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This thread for posting your ideas and plans for celebrating Palm Sunday with the kids:

  • In a WORSHIP Service
  • AS PART of Sunday School
  • IN LIEU OF doing workshop lessons
  • OR IN LEAGUE WITH your workshops.



Orignally posted by member WAM...

Here's how we prepared our kids to enter the Sanctuary on Palm Sunday

I used this last year for Palm Sunday (about 15 kids in one group; more than that and you'd have to break it up into smaller groups.)

First, we gathered to make palm crosses.

I read the scripture and then showed the kids how to make palm crosses. Google "make cross out of palm" for instructions (or see the instructions in this topic at rotation.org).

The littler ones needed a parent/helper with them to make the palm crosses. They loved doing these.

Tip: Make plenty of extra crosses for the older kids to hand out to the adults in the sanctuary. For many of the adults, seeing the palm cross will spark a fond memory and be a great reminder that goes home.


Next, I lugged out my CD player and copy of Jesus Christ Superstar.

I explained to the kids that when I was young (yuk, yuk) this musical was considered very radical and different and most parents didn't like it AT ALL.They were dying to listen to this "radical" music.

I then played the HOSANNA song scene (Jesus riding in on Palm Sunday) as loud as I could (really earsplitting) for the kids. I had written the lyrics on large posterboard so the second time around they could follow along. They did -- loud, clear and having a great time. We sang it through about 7 times in all. Totally loud, totally fun, totally uninhibited. This was also a good warm up to get them to really shout Hosanna! when they entered the sanctuary.

ALTERNATELY: You could SHOW the DVD scene from the movie and crank up the music. It's very dramatic and inspiring. And the kids could process to gather in front of the screen to join in the 'rabble'. You could have a "priest" dressed in black jump out and mouth Caiaphas' words.

Questions I asked:

"Tell the Rabble to be quiet" Why? What are they/we afraid of?
"The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing!" What is Jesus telling them? us?

Before leaving to go in the service, I gave each a palm leaf frond to take into the church service during the opening "parade" into the sanctuary.

Furthermore, I gave them instructions that each time the children heard the word "Hosanna" during service they were to wave their fronds high, fast and furious. I tipped off the pastor who made sure he said it several times during different parts of the service. 

There were lots of Hosannas during the first hymn and the kids came through, waving away... our pastor even sprinkled quite a few hosanna's into the service before the younger ones left for junior church so they were into it and really got the sense of how spontaneous Jesus' entry into Jerusalem really was.

Next year, I might even have them put their coats in the aisle. ...


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Palm Sunday Service

I'm glad you posted Palm Sunday info ... I would like to share what we did (totally forgot to post it after it happened!)

A family dressed in Bible times costumes and handed out palm fronds at the front door to all going into worship. Our rotation SS is during 1st worship, then most families go to 2nd worship service. So after SS we gathered all the kids together, had them put on Bible times costumes and get a palm frond. Our adult bell choir person let the kids use the handbells! (We had enough bells for every child -- a "God moment" for sure!)

The kids preceeded the choir, walking in from the back of the sanctuary to the front up the 2 aisles, ringing their bells and waving their palms. They stayed up front in the chancel area, continuing to ring while the choir came in and the whole congregation sang "All Glory, Laud & Honor". After the hymn, we had one 9 year old girl read a short script, standing in the middle of all the kids. The words were as if she was there when Jesus entered the city.

Then the kids went and sat with their parents until the reading of the Scripture. They came up and sat with me as I narrated part of the book "Three Easter Journeys" by Ro Willoughby. We had 4 people take the parts of Jesus and the people.

It was very interactive for the kids and very touching to the congregation. We'll repeat it!

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Multi-age Palm Sunday Celebration

This post moved here to consolidate topic...

Cathy Hoop
Posted April 13, 2006

This year we were in between rotations so we had a fabulous multi-age Palm Sunday celebration. I was inspired by WAM's posting about using Jesus Christ Superstar, and opened with that. I then replayed the section of the song in which the Pharisees tell Jesus to quiet the crowds. He replies from Luke 19: 40, "if my disciples are silent, the stones will shout aloud." We had a rich conversation about what that means, and what that says about the power of God. Then we brainstormed some ways that stones can shout. They immediately came up with clapping them together, having them roll around together, etc. We also brainstormed "praise" words and what the stones might say. We then divided into groups for the following:

  1. Painting (store bought)stepping stones (6th grade)with praise words/symbols. The stones were placed at the entrance to the patio where we gather for our processional into worship.
  2. Decorating our concrete patio with sidewalk chalk to prepare for our Palm Sunday processional. The 5th graders drew palms, cloaks and wrote words of praise. It was beautiful!
  3. 1 - 4 grade boys made all kinds of shakers from stones and recyclable items - margarine tubs, coffee cans, tissue tubes, and lots of brightly colored duck tape. They practiced rhythms with their stone maracas and showed how their stones were praising God.
  4. 1 - 4 grade girls made an amazing palm Sunday diarama with colored stones, markers, glitter, etc. (We laid down a long piece of heavy paper for them to work on.) Their stones were the people and they wrote hosannas, etc. all along the path. At the end, each group took time to see what the others had done and to have prayer time with their shepherds.
    (I don't usually divide by boys and girls, but this seemed like an ideal time to do it - I gave the 1 -4 graders an option to choose the other station if they didn't like the one they were in, but everyone was VERY happy.) If I had planned ahead, I would have asked if the children could use their stone maracas during the processional!
Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

