Church of England home page Common Worship   Publications Site Map
  Penitential Material
       
  Summary of the Law  
     
  This may be used with or without the congregational response.
     
  Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
  The first commandment is this:
  'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
  with all your soul, with all your mind,
  and with all your strength.'
   
  The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'
  There is no other commandment greater than these.
  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
   
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  (or)
     
  Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord;
and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength.
This is the first commandment.
     
  And the second is like, namely this:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
   
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee
.
     
  The Commandments  
     
  1
  Hear these commandments which God has given to his people
  and examine your hearts.
   
  God spake these words and said:
  I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have none other gods but me.
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image,
nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,
or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them.
[For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God,
and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children
      unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me
      and keep my commandments.]
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
[for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain].
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do;
but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.
[In it thou shalt do no manner of work,
thou, and thy son, and thy daughter,
thy manservant, and thy maidservant,
thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates.
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day:
wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.]
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Honour thy father and thy mother
[that thy days may be long in the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee].
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt do no murder.
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not steal.
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not bear false witness [against thy neighbour].
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
  and incline our hearts to keep this law.
     
  Thou shalt not covet [thy neighbour's house,
thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant,
nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his].
All
  Lord, have mercy upon us,
and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.
     
  2
  Hear these commandments which God has given to his people,
  and examine your hearts.
     
  I am the Lord your God: you shall have no other gods but me.
  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not make for yourself any idol.
  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit
      and in truth.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
   
  You shall not dishonour the name of the Lord your God.
  You shall worship him with awe and reverence.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
   
  Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
  Christ is risen from the dead: set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  Honour your father and mother.
  Live as servants of God; let us work for the good of all,
especially members of the household of faith.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not commit murder.
  Live peaceably with all; overcome evil with good.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not commit adultery.
  Know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not steal.
  Be honest in all that you do, and care for those in need.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not be a false witness.
  Let everyone speak the truth.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  You shall not covet anything which belongs to your neighbour.
  Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'
Love your neighbour as yourself, for love is the fulfilling of the law.
All
  Amen. Lord, have mercy.
     
  The Beatitudes  
   
  Silence is kept between each Beatitude.
   
  Let us hear our Lord's blessing on those who follow him.
     
  Blessed are the poor in spirit,
  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
     
  Blessed are those who mourn,
  for they shall be comforted.
     
  Blessed are the meek,
  for they shall inherit the earth.
     
  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
  for they shall be satisfied.
     
  Blessed are the merciful,
  for they shall obtain mercy.
     
  Blessed are the pure in heart,
  for they shall see God.
     
  Blessed are the peacemakers,
  for they shall be called children of God.
     
  Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake,
  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
     
  Let us confess our many failures to keep this way of truth and life.
     
  The confession follows without further invitation.
     
  The Comfortable Words  
     
  One or more of these sentences may be used
     
  Hear the words of comfort our Saviour Christ says
to all who truly turn to him:
     
  Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden,
  and I will give you rest.                                             
   
Matthew 11.28
  God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
  that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.                                                          
   
John 3.16
  Hear also what Saint Paul says:
  This saying is true, and worthy of full acceptance,
  that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
   
1 Timothy 1.15
  Hear also what Saint John says:
  If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father,
  Jesus Christ the righteous;
  and he is the propitiation for our sins.                      
 
1 John 2.1,2
  [Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.]
     
  (or)
     
  Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith
unto all that truly turn to him:
     
  Come unto me, all that travail and are heavy laden,
and I will refresh you.                                                
   
Matthew 11.28
  So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,
to the end that all that believe in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.                                                   
   
John 3.16
  Hear also what Saint Paul saith:
  This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received,
  that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
   
1 Timothy 1.15
  Hear also what Saint John saith:
  If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
  Jesus Christ the righteous;
  and he is the propitiation for our sins.                      
   
1 John 2.1,2
  [Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.]
     
  Exhortation  
     
  Brothers and sisters in Christ,
  as we gather at the Lord's table
  we must recall the promises and warnings
        given to us in the Scriptures.
  Let us therefore examine ourselves and repent of our sins.
  Let us give thanks to God
        for his redemption of the world through his Son Jesus Christ,
  and as we remember Christ's death for us,
  and receive this pledge of his love,
  let us resolve to serve him in holiness and righteousness
  all the days of our life.
     
