September 7, 2025 – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Proper 18

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

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 18:1–11
At the potter’s house, God says: Like clay, the people are in my hand. 

Psalm 139:1–6, 13–18
O Lord, you have formed me; I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Deuteronomy 30:15–20
Choose life and prosperity or death and adversity; obey the Lord. 

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

Philemon 1–21
Paul writes to Philemon about Onesimus: welcome him as a brother. 

Luke 14:25–33
Speaking of towers and battles, Jesus explains the cost of discipleship.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

There is good and there is wicked in the world.
Lord, help us find the good.
The wicked are perishing. 
Like chaff, they will not stand before the Lord.
Lord, drive wickedness away with the wind.
The good is like a tree, 
planted by streams of sweet water.
Lord, let goodness yield its fruit
in every season.

Our delight is in the law of the Lord.
Let us meditate upon God’s promises 
from morning into night.

Prayer of the Day

God our Judge, 
we meditate upon your promises 
from morning into night. 
Our delight is in your law. 
Let goodness yield its fruit in every season, 
that, like a tree planted by streams of sweet water, we might find the good
and live how you intended: 
free, flourishing, and in peace. 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 calls us to follow him,
knowing that the path is difficult
and that sin lurks at every turn.
Trusting in God’s mercy,
let us seek forgiveness,
that we may follow more nearly
in the way of Jesus.

O God,
you have given us a firm foundation
in Jesus Christ,
yet we have chosen to build on sinking sand.
The works of our hands crumble around us,
and our best efforts are not good enough;
sin is real, and we are powerless before it.
Forgive us for thinking we know best.
Mend our broken values
and create in us hearts
that seek your purposes,
so that what we build with our lives
may give you glory.

Lifting water from the font:
Jesus accompanies us on life’s journey,
offering abundant mercy
and bountiful forgiveness along the way.
This is good news!
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 . . .

Keep us faithful in prayer and thanksgiving,

remembering our siblings in Christ

and our neighbors in the world. 

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for the world . . .

Inspire all nations to choose this day

your way of life and prosperity,

of peace and plenty for all people.

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for this community . . .

Help us to seek freedom and dignity for all,

welcoming one another as equals

and setting right any wrong we have done.

God our Savior, hear our prayer.


We pray for loved ones . . .

Write their names in your book of life,

bless and keep them all their days,

and be with them even to the end.

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:
You created us in your own image
and filled us with your Spirit of life.
Still you shape us to fulfill your purpose. 

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 the cross,
knowing the cost of discipleship
yet trusting in your saving love.

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.

Teach us to live as sisters and brothers,
honoring one another as equals
and serving one another with 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


  • In Christ Called to Baptize (G) ST. DENIO GTG 297

  • How Happy Are the Saints of God (P) WAREHAM GTG 457

  • How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord (O) REPTON GTG 432


  • God the Sculptor of the Mountains (P) JENNINGS-HOUSTON GTG 5

  • Change My Heart, O God (O) CHANGE MY HEART GTG 695

  • Called as Partners in Christ’s Service (E) BEECHER GTG 761


  • We Gather Here in Jesus’ Name (E) COME, SHARE THE LORD GTG 510

  • O God, You Search Me (P) O GOD, YOU SEARCH ME GTG 29

  • Rise, O Church, like Christ Arisen (G) SURGE ECCLESIA GTG 536


  • Go in Grace and Make Disciples (O) WONDROUS LIGHT GTG 296

  • God of Our Life (P) SANDON GTG 686

  • Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said (G) BOURBON GTG 718

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 139:1–6, 13–18

  • O God, You Search Me [O GOD, YOU SEARCH ME]; GTG 29

  • Lord, You Have Searched and Seen Me Through [LM]; SGP 207

  • You Are Before Me, Lord [SURSUM CORDA, HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL]; GTG 28, PH 248, PAS 139D, LUYH 336

  • O Lord, My God, You Know All My Ways [SHEPHERDSWELL]; PAS 139E

  • Lord, You Have Searched Me [FEDERAL STREET]; PAS 139B, LUYH 337


  • Lord, You Have Searched Me; PAS 139C, PSA 143

  • Lord, You Have Searched Me Out [TENDER THOUGHT]; HTP2 168

Psalm 1

  • How Happy Are the Saints of God [WAREHAM]; GTG 457

  • Happy Is the One [BENEDICTUS PRIMUS]; PAS 1F, LUYH 712

  • The One Is Blessed [WINCHESTER OLD, DUNFERMLINE]; PAS 1A, LUYH 714, PH 158, PP 5 (with refrain)

  • Happy Are They Who Walk in God’s Wise Way [SRI LAMPANG]; PAS 1C


  • Feliz será / How Blest They Are [FELIZ EL HOMBRE]; PAS 1E

  • Happy Are They Who Trust; PAS 1B

  • Happy Are They Who Delight; PSA 1

Organ Music

  • FESTAL SONG,” Organ Tapestries, vol. 2 (downloadable), Mark Sedio, CON (ME)

  • REPTON,” Augsburg Organ Library: Advent II, Marilyn Biery, AF (ME) 

  • “Two Settings: ORA LABORA (Meditation; Toccata),” Gathered and Sent: Pairs of Preludes and Postludes for Organ, Brenda Portman, AF (M)

Piano Music

  • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” HAMBURG, The Seven Last Sayings of Christ, R. Kevin Boesiger, LOR (M)

  • “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” ST. CHRISTOPHER, Hymn Tunes A to Z, Ruth Elaine Schram, LOR (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “You Are Wonderfully Made,” Pepper Choplin, LOR, SATB, pno (E)

  • “Ain’a That Good News,” William Dawson, KJO, SATB, acap (ME)

  • “The Potter’s Hand,” Lloyd Larson, HOPE, SATB/SAB/2 pt, keybd (ME)

  • “O Jesus, I Have Promised,” Timothy Shaw, BP, SATB, keybd (ME)

  • “Yours Are the Hands,” Andrea Ramsey,, SATB, pno (ME)

Vocal Solos

  • “Jesus Calls Us,” Bread of the World, Wayne Wold, MSM (M)

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

  • “I Surrender All,” Winfield S. Weeden, (E)


  • Full-page historiated initial ‘B’(eatus) at the beginning of Psalm 1, The Rutland Psalter, 1260 (VCS)

  • Psalm 139: All Saints Princeton Liturgical Altarpiece Series, Makoto Fujimura, 2020–21 (VCS)

  • Potter, Else Berg, 20th century (VDL)

  • Deuteronomy 30:19, Timothy Botts, 2016 (EYE)