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Intercessions for Trinity +16 – Year B – Proper 20 – 20 September 2015 – Series 2


Flowering cherry trees by a waterfall in spring Image: 260680856 by TTphoto


The Collect

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. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Proverbs 31.10-31

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from far away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchant with sashes. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.


Psalm 1

Refrain: The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

Blessed are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, * nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the assembly of the  scornful.
Their delight is in the law of the Lord * and they meditate on his law day and night.
Like a tree planted by streams of water bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither, * whatever they do, it shall prosper. R
As for the wicked, it is not so with them; * they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement, * nor the sinner in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, * but the way of the wicked shall perish.

Refrain: The Lord knows the way of the righteous.

Christ our wisdom,
give us delight in your law,
that we may bear fruits of patience and peace
in the kingdom of the righteous;
for your mercy ’s sake.

Second Reading: James 3.13-4.3,7-8a

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Gospel Reading: Mark 9.30-37

After leaving the mountain, Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

To be frank, there are few fireworks or ‘Eureka’ moments among the commentators I have consulted this week. However, Jane Williams (pp 108-109 – search ‘roller-coaster’) is as always, a pleasure to read. Here is her conclusion:


Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, without you we are a rootless people; outside your house we are unable to stand. All our wisdom comes from you; lend us also your gentleness. May we know your truth; and defend it unflinchingly in the face of the lie. Giver of life, save us from the desert of faithlessness, and nourish us with the living water of your word. *

Lord, keep us true to your way that we may yield your fruit in due season: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, we pray for those who are given authority in our society, for those who are born with power over others, those who achieve power, and those who have it thrust upon them (or would have us believe that their rank was not of their own choosing). May they be mindful of the example set by your son, our Lord, who died the death of a slave so that all might be empowered through your grace.

Lord, keep us true to your way that we may yield your fruit in due season: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The local community

Lord, as we try to build our community in the image of you, give us the grace to do so with a servant heart. Help us to be open to each other, and to take pleasure in working alongside those who happen to come along, knowing that we can safely leave judgment and chastisement in your hands. May all that we undertake in your name develop according to your desire.

Lord, keep us true to your way that we may yield your fruit in due season: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we pray for all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit. Give them the knowledge that, when hopes are defeated, when the hour seems darkest, when they feel most alone with their pain, they can lean on you, and that you will pour comfort and strength into them for whatever may be the next step on the journey. For underneath are your everlasting arms.

Lord, keep us true to your way that we may yield your fruit in due season: in your mercy, hear our prayer

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we give you thanks for the gift of eternal life. We pray for all those who have recently departed this life, especially…….

May they rest in peace and rise in glory.


Merciful Father, accept these prayers….

In 2012, I think I had some difficulty in deciding on a theme from today’s lectionary. I chose ‘Peace‘

*Inspired by Jim Cotter’s meditation on the psalm

Prayer after 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.



Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National  Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Collect (16th after Trinity) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

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