A Psalm for Ash Wednesday...
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
5 And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.
6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother’s womb.
7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10 Hide your face from my sins, *
and blot out all my iniquities.
11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence, *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13 Give me the joy of your saving help again, *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
14 I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
and sinners shall return to you.
15 Deliver me from death, O God, *
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
O God of my salvation.
16 Open my lips, O God, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
17 Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, *
but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
18 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.