This is part of the Liturgy we use at our Ash Wednesday service of Holy Communion. It’s called ‘The Litany of Self-Examination and Confession.’ Written prayers often help us to pray in a way we wouldn’t be able to do using our own words. I encourage my congregation to say this every day during Lent – might you be willing to do the same?

Let us call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father:
Have mercy on us.

God the Son:
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit:
Have mercy on us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity:
Have mercy on us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent:
Good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money; from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws:
Good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind; from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil:
Good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy; in the hour of death; and at the day of judgement:
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation; by your birth, childhood and obedience; by your baptism, fasting and temptation:
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work; by your mighty acts of power; and by your preaching of the kingdom:
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial; by your cross and passion; and by your precious death and burial:
Good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection; by your glorious ascension; and by your sending of the Holy Spirit:
Good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.
Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.

Make our hearts clean, O God: and renew a right spirit within us.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour, in what we have thought, in what we have said and done, through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We have wounded your love, and marred your image in us. We are sorry and ashamed, and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past; and lead us out from darkness to walk as children of light. AMEN.

A Prayer For Ash Wednesday

Almighty and everlasting God,
You hate nothing that You have made and
Forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we,
Worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,
May receive from You, the God of all mercy,
Perfect remission and forgiveness;
Through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. AMEN.