Brothers and sisters in Christ, since early days Christians have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection and prepared for this by a season of penitence and fasting . By carefully keeping these days, take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of the forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and to grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord.

I invite you therefore in the name of the church, to the observance of a holy Lent by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self- denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.

As we begin the discipline of Lent make each day holy by our self-denial.

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, he who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Penitence

We have not loved you with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven

Lord have mercy.

We have been deaf to your call to serve.
We have been unfaithful, proud, and hypocritical.

Christ have mercy.

We have been self-centred,
and have taken advantage of others

Lord have mercy.

We have been envious of those more fortunate than ourselves.

Christ have mercy.

We have loved worldly goods and comforts too much.

Lord have mercy.

We have neglected prayer and worship,
and have failed to commend the faith that is in us.

Christ have mercy.

We have been blind to human need and suffering,
and indifferent to injustice and cruelty.

Lord have mercy.

We have thought uncharitably about others, and
we have been prejudiced towards those who differ from us.

Christ have mercy.

We have wasted and polluted your creation,
and lacked concern for those who come after us.

Lord have mercy.

Merciful God, we have sinned in what we have thought and said,
in the wrong we have done and in the good we have not done.
We have sinned in ignorance:
we have sinned in weakness:
we have sinned through our own deliberate fault.

We are truly sorry.
We repent and turn to you.
Forgive us, for our Saviour Christ’s sake,
and renew our lives to the glory of your name


Joel 2: 12-18; Psalm 51; Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 5:1-12.

Copyright material is included from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the
Church of England

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