The Liturgy of the Palms

Leader: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

All: Hosanna in the highest.

Leader: Dear friends in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of our Lord’s paschal mystery. On this day our Lord Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph. The people welcomed him with palms and shouts of praise, but the path before him led to self-giving, suffering, and death. Today we greet him as our King, although we know his crown is thorns and his throne a cross. We follow him this week from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by way of the dark road of suffering and death. United with him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life.

Let us pray. Assist us mercifully with your help, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy into the celebration of those mighty acts whereby you give us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gospel

Matthew 21:1-11

Listen here

Leader: The Lord be with you

All: And also with you

Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

All: It is right to give our thanks and praise

Leader: It is right to praise you, almighty God, for the acts of love by which you redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The Hebrews acclaimed Jesus as Messiah and King, with palm branches in their hands, crying, Hosanna in the highest. May we also, carrying these emblems, go forth to meet Christ and to follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Leader: Let us go forth in peace

All: In the name of Christ. Amen.

Processional Hymn: Blue Hymnal #181 All Glory, Laud and Honour

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel, thou David's royal Son,
Who in the Lord's name comest, the King and Blessed One.

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
The company of angels are praising thee on high,
And mortal men and all things created make reply.

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
The people of the Hebrews with palms before thee went;
Our praise and love and anthems before thee we present.

Leader: Almighty God, whose Son was crucified yet entered into glory, may we, walking in the way of the cross, find it is for us the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
To thee before thy Passion they sang their hymns of praise;
To thee now high exalted our melody we raise.

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring
who in all good delights, thou good and gracious King.

All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

Collect of the Day

Let us pray. Almighty and everliving God, in tender love for all our human race you sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take our flesh and suffer death upon a cruel cross. May we follow the example of his great humility, and share in the glory of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Proclamation of the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 31:9-16

9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; * my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbours, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; * when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; * they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. * I have said, “You are my God.

15 My times are in your hand; *rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, * and in your loving-kindness save me.”

Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

Gradual Hymn: How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. Matthew


The Prayers of the People

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge. Let me never be put to shame. 

Let us pray to Christ our crucified King. For forgiveness for the many times we have denied you and turned away from your cross, we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy

For grace to see and to mourn those habits of sin that lead us away from you, and for the grace, through prayer and self-discipline, to overcome them, we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy. 

For your church throughout the world in this holy week, especially in all places where the faithful cannot gather. For courage to be your church – to pray and to sing your praise, to reach out to those who are lonely and afraid, to care for those who are in need, to comfort the dying – we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy. 

For your world in this time. For our leaders, that they may have wisdom in the face of this crisis; for all people, that they may have patience to heed difficult restrictions for the sake of others. For hope in the knowledge that you are with us, we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy. 

For those who, weighed down with hardship, failure, sorrow or loneliness, feel that God is far from them, we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy. 

For those who are sick or suffering in body, mind or spirit, especially for seniors and the vulnerable, by your cross and healing love we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy. 

For health care workers everywhere and especially in senior’s residences hard hit by the coronavirus, [for…..], that you might grant them strength; guard their health, and help them to know your guiding presence throughout the days, we pray to you Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy

For all who have died, that they may find mercy in the day of Christ, we pray to you, Lord Jesus. Lord, have mercy.

Leader: We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.

All: Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father. In your compassion, forgive us our sins, known and unknown, things done and left undone, and so uphold us by your Spirit that we may live and serve you in newness of life, to the honour and glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, the comfort of those who mourn and the strength of those who suffer, hear the prayers of your people in this time of trouble. Forgive us our sins; grant to those in distress mercy, relief and refreshment; comfort and heal those who are ill, and keep us all in the shelter of your everlasting arms. Amen.

The Peace

Leader: Once we were far off, but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood, for he is our peace (Eph. 2:13, 14).

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All:  And also with you.

Offertory Hymn: Blue #386 When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

Leader: The Lord be with you.

All: And also with you.

Leader: Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;  for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:54-58)

All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


All: Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to possess you within my soul. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, together with all your faithful people gathered around every altar of your Church, and I embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Concluding Prayer

Faithful God, may we who share this spiritual banquet glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, our salvation, life and hope, who reigns as Lord now and forever. Amen.

Recessional Hymn: Blue #182 Ride On, Ride On in Majesty

Ride on, ride on in majesty; hark, all the tribes "Hosanna" cry.
O Saviour meek, pursue thy road with palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on in majesty; in lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, thy triumphs now begin o'er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty; the angel squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wondering eyes to see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on in majesty; thy last and fiercest strife is nigh.
The Father on his sapphire throne expects his own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on in majesty; in lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow thy meek head to mortal pain; then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We pray for:     Marjorie Bradshaw; Nell Bradshaw and Natasha Varjacic;  Jeff Buchyns

Banns of Marriage

I publish the Banns of Marriage between Naomi Shewchuk and Patrick Larkin, both of this parish. If any of you know cause or just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are to declare it. This is the first time of asking.


With this Sunday of the Palms and Passion we enter upon the most holy week of our Christian year. I invite you to keep this week holy: to pray, to fast, to read the scriptures and to sing as we walk together towards Good Friday and the great love of Christ shown for us and for all people on the cross. We will provide online worship services like today’s from Maundy Thursday through Easter Sunday. Worship with me on Maundy Thursday, day of the Last Supper, as you gather around your own supper tables; worship with me on Good Friday at the foot of the cross. Wait with me this Holy Saturday, at the Great Vigil. And rejoice with me this Easter. In His love, Catherine+

Friday Morning Prayer with Susie Kim

Join Susie for Morning Prayer at 8:30am on Friday mornings at the St. Matthew’s Facebook page.

Mid-Week Meditation with Mtr Catherine

A weekly encouragement to help us stay strong in our faith. Check your inbox for it each Wednesday and read the latest instalment here

Are you concerned about not having anywhere to put your weekly offering while we don’t have church services?

Don’t fear, Pre-Authorized Giving is here!

Your generosity allows St. Matthew’s to maintain the church building as well as minister to our parishioners, refugees and the Riverdale neighbourhood. We have a monthly pre-authorised remittance system, through the United Church of Canada which allows for ease of giving. Please contact Audrey Chan for more information. Her email is:

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Riverdale,

135 First Avenue, Toronto ON, M4M 1W9



The Rev Dr Catherine Sider-Hamilton – Priest-in-charge: 416-463-9720

The Rev Dr Ephraim Radner – Honorary Assistant

Please direct all enquiries to Peter Oakes, Peoples’ Warden or Audrey Chan, Rector’s Warden

Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton is Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew's Riverdale, and Professor of New Testament and New Testament Greek (part-time) at Wycliffe College. She has served also as Chaplain at Havergal College and Associate Priest at Grace Church on-the-Hill and St. John the Baptist, Norway (Toronto). She enjoys singing around the piano with her kids, her husband's Indian food, all things Italian -- and above all her two little grandchildren. Catherine and David live in Greektown. She blogs occasionally on feasts and fasts at