this Sunday.
    Thank you for making this available to all.

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  8. We plan to use this hymn at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Oakland, MD, on Sunday, April 9. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you - delighted it's being used.
      David

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  9. Thank you so much for this beautiful text. We will be singing this hymn on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at St. Hilda's Anglican Church in Sechelt.

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    1. Hi Katherine, Thank you for your kind words. Delighted to hear you're using the hymn
      David

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  11. This text is perfect for our service at Chalice Christian Church and we will sing it this Sunday, March 25, 2018. Thank you so much!

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  12. Planning to use your hymn on Sunday 25 March 18 at St Margaret's Church, Silverstream, in NZ

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  13. Thank you for your wonderful words, so apt to help people remember that it wasn't, as you say, "Hosanna" to "Hallelujah". We are using this on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Land O'Lakes Emmanuel United Church of Canada, in southeastern Ontario

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