I’m a dirty rotten…

…sinner.

Yup.

And every single week, I say it loud and say it proud.

We’ve been attending an Anglican church since last fall, which means that our worship is offered through liturgy. Midway through the service, after lots of unadorned, proclaimed Scripture readings and a sermon, there is a time for confession. We confess our faith, and we confess our moral skunky-ness. This is my favorite part of the service next to communion. Listen to these words:

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 we humbly repent.
For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in Your will,
and walk in Your ways,
to the glory of Your Name. Amen.


It is completely possible to say these words on autopilot. I haven’t been able to do it yet. I hope I never do.

About Michelle Van Loon
  • The Oho Report

    Michelle,
    Your words reminds me to confess my sin more often. Through my self-centered eyes I have discounted my sin.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Otto

  • Eric Nygren

    I grew up in the Lutheran church and we had a prayer very similar to that with one line added.

    Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed…”

    I remember as a kid first of all thinking “why do we have to confess every week. I also remember how monotonous those words sounded.

    It’s strange how I haven’t thought about those words in a long time, yet it’s like an old favorite song, once you started to quote them I could hear myself reciting them in my head.

    I wonder in our Evangelical world if we’ve become so informal that we are missing out on some of this “high church” liturgy. If you do stop and think about what you’re saying it is pretty powerful.

  • Michelle Van Loon

    I can see how praying the same prayer can become rote – as a Jewish kid, I memorized a bunch of prayers in Hebrew, but had no blooming idea what I was saying. (And like you discovered, I can say them now verbatim even though I rarely do as an adult.)

    I bet (in fact,I know) there are creatives ways for a church with low/informal listurgy to bring in some of these high church elelents – either intact, or trying to draw the intention of one or two of them into your own weekly services.

    Stay dry!


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