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The Sixth Sunday in Lent - Palm Sunday

5 April 2020

From the Vicar

On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, the week before he suffered and died on the cross. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week when the focus of our attention is drawn ever more closely to the death that Jesus suffered, and God's response to that sacrifice on the first Easter Sunday. On this Sunday, churches across the world read the account of Jesus' arrest and execution - the Passion Narrative as it is often called - in its entirety. Churches that follow the pattern of readings set out in the Common Revised Lectionary (as we Anglican's do…mostly anyway!) will read the Passion Narrative in Matthew's Gospel this year. Each of the four accounts of Jesus' suffering and death differ to some extent but they are, every one, very emotionally arresting. One way or another they draw us back to a sequence of events that intersect and resonate with events we are all too familiar with in our world, or nation, our community, family and in our own personal lives. May the Holy Spirit guide us through this reflective time and allow Christ's Passion to effect positive change in ourselves, in our relationships and in our world.  

Tony Surman                                                                                                                                                          

Sentence and Collect for Palm Sunday

Sentence: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

Matthew 21:9

Collect: God of kings and criminals: your ways are not our ways. On the way to Jerusalem, with shouts we acclaimed you; on the way to Calvary, with shouts we condemned you. Mercifully grant us the way that leads to life, for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



The Liturgy of the Palms

Usually this Sunday would begin well away from the church, with a blessing of the palms we had brought and the proclamation of the account from Matthew’s Gospel concerning Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. We can’t do that this year, but you may find it helpful to read and sing (thanks to the music and words provided by our DoM, Brian Millar) through the liturgy below, letting the Holy Spirit guide your imagination.

As an introduction to the Service (an Introit), ‘The Donkey’ by G.K. Chesterton is read. See for example   here

Priest:         Grace and peace to you from God.

All:              God fill you with truth and joy.

During Lent we have been preparing for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection.  Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the Church throughout the world.  Christ entered Jerusalem this day in triumph, a triumph that led through suffering and death to resurrection and new life.  In faith and love may we follow this Messiah, the humble ruler, who comes to us riding on a donkey.

We pray together: God of our salvation, help us to enter with joy into the celebration of those mighty acts by which you have given us fullness of life; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

The Congregation hold up their palm crosses for blessing.

The Lord is here. God’s Spirit is with us.

Let us give thanks to God; it is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Sovereign God, for the acts of love by which you have set us free. A week before he suffered and died, Jesus entered Jerusalem to popular acclaim, with palm branches spread along his way. Let these palm crosses X be for us symbols of martyrdom and majesty. May we who carry them follow Christ in the Way of the Cross which leads to life; through Christ, who lives and reigns in glory, with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

The palm crosses are sprinkled with water which calls to mind the cleansing, renewing waters of baptism.

The Palm Gospel, Matthew 21:1-11, is read

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Then, to musical accompaniment, the worshippers sing ‘Hosanna, Hosanna’ as they process into the church, bearing their palms (this is where your imagination becomes quite important!).

Inside the church, the Choir sings the Palm Sunday Processional by Denis Mason.

Then the processional hymn – All hail the power of Jesus’ name (Miles Lane) -is sung by all. See for example   here.


  1. All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all.


  1. Crown him you martyrs of our God, who from his altar call;

Extol the Stem-of-Jesse’s rod and crown him Lord of all.


  1. Hail him, your heirs of David’s line, whom David ‘Lord’ did call,

The God incarnate, Man divine – and crown him Lord of all.


  1. Sinners, whose love cannot forget, the wormwood and the gall,

Go spread your trophies at his feet and crown him Lord of all.


       5.  O that with every tribe and tongue we at his feet may fall,

Lift high the universal song and crown him Lord of all.


‎Text: Edward Perronet‎ (1780)


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 backwards. 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? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

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.


A gradual hymn is sung, This is the day the Lord has made (Bishopthorpe). For an example that you can sing along to, please go   here


1 This is the day the Lord has made; he calls the hours His own;
let heav'n rejoice, let earth be glad, and praise surround the throne.

2 Today he rose and left the dead, and Satan's empire fell;
today the saints his triumphs spread, and all his wonders tell.

3 Hosanna to th' anointed King, to David's holy Son.
help us, O LORD, descend and bring salvation from Your throne.

4 Blest be the Lord, who comes to us with messages of grace;
who comes, in God His Father's name, to save our sinful race.

