Psalm 51 Expanded (A Prayer of Confession for Ash Wednesday)

This prayer of confession is interspersed with the language of Psalm 51.

Prayer of Confession

Have mercy on us, God,
according to your faithful love.

Wash us clean of guilt;
purify us from sin.

O God, you alone know our hearts:
the hurts we hide,
the grudges we nurse,
the apathy we bear,
the disdain we cling to,
the selfishness we drown in.

Create in us a clean heart,
and put a right spirit within us.

As we enter this season of Lent,
mend our broken hearts,
strengthen our faint hearts,
open our walled-up hearts,
transform our cold hearts,
and renew us from the inside out.

Return the joy of your salvation to us
and sustain us with a willing spirit.

Make of our hearts echoes of your Great Heart,
slow to anger, quick to forgive;
large enough to encompass the whole world,
so strong not even death could still it forever.

We pray in the name of the Christ,
in whom all things are made new. Amen.


Assurance of Forgiveness

Even in sorrow, there is good news:
that Christ has opened a door out of death,
broken the chains of sin,
and is alive in us through the Spirit even now.

In Christ there is forgiveness,
and in him is an abundance of redemption.
We repent, we relent,
and we embrace God’s new life for us. Amen.

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