P = Presiding Minister, Assisting Minister or Leader
C = Congregation
C1 = Side one of congregation
C2 = Side two of congregation (you may substitute Women for one side and Men for the second side)
U = Unison
(Italic and Bold text indicate congregational participation.)
1. Prayer of Confession
U Holy God, You have called us to live in faith and freedom, but we live with tightness in our chests. You have called us to be the light of the world, but we have often times covered our light in the presence of others. You have called us to move in new directions, but we cling to the paths that we know. You have called us to reach outward to each other in love, but we draw inward to ourselves for protection. You have called us to live with abandon, in trust, but we live carefully, in fear. God, forgive us. Amen.
2. Corporate Confession of Sin Ð a Litany; drafted by participants of the 1995 Rural Ministry Conference
P The Lord our God is a faithful God
C Who never abandons us.
P We confess our lack of faithfulness.
C We have many fears.
P We fear for our health,
C For illness, disease, loss of body and mind, loss of dignity.
P We fear for the health of family,
C For broken relationships, abuse, violence, loss of family togetherness.
P We fear for the health of community,
C For chaos, crime, violence, job loss, and death of our communities.
P We fear for the health of the world,
C For wars, famine, flood, drought, changing values, and cultural differences.
P We fear for the health of the Church,
C For finances, loss of youth, lack of guidance, and for the challenges we must face.
P And we remember the scripture: ÒThe steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, the LordÕs mercies never come to an end . . .They are new every morning! Great is thy faithfulness!Ó (Lamentations 3:22-23)
C We ask, O Lord, for the strength to trust in the love of Christ who saves us and sets us free.
P Forgive us for doubt; teach us to trust.
C ÒThe steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, the LordÕs mercies never come to an enc. They are new every morning! Great is thy faithfulness!Ó
3. Confession of Sin; Toni Newman
P We come before God, who knows and loves us despite all of our wrong doings. Confident in GodÕs forgiveness, we confess our sins as a gathered people. Let us pray.
C God, You created us to care for the earth and its inhabitants. You created us to love You, to love ourselves, and to love our neighbors. We do not do any of these things well. We abuse the earth with chemicals, and we abuse ourselves and each other with emotional, physical, and verbal violence. We do not love You with our whole hearts, and we are not able to love our neighbors or ourselves. In a spirit of true repentance, we ask for the forgiveness that You have promised us in Christ Jesus.
P God, who hears us when we pray, has promised us forgiveness in Christ Jesus. Because of that promise, all of our sins are forgiven, and we are made new through the power of the Holy Spirit.
U Praise to the God who knows and loves us! Amen.
4. Prayer of Confession
U Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved You with our whole heart. We harvest the fruits of the land, yet forget that You are the true source of all we have. We sometimes neglect that the land is Yours, and we are just stewards. We cry out to You when the skies bring no rain and the harvest is stolen by an unjust price, but are silent when all is well. Forgive us, Merciful God. Make our love for You grow like a seedling to the providing light. Amen.
P Hear the good news! Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; this is proof of GodÕs love for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
U Glory be to God! Amen.
5. A Confession of Sin; Toni Newman
P Let us confess our sins to God who has promised to forgive us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C O God, we come before You embarrassed at what we have done and not done this past week. We have spoken our minds when we should have listened with our hearts. We were intolerant with our loved ones when we should have been patient. We looked for the quick fix rather than the most responsible method of caring for the land. We were more interested in our personal profit than in the well-being and sustainability of the community. We are embarrassed, and we are sorry. We ask for Your forgiveness.
P God has promised to forgive us our sins. And God is faithful. Because of GodÕs faithful promise, we can confess our sins and we can know that we are forgiven. We are the forgiven people of God.
P Turn to your neighbors and greet them as forgiven people of God’s promise.
6. A Declaration of Pardon; Douglas A. Kelly
P As earth yields its increase of beauty and the promise of fruit to come, so God supplies grace without measure.
C With light and peace, God dawns in the hearts of faithful people. Christ rose that we might know this love of God.
P Believe this day in the good news: we are all forgiven.
7. A Confession in Time of Suffering; Toni Newman
P When our lives are difficult, when there seems to be nothing that goes right, when there is too much rain or not enough, when the sun is too hot or doesnÕt shine, when we can not see God because we are in so much pain, the only confession we can make, and the only confession that is necessary is . . .
C Jesus is Lord.