Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An American Prayer Book (2009): A Penitential Service


This service may be used after Morning or Evening Prayer, or after the Litany if the Litany follows Morning or Evening Prayer. It may be used as a part of the Second Alternative Form of Morning and Evening Worship, in which case it may replace the General Confession, the Absolution (or declaration of forgiveness), and the Prayers. It may also be used as a separate service.

When A Penitential Service is used as a separate service, it may be preceded by a Psalm, canticle, or hymn and one of the readings of the day.

The minister says

Brothers and sisters, there has been, from ancient times, a godly custom in the Church, that, at the beginning of Lent, Christian people should be warned and reminded in a special manner, of the wrath of God revealed by heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, in order that they may take to heart their own sinfulness and continuing need to turn to God, and not become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. It is therefore fitting, that at this time (in the presence of you all) should be read the general sentences of God’s cursing against impenitent sinners, gathered out of the twenty-seventh chapter of Deuteronomy, and other places of Scripture; and that you should answer to every sentence, Amen: to the intent that, being admonished of the great indignation of God against sinners, you may be moved to sincere and true repentance, and may walk more warily in these dangerous days, fleeing from such vices, for the which you affirm with your own mouths, the curse of God to be due.

Then the minister says

Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord, a thing made by the hands of craftsman, and sets it up in secret. AMEN
Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father and his mother. AMEN
Cursed be anyone who moves his neighbor’s landmark. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who strikes down his neighbor in secret. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who lies with his neighbor’s wife. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood. AMEN.
Cursed be anyone who puts his trust in man, and takes man for his defense, and in his heart departs from the Lord. AMEN.
Cursed be the unmerciful, the sexually immoral, and the greedy, the idolaters, slanderers, drunkards, and swindlers. AMEN. Keep reading

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