The Work of Reconciliation – Reflection for 24 MAR 2019
The season of Lent invites us to self examination, but we don’t always know what to do with the things we find as we look at ourselves. While our minds may know that God forgives us and calls us into His love, our hearts may not be able to hear it. This is a beautiful reminder of the community into which God has called us, the community of reconciliation, the church. In this community, we are able to bring our hurts, our doubts, our fears, our mistakes, and our deliberate sins and hear the reassurance of God’s love. Within the Anglican tradition, we have the option of confession and reconciliation with a priest. You can find the office for Reconciliation of Penitents from the Prayer Book below. We can summarize the Anglican view of this office as, “All may. Some should. None must.” Please schedule a time with one of us if you need to hear this reassurance.
The Penitent begins Bless me, for I have sinned.
The Priest responds The Lord be in your heart and upon your lips that you may truly and humbly confess your sins: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Penitent I confess to Almighty God, to his Church, and to you, that I have sinned by my own fault in thought, word, and deed, in things done and left undone; especially__________. For these and all other sins that I cannot now remember, I am truly sorry. I pray God to have mercy on me. I firmly intend amendment of life, and I humbly beg forgiveness of God and his Church, and ask you for counsel, direction, and absolution.
Here the Priest may offer counsel, direction, and comfort. The Priest then declares
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who sincerely repent and with true faith turn to him, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Priest The Lord has put away all your sins.
Penitent Thanks be to God.
Priest Let us pray.
O most loving Father, by your mercy you put away the sins of those who truly repent, and remember their sins no more. Restore and renew in your servant whatever has been corrupted by the fraud and malice of the devil, or by his own selfish will and weakness. Preserve and protect him within the fellowship of the Church; hear his prayers and relieve his pain; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Priest concludes Go in peace, and pray for me, a sinner.