Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Confession for Ash Wednesday

Friends in Christ, every year at this time, we celebrate our redemption through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to renew our life in the paschal mystery.

We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance, and for the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel of Jesus. We begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes. This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life, and marks publicly our sincere desire for penitence.

I invite you then, in the name of Christ, to observe a holy Lent, by self examination, and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God. Let us bow before God, our Creator and Redeemer, and confess our sin. Most Holy and merciful God…

We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by fault, by our own fault, by our most grievous fault, 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 hearts, minds, and strengths. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven. Have mercy on us.

We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness. Our daily pride, hypocrisy, and impatience,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other peoples,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and our prejudice and contempt for those who are different from us,
we confess to you, Lord.

Our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
we confess to you, Lord. Restore us, God, and let your anger depart from us. Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great. Amen

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