Leader: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
People: Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.
Leader: Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
People: Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me.
Leader: Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
People: He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
People: Holy and merciful God, we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. Leader: We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven. Have mercy on us, O God. We have not listened to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit. Have mercy on us, O God. We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness: The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives, we confess to you, O God.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways and our exploitation of other people,
we confess to you, O God. Our anger at our own frustration and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves, we confess to you, O God. Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work, we confess to you, O God. Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us, we confess to you, O God. Accept our repentance, O God, for the wrongs we have done. For our neglect of human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, accept our repentance, O God. Restore us, O God, and let your anger depart from us. Favorably hear us, O God, for your mercy is great.
Significance of Ashes
Leader: Every year at the time of the Christian Passover we celebrate our redemption through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration and to renew our life in the paschal mystery. We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need for repentance, and for the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. People: Ordinarily we begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes. This ancient sign speaks of the frailty and uncertainty of human life and marks the penitence of this community. In this unusual pandemic season we are extending our Lenten fast to include refraining from the imposition of ashes. Leader: I invite you, in the name of Jesus Christ, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God. People: May we be reminded of our mortality and our need for repentance, and teach us again that it is only by Your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.