Prayers of Confession on Ash Wednesday


Adapted from Psalm 51:1-17

Pastor: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

All:  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

Pastor: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

All: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Pastor: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

All: Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Pastor: Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

All: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

*(Silent Confession) 


Submitted by Dustin Ray

Repent and Return, a prayer of confession

Based on Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

ONE VOICE: Joel 2:13

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful



We drift away from our true home

We forget we are Your beloved

We forget we are not God

Rend our hearts, O God, as we repent and return


ONE VOICE: Joel 2:13

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful



We succumb to the temptations of money, sex, and power

We ignore the cries of our sisters and brothers

We focus only on ourselves

Rend our hearts, O God, as we repent and return

Time of silent confession


Remember who you truly are

Let God be God in your life

Begin again with God



No despair, for there is mercy

No fear, for there is grace

We return with all our heart

Lead us home, Lord

Lead us home

Repent and Return © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Pastor: Great is the mystery of faith:

All: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!

Pastor: Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

All: Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory!

Pastor: According to his commandment:

All: We remember his death, we proclaim his resurrection, we await his coming in glory!

Submitted by Dustin Ray

God of mercy, you are full of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in mercy, and always ready to forgive. Grant us grace to repent of our sins and to cling to Christ, that in every way we may prove to be your loving children, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Submitted by Dustin Ray

Marked By Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .

This day — a gift from you.

This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.

This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.

This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home

halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.

All our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28.

Lord, Holy One, have mercy on us. We confess our sins to you. We have fallen short of your glory and without your mercy and grace, we would be dust. We repent now. Lord, as we enter into this Lenten season, be near to us. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to feel right conviction and repentance for our sin. Help us, by your Spirit, to have the strength to overcome the enemy.

Thank you, Lord, that Easter is coming! Death has no sting, no victory, because of Jesus! Glory and honor and praise to His name! Thank you for rescuing us. Help us keep both the weight and the joy of this season in our hearts and we move through the next several weeks. Help us bear the good fruit of your Spirit.

Thank you that the ashes on our forehead do not symbolize our ultimate reality. From dust we might have been formed, but our bodies, our spirits, ourselves, await beautiful redemption and the restoration of all things. Help us long and look forward to that day, and let it come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Taken from Kelly Givens, What Is Ash Wednesday?

A Prayer Of Letting Go

O God, help us to use this season of Lent

to examine our attachments,

and to sense where You invite us

to live more simply and deeply.

Shine the light of Your love

into the private corners of our lives

where we have acquired so much clutter

that it has begun to restrict our freedom.

Grant us the strength to free ourselves

from appetites and needs that drive us

into taking, having and wanting

more than we need or have time for.

Teach us that in letting go we become free,

rather than deprived,

generous rather than covetous,

and spacious rather than restricted.

We offer You our Lenten observance,

and today we place our feet

on the road to Easter, and walk

the Way that You have walked before us. AMEN

Ann Siddall, Stillpoint Spirituaity Centre

Looking for More Liturgical Elements?

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