06 November 1991

A Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness

P: Let us confess before God and one another.

C: Loving God, you gave yourself as Christ on the cross for me and for the whole world. I have been many things in my life, and had I been with you at your crucifixion, I might have acted as did the people of the time. I might have mocked you for seeming powerless, derided you for preaching false doctrine, cursed you for breaking the Law as I understood it, dismissed you for seeming crazy, or ignored you altogether. Even if I had been one of your followers, I know that I would have been too cowardly and self-effacing to speak in your defense, because no one did. By my own action, or by my lack of action, I would have contributed to your pain and death. In spite of this, I have been self-righteous, quick to boast of the commandments I keep, quick to condemn the transgressions of others, and slow to forgive them. This is who I have been and how I have lived my life. I am in need of your Grace. Forgive me, love me, and help me by your Spirit to follow you joyfully. Fill me with your love, that I may love others.

P: Do you trust in God's compassion, and believe in God's love and redeeming power for yourself and your neighbor?

C: I do.

P: Then I declare to you God's forgiveness of all your sin, God's power to guide you on your journey to life everlasting, and God's love to accompany you always. In God's name I declare to you that you are God's children, sisters and brothers of Christ, inheritors with Him of God's Kingdom.

C: Thanks be to God.

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