A Palm Sunday Pageant

by Carolyn Marengere
Allen Park Presbyterian Church
Allen Park, MI

This play was “performed” during worship.
We had children from age 2 through 5th grade participate. The younger children and those who didn’t have a speaking part were part of the crowd. The speaking parts were done by those in K-5th. We did video tape the Zacchaeus section and projected it at the appropriate time in the script (if video taping is not possible, the scene could take place off to one side).

We rehearsed the play for several weeks during our regular class time. See below for a list of specific topics of the story that were taught each week before we rehearsed.*

“Dateline: Palm Sunday 2011”

Characters: Jesus (modern day)
TV Reporters (3)
Zacchaeus - possibly seen or heard “via satellite"
Andrew
“Donkey” owner
Pharisee(s)
People in the crowd -plus a few to “interview"

Props needed: bike (with donkey ears/tail), hand held microphone (real), hoodies/jackets, #1 Fan Fingers, pom-poms, palm branches, stole for Pharisee to wear. All children wear regular school/church clothes.

Setting: Jerusalem 2011

Reporter 1 (Sanderson): (to the congregation) “Good Morning, I’m Sanderson Cooper, live from Jerusalem. We have reports that Jesus of Nazareth is in the area and may be coming into town today. We’re looking for people to speak with about this visit.”
motioning to Andrew
“You, sir, are you familiar with this man from Nazareth?”

Andrew: “Yes, he should be here shortly.”

Reporter 1: “Is he really who people say he is, the Messiah?”

Andrew: “I really cannot say.”

Reporter 1: “Some say that he is going to deliver his people from the Romans. Do you think he will be driving in a Hummer?”

Andrew: “Well, a few minutes ago he told me and a friend to go find him something he could ride. He told us to go ahead of him and we would find a donkey bike that would be tied to a tree.”

Reporter 1: “Really? What happened then?”

Andrew: We went down the road and we found a donkey bike. The owner of it asked why we were untying it and we told him exactly what Jesus told us to say.”

Reporter 1: “What was that?”

Andrew: “That the Lord was in need of it.”

Reporter 1: “Really? Where is this person? I’d like to speak with her.”

Andrew: “She’s right over there.” pointing to the donkey bike owner Reporter crosses to the bike owner

Reporter 1: “You ma’am, did someone just untie your donkey bike?”

Bike Owner: “Yes. At first I thought it was strange. But when I asked the guys why they were taking my donkey bike, they said, ‘The Lord needs it’.

Reporter 1: “Was it difficult to give to the Lord? I know sometimes it’s difficult for me to give up things I want to keep to myself. Was it hard for you?”

Bike Owner: “Well, it is my favorite donkey bike. I got it for my birthday.”

Reporter 1: “Then why did you give it to Him?”

Bike Owner: “It wasn’t easy, but I know that everything I have is a gift from God. I am glad that I was able to help Him in some small way.”

Reporter 1: holding his ear, listening through his ear piece
“Ok, sorry. It looks like we have a report coming in via satellite from nearby Jericho by Katie Zueric.”

Some people in the Crowd enter at the back and slowly make their way down the center aisle while the Zacchaeus interview is played.

Reporter 2 (Katie): “Mr. Zacchaeus, I understand you had an interaction with this man from Nazareth. What can you tell me about him?”

Zacchaeus: “Well, I heard he was coming into Jericho a couple of days ago and I wanted to go see him. But I’m just a little guy, so I couldn’t see over the crowd of people that had gathered.

Reporter 2: “So what did you do!?”

Zacchaeus: “I climbed up a tree so I could see Him. And then the strangest thing happened.”

Reporter 2: “What was that?”

Zacchaeus: “He saw me up in the tree and He said ‘Zacchaeus, come down out of that tree; I want to come to our house for lunch’. I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe He would want to even see me, let alone go to my house for lunch.”

Reporter 2: “Then what happened?”

Zacchaeus: “Well, a lot of people starting saying things like, ‘Can you believe Jesus is going to his house? He’s a tax collector…we can’t believe Jesus would want to hang out with a cheating tax collector.’”

Reporter 2: “What happened next?”

Zacchaeus: “Well, I told Jesus I would give half of my possessions to the poor and that if I had cheated anyone, that I would pay them back 4 times as much money.”

Reporter 2: “What did Jesus say?”

Zacchaeus: “He said that He had come to seek out and to save the lost.”

