Home Worship Planning Seasons & Holidays Brief Form for the Burning of Palms

Brief Form for the Burning of Palms

This service is designed as an act of gathering outdoors before entry into the worship space. It may be offered immediately before a service for Ash Wednesday or at an earlier day and time. If it is offered immediately before the Ash Wednesday service, remember to plan so as to allow ample time for the ashes to cool before they are administered.

Pastor: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

We gather here to turn these palms
from our celebration of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem
into ashes
that we may be reminded of our mortality
and our need of God.

Sing "Sunday's Palms Are Wednesday's Ashes" from The Faith We Sing, 2138, as the palms are lit and burned.

Gather the ashes into a pyx or other suitable container for later administration.

Pastor: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Pastor: Let us pray. (UNISON)

Living God, in their life these palms drew life from the earth
and gave it back to our air
and the animals they hosted and sheltered;
in the worship of our community,
they helped us offer festive joy:
Grant now, O God, that these palms, reduced to ashes,
may be for us a sign of your power
to purify our hearts,
that we may recognize death at work in us,
and replant our lives
in the sure and humble soil
of your truth and grace.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen.

The service continues with the Order for Ash Wednesday found in The United Methodist Book of Worship (pages 321-324). If the burning of the ashes is done apart from the Ash Wednesday Service, the pastor may then say:

Pastor: Go in peace.
And may the grace of Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always.

People: Thanks be to God!