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From Kathy Swaar

Call to Worship/Invocation based on Psalm 25:1-10 (can either be used as a unison prayer, or set responsively).

To you, Holy One, we lift up our hearts,
our souls, our very lives.
We rejoice in your Presence,
raise our voices in thanks and praise.
Pour your Spirit out upon us as we worship, Author of Life.
Lead us and teach us, that steadfast love
and faithfulness may mark our days.

Prayer of Confession based on Genesis 9:8-17, Psalm 25:1-10, Mark 1:9-15

Forgive us, Holy One, for all the times
we misappropriate, misconstrue,
misrepresent, and misapply your Word.

You speak of covenant.

What we think of—especially during these Lenten days—
is duty, obligation, expectation; rules and regulations;
consequences—by which we mean punishment.

What you mean—what your intent has always and ever been—
is relationship, connection, collaboration.
Because your story is, above all else, a love story.

You speak with love, in love.
You draw in, make way, instruct; offer mercy,
redemption, restoration, salvation.

You call us “Beloved,” and ask us to
regard and relate to one another the same way.

Forgive us when we don’t.

Forgive us for the times
we put words in your mouth,
the instances when we refrain from voicing life and love and hope.

Silent prayers of confession may be offered here.

The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.
God’s covenant—God’s Word—endures forever,
and God’s Word is Love, Mercy, Salvation.
Believe this Good News, and be at peace.
In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

For Ash Wednesday:

‘Return to love’
Psalm 51:1–12


I have turned from you,
Holy One, Holy Three;
rejected your promises, ignored
your Way of Love.

Teach me again, Wisdom
guide of my heart and mind;
help me find my way again
into grace, into Love.

Blow through me, cleansing
Breath: renew, revitalise
these bones and sinews, veins
and arteries; fill me with your Love.

Recreate me, Maker, Source
of Life; I have become twisted,
lost the shape you formed.
Create me anew, for Love.


Assurance of grace

Friends, Holy One delights in you,
welcomes your return:
so turn, and hear again –
you are made new,
by Spirit, Wisdom, Source
of Love.

From Sarah Agnew

‘Breathe Again’
Confession, Thanksgiving, and Praise
after Psalm 51:1–17
for Ash Wednesday

I stop.
Drop to my knees.
I can see,
I will look,
all the ways I have not
walked Your Way.
By my shame
I am brought
to my knees;
in my sorrow
I fold my head low,
for I know
You know
there is nothing left
but to confess.

I confess.
Hear me fairly,
look through Your eyes
of lovingkindness
that see
and then choose not
to see
so I may breathe

I stop.
Drop to my knees.
I can hear,
I will listen,
in the chamber of my
secret heart –
oh, meet me there,
Merciful One,
and whisper joy,
promise grace
as you have of old,
and I will lift my eyes,
throw wide my arms
and let you in
where You – to my surprise
and my delight – have told me
You will dwell!

I thank you:
this freedom,
this life,
this begin anew.
I thank you
as I breathe

I stop.
Drop to my knees.
I can speak,
I will sing,
Your story
and your glory
shining, shimmering,
sparkling glass of bubbling gold
that overflows!
Come near,
people dear:
come sing the Song of Life,
the Song of Joy!

We praise You,
Source of Life;
we praise You,
Way of Life;
we praise You,
Breath of Life,
and we breathe

For Lent 1

The Way of Holy One
Psalm 25:1–10

I turn to you, Holy One,
my deepest, truest, self.

I trust in you, Holy One:
shelter me from shame.

We trust in you, Holy One:
shelter us from shame.

I learn from you, Holy One;
teach me your Way of Love.

I hope in you, Holy One,
my liberation, justice, truth.

we hope in you, Holy One,
our liberation, justice, truth.

Remember, please, Holy One,
your enduring mercy and lovingkindness.

Do not remember, Holy One,
please, my turning from your Way.

Remember us, Holy One,
in the light of your mercy and love.

You are good, Holy One,
good and generous and just.

Teach the humble, Holy One,
what is right, and good, and just.

Teach the humble, Holy One,
lead us to walk your path.

Your paths alone, Holy One,
are the paths of faithful lovingkindness.

All who follow Holy Ones’ Way
will find steadfast, life-giving love.

Teach us to walk, Holy One,
your way of justice, kindness, love.

Every third stanza could be spoken by the people together.

‘Parting company’

Mark 1:9–15

tear the clouds apart,
rip open the sky,
let me through, let
me through – and Spirit
nose-dives like a dove for
a worm, ‘tward Wisdom
Incarnate to embrace,
as the voice, the Source
declares what is: Beloved,
offspring of Love Divine,
such delight —

and then she turns,
she drives him out to the wilds
and the beasts; did Spirit speak
to the angels as they passed
in flight? Don’t leave him
alone, though he must go and we
must stay, I’m away
to wait for time to pass,
and to mend the hole in the sky …

People can find more prayers for Lent at


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