Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost


The livestream may be found here.

September 5, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost



The Canaanite woman asks for healing for her daughter



The color green, used for the vestments and paraments for the Sundays after Pentecost, represents growth and life in the Holy Spirit.


FIRST READING: Isaiah promises that the people of God, humbled by defeat and exile, will experience restoration. It is not known whether Isaiah here refers to a literal healing of the physically blind, deaf, lame and dumb, or whether he refers to the metaphorical situation of the people in exile.


SECOND READING: It may be jarring for Lutherans to hear the words of the apostle James that we are ‘saved by works and not by faith alone.’ But in the sixth article of one of the Lutheran founding documents, the Augsburg Confession, we read:


It is also taught that such faith should yield good fruit and good works and that a person must do such good works as God has commanded for God’s sake but not put trust in them as if thereby to earn grace before God…[1]


GOSPEL: Following hard upon the discussion of clean and unclean earlier in chapter 7, the healings of ‘unclean’ Gentiles are precursors of the worldwide mission of Jesus entrusted to the apostles. All who come in to Jesus, putting their faith and trust in him, may be healed in body, mind, and spirit.


This is a holistic healing, not only healing the body but cleansing the whole person, putting him or her in right relation to God. Indeed, this latter healing is the true healing, for all of us will die at some point or another. But we have the promise of resurrection, when all of God’s children will rejoice in his healing mercy.


OPENING MUSIC                                               Beautiful Savior  - Flor Peeters

Arise, My Soul, Arise! - Flor Peeters





In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

  we confess that we are in bondage to sin

  and cannot free ourselves.

  We have sinned against you

  in thought, word, and deed,

  by what we have done

  and by what we have left undone.

  We have not loved you with our whole heart;

  we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,

  so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

  to the glory of your holy name. Amen


Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his

sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father,

and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.






I will go to the altar of God,

  to the God of my joy and gladness.                                        Psalm 43:4a


X HYMNS OF PRAISE                                                       Arise, My Soul, Arise!

1      Arise, my soul, arise!

        Stretch forth to things eternal

        and hasten to the feet of your redeemer God.

        Though hid from mortal eyes,

        he dwells in light supernal;

        yet worship him in humbleness and call him Lord.

        His banquet of love

        awaits you above;

        yet here he grants a foretaste of the feast to come!

        Rejoice, my soul, rejoice,

        to heav’n lift up your voice:

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


2      Now hear the harps of heav’n!

        Oh, hear the song victorious,

        the never-ending anthem sounding through the sky!

        To mortals is not giv’n

        to join in strains so glorious;

        yet here on earth we too can sing our praises high!

        He bought with his blood

        the ransomed of God;

        to him be everlasting pow’r and victory.

        And let the great amen

        resound through heav’n again.

        Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!


Text: Johan Kahl, 1721-1746; tr. Ernest E. Ryden, 1886-1981, alt.

Tune: Finnish folk tune


                                                                   Beautiful Savior

1      Beautiful Savior,

        King of creation,

        Son of God and Son of Man!

        Truly I'd love thee,

        truly I'd serve thee,

        light of my soul, my joy, my crown.


2      Fair are the meadows,

        fair are the woodlands,

        robed in flow'rs of blooming spring;

        Jesus is fairer,

        Jesus is purer,

        he makes our sorrowing spirit sing.


3      Fair is the sunshine,

        fair is the moonlight,

        bright the sparkling stars on high;

        Jesus shines brighter,

        Jesus shines purer

        than all the angels in the sky.


4     Beautiful Savior,

        Lord of the nations,

        Son of God and Son of Man!

        Glory and honor,

        praise, adoration,

        now and forevermore be thine!




Text: Gesangbuch, Münster, 1677; tr. Joseph A. Seiss, 1823-1904

Tune: Silesian folk tune, 1842


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.


God of power and compassion,

in Christ you reveal your will

to heal and to save.

  Open our ears to your redeeming word

  and move our hearts by the strength of your love,

  so that our every word and work

  may proclaim Jesus Christ our Lord as Messiah,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




The LORD sets the prisoners free;

the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.                                         Psalm 146:7-8

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



FIRST READING                                                                     Isaiah 35:4-7a


4Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
  “Be strong, do not fear!
 Here is your God.
  He will come with vengeance,
 with terrible recompense.
  He will come and save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
  and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then the lame shall leap like a deer,
  and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
 For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
  and streams in the desert;
7athe burning sand shall become a pool,
  and the thirsty ground springs of water.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                    

  Thanks be to God.



