September 1, 2024 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 17

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

Lectionary Readings


Song of Solomon 2:8–13
One lover calls to another: Arise, my love, and come away.

Psalm 45:1–2, 6–9
A royal love song: God has blessed the king with beauty and grace.


Deuteronomy 4:1–2, 6–9
Observe God’s law diligently; do not add to it or subtract from it.

Psalm 15
Who may abide in God’s presence? Those who do what is right.

James 1:17–27
Every good gift comes from God; pure religion is to care for others.

Mark 7:1–8, 14–15, 21–23
A debate about authority and tradition; evil things come from within.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

God teaches us the way of righteousness,
the way of love, the way of peace.
We glorify God,
gathering to hear God’s word.
We glorify God,
enacting God’s word in the world.

Prayer of the Day

Righteous God,
you lead us by example
through your generous love
and remind us that there is always more to learn
about what it means to live a life of righteousness.
Help us to keep our faith nimble,
growing with each new neighbor we meet
and each experience we live.
May we be doers of a word that is deep and wide,
letting our lives reflect the love we have received. Amen.

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:
It is only by the power of God
that we are able to stand against evil.

Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

You tell us, O Lord, who may abide in your presence,
who may dwell on your holy hill:
those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and who speak the truth from their heart.
And yet, O Lord, we do not walk blamelessly.
So often we stumble on the path of faith.
The truth makes us nervous,
and we pretend not to know what is right.
Have mercy, O God.
Convict us by your wisdom,
cleanse us by your grace,
challenge us by your presence,
and, by your forgiveness, free us to try again.

Lifting water from the font:
Now stand firm in your faith,
covered by the saving grace of God
and ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.

— 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

Time after Pentecost
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 the People

In our trouble and need, we look to the Lord,
the giver of our daily bread, saying:
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church . . .
Help us to be doers of your word,
caring for all who are in distress
and keeping ourselves faithful to you.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world . . .
Renew this earth that you so love;
bring an end to the winter of destruction
and let the flowers of new life grow.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for this community . . .
Give us the wisdom and discernment we need
to live in harmony with your will
and in peace with our neighbors.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for loved ones . . .
Heal and restore those whose bodies are ravaged
by time and tribulation, addiction or disease;
give them new life and hope and peace.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

Generous God, as you provide for us each day,
nourish and strengthen us in faith and faithfulness,
so that we may share your grace in a hungry world;
through Jesus Christ, the bread of life. Amen.

— 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:
We give you thanks and praise, O God,
for you have chosen the poverty of the world
to make your people rich in faith.
Help us to put our faith into practice
through the offering of our lives—
giving food to the hungry,
clothes to the naked,
and shelter to the poor;
all for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord,
your Word made flesh. Amen.
James 2:5, 14–17

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:
You lead us to the land of your promise—
calling us to freedom with your voice of love,
teaching us wisdom through your word of truth.
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:
From Jesus, we learn how to worship you:
by keeping your word and serving your will
with purity of heart and generosity of spirit.
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.
Let your word bear good fruit in our lives,
so that we might be a blessing to others
and bring honor and glory to your name.
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

Christ Comforting a Poor Man

1493, Louvre

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • For the Beauty of the Earth (OE) DIX GTG 14
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (OE) ELLACOMBE GTG 32
  • O God in Whom All Life Begins (E) NOEL GTG 308
  • We Plow the Fields and Scatter (E) WIR PFLÜGEN ELW 681, SAN FERNANDO SSS 488


  • We Give Thee but Thine Own (E) SCHUMANN GTG 708
  • Lord, I Want to Be a Christian (OG) I WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN GTG 729
  • Lord, Prepare Me (Sanctuary) (G) SANCTUARY GTG 701
  • Spirit, Open My Heart (OEG) WILD MOUNTAIN THYME GTG 692


  • As a Chalice Cast of Gold (G) INWARD LIGHT GTG 429
  • Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me (G) ST. CATHERINE GTG 703
  • Let Us Break Bread Together (G) LET US BREAK BREAD GTG 525
  • Look Who Gathers at Christ’s Table! (G) COPELAND GTG 506


  • All Who Love and Serve Your City (EG) CHARLESTOWN GTG 351
  • Go to the World! (E) SINE NOMINE GTG 295
  • Let Us Build a House (All Are Welcome) (OE) TWO OAKS GTG 301
  • O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee (EG) MARYTON GTG 738

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 45:1–2, 6–9

  • How Our Hearts with Joy Abound [GOTT SEI DANK DURCH ALLE WELT]; GTG 333
  • A Noble Theme Has Stirred My Heart [TALLIS’ CANON]; PLP1 45
  • For the Honor of Our King [MONKLAND]; PAS 45A (sts. 1–3)
  • The Throne of God Is Righteousness; PAS 45B
  • Your Throne, O God, Endures; HTP2 102
  • Praise the Lord; PSA 39

Psalm 15

  • Lord, Who May Dwell within Your House [RIDGEMOOR, CRIMOND] GTG 419, PAS 15D, LUYH 612
  • Señor, ¿quién entrará?/O Lord, Who Enters In; SSS 499
  • Lord, Who Are They That May Dwell [STELLA CARMEL]; PAS 15A
  • Lord, Who May Be Welcome in Your Tent; PND 6, PAS 15B (through-composed), 15C (alt. refrain, with pointed vv.)
  • I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me; PAS 15C
  • Those Who Do Justice Will Live (Gelineau); PSA 9
  • The Righteous Shall Abide [FESTAL SONG]; HTP2 154

    Organ Music

    • “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” The Organist’s Library, vol. 51, Roy M. Darley, LOR (ME)
    • “We Plow the Fields and Scatter,” Praise and Thanksgiving, Set 7, Michael Burkhardt, MSM (M)
    • “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” ELLACOMBE, Augsburg Organ Library: Lent, J. Wayne Kerr, AF (M)
    • “For the Beauty of the Earth,” DIX, Thanksgiving Triptych, John Ferguson, MSM (ME)

    Anthems for Adult Choirs

    • “Almighty and Everlasting God,” Orlando Gibbons, CPDL, SATB, acap (M)
    • “I Will Lift Mine Eyes,” Jake Runestad, BH, SATB div, acap (A)
    • “Lift Thine Eyes,” Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn, GSH, SSA, acap (M)
    • “Lord, Help Me to Hold Out,” OLOF #169, James Cleveland, 3 pt mx, pno (M)
    • “Teach Me, O Lord,” William Byrd, CPDL, SATB, sop, org (M)
    • “Arise, My Love, My Fair One,” Gerald Near, AF, SATB, acap (A)
    • “Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord,” Aaron David Miller, AF, uni, pno (E)
    • “I Sat Down under His Shadow,” Edward Bairstow, OUP, SATB div (A)

    Handbell Music

    • “For the Beauty of the Earth,” Cathy Moklebust, 3‑5 oct, opt hc, CGA, CGB562, Level 3
    • “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” Cynthia Dobrinski, 3‑5 oct, opt tpt, HOPE, 1614,
      Level 3+
    • “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” Jason Krug, 3‑6 oct, opt hc, Grassy Meadow Music, GMH350021, Level 3+


    • Deer Leaping Among Flowers, Franz Marc (VDL)
    • Sunday Morning in Virginia, Winslow Homer (VDL)
    • Love Is the Most Ancient Law, Jan Richardson (JR)