ROOTS at home for adults
Worship-at-home resources for Palm Sunday. You'll find materials to use during Holy Week at the bottom of this page.
ROOTS is a partnership of denominations and other Christian organisations and has been publishing lectionary-based worship resources online and in print since 2002.
You are welcome to copy and paste this material for use in your own resources
(e.g. printed sheets or web pages). If you do so, please include this acknowledgement to ROOTS:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.
We come to worship the bringer of our salvation,
the hoped-for one, who stands with us now.
We lay our lives before him,
everything we have we offer him;
may the Lord of life accept our praise today.
Approaching Jerusalem (a reflective activity)
Look at these two paintings of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The first is by Giotto (painted in 1305). It shows Jesus giving a blessing, like a Christian priest as he approaches the city – it is a stylised and rather ‘churchy’ scene. The other is by Van Dyck (painted 1617) and is very different. Both pictures reflect aspects of the culture of the time in which they were painted. How might this influence our understanding of the events depicted? What differences strike you?
How far does Scripture reflect the culture of its times?
How does it feel to be reading this passage from Matthew today?
We can use these paintings to focus on two different ways of approaching the events of Palm Sunday. Giotto shows Jesus in a scene of peace and hope, near the climax of his earthly life, and in receipt of the praise that he is due. What aspects of your Christian life bring peace and/or give hope?
On the other hand, Van Dyck helps us to see the tensions, the noise, the hustle and bustle of the occasion – and of life in general, perhaps – a great mix of emotions. What does it feel like to be in a jostling crowd? What went through your mind? How do you understand Palm Sunday in the light of current events?
A prayer asking for forgiveness
Saviour, forgive me
when I have not welcomed you as I should.
Saviour, forgive me
when I have not recognised your presence with me.
Saviour, enter into my life today;
may my heart be full of praise,
may my lips give glory to your name.
Arrivals (discussion and/or reflection)
Watch the opening of the film Love Actually, in which people greet each other at the airport arrivals gate. How do we greet people in different situations (e.g. with a red carpet, a fanfare, with applause, by standing up, hugging, kissing)? How should we welcome both regulars and visitors to our church? How are we greeting others while we are confined to our homes?
Make a palm cross (activity)
Listen to, or sing a hymn or song, while you make a palm cross from a long strip of paper, e.g. torn from a newspaper or magazine. Follow these instructions on YouTube. Remember that, just as the cross is shaped and folded, so our lives are shaped and folded by the difficult and dry times, as well as those that are more joyful times.
This week's Live your faith sheet
(Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action)
today we have travelled with you,
both humbly and triumphantly.
Help us to travel in your presence
and to love and serve you
in all the circumstances of our lives.
Resources for Holy Week
These striking pictures by Ethiopian artist Nebiyu Assefa tell the story of Jesus’ Passion in a distinctive and moving way. There are seven pictures, each presented with resources for meditation/reflection, sermons, talks and worship activities. Click on the images to download a pdf.
Alternative daily acts of worship for Holy Week
Click on the picture to download a pdf.
Other ways to mark Holy Week
Read at least one of the passion narratives in full.
If you have a hymn book at home sing or read through some of the hymns in the section for Passiontide. If not, you may know the words of some well-known hymns for this season such as ‘My song is love unknown’ and ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’.
Consider Tom Wright’s reflection in Time magazine on our need to lament at this time. In this piece Tom quotes from several Psalms and argues that ‘the mystery of the biblical story is that God also laments’ and that ‘it is part of the Christian vocation not to be able to explain - and to lament instead’ (his emphases).
Use the new Holy Week resource from the Methodist Modern Art Collection.
Listen to Martin Wroe’s Thought for the Day from Saturday 28 March reflecting on ‘when this is all over’.
Use some of the reflections and resources relevant to our current situation in the latest edition of e-Coracle, the electronic magazine of the Iona Community.
Use the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Churches Together in England websites for further information on churches’ responses to the crisis