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Penitential Rite A

From the Book of Divine Worship - The Proper: First Part - The Holy Eucharist - Rite One

For use at the beginning of the Liturgy, or as a separate service.

When this penitential act follows the General Intercessions (The Prayers of the People), it is omitted here.

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

The People standing, the Celebrant says:
Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost:

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

In Lent and on other penitential occasions

Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins.
His mercy endureth for ever.

When used as a separate service, the Exhortation may be read, or a homily preached.

The Decalogue may be said, the People kneeling.

The Celebrant may read one of the following sentences:

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matt. 22:37-40

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8, 9

Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:14,16

The Deacon or Celebrant then says:
Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.

Silence may be kept.

Minister and People:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.

Or this:

Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires
of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we
ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we
ought not to have done.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
spare thou those who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Officiant says:

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen.

When this Order is used at the beginning of the Liturgy, the service continues with the Kyrie eleison, the Trisagion. or the Gloria in excelsis.

When the Order is used separately, the penitents go to the Priests designated for individual confession, and confess their sins. Each penitent receives and accepts a fitting form of satisfaction, and is absolved. After hearing the confession the Priest extends his hands (or at least his right hand) over the penitent's head and grants absolution.

Everything else which is customary in individual confession is omitted.


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