November 5, 2023 – Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 26

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Joshua 3:7–17
Joshua leads the people through the Jordan to the Promised Land.

Psalm 107:1–7, 33–37
Give thanks to the Lord, who delivered us from the wilderness.

Micah 3:5–12
False prophets, priests, and rulers will be put to shame by God.

Psalm 43
Vindicate me, O God; deliver me from those who oppress me.

1 Thessalonians 2:9–13
We give thanks that you have received and believed God’s word.

Matthew 23:1–12
The greatest will become servants; the humble will be exalted.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

When God stops by,
everything changes.
Rivers turn to dry land,
the deserts turn into springs.
The hungry are fed,
the lost are guided home.
Come to us, mighty God,
and transform our hearts and souls. 

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the grace that is at work in us
through the gift of our baptism—
the sign of your threefold name,
the communion of your faithful people,
the promise of your glorious realm.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
let your grace and peace grow in us,
until we gather at your heavenly throne
to give you thanks and praise forever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
God calls us into glory,
even when we do not live lives
worthy of this calling.
In gratitude—for God has claimed us—
let us be honest with God about the ways
we are not worthy.
Let us confess to God. 

Christ who kneels to wash our feet,
Despite your clear example,
we cannot shake our usual ways of life.
We admit: we are tempted by honor and status.
We admit: we like to seem holier than we are.
We admit: we like to be respected more than others.
We admit: we would rather be “great” than a servant.
But you who are the greatest became the servant of all.
Help us to imitate you.
Humble us that we might be not just the image of your disciple,
but that we actually embody your teachings.

Lifting water from the font:
When we cry to God in our trouble,
God delivers us from our distress.
Thank God for such steadfast love,
wonderful works, and unfailing forgiveness.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Faithful God, how blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Sanctify us by your Word and Spirit
so that we may glorify you
in the company of the faithful;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
Listen to the word of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:4

After the readings:
Keep these words in your heart.
The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
Thanks be to God.  
Deuteronomy 6:6


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
To the Lord our God, Alpha and Omega,
be all glory and honor forever. Amen.
Revelation 21:6

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

The risen Christ is the Savior of all people.
Those joined to him by faith
are set right with God
and commissioned to serve
as God’s reconciling community.
Christ is head of this community, the church,
which began with the apostles
and continues through all generations.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.10


Prayers of Intercession

Our shepherd satisfies our needs;
in faith, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Lord, our God, we pray for the church . . .
By your firm and faithful hand, direct us
to lead a life in keeping with your calling,
bearing witness to the gospel in all we do.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Lord, our God, we pray for the earth . . .
Continue to lead us through the wilderness,
so that this world may be a place of promise,
a healthy home for all of your creatures.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Lord, our God, we pray for all nations . . .
Silence false prophets who claim to love peace
but declare war on the poor of the earth.
Bring equity and justice to all peoples.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Lord, our God, we pray for this community . . .
Help those who are troubled and wandering;
satisfy the thirsty and feed the hungry;
call to the lost and lead them home.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O Lord, our God, we pray for loved ones . . .
Bring joy to those who are depressed;
send light to those who dwell in darkness;
give peace to those who mourn.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving shepherd, lead and guide us—
in green pastures and by still waters,
in right paths and through dark valleys,
until we feast with you in glory
and dwell in your house forever;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.  
Psalm 23

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,
to present yourselves as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Romans 12:1

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
God of the harvest,
you are continually planting the seeds of your love
in our world and in our lives.
As we bring our gifts to you,
may they be seeds of your grace, peace, and hope,
planted deeply in our community. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
Through the wilderness and across the Jordan River
you brought your people into the land you had promised.
Still, you call us to enter your realm of plenty and peace.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Jesus is our teacher, and we are his disciples.
He instructs us in his way of humble service,
teaching us to practice what we believe and live as we pray.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

By your Spirit, let your Word be at work within us,
keeping us pure, upright, and blameless in our conduct
as we proclaim to all the good news of God.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
God of glory, in this holy feast
you have made us one with Christ
and with that great multitude of the faithful—
those who hunger and thirst no more
and worship night and day in your temple.
Lead us in the paths of righteousness
and guide us to the springs of the water of life,
until we join the choir of the redeemed,
singing: Salvation belongs to our God
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb: Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
The blessing of the one God—
Spirit, Son, and Father—
be with you now and always. Alleluia!
Ephesians 4:4–6

Lead a life worthy of your calling,
giving glory to God in all things. Amen.
Ephesians 4:1

“Ark of the Covenant”

