Service of Individual Confession and Forgiveness

From the Open Files of:

Heilig Resource Center, 704/633-4861

Contributed by:

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC

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We built a liturgy around the Order for Individual Confession and Forgiveness, which included a message, hymns and prayers. We brought in a guest preacher who also served as one of four clergy who were available, in separate rooms, to receive/hear individual confession. This was prompted by a desire to return to the use of Individual Confession and Forgiveness incorporating it as part of Lent/Advent disciplines. We hope that has been educational for why a service was offered and provided a time/place for those who wanted to confess. We suggest for others interested in this idea that you may want to institute some "regular" time for confession

.LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship
CA=Christian’s Awake Hymn Supplement (G=Gather, BC=Borning Cry, CCLI)
OT=Old Testament NT=New Testament


Call to Worship

Invocation and Instruction

Quiet Song and Meditation: "I Have Loved You" CA(G) #334


Lessons: Ezekiel 33:10-11
_______Romans 8:31-39
_______Luke 5:27-32


Hymn: "Be Not Afraid" CA(G) #263

Prayer before Confession

Lord Jesus, your love knows no limits. You meet us on our life's journey with healing and forgiveness. Strengthen us so that we may more faithfully follow your Gospel, and so celebrate the feast of your resurrection with integrity and joy.

Words of Instruction:

You are invited to be seated. After a time of meditation persons desiring to make individual confession you are invited to one of these rooms: Library; Pastors' Offices; Vicar's Office. Should you desire to wait in the Sanctuary, ushers will open the Narthex doors to indicate that a pastor is available to hear confession. Persons who do not desire to make individual confession are requested to leave quietly. Should you want to make confession at a later time, feel free to call a pastor and make an appointment.

The Order for Individual Confession and Forgiveness

P: You have come to make confession before God. In Christ you are free to confess before me, a pastor in His church, the sins of which you are aware and the sins which trouble you.

C: I confess before God that I am guilty of many sins. Especially I confess before you that…

P: Do you believe that the word of forgiveness I speak to you comes from God?

C: Yes, I believe.

The pastor lays both hands on the head of the penitent.

P: God is merciful and blesses you. By Command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I, a called and ordained servant of the Word, forgive you your sins in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen

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