A Liturgy for Reconciliation

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Experiences

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A Liturgy for Reconciliation

Lent and Advent are the two penitential seasons of the church year. They are times of preparation and waiting. The most important way we as Christians prepare for the coming of the Christ, the one who reconciles us, is to examine ourselves and repent of sin. The following liturgy is set within the context of Advent. By changing the prayers and Scripture readings, it can be suitably modified for other seasons of the year.

The Service

Opening Hymn

Greeting and Introduction: May the Lord’s grace, mercy and peace be with you. We need to need Jesus. Reconciliation is the church’s attempt to have us all enter into the many centuries of longing in the human heart until the coming of Christ. Too easily we presume Jesus in our Christian lives. We, too, need to know our deep need of his coming in our lives……again and again and again.

Opening Prayer: God of mercy and love, you sent your only Son to redeem us and your Spirit to fill us with life. Touch our minds and hearts with the saving power of your word. Stir up in us our need for Jesus our Savior. Strengthen our desire to seek out and live the way of life to which he calls you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

First Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

Response: Either an appropriate Psalm or a hymn

Second Scripture Reading: Luke 1:39-45

A Litany of Confession: Let us turn to God and beg his forgiveness.

For having thought too little about who you are and our need for you: Forgive us, Lord.

For not having sought the kind of freedom you offer us: Forgive us, Lord.

For reaching out for a salvation only in terms of our own preferences and interests: Forgive us, Lord.

For not having noticed people who are sad: Forgive us, Lord.

For having so often lacked understanding for others: Forgive us, Lord.

For having evaded our calling as Christians: Forgive us, Lord.

For having been so full of ourselves and our own wants: Forgive us, Lord.

For the absence of peace among us: Forgive us, Lord.

For failing to share our life with those who need it: Forgive us, Lord.

For retreating from our responsibilities and going our own way: Forgive us, Lord.

For having lived with so little confidence in the future which you will give us: Forgive us, Lord.

Let us pray: For the fearfulness of our love, for all our sins of selfishness and self-sufficiency, we ask your forgiveness, Lord. May we know this forgiveness which you offer us. May this new heart which you promise to create in us be felt in our lives and in our community. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Confession and Absolution Sign

Proclamation of Praise for God’s Mercy (a sung penance)

Final Prayer: O God, you gladden us year after year with the promise of our redemption. Grant, we pray, through the intercession of Mary the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist his herald, and all the the holy ones–the women and men who have waited for and proclaimed his coming–that we who now prepare for the Christmas coming of our redeemer may also welcome him without fear when he comes as our judge. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Final Blessing and Dismissal:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. Amen.

May he let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Amen.

May he lift up his countenance to you and give you peace. Amen.

May almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us go forth in the love and peace of Christ.

Thanks be to God.

Closing Hymn