October 1, 2023 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 21

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

Lectionary Readings

Exodus 17:1–7
The people thirst and quarrel; God gives them water from a rock.

Psalm 78:1–4, 12–16
God made streams flow from rocks, giving water to the people.

Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32
Is the way of the Lord unfair? Turn away from your sin and live.

Psalm 25:1–9
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord; do not remember my sin.

Philippians 2:1–13
Seek the mind of Christ, who was humble, but exalted by God.

Matthew 21:23–32
Leaders question Jesus’ authority; he answers them with a parable.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

The God for whom we have waited is among us!
We share in the Spirit who encourages us,
instructs us,
consoles us,
and calls us together as the body of Christ.

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 does not take pleasure in our suffering
or delight in our failures
but bids us to turn back to God’s way
and find eternal life.
Let us make our confession.

Holy God,
we confess to you:
We are not of the same mind.
We do not share the same love.
We act in selfish ambition
and do not regard others as better than ourselves.
We have not looked to the interests of others instead of ourselves.
We do not embrace the humility of Jesus Christ.
Forgive us. Continue to be at work in us,
that we might serve each other as you served us,
and reflect your glory in this world.

Lifting water from the font:
When we lift up our souls to God,
God does not put us to shame.
God forgives us, leads us in the truth,
and leads us in what is right.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

— 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 life, death, resurrection,
and promised coming of Jesus Christ
has set the pattern for the church’s mission.
His human life involves the church
in the common life of all people.
His service to men and women
commits the church
to work for every form of human well-being.
His suffering makes the church sensitive
to all human suffering
so that it sees the face of Christ
in the faces of persons in every kind of need.
His crucifixion discloses to the church
God’s judgment on the inhumanity
that marks human relations,
and the awful consequences
of the church’s own complicity in injustice.
In the power of the risen Christ
and the hope of his coming,
the church sees the promise
of God’s renewal of human life in society
and of God’s victory over all wrong.
The church follows this pattern
in the form of its life
and in the method of its action.
So to live and serve
is to confess Christ as Lord.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.32–33

Prayers of Intercession

With one mind in Christ, and one heart in the Spirit,
let us pray to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for the church . . .
Make us faithful laborers in your vineyard,
doing your will, seeking your way,
and fulfilling the promises of our baptism.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for the earth . . .
Break open the hardness of our hearts
to feel the suffering of your creation;
make fresh water flow in desert lands.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for all nations . . .
Give our leaders the wisdom to seek you;
give our people the patience to trust you.
Keep us from quarreling, and grant us peace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for this community . . .
Be mindful of your mercy and steadfast love:
teach your wisdom; help the humble;
redeem those who have been subjected to shame.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for loved ones . . .
Encourage those who are suffering;
give consolation to those who mourn;
satisfy the desires of all who thirst for you.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Enable us, O God, by the power of your Spirit,
to live our lives in a way that is worthy of the gospel,
to the glory of the name that is above all names,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Philippians 1:27, 2:5, 9–11, 13

— 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:
Merciful and gracious God,
you abound in steadfast love and faithfulness.
With gratitude, we bring our gifts to you.
Bless these gifts and bless our lives
that together we may share your mercy and grace
for the world you dearly love. 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:
When your people were wandering in the wilderness,
you gave them drink, with water from a stone.
Still, in your mercy, you satisfy our thirst.  

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 demonstrated the depth of your love:
not demanding perfection or requiring sacrifice,
but redeeming sinners who repent and turn to you.
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, allow us to share the mind of Christ,
emptying ourselves of power and privilege
and obeying you in humble service.

