For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
(Psalms 51:3, NRSV)
O, God, when we pause to look back at our lives on this Ash Wednesday, we realize that we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
We have neglected to do good when it was in our power to do so.
We, like believers of old, have pulled down your altars
and erected idols crafted in our own image.
We have turned our backs on the poor,
choosing instead to criminalize poverty.
We have ignored the cries of the motherless, the fatherless,
the widow and the widower
choosing instead to turn children and the elderly into the new poor.
We have bankrupted the country with our greed and
consumed more than our share of the world's riches
We have not dealt honorably with our enemies or our friends,
and we have feigned a place in the company of the righteous.
Forgive us, O God, for turning sackcloth and ashes into a fashion statement
by pursuing form without substance.
Forgive us, O God, for the times we have neglected to provide our children
and our world an authentic example of Christianity.
As we begin the journey of these 40 days
Wash us, O God and we shall be clean
Cleanse us, O Lord, and we shall be made whole. Amen.
Words of assurance: Hear the Good News.
The LORD, our God, is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love (Joel 2:13).
God hears the earnest cries of the repentant and forgives our sins.
See the Spanish Traslation by Julio R. Vargas-Vidal -- Oración Comunitaria de Confesión para Miércoles de Cenizas