In Penitence and Faith:

a Service in Lent


Type of service

    A non-eucharistic service for use in Lent;

    A fully worked out sample, suitable for local reproduction;

    Designed to be suitable for regular use, though not for every Sunday in Lent.

The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes here are used as part of the preparation for the service rather than part of the fuller penitential material which occurs later in the service. They can be enhanced by the use of two voices, one taking the first half of each Beatitude and the other responding with the second half.

The version printed here is the Common Worship form, but another form or a different Bible translation could be used.

As an alternative, the ‘comfortable words’ could be used.


A version of Psalm 130 is printed in the order of service (another version, or a different psalm could be used instead). This is intended to give the congregation a chance to become familiar with one particular psalm, which has a seasonal ‘flavour’.

Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei is suggested as part of the preparation for confession. Where a congregation is familiar with a sung setting from the Eucharist, this should be used. If not, a setting could be learnt, or a suitable simple penitential song could be sung instead.

Affirmation of Faith

Placing this in the concluding part of the service helps make the shift from the penitential mood of the rest of the service to preparing to go out into the world full of faith and hope.

Final Prayer

This could be used as a congregational prayer.

In Penitence and Faith

A Service of the Word in Lent

We say together the words printed in bold.

The Greeting

The Lord our redeemer be with you

All   and also with you.

Further words of welcome and introduction may be given.

Opening Prayer

God of our days and years,

we set this time apart for you.

Form us in the likeness of Christ

so that our lives may glorify you.

All   Amen.

The Beatitudes

Let us hear our Lord’s blessing on those who follow him.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,

for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Silence is kept.

Prayer of Preparation

All   Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord.


The Word

After each reading

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Psalm 130

This psalm is used between the readings

Out of the depths I have called to you, Lord.

Let your ears be open to hear my voice.

All   My hope is in God’s word.

If you recorded all our sins

who could come before you?

All   My hope is in God’s word.

There is forgiveness with you:

therefore you shall be feared.

All   My hope is in God’s word.

My soul is longing for the Lord,

more than those who watch for daybreak.

All   My hope is in God’s word.

O Israel, wait for the Lord,

for with the Lord there is mercy.

All   My hope is in God’s word.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All   My hope is in God’s word.

Confession and Forgiveness

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind,

and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All   Amen. Lord, have mercy.

The Agnus Dei may be said or sung

All   Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

grant us peace.

Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God,

though we have rebelled against him.

Let us then renounce our wilfulness and ask his mercy

by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

Wash away all my iniquity

All   and cleanse me from my sin.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Against you, you only have I sinned

All   and done what is evil in your sight.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

All   and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The president declares God’s forgiveness in these or other authorized words

May almighty God,

who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,

bring you his pardon and peace, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

A hymn or song(s) may be sung.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


Prayers of Intercession

This response may be used

Lord, meet us in the silence:

All   and hear our prayer.

The Collect

The Collect is said.

Affirmation of Faith

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

All   Though he was divine,

he did not cling to equality with God,

but made himself nothing.

Taking the form of a slave,

he was born in human likeness.

He humbled himself

and was obedient to death,

even the death of the cross.

Therefore God has raised him on high,

and given him the name above every name:

that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.


A hymn or song(s) may be sung.

Final Prayer

God of compassion,

through your Son Jesus Christ

you have reconciled your people to yourself.

As we follow his example of prayer and fasting,

may we obey you with willing hearts

and serve one another in holy love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

A service from New Patterns for Worship. Compilation copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2002.

New Patterns for Worship, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2002 and published by Church House Publishing.

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