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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 21.1-11

Welcome to ROOTS at home

Worship-at-home resources for everyone linked to Matthew 21.1-11

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'll find materials to use during Holy Week at the bottom of this page.

Go to: Resources for familiesResources for adults



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 ( 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.


For families


This week provides many challenges as for many, even more than at other times, this week’s act of worship would involve gathering, processing and reflecting on the ‘crowd scene’ which forms the narrative for Palm Sunday.

However, we are learning more about how to do this in new ways, at home, and hope that using these materials for a time of worship will help explore the idea of being a pilgrim Church on the move, following Jesus from wherever we are.



Jesus the Messiah,
welcome to our meeting!
We have come to hear from you,
we have come to learn from you,
we have come to offer you our praise.
Welcome, Jesus, welcome!



Bible story

Open the Bible at Matthew 21.1-11: Jesus comes into Jerusalem for the Passover festival.

In the mood

Explain that people travelled to Jerusalem in groups with friends and family. Passover was a big festival, with lots of preparation.

  • Ask everyone to imagine that they are going to the Passover festival and the excitement is growing as they get nearer.
  • Describe the scene, the noise you can hear and the sight of Jesus in the distance.
  • Then ask everyone to help you count down from 10 to 1, as you build the atmosphere of anticipation before reading the story.
Geoff Hays,

Hosanna! Hosanna!’ The crowds shouted and sang as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Now who’d get excited about a man riding on a donkey? People who had read the Old Testament, that’s who. Some laid their cloaks down in the road, and some cut branches from the nearby trees to mark the way, as they would do for a king.

A king? A king on a donkey? What made them think of that? Well, the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah. Years before, he’d said: ‘Shout for joy, Jerusalem! Your king comes to you, riding humbly on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ Jesus knew the Old Testament very well, of course. That’s why he’d sent his disciples ahead of him to get the donkey in the first place. ‘Go into Bethphage,’ he’d said. ‘You’ll find a donkey and her foal tied up there. Bring them to me.’ Just as his followers were about to go, he’d said, ‘If anyone tries to stop you, just say, “The Lord needs them,” and they’ll let you go.’

So the disciples had gone and got the donkey, a humble animal, just as Zechariah had described it, and thrown cloaks on its back for Jesus to sit on. And that’s what he was riding into the city.

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ cried the crowds, both behind and ahead of Jesus. ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highe eople asked. And the singing crowds replied, ‘This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.’



Hosanna! a Hebrew word usually used to mean ‘Praise’, but it actually means ‘Save us, please!’; prophet someone who receives messages from God to pass on to the people.



Where's Jesus?

Show everyone the ‘Where’s Jesus?’ picture and ask them to find Jesus in the turmoil. Ask what else they notice in the picture.

Jesus was on a journey into Jerusalem through the turmoil of a city during festival season. How do we walk together through busy lives and times of turmoil?

Note – the picture contains a number of rats/mice among the people. Counting these could form an additional activity as could colouring the picture in.


Activity and colouring sheets

Activities for families English


Colouring Sheet English


Activities for families  Welsh


Colouring Sheet Welsh



For adults

PostScript - A world in turmoil


In conversation with the Scriptures: Lent and suffering; Easter and joy

 John Parr explores Lent and Easter, in conversation with Anne Stevens.


Live your faith

This week's Live your faith sheet for adults with Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action



Write a short meditation or poem describing one moment in the triumphal processions from a particular point of view — maybe something like a member of the crowd catching his thoughts as Jesus rides by, or a significant moment for one of the disciples. Alternatively draw, sketch or doodle a picture to represent their perspective.


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 to help you study the picture. Click on the images to download a pdf.

For Adults


For Families

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