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ADVENT PENITENTIAL

Below is a ready-made script for a school Advent penitential service.

Feel free to adapt it to suit your school and age group.

You can also submit your own scripts via
timeforassembly@btconnect.com


This site was formerly known as
'School Assemblies for Busy Teachers'.





Assembly Title
Advent Penitential

Submitted by
J. O'Brien

Age Group
8-18

Aim
To prepare for Christmas by examining our consciences

Faith Group
Catholic
Christian

Resources
Taize music

Time of Year
Advent

Other Details
This can be a penitential service, or, if priests are available, private confessions can be offered near or at the end of the service. If private confessions are held, Taize music could be played quietly in the background during the time of private reflection.

If priests are available, they can be allocated parts of the following to read. The service could be posted to them in advance, so they have a chance to prepare.
If not, children or teachers can read the following.

The reading from Matthew could be replaced by the parable of the Lost Sheep, if this service is held for younger children (Luke 15. 3-7).

This could be adapted to be used during Lent.

Script
HYMN:
"The Servant King" by Graham Kendrick (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 187)

ALL:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

INTRODUCTION:
Advent is a time of preparation. The word advent comes from the Latin word venio, which means come. We are using it now to mean the coming of Christ.
Jesus has already come of course. He is here with us now.
But, once a year, we celebrate when he came to us, as a baby in Bethlehem.
We need to prepare ourselves to celebrate this great event. We are human and have human weaknesses. We need to stop from time to time to reflect on our weaknesses and to ask God's help to be and to say sorry for them.

OPENING PRAYER:
Father, through your Son you have made us a new people. Look on us now as the new creation of your love, and by the coming of your Son cleanse us from every stain of sin.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

READING:
(Alternative reading for younger children - Luke 15. 3-7)

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 5.1-9)
How happy are the poor in spirit:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown to them.
Happy the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:
they shall be called sons of God.

HOMILY: (Ad lib - if there is a priest available.)

CONFESSION OF SIN:
Father, we confess that we have not always been POOR IN SPIRIT.
We have sometimes gone our own way and tried to build our own happiness, without giving much thought to you or your plans for us.
We have sometimes been arrogant and made others feel small.
We have insisted on what we want and made others unhappy.
(Pause for silent prayer.)

Father we confess that we have sometimes lacked GENTLENESS.
We have been harsh in our judgement and treatment of others.
We have not always accepted the faults and failings of others with patience and gentleness.
We have spoken harshly and acted harshly to others.
We have not always listened to others.
We have not always shared the pain and suffering of others.
(Pause for silent prayer.)

Father, we confess that we have not always HUNGERED AND THIRSTED FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.
We confess that in lots of little ways we have added to the injustice, oppression and poverty of our world.
We confess that we have not always been just. We have behaved unfairly to others, even those we love dearly.
We confess that we have forced others to fit in with our plans. We have oppressed others with our own fears and anxieties.
We confess that there have been times when we have given way to greed and over-indulgence. We have not always been generous in sharing our riches with those in desperate need.
We admit that there have been times when we have passed by those who needed our help.
(Pause for silent prayer.)

Father, we have not always been PURE IN HEART.
We confess that we have not always told the truth or been honest in our dealings with others.
We have sometimes pretended to be what we are not.
We confess that we have led others astray and involved them in our lack of openness and honesty.
(Pause for silent prayer.)

Father, we have not always been PEACEMAKERS.
We have quarrelled and argued.
We have been moody, irritable and jealous.
We have sometimes caused misunderstanding and strife in our home and our world.
(Pause for silent prayer.)

Father, we realise that in these and many other ways we have not lived your life of love. We have disfigured the presence of your own Beloved Son within us and in our world. We have damaged others who are precious to You. We ask for your forgiveness and healing.

PRAYER OF SORROW:
My God, I know that you love me and I know that your love for me is not a changeable love, but an eternal love.
I know that you love me just as I am -
that I may be foolish or unintelligent -
that I may be weak or strong -
that I may be stable or rather unbalanced.
That doesn't matter - I KNOW THAT YOU LOVE ME.
Better still - I know that you are happy to love me.
I know that you love me when I feel lost - when I realise I am a sinner - when I am poor not only in worldly goods but in virtues.
I know that you love me and you are happy to search for me.
I know that you are there like the shepherd searching for his sheep.
I know that I can give you a marvellous sense of joy when I let you find me again.

SIGN OF PEACE:
Let us all now share a sign of peace with the people near us. (Shake hands.)

BLESSING: Go forth in peace, have courage, hold on to what is good;
return no one evil for evil;
strengthen the faint hearted;
support the weak;
help the suffering;
honour all men and women;
love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
May Almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AMEN.

HYMN: "God Forgave my Sin" by Carol Owens (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 209)




S. Daly 2000


Last updated 24-7-12.


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