Text: Isaac Watts

Then the Passion of our Lord according to St Matthew is read by the congregation, in parts. The text is below, but you may wish to listen to a sung version of Matthew’s Passion, composed by Richard Davys   here.


The Passion of our Lord according to St Matthew, Chapter 26, beginning at the fourteenth Verse.

14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

17On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

20When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 25Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”

26While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father,   if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end.

59Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” 62The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 63But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”

69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. 75Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

27When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. 2They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. 6But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” 7After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. 8For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

11Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” 12But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. 17So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18For he realised that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” 24So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”

26So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. 27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Please stand

32As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way. 45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.


You are invited to bow your head in the brief pause that follows.

51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 55Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 62The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” 66So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.


Then, following silence, there is prayer. You may wish to pray to God for the following intentions (as well as your own specific needs).


  • Those who have COVID-19 and those who are treating them.
  • The emergency service workers who put themselves in harms way for the good of others.
  • The individuals, families and businesses that have been particularly adversely affected by the pandemic.
  • Governments around the world attempting to manage the pandemic within their boundaries; and all those who are working to increase cooperation between nations in the face of this crisis.
  • The people who have died and those who grieve their deaths; may God grant to the departed rest and the living, grace.
  • The people in our parish and wider community for whom we have been asked to pray: Grace, William, James, Kathleen, Michael, Bob, Sally, Mirabel, Kay & Bishop Jim.


The prayers may conclude with the following prayer from A New Zealand Prayer Book (p.415)

Your word is a lamp for our feet. In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help us, heavenly Father, to trust your love, to serve your purpose, and to praise your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the Lord’s Prayer is prayed.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

Then the offertory hymn is sung. There is no collection (of course), but if you would like to contribute financially to the mission of the church, please see the note on the last page of this document.

We sang our glad Hosannas (Cruger). For an organ to sing along to, please go   here


1.  We sang our glad Hosannas, and waved our branches high,
but some were silent, frowning, as Jesus rode on by.
They sought a royal Saviour but did not understand
a king could rule by loving, instead of by command.


2.  We heard an angry Jesus in Temple courts declare,
"Be gone, you moneychangers! This is a house of prayer."
Though many came for healing and stayed to hear his word,
still others, hostile, plotted and thus his death assured.


3.  We served him at the table with wine, unleavened bread.
"The one who will betray me now eats with me," he said.
His friends would not believe him, but one by one that night,
as soldiers came to take him, they scurried out of sight.


4.  We saw a suffering Jesus alone, without a friend,
and heard the voices shouting abuse until the end.
We wept as we stood watching Love's light grow dim and die,
and cried, "Why did this happen? God, tell us, tell us why!"


5.  We buried him, not knowing that on the third day morn
a risen Christ would greet us and hope would be reborn.
Though evil had extinguished the life that burned so bright,
the love of God would triumph like dawn that ends the night.


Then the Eucharistic Rite would follow, during which the Choir would sing


Sanctus D696:3 (Franz Schubert). For an example see   here

The Palms (Jean Baptiste Faure). For an example see   here


1 O'er all the way green palm and flower array
Are strewn this day in festive preparation,
Where Jesus comes, to wipe our tears away,
E'en now the throng to welcome Him prepare.

Join all and sing His name declare,
Let ev'ry voice resound with acclamation,
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!

2 His word goes forth, and people by its might
Once more their freedom gain from degradation,
Humanity doth give to each his right,
While those in darkness find restored the light. [Refrain]

Join all and sing His name declare,
Let ev'ry voice resound with acclamation,
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!

3 Sing and rejoice, O blest Jerusalem,
Of all thy children sing emancipation,
Thro’ boundless love, the Christ of Bethlehem
Brings faith the hope to thee forevermore. [Refrain]

Mary Nelson Keithahn (1997)


The final hymn of the Service would be Ride on ride in majesty (Winchester New), music   here


1 Ride on, ride on in majesty! Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue your road with palms and scattered garments strowed.


2 Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die:
O Christ, your triumphs now begin o'er captive death and conquered sin.


3 Ride on, ride on in majesty! The winged squadrons of the sky
look down with sad and wond'ring eyes to see th'approaching sacrifice.


4 Ride on, ride on in majesty! Your last and fiercest strife is nigh;
the Father on his sapphire throne expects his own anointed Son.
5 Ride on, ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow your meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, your pow'r and reign.


