Five Days Before Friday: A service of poetry, music, and Scripture

Prelude: "A Palm Sunday Processional on 'All Glory, Laud, and Honor'"

We Celebrate Palm Sunday


Scripture: Luke 19:37-40

Hymn: "All Glory, Laud, and Honor"
[PsH 375-376, PH 88, RL 279, TH 235]

God's Greeting

Reading: "Five Days Before Friday"
[Thomas John Carlisle]

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

Reading: "He who would be great among you"
[Luci Shaw]

Hymn: "Jesu, Jesu"
[PsH 601, PH 367]

Jesus Is Abandoned by His Disciples

Reading: "John in Gethsemane"
[Sherwood E. Wirt]

Hymn: "Go to Dark Gethsemane" (stanzas 1 and 2)
[PsH 381, PH 97]

Reading: "The Agony in the Garden"
[Felicia Hemans]

Solo: "Isaiah 53"
[James Ward]

Reading: "The Look" and "The Meaning of the Look"
[Elisabeth Barret Browning]

We Participate in the Crucifixion

Scripture Reading: John 19:1-16

Reading: "Crucify Him!"
[Elmer E. Suderman]

Reading: "Turnabout"
[Sherwood E. Wirt]

Hymn: "Ah, Holy Jesus"
[PsH 386, PH 93, RL 285, TH 248]

Reading: "Lord, Let Me Recall the Fall"
[Phil Silva]

Anthem: "O Sacred Head Now Wounded"

We Learn a Deeper Truth

Meditation: "Who Killed Him?"

Text: I John 4:10


Musical Offerings: "Ah, Dearest Jesus," "Go to Dark Gethsemane"

Hymn: "And Can It Be"
[PsH 267 TH 455]

Benediction (with congregation joining on the "Amen")

Organ Amen

Postlude: "All Glory, Laud, and Honor"

The poetry readings can be found in the collection The Country of the Risen King: An Anthology of Christian Poetry, compiled by Merle Meeter (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978). Each poem may be read by a different reader in the congregation. • TTzzs Palm Sunday service was adapted from one submitted by Cynthia de Jong, member ofNeland Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. • The hymns in this service were selected from the most recent editions of the following hymnals: The Psalter Hymnal (PsH), The Presbyterian Hymnal (PH), Rejoice in the Lord (RL), and the Trinity Hymnal (TH).


He who would be great among you

You whose birth broke all the
social and biological rules—
son of the poor who accepted
the worship due a king—
child prodigy debating with
the Temple Th.D.'s—you
were the kind who used
a new math
to multiply bread, fish, faith.
You practiced a
radical sociology:
rehabilitated con men and
call girls, you valued women and other minority groups.
a GP, you specialized in
heart transplants.
Creator, healer,
shepherd, innovator,
story-teller, weather-maker,
botanist, alchemist,
exorcist, iconoclast,
seeker, seer, motive-sifter,
you were always beyond,
above us. Ahead
of your time, and ours.

And we would like
to be like you. Bold
as Boanerges, we hear ourselves
demand: 'Admit us
to your avant-garde.
Grant us degree
in all the liberal arts of heaven."
Why our belligerence?
Why does this whiff of fame
and greatness smell so sweet?
Why must we compete
to be first? Have we forgotten
how you took simply cool water
and a towel for our feet?

—Reprinted from The Secret Trees, © 1976 by Luci Shaw. Used by permission of Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, IL.

Reformed Worship 26 © December 1992, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.