September 22, 2024 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 20

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

Lectionary Readings


Proverbs 31:10–31
A poem on the virtues and gifts of a strong and capable woman.

Psalm 1
Those who delight in God’s law will prosper like trees by the water.


Jeremiah 11:18–20
Jeremiah laments: I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.

Psalm 54
Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me against my enemies.

James 3:13—4:3, 7–8a
Wisdom from above is pure, peaceful, gentle; draw near to God.

Mark 9:30–37
Jesus foretells his dying and rising; then he welcomes a little child.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

In this time set apart for worship,
the Holy Spirit invites us:
Draw near to God,
who is steady and sure.
Draw near to God,
who welcomes those often overlooked.
Draw near to God,
who draws us together,
threads woven in a shared fabric of faith.
Let us worship the Lord!

Prayer of the Day

Faithful God,
you do not promise that following you will be easy,
but you teach us that your way
is one of peace, gentleness, and mercy,
of welcome for all.
Guide us by your wisdom
and inspire us to embrace this way of living,
so that we might draw near to you. 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 told us, O Lord, that whoever wants to be first
must be last and servant of all.
Oh, how we long to be first, O God:
to climb every ladder, frame every achievement,
get every promotion, and obtain every glory.
Oh, how we long to be first, O God,
and oh, how we dread being last.
Forgive us, O humble Christ,
and by your forgiveness, teach us.
Teach us to reframe our priorities.
Teach us to be servants first,
and to let our lives flow from a heart of faith.

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 . . .
Show us what it means to be truly great—
serving others in the name of Christ,
welcoming each person as your beloved child.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world . . .
Empower strong and capable women and men
to lead us in your ways of wisdom and truth,
so that all people may flourish and thrive.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for this community . . .
Put an end to the conflicts and disputes among us,
born of bitter envy and selfish ambition;
let us taste the fruits of righteousness and peace.
God of abundant grace, hear our prayer.

We pray for loved ones . . .
Remember those who are struggling
with difficult decisions or deadly diseases;
show them your wisdom, healing, and joy;
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:
What can compare with your wisdom and love?
You feed and clothe us with your mercy;
you guide and shelter us by your grace.
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 taught the habits of your holy realm—
where the first are last, the greatest are least,
and little children show the way of 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.
Give us the wisdom and understanding
to resist evil, to draw near to you,
and to honor you as Lord of our lives.
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

Praying Hands

Albrecht Durer, 1508

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine! (E) ASSURANCE GTG 839
  • Here in This Place (G) GATHER US IN GTG 401
  • Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above (G) MIT FREUDEN ZART GTG 645
  • Song of the Prophets (O) STAR OF COUNTY DOWN LUYH 53


  • O Day of Peace (OG) JERUSALEM GTG 373
  • O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee (EG) MARYTON GTG 738
  • Be Still and Know That I Am God (E) PSALM 46 GTG 414
  • We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom (OG) MERLE’S TUNE GTG 378


  • Blest Be the Tie That Binds (E) DENNIS GTG 306
  • Put Peace into Each Other’s Hands (E) ST. COLUMBA Singing the Faith 712
  • Take Us As We Are, O God (EG) ENDLESS FEAST GTG 312
  • There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy (G) IN BABILONE GTG 435


  • Be Thou My Vision (E) SLANE GTG 450
  • How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord (OE) REPTON GTG 432
  • Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples (E) KINGSFOLD GTG 757
  • The Church of Christ in Every Age (G) WAREHAM GTG 320

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 1

  • How Happy Are the Saints of God [WAREHAM]; GTG 457
  • This Is the First of Songs [LES COMMANDEMENTS]; SP 1
  • Happy Are They Who Walk in God’s Wise Way [SRI LAMPANG]; PAS 1C
  • Happy Is the One [BENEDICTUS PRIMUS]; PAS 1F
  • Happy Are They Who Delight; PSA 1
  • Happy Are They Who Trust; PAS 1B, SSS 567/8 (with Spanish translation)
  • Feliz será/How Blest They Are [FELIZ EL HOMBRE]; PAS 1E, SSS 274

Psalm 54

  • O Save Me, God, and Hear My Cry [DETROIT]; GTG 812
  • Lord, You Are My Strength; PSA 51, PAS 54A, LUYH 413
  • Lord, Hear My Prayer; PP 104

    Organ Music

    • “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine,” Hymns of Faith, Marianne Kim, LOR (M)

    • “MUNICH,” (O Jesus, I Have Promised), Augsburg Organ Library: Summer, Aaron David Miller, AF (A)

    • “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” KINGSFOLD, The Sacred Organ Library, vol. 10, Stephen Burtonwood, LOR (M)

    • “Fanfare and Variations on WAREHAM,” The Marilyn Mason Music Library, vol. 2, Marilyn Mason, MSM (MA)

    Anthems for Adult Choirs

    • “Woman in the Night,” William Rowan, SEL, SATB, keybd (M)
    • “O for a Closer Walk with God,” The Oxford Book of Flexible Anthems, Charles Villiers Stanford, OUP, FLEX, org (M)
    • “All Are Welcome,” Marty Haugen, GIA, SATB, opt cong, keybd, brass quin (E)
    • “Blessed Is the Man,” Jane Marshall, HIN, SATB, org (M)
    • “All We Like Sheep,” Messiah, G. F. Handel, GSH, SATB, keybd (A)
    • “The Lamb,” John Tavener, Chester Music, SATB, acap (M)
    • “Cantique de Jean Racine,” Gabriel Fauré, Broude Brothers, SATB, pno (A)
    • “Now Thank We All Our God,” J. S. Bach, arr. Hal Hopson, AMP, SAB, keybd (E)

    Handbell Music

    • “Glory Divine,” Jason Krug, 3‑7 oct, opt hc and perc, Grassy Meadow Music, GMHB350004, Level 4+
    • “O Day of Peace,” Lee Afdahl, 3‑5 oct, opt hc, AGEHR, AG35236, Level 3
    • “Fantasy on Kingsfold,” H. Dean Wagner, 3‑6 oct, opt hc, opt orch, HOPE, 2134 (HB), 2134O (orchestration), Level 2+


    • Christ Blessing the Children, Nicolaes Maes (VDL)
    • Lucy Higgs Tending to the Wounded, Kathy Grant (VDL)
    • Lamb of God, Father George Saget (VDL)
    • You Have Known Me, Jan Richardson (JR)