Pastor sings first, then all:

 Sung responsively between pastor and people.


1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, | O my soul!*

                I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

                I will sing praises to my God while I | have my being.

2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any | child of earth,*

                for there is no | help in them.

3 When they breathe their last, they re- | turn to earth,*

                and in that day | their thoughts perish.

4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob | for their help,*

                whose hope is in the | Lord their God;

5 who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that | is in them;*

                who keeps his prom- | ise forever;

6 who gives justice to those who | are oppressed,*

                and food to | those who hunger.

7 The Lord sets the prisoners free;

the Lord opens the eyes | of the blind;*

                the Lord lifts up those who | are bowed down;

8 the Lord loves the righteous; the Lord cares | for the stranger;*

                he sustains the orphan and widow,

but frustrates the way | of the wicked.

9 The Lord shall | reign forever,*

                your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. | Hallelujah!     R


SECOND READING                                                           James 2:1-17


1My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
8You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 9But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. [11For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.]
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.


The Word of the Lord.                                                          

  Thanks be to God.




Philippians 4:4                                                  Setting by Robert J. Powell

Sung by the Cantor                            

Alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, “Rejoice.”  Alleluia.


Gospel                                                                                    Mark 7:24-37


The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


24[Jesus] set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                              

  Praise to you, O Christ.







X HYMN OF THE DAY                                Word of God, Come Down on Earth


 1      Word of God, come down on earth,

        living rain from heav'n descending;

        touch our hearts and bring to birth

        faith and hope and love unending.

        Word almighty, we revere you;

        Word made flesh, we long to hear you.


2      Word eternal, throned on high,

        Word that brought to life creation,

        Word that came from heav'n to die,

        crucified for our salvation,

        saving Word, the world restoring,

        speak to us, your love outpouring.


3      Word that speaks God's tender love,

        one with God beyond all telling,

        Word that sends us from above

        God the Spirit, with us dwelling,

        Word of truth, to all truth lead us;

        Word of life, with one bread feed us.

Text: James Quinn, SJ, b. 1919

Tune: Johann R. Ahle, 1625-1673





The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Apostles’ Creed.


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.


I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

                He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                and born of the virgin Mary.

                He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                                was crucified, died, and was buried.

                He descended into hell.

                On the third day he rose again.

                He ascended into heaven,

                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

                the holy catholic Church,

                the communion of saints,

                the forgiveness of sins,

                the resurrection of the body,

                and the life everlasting. Amen



Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


A brief silence


God our Father, we thank you for Jesus Christ our Savior and Healer. Through his Holy Spirit, heal the wounds and divisions in the Church. Open our ears to hear your Word and loose our tongues to proclaim your will. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We thank you for the gift of this congregation. Strengthen us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to welcome all who seek Jesus Christ within these walls. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We thank you for the gift of human labor, by which we serve each other in community, through our hands delivering your gifts to humanity. Grant to all who work a just reward for their toil, and help all to respect and honor each person in their vocation. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.

We thank you for the gift of healing. Show your mercy to all who are in need of body, mind or spirit, and in your acts of restoration point us toward the final healing of resurrection. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We thank you for the gift of prayer. You have commanded us to pray for our own needs and for the needs of others, and you have promised to hear and answer our prayers. We name before you those who have asked us to pray for them.


The pastor reads those names which have been submitted for prayer.

The people are invited to offer petitions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,                                       

  hear our prayer.


We thank you for those who have gone before us. Assure us of our communion with them in faith. As we approach your Son’s holy table to receive the precious gift of his body and blood, give us grace to look forward to that day when at your heavenly table we shall join them in the great and promised feast. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love,

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.




The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Romans 12:11-13                          Setting by Robert J. Powell

Sung by the Cantor

Never lag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.



As the grain once scattered in the fields

and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside

are now reunited on this table in bread and wine,

so, Lord, may your whole Church be gathered together

from the corners of the earth into your kingdom.




 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 him thanks and praise.

  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times

and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord.

  Restoring us to health of body, mind, and spirit; bringing all peoples into his flock and fold, he unites us in one body, the Church, calling us to love others as he loves us.

  And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of power and might!

                Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

                Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

                Hosanna in the highest!


