Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A litany of penitence

[From the Book of Common Prayer for Ash Wednesday.]

I invite you to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word. . . .

Most holy and merciful Father:
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 our own 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 heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

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: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,
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.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.


High Calling Blogs said...


real live preacher

Friar Tuck said...

Navigating the book of common prayer is sometimes difficult for me, but when you find gems like that in there, it is well worth wading through.

Of course, this is coming from a Baptist not an Anglican. It may be easier to navigate for you.

Al Hsu said...

I officially became Anglican just three years ago, after several years of feeling the ancient-future/liturgical pull, so I'm still fairly new to navigating it all. There's certainly enough there for a lifetime of exploration and reflection!

Sara H said...

I too officially became an Anglican about 3 years ago. I'm sure I've read the Litany of Penitence each year on Ash Wednesday, but this year I think I actually meant it. Thank you for posting. I have a BOC on my shelf, but this electronic version will enable me to print it out and use it throughout Lent and beyond. ~ Sara Hubert