Worship Elements: September 1, 2024

July 22nd, 2021

15th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 (or Psalm 72); James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23


Luscious imagery unites the passage from Song of Solomon with the psalm. We smell the fragrance of flowers and oil, hear birdsong and music, and see the beauty of God’s world and the king’s court. We are invited to come and be anointed with the oil of gladness. A world of such abundance calls us to live faithful lives filled with righteousness and equity—hating wickedness and all evil intentions, speaking carefully, and caring for those in need. God calls us to respond, not with outward ritual, but with a deep dedication of our hearts, embodying God’s word in our actions.


Call to Worship (Song of Solomon 2, Psalm 45)

Look to the mountains; look to the hills!
Love comes to us with joy!
The world is filled with beauty.
Flowers appear on the earth,
birdsong brightens the day.
Crops yield their produce in abundance,
the air is filled with sweetness.
The summer of God’s love is with us.
Let the oil of gladness anoint your souls.
Arise and sing for joy!

Opening Prayer

Creating God,
you are the source of summer’s splendor—
the beauty and fragrance of delicate flowers,
and sweet sound of birdsong.
We come to you this morning
with delight and gladness,
grateful for all of your wonders.
As the fields produce their harvest,
may your love grow within us,
that we too may produce a harvest
of love, hope, and joy. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (James 1, Mark 7)

God of justice and righteousness,
your call beckons to us:
to live faithful lives,
to turn from wickedness,
to walk in your ways;
yet it is so easy to turn aside:
to speak a thoughtless word,
to ignore those in need,
to strike out in anger,
to forget your ways.
Forgive us.
Implant your word in our hearts,
and cleanse us from all evil.
By the power of your love,
save our souls,
that we might faithfully serve you. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 45, James 1)

God’s word has the power to save your soul.
God has anointed you with gladness.
You are forgiven to live in joy.

Passing the Peace of Christ (James 1)

You are God’s beloved children. Look into one another’s face to see the beauty of God’s presence. Share the Lord’s peace with gladness.

Response to the Word (Song of Solomon 2, Mark 7)

God of abundant love,
you delight us with your grace—
grace expressed in the beauty of our world.
God of truth and light,
you challenge us to live faithful lives—
to turn away from evil,
to follow your ways,
to serve your people.
May your word of truth grow within us this day,
that we may bring forth a harvest of peace. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (James 1)

Every generous act of giving, as with every perfect gift, is from above. May God’s word of truth, implanted within us at birth, bloom in acts of loving faithfulness. May that word shape our lives so that we become doers of the word, using God’s gifts for all.

Offering Prayer (James 1)

God of light and beauty,
every gift is from you.
Even our ability to give
is a blessing of your love.
We offer you what we have
and what we are.
Use our gifts
to give birth to a world of righteousness
where none are in need
and where all draw close to your grace.


Benediction (Song of Solomon 2, Psalm 45, James 1)

Arise, my fair ones, and come away.
Go forth in joy to serve with love.
Be doers of God’s word.
God has blessed you forever!


Contemporary Gathering Words (Song of Solomon 2, Psalm 45)

Arise, my fair ones, and come away!
Where are we going?
We go to the realm of God’s love,
a place of great beauty.
What will we find?
We will find music and sweetness,
an abundance of grace.
We come with joy to meet our Lord!

Praise Sentences (Psalm 45)

Our hearts overflow with love for you!
You have blessed us with gladness beyond compare!
Your goodness endures forever!
We rejoice in your love!

From “The Abingdon Worship Annual” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. 

comments powered by Disqus