September 21, 2025 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 20

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

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 8:18—9:1
My joy is gone; my heart is sick; is there no balm in Gilead? 

Psalm 79:1–9
The nations have defiled your holy temple; deliver us, O God!  

Amos 8:4–7
The wealthy pursue their own interests and trample upon the poor. 

Psalm 113
Blessed be the name of the Lord, who raises the poor from the dust.

1 Timothy 2:1–7
Instructions on prayer; there is one God, and Jesus is our mediator. 

Luke 16:1–13
The story of a dishonest manager; you cannot serve God and wealth.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Remember, O people, the needs of the poor
and the suffering of the downtrodden, 
and hold to account all who are in high positions, 
for God our Savior
desires everyone to know 
the truth that they are loved. 

God will raise the poor from the dust
and make them sit with princes. 
So let us offer supplications,
and thanksgivings for everyone,

for the Lord is high above all nations, 
yet nothing is below God’s notice. 
There is one God;
and in Christ Jesus one mediator
between God and humankind, 
who gave himself a ransom for all. 
Praise the Lord! 

Prayer of the Day

Great God, maker and reconciler of the earth 
and all that dwells here,
champion of the poor, who humbles the proud, 
draw all people into new unity with you.
May we know to whom we belong
and act faithfully to care for 
what you have entrusted to us. 
Help us all, O God of our salvation, 
for the glory of your name. 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:
Jesus Christ gave himself as a ransom
for all who fall short of the goodness of God.
Trusting in God’s mercy,
let us turn to God and make our confession.

Holy God,
we confess that we are too concerned
with our own peace.
We seek the comfort of silence,
and ignore the cries of the oppressed.
We are inwardly focused,
missing your call
to serve the world in justice and love.
Forgive us, O God.
Equip us to fulfill your will for a world
in which all know dignity
and all are treated with equity,
as your beloved children.

Lifting water from the font:
God our Judge is also our Savior.
The good news is sure:
in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

— 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:
Sacred writings, our instruction in salvation 
through faith in Jesus Christ. 
2 Timothy 3:15

After the readings: 
The words of Scripture, inspired by God. 
Thanks be to God.
2 Timothy 3:16


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Blessed be the Lord our God. Amen.
Luke 1:68

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

Trusting in the power of God to deliver us,

let us make our prayers of intercession for all,

saying: God our Savior, hear our prayer.  


We pray for the church . . .

Help us to proclaim the gospel message,

so that all will desire your saving love

and come to the knowledge of your truth. 

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for the world . . .

Heal the destruction of the land.

Put an end to war and violence.

Pour out your mercy and peace.  

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for this community . . .

Deliver us from our evil ways—

cheating the poor, ignoring injustice,

exploiting those who are most vulnerable.

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for loved ones . . .

Look with kindness and compassion

on all who look to you for help.

Raise them up from the dust of despair.

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


Merciful and mighty God, as you are one,

make us one with you through Jesus Christ,

whom you have sent to redeem us,

and in whose holy name we pray. 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:
Your mercy and compassion are great.
You seek justice for the poor and oppressed
and weep with those who are desolate.

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 has taught us to be faithful
with the things that matter most—
the treasures of your goodness and grace.

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.

Keep us faithful in prayer and action,
seeking righteousness and peace on earth,
so that all may know your saving love. 

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 Lord bless and keep
your going out
and your coming in
from this time on
and forevermore. Alleluia!
Psalm 121:8

Proclaim the message,
be persistent in prayer,
do the work of the gospel,
and carry out the ministry
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:2, 5; Luke 18:1

Symbol of the Gospel of Luke

Stained Glass, Corning, Ohio

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • You Servants of God (P) HANOVER GTG 299

  • More Love to Thee, O Christ (O) MORE LOVE TO THEE GTG 828

  • Take My Life (G) HENDON GTG 697


  • There Is a Balm in Gilead (O) BALM IN GILEAD GTG 792

  • Remember Not, O God (P) SOUTHWELL GTG 430

  • Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love (G) CHEREPONI GTG 203


  • What Does the Lord Require of You? (G) MOON GTG 70

  • Come to the Table of Grace (E) TABLE OF GRACE GTG 507

  • From the Rising of the Sun (P) RISING SUN GTG 670


  • We Give Thee but Thine Own (O) SCHUMANN GTG 708

  • Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord (G) HALL GTG 707

  • Lord Jesus, Think on Me (E) SOUTHWELL GTG 417

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 79:1–9

  • Remember Not, O God [SOUTHWELL, GORTON]; GTG 430, PAS 79B, LUYH 632


  • Someone’s Crying, Lord [KUM BA YAH]; PAS 79A

  • O God, Come to Our Help (Gelineau); PSA 69

Psalm 113

  • Bless the Lord, O Saints and Servants [AUSTRIAN HYMN]; PAS 113B, LUYH 399

  • Sing Praises to (Sing Praise unto) the Name of God [GENEVAN 36/68]; PH 226, SGP 166 (altered)

  • From the Rising of the Sun [RISING SUN]; GTG 670


  • From the Rising of the Sun; PAS 113A

  • Singing, Every Voice Be Raised [ARGENTINA]; PP 212

  • Let the Name of the Lord Be Praised [DUKE STREET]; HTP2 173

Organ Music

  • “Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir,” OLD HUNDREDTH, 80 Chorale Preludes by German Masters of the 17th and 18th Centuries, Johann Pachelbel, CFP (ME) 

  • BALM IN GILEAD,” Augsburg Organ Library: Healing and Funeral, Robert J. Powell, AF (E)

  • “Variations on BEACH SPRING,” Alfred V. Fedak, SEL (ME) 

  • “Aria,” Augsburg Organ Library: Healing and Funeral, Flor Peeters, AF (ME)

Piano Music

  • “Take My Life and Let It Be / I Surrender All,” HENDON/SURRENDER, Hymns with a Velvet Touch, Tom Fettke, ALF (M)

  • “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” I’M GONNA LIVE, Spirituals for Piano, John Carter, AF (MA)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “The Lord of Love, Who Shepherds Me,” Stewart Harris, HAL, SATB, keybd (ME)

  • “The Yearning,” Craig Courtney, LOR, SATB, TTBB (M)

  • “God of the Ages,” Lloyd Larson, ALF, SATB, keybd, opt tpt, opt timp, opt cong (ME)

  • “Balm in Gilead,” Lee R. Kesselman, CF, SSA, acap (ME)

  • “Sit Down, Servant,” Larry Shackley, LOR, SATB, keybd, solo, pno 4-hand (ME)

  • “How Firm a Foundation,” Molly Ijames, LOR, SATB, keybd, opt flute, vln, drum (ME)

Vocal Solos

  • “All Depends on Our Possessing,” Bread of the World, Wayne Wold, MSM (MA)

  • “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” Jane Holstein, (ME)

  • “Offertory,” Sacred Songs of John Ness Beck, John Ness Beck, BP, low/medium/high (M)


  • There Is a Balm in Gilead, Timothy Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • 1 Timothy 2:5–6, Timothy Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • Widow’s Mite, James Tissot, 1886–94 (VDL)

  • Rich and Poor, or War and Peace, Anonymous, 17th century (VDL)