The Sixth Sunday in Lent: Palm/Passion Sunday (Years ABC : Lent 6)

There are three options this Sunday. If the Liturgy of the Palms is used, the Passion Liturgy is not used. If the Liturgy of the Passion is used, the Liturgy of the Palms is not used. The third alternative is to use the Liturgy of the Passion, but replace the gospel and psalm with the ones indicated for the Liturgy of the Palms. (See p. 236 of the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings.) The lessons for Isaiah and Philippians are used in both liturgies.

Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens–
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death–
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also.

For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.

I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.

For I hear the whispering of many–
terror all around!–
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.

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