Life in Liturgy

Pentecost +15, Proper 19A


Pentecost +15, Proper 19A


Sep. 17


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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):


Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Exodus 14:19-31 or Genesis 50:15-21 Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21 or Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13 Romans 14:1-12 Matthew 18:21-35


Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

65-A mighty fortress is our God

21-Let the whole creation cry

487-Help us accept each other

214-Rock of Ages

612-O Jesus, I have promised

387-Bread of the world, in mercy broken

391-These I lay down


More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   


Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Romans 14:1-12


Before the willow grace of God

we take our holy stand,

alert to all the chances wrought

and brought in wonder to adore

the wonder of our God:

the wonder of our God.


Inclined to share the winsome care

of God’s eternal love,

we share the mantle of delight,

increasingly alert to own

the freedom of God’s love:

the freedom of God’s love.


Before the moment of our time

for finding anger blow,

when options of despair by minds

conflicts with those set free to joy

we answer to our Lord:

we answer to our Lord.


Unto the Lord we live or die;

there is no other way.

In sheer abandon in our life

we savor all the glow of hope

our incandescent joy:

our incandescent joy.        Suggested tune: Repton


Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit   

This week:  See Call to Worship


Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.


Call to Worship  (from Psalm 103)

L: The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

P: God will not always accuse, nor keep his anger forever.

L: God does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

P: For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is the steadfast love of the Lord toward those who fear him;

L: As far as the east is from the west, so far God removes our transgressions from us.

P: As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him.



L: We gather to give thanks for all the blessings and hope of life.

P: We praise God; we rejoice and give thanks.

L: We join our voices in praise and thanksgiving.

P: In all things, may God be glorified!


Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God of Love, you have loved us first and continue to love us. We come before you a people longing to love you in return. We hunger for your healing love in our lives, for we long to love ourselves and our neighbors. Come to us this day and fill our longing. In Christ’s name we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”) from “Flames of the Spirit”



You have brought us again to new life, O God, and gathered us in this community to be your people as we work and witness in this world. Feed us today with the presence of our risen Lord of Christ, and breathe into us your Spirit, that we may be enabled in all we say and do to glorify your name. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)  Adapted from Supplemental Liturgical Resources #5


Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.


We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.


We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.


Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.


Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.


Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.



God of all that you have created, as a people gathered in hope, we are moved by the despair of others. As a people of love, we ache for those who are lonely, lost and fearful. As a people of life, we mourn with those who are touched by death. As people who struggle to trust more fully in you, help us to minister in the Spirit of Christ to all whom we meet, and to not lose heart as we try to live out the gospel.


We pray for the grieving—the hungry and homeless—the oppressed—the victims of war. We pray for our community and nation, and its president and leaders. We pray for those who are sick and recovering, and those whose sickness will lead to death. In life, in death, in life beyond death, you are with us, and for this we give you thanks. Empower this church and all your people to awaken to the reality of your presence, grace and love, and bring us at last with all your saints to the feast that has no end, which you have prepared for all who put their trust in you, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayers from Common Worship*



O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers

of your people who call upon you;

and grant that they may both perceive and know

what things they ought to do,

and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Post Communion


Almighty God,

you have taught us through your Son

that love is the fulfilling of the law:

grant that we may love you with our whole heart

and our neighbours as ourselves;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Additional Collect


Lord of creation,

whose glory is around and within us:

open our eyes to your wonders,

that we may serve you with reverence

and know your peace at our lives’ end,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, because without you we are not able to please you,

mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct

and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

for ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 18:21-35


How Long, O Lord; how often is the thread our own,

that healing bond of ripe forgiving love?

Ah, Lord our God, we know the sign

of seven-fold revenge, the pride

that savors seventy-seven-fold deceit.

So breed in us, not seven fold

but seventy-seven-fold, forgiving grace

to counter pride with your delight.


Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God is at work in the world, renewing, remaking, resurrecting, bringing hope through the faith, the gifts, and the work of the church. We trust in God, and together we work for peace and justice through God’s Spirit as we offer our tithes and gifts. Let us rejoice in our God-given opportunity to share in God’s work.



Each of us it to look not only to personal interests but also to the interests of others. We come together as the church of Jesus Christ to do this. We are devoted to a mission whose benefits are not for us alone. This is our opportunity to share in important work in this community and around the world.


This is a day to live, not for ourselves, but for others. Christ has given himself for us, and God has called us to pattern our lives in such self-giving ways. May we who remember the sufferings of the past be called forward toward the joy that God has designed for our world – where all are loved, all are fed, all will have enough. Let us give ourselves by giving of the resources that God has entrusted to us, as stewards of God’s grace.


Offertory Prayer

As we gather at your table, O God, may we also be more aware of the opportunity that is ours to share with others the many blessings you have given us. May this be a time of joy as we give of our resources. Grant us wisdom to use these gifts in the fulfillment of your mission in the world, through Christ our Lord.



Thank you, God, for this high and holy moment in worship and in life when we have something to give that others need. Take our bread, our witness, our lives to benefit all your human family. May your glory be known among us and in all the world.


Invitation to the Table

Christ’s table is spread for all of us—a place of gathering, of fellowship and of praise. Let us rejoice as we respond to God’s gracious invitation to receive these gifts of Christ’s body and blood that we may be strengthened to live as faithful disciples.


Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

O God, you have offered your steadfast and forgiving love to us in the life of your Son Jesus Christ. As we give thanks for him at the table he has prepared, and as we break this bread, we ask that your Spirit would descend upon us, to make us more in his likeness, serving and giving from the fullness of life which you provide. Bless this cup, we pray, that all of us who partake of it may be made one with Christ, one with you, and one with each other in fellowship and service to all the world.



We give you thanks, God of majesty and mercy, for calling forth the creation and raising us from dust by the breath of your being. We bless you for the beauty and bounty of the earth and for the vision of the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none.  Now, as we recall Christ’s suffering and death, we rejoice in his resurrection and await his return in victory. We spread this table with these gifts of earth and of our labor. We present to you our very lives, committed to your service in behalf of all people. Send your Spirit upon this bread and wine, and on us. Strengthen your church throughout the world that it may be the champion of peace and justice. Restore the earth with your grace that is able to make all things new.


Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’



Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 


Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.


Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.


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