(Confession adapted from ‘prayers and reflections for the anniversary of the martyrdom of Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero’. Assassinated 24th March 1980, during mass, after speaking out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture.)
We come here today with, to bring, and to find, the peace and blessing of God the Farther, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
May the peace of The Lord be with all
Share a sign of the peace with one another.
We also come with the blessing of David Cameron, who has encouraged us, as Christians, to be "more confident", "ambitious" to "get out and make a difference", to "improve our society" to "educate" to "infuse politics" with "Christian ideals and values" such as "responsibility...compassion, humility and love".
So we are here in the great Christian tradition. A tradition of those called to love their neighbour; to care for the least of them. We remember the prophets who were called to speak truth to power, to hold leaders to account. We remember the God given responsibility that humanity are to be good stewards of God's good creation.
Part 1: Confession
Let us pray.
Creator God. We live in a world marked by profound injustice. The vast majority of our sisters and brothers on this earth live in poverty and misery, their human, social and political rights ignored, their dignity daily violated. This is not a consequence of fate or chance, but the result of human behaviour. It is the world we have made.
As church, we have often been too afraid, too comfortable, too intimidated, too timid to name this sin of our world. Too often we as church have been part of creating this injustice, either by commission or omission, and this has caused us to fail in our duty to be prophetic. We don't want to be made uncomfortable. We don't want to give up the privileged places we often hold in our world, for we, too, have sometimes benefited from injustice.
On this day we remember, particularly, the impoverished of this world, who do not cause climate change but are the first to feel and suffer the effects.
So we come in repentance of our neglect and betrayal of our gospel faith.
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Therefore to all who truly repent this is his gracious word: 'your sins are forgiven.'
Amen. Thanks be to God.