Reporter 2: “Well, that’s all we have from Jericho. Now over to Wolf Blizzard, reporting live from Jerusalem.”

Reporter 3 (Wolf): “Thanks Katie. Back here in Jerusalem, we have Breaking News, as we have begun to see people from the crowd take off their hoodies and cloaks and lay them down on the road in front of Jesus!”

Some take off their hoodies or jackets and put them on the floor of the center aisle.

Crowd comes in with palm branches, pom-poms and “#1 Fan foam fingers”. They start to chant Hosanna! (at a low volume at first)

Reporter 3 crosses over to begin to interview people in the crowd.
Reporter 3: “You ma’am. Why are you here today?”

Crowd person 1: “I’ve come to see Jesus! He is going to save us!”

Reporter 3 moves to another person (and so on)

Reporter 3: “And how about you Ma’am. Why did you come here today?”

Crowd person 2: “I have been following this Jesus. He is a wonderful man, full of compassion for all, even the lost and outcast.”

Reporter 3: “You sir. Why you are here today?”

Crowd Person 3: “I have seen this man Jesus perform miracles. He is a holy man. I am filled with hope that he will save us all!”

The crowd continues to say/shout Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! (getting louder and louder as the interviews take place).

Reporter 3: “The crowd is getting larger and louder as we speak.”

Jesus enters, riding on the “donkey” bike.

The Pharisee(s) arrive, or come out of the crowd, and move toward Jesus.

Pharisees: “Teacher, tell your disciples to stop all this racket!

Jesus: “If these were silent, (motioning to the crowd), even the stones would shout out.”

Jesus continues on, finally kneeling on the chancel floor, says line looking prayerfully upward.

Jesus: “Oh Jerusalem, if you had only recognized on this day the things that made for peace!”
Jesus bows head, weeping.

Music (piano) begins to play. Entire cast sings “Hosanna! Blessed be the Rock!” from the chancel.

Play concept by Megan Cuthbert and Carolyn Marengere. Script written by Carolyn Marengere, adapted from the NRSV. (Mt 16:20, 21:1-11, Mk 11:1-10, Lk 19:1-10, 28-42, Jn 12: 12-19.

*Each week’s lesson was a different part of the story. The children also took home each week a reminder of a part of the story (crossword/word search puzzle, coloring page, etc)

Week 1: Overview of the story - we read the story from the Family Story Bible by Ralph Milton. Since the play is a modern day version of the story (as if Jesus were coming into your town today), we discussed how things would be different from the original account.

Week 2: The Donkey – We discussed that many people thought the Messiah would be a military leader and ride in on a horse. Why it was important for Jesus to come in a peaceful manner. How some people in the world are still waiting for the Messiah.

Week 3: Hosanna – The meaning and why the people were saying it and celebrating. The importance of the crowd to the Palm Sunday story. Why they would have put their cloaks on the ground and why they waved palms.

Week 4: Zacchaeus – Since we included his story in the play, we discussed it this week.

Week 5: Pharisees – Who they were, why they acted as they did.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Palm Sunday Nightly News Drama Script

This is a drama script for Palm Sunday in the form of a news broadcast from Jerusalem, combining live action reporting and video clips from the scene.

Editor moved here to consolidate topic.

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Palm Sunday Drama
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HOSANNA Acrostic Presentation

Editor moved here to consolidate topic.

By Marilyn

Traditionally, our Sunday School children do a short presentation in church on Palm Sunday - instead of their regular Children's Message - before heading down to Sunday School.

This year, the children decorated large letters that spell Hosanna on Bristol board. The following poem was displayed on the screen and the congregation read it with them. They also sang the first course of Jesus Christ Superstar's "Hosanna."

HosannaWe took two weeks to do this - the first week was practicing the song and decorating the letters. The second week was song practice, assembling the letters (we cut them out of one piece of Bristol board and glued onto a contrasting colour for strength), and making noise makers from recycled water bottles that were donated to us. We filled the water bottles with gravel to emphasize the rocks crying out.

H – He's coming on a donkey

O – on his way to Jerusalem

S – So many people cheering him!

A – All of them making lots of

N – NOISE!!

N – No, no, no! Say the Pharisees. Make them stop!

A – All the rocks & stones will cry out if they stop!

HOSANNA!!

The chorus verse we used from JC Superstar was:

Hosanna Heysanna Sanna Sanna Ho
Sanna Hey Sanna Ho Sanna
Hey J C, J C won't you smile at me?
Sanna Ho Sanna Hey Superstar

(youtube was a big help here as I am not musically inclined. Thankfully our talented pianist knew the song off the top of her head to play it on Palm Sunday.)



Hi Marilyn,
Great idea to tie the noise makers to the rocks crying out. 

Thanks for the photo!
--Carol



Instead of posters, we're going to use arm/hand shapes (like in The Village People's "YMCA") to represent the letters, changing them at the beginning of each line, to keep the youngest ones engaged.

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