Text: Author: Henry Hart Milman (1827)













Detail from The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem (Le cortège dans les rues de Jérusalem), James Tissot, 1886-1894.





A series of podcasts from

Reverend Tony Surman. 


We hope you enjoy them

And if you scroll down uou'll find resources to help with your personal devotians from Sunday 29 March

                      Creativity and Inspiration - Hebrew 12:14-end  Thursday 2 April 202

                      Birthdays and an Anniversary -  Frederick Denison Maurice  1 April 2020 

                      Jesus Predicts His Coming Death - John 8:21-30.  -     a reflection for 31 March 2020      

                      People who live in glasshouses  -  reflecting on John 7:53-8:11  -  30 March 2020     

                      Hope of Resurrection                  29 March 2020 

                      Exodus from the Crossing                27 March 2020        

                      Welcome to the Kinder Chapel       26 March 2020

                      Happy Annunciation Day!                 25 March 2020           

                      Introductory Podcast from Rev'd Tony Surman        24 March 2020





Saint Mark's is an oasis in the busy heart of Remuera, on the edge of the Newmarket shopping precinct. We have been part of Auckland since 1847, when the first church was built on the site, to serve what were farming communities in the present day suburbs of Newmarket, Meadowbank, Orakei and RemueraWe are a Christian church in the Anglican tradition. We aim to provide compassion, care and support to our parishioners and the communities of Remuera and Newmarket, and the wider Auckland community. We strive every day to live out our Mission Statement: "To know Christ and to make Christ known."We offer a range of activities and opportunities for fellowship and personal growth. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we support and encourage each individual to develop their own personal strengths and gifts through prayer, biblical study, discussion forums, participation in groups, and Christian action.Saint Mark's has a beautiful church building and splendid parish centre facility, both of which are used and enjoyed by many within the church and the wider community. All are welcome into the community of faith at Saint Mark's, no matter who you are or where you are from, whether it is to pray, to sit in quiet reflection or to visit just for a short time.The church building is the base for our mission. The work of the parish only begins here. While we come together for worship it is important that we remember that we leave for mission. It's been said that we gather together for the sole purpose of being sent out again afterwards! Indeed the closing words of the service are: Go forth into the world in peace. We go in the name of Christ! Peace to you and your families from all at St Marks


Sunday, 29 March 2020


Fifth Sunday in Lent


Sentence: The ransomed of 29rd will return; everlasting joy will crown their heads; gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.                                         Isaiah 51:11

Collect: God of hope, in Jesus we see a life that never dies. Surrounded by death and violence may we never give in to despair, but rest in you, our resurrection and our life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The readings this Sunday focus on rebirth and revitalisation. The gospel account of the raising of Lazarus demonstrates God’s ability to overcome individual death. Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of bones, revitalised sinew by sinew, shows the same divine power over death but this time it is effected on a communal level – God’s people are brought back to life after being long dead and dried up. The extract from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans highlights the truth that the life to which we are called (and into which we are reborn through baptism) is a spiritual one, empowered by Christ to be at one with God – not just when we die physically, but here and now too. These readings are packed with hope, hope which we need to be mindful of every day, not least as we move towards Holy Week and the remembrance of our Lord’s suffering and death.

Tony Surman                                                                                       


Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord (NRSV)


Romans 8:6-11

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you (NRSV).


John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him (NRSV).

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The Raising of Lazarus, Caravaggio, c.1609. oil on canvas. Museo Regionale, Messina, Italy



Sentence after Communion:

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.                                             1 Cor 15:21




Dear Parishioners and Friends of St Marks

As we continue to do all we can as a nation to thwart the progress of the COVID-19 virus, churches and all other places of public gathering remain closed. The Church, as the gathered people of God, cannot meet person-to-person, but we are fortunate to have more means than any generation before us to stay in contact with one another. This website is one of the ways that the Parish of St Mark’s, Remuera remains a gathered people. We also remain in communion with one another by email, video conferencing and – not least, the telephone. And, vitally, we remain in communion with God through prayer. We are here for you. Get in contact with us via the means that suits you best (please see the contact list).
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his
countenance upon you, and give you peace.

                                                                 Numbers 6:24-26

The Reverend Dr Tony Surman
Vicar of St Mark’s Anglican Church
Remuera, Auckland 1050
 Tel: (09) 520 2258


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