  Invitations to Confession  
     
  The provision made for seasons and Principal Holy Days (see here) may be used at other times when appropriate.
     
  1
  My brothers and sisters,
  as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ
  in word and sacrament,
  let us call to mind and confess our sins.
     
  2
  Jesus said:
  Before you offer your gift,
  go and be reconciled.
  As brothers and sisters in God's family,
  we come together to ask our Father for forgiveness.
     
  3
  Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins,
  and are in love and charity with your neighbours,
  and intend to lead a new life,
  following the commandments of God,
  and walking from henceforth in his holy ways:
  draw near with faith,
  and take this holy sacrament to your comfort;
  and make your humble confession to almighty God.
     
  4
  This invitation may be used after the Commandments, the Comfortable Words or the Exhortation, or may be introduced by a penitential sentence of Scripture
     
  You then, who truly and earnestly repent of your sins,
  and are in love and charity with your neighbours,
  and intend to lead a new life,
  following the commandments of God
  and walking from henceforth in his holy ways:
  draw near with faith,
  and take this holy sacrament to your comfort;
  and make your humble confession to almighty God.
     
  The confession follows without further invitation.
     
  Confessions  
     
  For other authorized confessions, see here.
     
  1
All
  Father eternal, giver of light and grace,
  we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,
  in what we have thought,
  in what we have said and done,
  through ignorance, through weakness,
  through our own deliberate fault.
  We have wounded your love,
  and marred your image in us.
  We are sorry and ashamed,
  and repent of all our sins.
  For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
  who died for us,
  forgive us all that is past;
  and lead us out from darkness
  to walk as children of light.
  Amen.
     
  2
All
  Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
  we have sinned against you,
  through our own fault,
  in thought, and word, and deed,
  and in what we have left undone.
  We are heartily sorry,
  and repent of all our sins.
  For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
  forgive us all that is past;     
  and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
  to the glory of your name.
  Amen.
     
  3
All
  Almighty God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  maker of all things, judge of all men:
  we acknowledge and bewail
        our manifold sins and wickedness,
  which we, from time to time,
        most grievously have committed,
  by thought, word and deed,
  against thy divine majesty,
  provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.
  We do earnestly repent,
  and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
  the remembrance of them is grievous unto us;
  the burden of them is intolerable.
  Have mercy upon us,
  have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
  for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
  forgive us all that is past;
  and grant that we may ever hereafter
  serve and please thee in newness of life,
  to the honour and glory of thy name;
  through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  Amen.
     
  4
  Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness
  and cleanse me from my sin.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  Make me a clean heart, O God,
  and renew a right spirit within me.
  Christ, have mercy.
All
  Christ, have mercy.
     
  Cast me not away from your presence
  and take not your holy spirit from me.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  5
  In the wilderness we find your grace;
  you love us with an everlasting love.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  There is none but you to uphold our cause;
  our sin cries out and our guilt is great.
  Christ, have mercy.
All
  Christ, have mercy.
     
  Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed;
  restore us and we shall know your joy.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  6
  Remember, Lord, your compassion and love,
  for they are everlasting.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions,
  but think on me in your goodness, O Lord,
      according to your steadfast love.
  Christ, have mercy.
  Christ, have mercy.
     
  O keep my soul and deliver me;
  let me not be put to shame, for I have put my trust in you.
  Lord, have mercy.
All
  Lord, have mercy.
     
  Absolutions  
     
  For other authorized absolutions, see here .
     
  1
  Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
who of his great mercy
hath promised forgiveness of sins
to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith
      turn unto him:
have mercy upon you;
pardon and deliver you from all your sins;
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness;
and bring you to everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All
  Amen.
     
  2
  May almighty God have mercy on you,
  forgive you your sins,
  and bring you to everlasting life.
All
  Amen.
     
The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2000-2004
All of the official Common Worship publications are being published by Church House Publishing.