Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Penitential Service

To be used on the first day of Lent, and at other times as the Bishop shall appoint.

[Editor's note: This service is to be used on the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), and at other times as the ordinary shall appoint. It is taken from Alternative Services (2009), and is a modern English version of 'A Penitential Service’ from the 1956 Free Church of England Prayer Book ]

This service may be used after Morning or Evening Prayer, or after the Litany if the Litany follows Morning or Evening Prayer. It may be used as a part of the Second Alternative Form of Morning and Evening Worship, in which case it may replace the General Confession, the declaration of forgiveness, and the Prayers. It may also be used as a separate service.

When A Penitential Service is used as a separate service, it may be preceded by a Psalm, canticle, or hymn and one of the readings of the day.

The minister says

Brothers and sisters, let us draw near to our Lord God, with all contrition and meekness of heart mourning and lamenting our sinful life, acknowledging and confessing our offences, and seeking to bear fruit worthy of repentance. Although we have sinned, yet we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins. He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Let us therefore return to him, who is the merciful receiver of all true penitent sinners, assuring our selves that he is ready to receive us, and most willing to pardon us, if we come to him, with faithful repentance, if we will submit our selves to him, and from that moment on walk in his ways; if we will take his easy yoke, and light burden upon us, to follow him in lowliness, patience, and charity, and be ordered by the governance of his Holy Spirit, seeking always his glory, and serving him duly in our vocation with thanksgiving.

All kneel and say this Psalm

Misere mei deus (Psalm 51:1-17)

Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness;
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
So that you are justified in your sentence
and righteous in your judgment.
I have been wicked even from my birth,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire truth deep within me
and shall make me understand wisdom
in the depths of my heart.
Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean;
wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,
that the bones you have broken may rejoice.
Turn your face from my sins
and blot out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your salvation
and sustain me with your gracious spirit;
Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked
and sinners shall return to you.
Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it;
you take no delight in burnt offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Then the minister says

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. AMEN.


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. AMEN.

Lord, save your servants,
who put their trust in you.

Lord, send them help from your holy place,
and evermore defend them.

Help us, O God, our Savior;
and for the glory of your Name deliver us;
be merciful to us sinners, for your name’s sake.

Lord, hear our prayer,
and let our cry come to you.

Let us pray.

O Lord, we implore you to mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins to you, that they (whose consciences by sin are accused) by your merciful pardon may be absolved; through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

O Most mighty God, and merciful Father, you have compassion upon all people, and hate nothing that you have made: you do not desire the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn from sin, and be saved: mercifully forgive us our offenses, and comfort us, who are grieved and wearied with the burden of our sin. Your property is to have mercy, to you alone belong the forgiveness of sins: spare us therefore good Lord; spare your people whom you have redeemed. Enter not into judgment with your servants, who are vile dust, and miserable sinners, but so turn your anger from us who meekly acknowledge our vileness, and truly repent of our faults: so make haste to help us in this world, that we may ever live with you in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

All say

Turn us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned. Be favorable O Lord, be favorable to your people, who turn to you, in weeping, fasting, and praying, for you are a merciful God, full of compassion, long suffering, and of a great pity. You spare us when we deserve punishment, and in your wrath you think upon mercy, spare your people good Lord, spare them, and let not your heritage be brought to confusion: hear us O Lord for your mercy is great, and after the multitude of your mercies, look upon us; through the merits and mediation of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Then the minister alone says

The Lord bless us and keep us; the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us and give us peace, now and for evermore. AMEN.

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