People: Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. Priest: We have strayed from our own responsibilities to families and communities, thinking that we would thus be free.
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have been too sentimental and at the same time have followed too much the logic of our minds; we have built great universities to search our truth, then hidden behind their ivied walls to protect ourselves, from strife and danger.
We have offended against thy holy laws.
We have allowed our communities and nations to respect selfishness and injustice and have washed our hands of the “due process of law.”
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done.
We have been irresponsible in our economic life and allowed unrighteousness to hold sway in politics and the struggle for power,
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
We have lived at the expense of our poorer brothers and sisters at home and abroad; we have used the terrible destructiveness of science against our enemies; we have judged others by the languages people speak, the color of their skin, their sex or gender, and their religion.
And there is no health in us.
There is conflict in the depths of our souls which has driven us into sickness of mind and body,
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
We have considered ourselves untainted by the evils of our modern world.
Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults.
Be they personal, social, cultural or religious sins,
Restore thou those who are penitent.
Who would change both themselves and their society,
According to thy promises declared unto humankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Through whom together we are raised up into thy kingdom on earth and in heaven.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober life,
Ordered by thy law and freed by thy grace,
To the glory of thy holy name. Amen.
[Adapted from The Wideness of God's Mercy]