September 3, 2023 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 17

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

Lectionary Readings

Exodus 3:1–15
Moses meets the Lord in a burning bush, and learns God’s name.

Psalm 105:1–6, 23–26, 45b
Give thanks to the Lord, who sent Moses to set the people free.

Jeremiah 15:15–21
Jeremiah laments his calling, but God promises to redeem him.

Psalm 26:1–8
Vindicate me, O Lord; I have trusted you and walked in integrity.

Romans 12:9–21
Love one another; seek what is good; live peaceably with all.

Matthew 16:21–28
Jesus says: If any wish to follow me, they must take up their cross.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

God calls us each by name
as we gather on holy ground.
We come to this place,
seeking to know the great I AM.
Let us worship God.

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:
We seek the will of God,
but still find ourselves conformed to this world,
instead of being transformed into God’s image.
Let us seek forgiveness
for the ways we have turned away from justice and mercy.

Sometimes it sounds too hard:
deny ourselves, take up our crosses,
lose our lives?
Forgive us, Savior,
but we’d rather you do it for us.
Forgive us, Christ,
but we are overwhelmed with what you ask of us.
We long to see you come in glory,
but fear the road we must take.
Have mercy on our weakness.
Be patient with our stumbling.
Do not leave us behind, even when we are slow to follow,
and lead us in your ways of peace.

Lifting water from the font:
Christ does not abandon us,
but died for us, was raised for us, and loves us still.
This is the good news that prevails!
In Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection,
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:
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 followers of our Lord Jesus Christ,
unashamed to stand with him and share his cross,
unafraid to offer our lives in love for the world.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for the earth . . .
Let this wondrous world you have made
continue to blaze with your glory;
do not let it be consumed by greed.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for all nations . . .
Teach us not to act with vengeance and violence,
or to respond to evil with evil,
but to live in peace, and overcome evil with good.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for this community . . .
Help us to extend hospitality to strangers,
to contribute to the needs of the poor,
and to live in harmony with our neighbors.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus, we pray for loved ones . . .
Let us rejoice with those who rejoice
and weep with those who weep,
sharing the grace and love of Christ with all. 
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:
Your name is a secret that cannot be uttered;
your glory is a fire that cannot be put out.
Yet you come to us in mercy; you speak to us with love.

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 calls us to take up our cross and follow him—
letting go of fear, setting our minds on holy things,
and giving our whole lives for the sake of the gospel.
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, help us to love and honor one another,
living in the grace of Christ that binds us together
and sends us forth to witness and serve.

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

“Burning Bush”

Annette Gandy Fortt

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Lo, He (Jesus) Comes with Clouds Descending (G) HEMSLEY GTG 348, PH 6
  • We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom (E) MERLE’S TUNE GTG 378
  • We Are Standing on Holy Ground (O) HOLY GROUND GTG 406
  • Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness (E) PICARDY Sing No Empty Alleluias, Chris Shelton, GIA


  • God’s Word Is Upright / La palabra del Señor (O) NELSON GTG 40
  • Deep in the Shadows of the Past (O) SHEPHERDS’ PIPES GTG 50, PH 330
  • O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go (OG) ST. MARGARET GTG 833, PH 384
  • Love One Another (E) ANGRY WORDS SON 719


  • Dream On, Dream On (E) DREAM ON GTG 383
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life (O) BREAD OF LIFE GTG 460, PH 329
  • In the Singing (OE) BREAD OF PEACE GTG 533
  • Without the Fire (OE) CHESTNUT TREE Rejoice in God, K. Lee Scott, MSM


  • There in God’s Garden (O) SHADES MOUNTAIN GTG 226
  • Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said (G) BOURBON GTG 718, PH 393
  • Will You Come and Follow Me (G) KELVINGROVE GTG 726
  • Watch the Bush of Thorns / Chhì-phè hō-hé sio (OG) CHHÌ-PHÈ STB 252

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 105:1–6, 23–26, 45b

  • We Give You Thanks, O Lord Our God [CMD]; SGP 155
  • Alleluia, Alleluia; PAS 105B
  • O Lord, Still Guide Us; PP 198
  • Remember the Marvels God Has Done [HANOVER]; HTP2 36

Psalm 26:1–8

  • Lord, Speak for Me, for I Am Yours [PERRY]; GTG 723
  • Let This Be My Supreme Desire [WINCHESTER OLD]; PAS 26B, LUYH 729
  • Be Now My Judge, O Lord [PROSPECT]; PP 48 (with refrain), PCW 26 (LM)
  • You Alone, O God, Can Judge Me [ST. THOMAS (Wade)]; PLP1 26
  • Vindicate Me Now, O Lord [ D]; SGP 41
  • Redeem Me and Show Me Your Mercy (Gelineau); PSA 24
  • Your Love Is Before My Eyes [REPTON]; HTP2 37
  • Your Love Is Before My Eyes; PAS 26A

Organ Music

  • “Praeludium in C,” BuxWV 137, Dietrich Buxtehude, public domain (M)
  • “Sinfonia from Solomon,” Pedals and Pipes for Preludes and Praise, George F. Handel, Mark Williams, LOR (ME)
  • “Soul, Adorn Thyself with Gladness,” Johannes Brahms, public domain (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “When We Are Living,” arr. Hal Hopson, WorldSong, SATB, keybd (E)
  • “Followers of the Lamb,” Philip Dieterich, HOPE, SATB (MA)
  • “Bring Forth the Kingdom,” Marty Haugen, GIA, SATB, pno (E)
  • “I Choose Love,” Mark A. Miller, CGA, SATB, pno (E)
  • “Moses,” Ken Medema, WORD, SATB, pno (M)
  • “Be Thou My Vision,” arr. Alice Parker, HIN, SATB, pno or hp (E)
  • “Be Thou My Vision,” Bob Chilcott, OUP, SATB, solo, keybd (M)
  • “Look at the World,” John Rutter, HIN, SATB, children, keybd (M)

Handbell Music

  • “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” Patricia Hurlbutt, 3–5 oct, opt 3 oct hc, BP, HB664, Level 2
  • “Break Thou the Bread of Life,” Karen Thompson, 3–5 oct, opt 3–5 oct hc, LOR, 20/1978L, Level 2+
  • “Reflections on Kelvingrove,” Jason W. Krug, 3–6 oct, opt 3 oct hc, RRM, BL5079, Level 2+


  • Burning Bush, Joe Shumacher, photograph, 2011 (VDL)
  • Burning Bush, Annette Gandy Fortt, print (VDL)
  • Jeremiah, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sistine Chapel, 1511 (VDL)
  • Get Thee Behind Me, Satan!, James Tissot, c. 1886 (VDL)