Jewish Theological Seminary, 20th Century

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (O) CWM RHONDDA GTG 65, PH 281
  • O Holy City, Seen of John (G) MORNING SONG GTG 374, PH 453
  • Fairest Lord Jesus (E) CRUSADERS’ HYMN GTG 630, PH 306
  • Look Upon Us, Blessed Lord (E) LIEBSTER JESU CH4 601


  • Surely, It Is God Who Saves Me (O) FIRST SONG GTG 71
  • Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (E) ST. AGNES GTG 629, PH 310
  • How Long, O God, Will My Prayers Be in Vain? (O) LAND OF MERCY GTG 779
  • Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace (G) YOUNG Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM


  • My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout (G) STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN GTG 100
  • Lead, Me Guide Me (O) LEAD ME, GUIDE ME GTG 740
  • When the Poor Ones / Cuando el pobre (O) EL CAMINO GTG 762
  • Table of Plenty (EG) Dan Schutte WAS 3173


  • Lead On, O King Eternal (O) LANCASHIRE GTG 269, PH 447
  • The Church of Christ in Every Age (G) WAREHAM GTG 320, PH 421
  • We Will Walk with God / Sizohamba naye (O) SIZOHAMBA NAYE GTG 742
  • Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer / Cristo, Infúndeme Aliento (G) DRAW ME EVER NEARER SSS 345

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 107:1–7, 33–37

  • Give Thanks to God Who Hears Our Cries [MORNING SONG/CONSOLATION]; GTG 653, PAS 107A, LUYH 359 (sts. 1–2, 6)
  • Give Thanks to God Who All Goodness Has Brought Us [STAR IN THE EAST]; PP 202; PCW 107 (sts. 1–2)
  • O Give Thanks to the Lord [THE MEETING OF THE WATERS]; CP2 6 (sts. 1–3, 5)
  • Thanks Be to God Our Savior [DEEP HOUSE]; PAS 107D (sts. 1–2, 6)
  • May Those Who Are Wise; PAS 107C
  • The God of All Creation; PSA 109–110

Psalm 43

  • Vindicate Me, God [GENEVAN 42/FREU DICH SEHR]; PAS 42E (sts. 5–6, refrain), LUYH 616 (sts. 5–6, refrain)
  • O God, Defend Me [EVENTIDE]; PLP1 43
  • Send Out Your Light [LUX FIAT]; PAS 43A
  • Vindicate Me, O My God [ trochaic]; SGP 43
  • Send Out Your Light [Iona]; PAS 43C, SSS 565–566
  • My Soul Is Thirsting for the Lord; PSA 38
  • O Why Are You Cast Down [GO DOWN, MOSES]; PP 80 (vv. 3 and 4)

Organ Music

  • “Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading,” Augsburg Organ Library: Reformation, Michael Bedford, AF (M)
  • “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend,” Georg Böhm (M)
  • “We Praise You, O Lord,” KRESMER, Augsburg Organ Library: November, Flor Peeters, AF (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “With a Voice of Singing,” Martin Shaw, ECS, SATB, keybd (M)
  • “Go Not Far from Me, O God,” Nicola Zingarelli, HOPE, SATB (MA)
  • “Bound for the Promised Land,” Shelton Ridge Love, LOR, SATB, pno, vln, perc (M)
  • “Thanks Be to God,” Heather Sorenson, HAL, SATB, pno (M)
  • “Laudate Dominum,” Vesperae solennes de confessore, W. A. Mozart, ed. Robert Shaw, Lawson-Gould, SATB, sop, pno (MA)
  • “Concertato on ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,’” arr. John Ferguson, GIA, SATB, org, opt brass qrt, timp (MA)
  • “Credo,” from Mass no. 2 in G Major, Franz Schubert, arr. Shaw and Parker, ECS, SATB, org, opt orch (MA)
  • “Inscription of Hope,” Z. Randall Stroope, HMP, SATB, pno (M)
  • “No Hands but Yours,” J. Jerome Williams, HIN, SATB, pno (ME)

Handbell Music

  • “Meditation on ‘Beautiful Savior,’” Cathy Moklebust, 2 oct or 3–5 oct, CGA, CGB763 or CGB175, Level 3
  • “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” Alan Lohr, 3–5 oct, SFP, 089391, Level 3
  • “Give Thanks,” Anna Laura Page, 3–5 oct, opt 3 oct hc, ALF, 45754, Level 2


  • Crossing from the Desert to the Promised Land, stained glass, Cape Town, South Africa (VDL)
  • Ark of the Covenant, print, Jewish Theological Seminary of America (VDL)
  • Pharisee and the Publican, John Everett Millais, London (VDL)
  • St. Matthew, Nicholas Markell (EYE)