“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
the early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection,
and it became the custom of the the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a
forty-day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.
It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sin and had separated themselves from
the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation
in the life of the Church.
In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the
gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent;
by self-examination and repentance;
by prayer, fasting and self-denial;
and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.
To make a right beginning of repentance,
and as a mark of our mortal nature,
let us now kneel before our Creator and Redeemer.”
Let us confess our sins before God and one and our neighbors.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we
have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not
loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and humbly repent.
For the sake of you Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will,
and walk in you ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.