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Palm Sunday

April 13, 2025

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, also known as the Sunday of the Passion, will be commemorated on Sunday, April 13, 2025.

To attend a Palm Sunday service, visit locator.lcms.org/church to find a local Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregation. Enter your zip code and click “Search” to see a list of area churches, service times, and contact information.

If you are homebound, traveling, or otherwise unable to attend a service in person, KFUO Radio airs worship services throughout the church year. Visit KFUO.org to view the schedule and listen to services.

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Liturgical color for Palm Sunday

Scarlet will adorn the altar on Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday. It is a color worth investing in because it stands in contrast to the traditional red that is used on Festival Sundays. Scarlet’s use during the somber days of Holy Week help to offer a different message. As the Manual on the Liturgy points out, “scarlet is a color anciently associated with the passion … the color of blood” (p. 25). Violet may also be used where Scarlet vestments are not present.

Scripture readings for Palm Sunday

Three-Year Series C Lectionary

  • John 12:12–19 (Procession)
  • Deut. 32:36–39
  • Psalm 118:19–29 or Psalm 31:9–16
  • Phil. 2:5–11
  • Luke 22:1–23:56 or Luke 23:1–56 or John 12:20–43

Lectionary summary

The Cross and Passion of Our Lord Are the Hour of His Glor

The King of Israel comes into His royal glory by the path of humble obedience “to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). He “goes as it has been determined” (Luke 22:22), according to the Scriptures, willingly submitting to His Father’s plan for the salvation of sinners. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). His suffering and death open the way of repentance for the forgiveness of sins because He goes to the cross bearing the sins of the world. In His resurrection, God the Father vindicates His people and has compassion on His servants (Deut. 32:36). He kills to make alive; He wounds in order to heal. In remembrance of Him, we praise God, confessing “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11)

One-Year Series Lectionary

  • Matthew 21:1–9 (Procession) or John 12:12–19 (Procession)
  • Zechariah 9:9–12
  • Psalm 118:19–29 or Psalm 31:9–16
  • Philippians 2:5–11
  • Matthew 26:1—27:66 or Matthew 27:11–54

Lectionary summary

The Cross and Passion of Our Lord Are the Hour of His Glory

“Behold, your King is coming to you . . . humble and mounted on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9–12; Mt. 21:1–9). Our Lord rides in this humble fashion because He is entering Jerusalem to humble Himself even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:5–11). His kingly crown will not be made of gold but of thorns, the sign of sin’s curse. For His royal reign is displayed in bearing this curse for His people, saving us from our enemies by sacrificing His own life. The sinless One takes the place of the sinner so that the sinner can be freed and bear the name “Barabbas,” “son of the Father” (Matthew 26 and 27). It is at the name of this exalted Savior, Jesus, that we bow in humble faith. With the centurion who declared, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:54), we are also given to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:11).

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April 13, 2025
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LCMS Worship
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