This last Sunday we dwelt on St. Paul’s letter to the Roman’s (chapter 8) and how he acknowledges there our “disordered human inclinations” (New Jerusalem Translation). He likewise encourages us to live “in the Spirit” – conscious of God’s hope already placed within us.
One way that the Church has found to move us from the disordered mind to the mind of the Spirit is through the rite of confession. In a confidential moment we are invited to share with another before God those darknesses that we live with – so that we might leave them with God and move beyond. There are many ways of doing this, but there is a particular way that we carry as an Anglican church called “the Reconciliation of a Penitent.”
During the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, I am making myself available for confession for any who would wish. There is a poster in the the Narthex (lobby) that has some times and dates and I will list them here too. If you feel you have a ‘weight’ to be lifted, if you have words for God that you are having trouble saying alone, please come. We will meet in the chapel so please know that the chapel and sanctuary will not be available to others during these times.
I invite you to look over the service as it appears in the green Book of Alternative Services. I encourage you also to read the last line of the service to understand in which state the priest comes to that moment of confession as well.
Please email me if any of these times suit you. revjcrane (at) yahoo.com
- Monday April 10
- Tuesday April 11
- Wednesday April 12
The Reconciliation of a Penitent
Priest – Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
Penitent – His mercy endures for ever.
A brief silence is kept. Then the priest and penitent say together,
Psalm 51 1–2, 11–13, 16
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your
in your great compassion blot out my offences.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
Create in 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 saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Psalm 103 8–10, 13–14
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us, *
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
As a father cares for his children, *
so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made: *
he remembers that we are but dust.
The priest then says to the penitent,
Dear friend in Christ, God is steadfast in love and
infinite in mercy, healing the sick and forgiving the
sinful. May God, who enlightens every heart, help
you to confess your sins and trust in his mercy.
The penitent says,
Most merciful God, have mercy upon me,
in your compassion forgive my sins,
both known and unknown,
things done and left undone,
(especially . . . ).
O God, uphold me by your Spirit
that I may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honour and glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The priest may, with the consent of the penitent, offer words of comfort and
counsel, and then says,
Do you turn again to Christ?
Penitent – I turn to Christ.
Priest – Do you forgive those who have sinned against you?
Penitent – I forgive them.
The priest then says,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered himself as the
perfect sacrifice to the Father, and who conferred
power on his Church to forgive sins, absolve you
through my ministry by the grace of the Holy Spirit,
and restore you in the perfect peace of the Church.
Priest – As our Saviour Christ has taught us, let us pray.
Both – 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
The priest then dismisses the penitent.
Priest – Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven;
Penitent – And whose sin is put away.
Priest – The Lord has put away all your sins.
Penitent – Thanks be to God.
The priest then concludes,
Go in peace, and pray for me a sinner