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

“Sleeping Shepherd”

Samuel Palmer, 1857

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (O) NETTLETON GTG 475, PH 356
  • Since Our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus (E) ALL SAINTS GTG 262
  • In the Presence of Your People (G) CELEBRATION GTG 631
  • We Will Glorify the King of Kings (E) WE WILL GLORIFY STF 2087


  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (O) CWM RHONDDA GTG 65, PH 281
  • Ho, All Who Thirst (OEG) JACOB’S WELL GTG 479
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is (O) ST. COLUMBA GTG 802, PH 171
  • God Bless Our Native Land (E) NATIONAL ODE AAHH 608


  • On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry (OG) WINCHESTER NEW, PUER NOBIS NASCITUR GTG 96, PH 10
  • O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (E) PASSION CHORALE GTG 221, PH 98
  • Lord, We Thank You for This Food (OG) MOTOMASE GTG 660
  • Cristo es la peña de Horeb / Christ Is the Mountain of Horeb (O) CRISTO ES LA PEÑA SSS 62


  • Joy to the World (E) RICHMOND GTG 266
  • Together We Serve (E) SAN ANSELMO GTG 767
  • Christ Calls Us Forth (OG) LAPSLEY Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 78:1–4, 12–16

  • Give Ear, My People, to My Word [CMD]; SGP 109
  • People of the Lord [JENNY VAN TSCHEGG]; GTG 632, PAS 78A, LUYH 728
  • We Will Tell Each Generation [ARISE/RESTORATION]; PAS 78E
  • Open Your Ears, O Faithful People [YISRAEL V’ORAITA]; PAS 78D
  • O Lord, Still Guide Us on Our Way [GO DOWN, MOSES]; PP 140
  • God Gave Them Drink [SONG 1]; HTP2 47

Psalm 25:1–9

  • Lord, to You My Soul Is Lifted [GENEVAN 25]; GTG 420, PH 178, PAS 25D, LUYH 625
  • Lord, I Gladly Trust [REDHEAD 76]; PAS 25B, LUYH 354
  • To You, O Lord, I Lift My Soul; PAS 25A, G3 39 (through-composed vv.), SSS 575–576
  • Lord, You Are My Strength; PSA 23
  • To You, O God, I Lift Up My Soul; PAS 25C

Organ Music

  • “Schmuke, dich, o liebe Seele,” BWV 654, J. S. Bach, public domain (M)
  • “Trumpet Tune in D,” Trumpet Tunes for Organ, David N. Johnson, AF (ME)
  • “Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier,” BWV 731, J. S. Bach, public domain (ME)
  • “Beach Spring,” Settings of American Folk Hymns, Wilbur Held, CON (E)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “At the Name of Jesus,” Ralph Vaughan Williams, OUP, SATB, brass quin or org (E)
  • “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Daniel Musselman, BP, 2 pt mx, pno four hand (E)
  • “God Be in My Head,” Anthems for SA and Men, John Rutter, OUP, SAB, acap (A)
  • “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” arr. Mack Wilberg, OUP, SATB, org (M)
  • “Joined Together as One Body,” James and Marilyn Biery, MSM, SATB, org (E)
  • “May God Bestow on Us Grace,” Aaron David Miller, AF, 2 pt mx, pno (E)
  • “Take Me to the Water,” David Cherwien, MSM, SATB div, acap (A)
  • “What Wondrous Love Is This,” arr. Brian Hanson, CGA, SATB, pno (E)

Handbell Music

  • “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Sandra Eithun, 3–5 oct, opt 3 oct hc, HOPE, 2801, Level 2+
  • “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” Lloyd Larson, 3–5 oct, LOR, 20/1474L, Level 3
  • “How Can I Keep from Singing?,” Karen Buckwalter, 3–5 oct, opt 3–4 oct hc, opt vc, BP, HB615, vc HB615A, Level 3


  • New Spirit, Dale Chihuly, Phoenix, 2008 (VDL)
  • Helping Hands, sculpture, Leeds, UK, 2000 (VDL)
  • Sleeping Shepherd, Samuel Palmer, 1857 (VDL)
  • We Will Find Wellsprings for Our Deepest Thirst, Jan Richardson (JR)