You are indeed holy, almighty and merciful God;

                you are most holy, and great is the majesty of your glory.

You so loved the world that you gave your only Son,

                that whoever believes in him may not perish

 but have eternal life.

Having come into the world, he fulfilled for us your holy will

                and accomplished our salvation.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

                shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Remembering, therefore, his salutary command,

                his life-giving Passion and death,

                his glorious resurrection and ascension,

and his promise to come again,

                we give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

                not as we ought, but as we are able;

and we implore you mercifully

to accept our praise and thanksgiving,

and, with your Word and Holy Spirit,

to bless us, your servants,

                and these your own gifts of bread and wine;

that we and all who share

in the body and blood of your Son

may be filled with heavenly peace and joy,

                and, receiving the forgiveness of sin,

may be sanctified in soul and body,

                and have our portion with all your saints.


All honor and glory are yours, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

                in your holy Church, now and forever.



Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:


Our Father, who art in heaven,

                                hallowed be thy name,

                                thy kingdom come,

                                thy will be done,

                                                on earth as it is in heaven.

                Give us this day our daily bread;

                and forgive us our trespasses,

                                as we forgive those who trespass against us;

                and lead us not into temptation,

                                but deliver us from evil.

                For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

                                forever and ever. Amen


The LORD gives justice to the oppressed,

  and food to those who hunger.

Psalm 146:6

AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)          

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.     



Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated.


HYMNS                                                                                     Your Kingdom Come!

 1      Your kingdom come! O Father, hear our prayer;

        shine through the clouds that threaten ev’rywhere;

        light from above, our only life and joy,

        show us the hope that nothing can destroy;

        show us the hope that nothing can destroy.


2      Stumbling and blind, we strive to do your will,

        trusting the word you surely will fulfill,

        that all are yours, however far they roam,

        that love shall triumph, and your kingdom come;

        that love shall triumph, and your kingdom come.


3      Come through the faith whereby the church must live;

        come through the word and sacraments you give;

        come through your teaching, and your healing too;

        come through the work enlightened hearts can do;

        come through the work enlightened hearts can do.


4     Your kingdom come; come too, God’s glorious Son!

        Oh, may our task for you be nobly done!

        Faithful let all your servants be, and true,

        until they bring all nations home to you;

        until they bring all nations home to you.


Text: Margaret R. Seebach, 1875-1948, alt.

Tune: Trente quatre pseaumes de David, Geneva, 1551


Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior

 1      Thee we adore, O hidden Savior, thee,

        who in thy sacrament art pleased to be;

        both flesh and spirit in thy presence fail,

        yet here thy presence we devoutly hail.


2      O blest memorial of our dying Lord,

        who living bread to us shall here afford:

        oh, may our souls forever feed on thee,

        and thou, O Christ, forever precious be.


3      Fountain of goodness, Jesus, Lord and God:

        cleanse us, unclean, with thy most cleansing blood;

        increase our faith and love, that we may know

        the hope and peace which from thy presence flow.


4     O Christ, whom now beneath a veil we see:

        may what we thirst for soon our portion be,

        to gaze on thee unveiled, and see thy face,

        the vision of thy glory, and thy grace. Amen

Text: Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274; tr. James R. Woodford, 1820-1885

Tune: mode V, Processionale, Paris 1697


After all have returned to their places, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.


Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen   

Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32) 

Pour out upon us the Spirit of your love, O Lord, and unite the wills of those whom you have fed with one heavenly food, through Jesus Christ our Lord.





The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.                   








Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                                 Thanks be to God!



Sun/ Sept 5          WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Food Bank

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM

Mon/Sept 6         Morning Prayer (livestream only) 8:30 AM

Wed/ Sept 8       Evening Prayer (pre-recorded)  7:00 PM

Fri/Sept 10          Morning Prayer (livestream or in-person) 8:30 AM

Sat/ Sept 11          NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

Sun/ Sept 12        WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Church Picnic (following worship,

 at Heidelberg Park)

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM                               









From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the

 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Limbourg, Herman de, approximately 1385-approximately 1416, Limbourg, Jean de, approximately 1385-approximately 1416, Limbourg, Pol de, approximately 1385-approximately 1416. The Canaanite Woman asks for healing for her daughter, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved August 30, 2021]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of








St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship –10:30 am


[1] Wengert and Kolb eds., The Book of Concord (Fortress, 2000), 40.