Various forms of confession are possible, including prayers said together, prayers said by the leader alone on behalf of the congregation, responsive prayers with pauses for reflection, and scriptural passages shared together. A confession of sin, whether said together or shared in a responsive form, should allow those present to acknowledge the seriousness of their sin and express genuine repentance. At the same time, it should indicate that the character of God and the saving work of the Lord Jesus are the basis for seeking forgiveness and the grace to change. If possible, a declaration of forgiveness or absolution should be chosen which reflects the language, length and theme of the confession. Suggestions are made at section 6 to assist in this choice.

5.1 Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against your holy laws.
We have left undone what we ought to have done,
and we have done what we ought not to have done,
and there is no health in us.
Yet, good Lord, have mercy on us:
restore those who are penitent,
according to your promises declared to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
And grant, merciful Father, for his sake,
That we may live a godly, righteous, and obedient life,
to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (modified)


Most merciful God,
we humbly admit that we need your help.
We confess that we have wandered from your way:
we have done wrong, and we have failed to do what is right.
You alone can save us.
Have mercy on us:
wipe out our sins and teach us to forgive others.
Bring forth in us the fruit of the Spirit
that we may live as disciples of Christ.
This we ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book


Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all people,
we acknowledge with shame the sins we have committed,
by thought, word and deed, against your divine majesty,
provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us.
We earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings.
Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.
For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake
forgive us all that is past,
and grant that from this time forward
we may serve and please you in newness of life,
to the honour and glory of your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book


Merciful God,
our maker and our judge,
we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed:
we have not loved you with our whole heart,
we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves:
we repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book


Heavenly Father,
we praise you for adopting us as your children
and making us heirs of eternal life.
In your mercy you have washed us from our sins
and made us clean in your sight.
Yet we still fail to love you as we should
and serve you as we ought.
Forgive us our sins and renew us by your grace,
that we may continue to grow as members of Christ,
in whom alone is our salvation. Amen.

Sunday Services


Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you are merciful and kind,
but we have gone our own way,
not loving you as we ought,
nor loving our neighbours as ourselves.
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
We deserve your condemnation.
Father, forgive us.
Help us to love you and our neighbour,
and to live for your honour and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Services (modified)


Heavenly Father,
you have loved us with an everlasting love,
but we have gone our own way,
and rejected your will for our lives.
We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them.
For the sake of your Son who died for us,
forgive us, cleanse us, and change us.
By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you,
and to please you in every way;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Services (modified)


(Come let us return to the Lord and say:)
Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgement;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Common Worship (cf. Hosea 6)


(Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.)
Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Common Worship (cf. Psalm 51)


Gracious God, we have come to see that our lives fall far short of your glory.
Have mercy and forgive us.
You have given your Son for us, and poured out your Spirit, yet we fail to return your love with all our heart.
Have mercy and change us.
Too often we are selfish and proud, ignoring you and neglecting others.
Have mercy and cleanse us.
When we do not truly trust and obey you, we are overwhelmed by self-pity, fear and worry.
Have mercy and deliver us.
In Christ we are given a sure hope and secure love, yet we follow the false hopes and desires of this world.
Have mercy and renew us.
Father, through the redeeming death of your Son, by your Spirit, and through your word,
enable us to follow you with joy.
All this we ask, confident of your faithfulness and love. Amen.

Sunday Services (modified)