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LENT PENITENTIAL 7

Below is a ready-made script for a penitential service for Lent.

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
Lent Penitential 7

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group
11-18

Aim
To prepare for Easter by examining our consciences

Faith Group
Christian

Resources
Booklets containing the service, so that the children can make the responses
These booklets could be kept for future years

Time of Year
Lent
Could be adapted for Advent

OTHER DETAILS
The theme of this service is 'building up Christ's new kingdom'
Younger children may benefit from seeing a large picture of a building, with the following words written on the bricks: love, forgiveness, peace, repentance, joy, help, prayer, patience, honesty, self-control, care, generosity, mercy

Script
INTRODUCTORY RITES
Stand.

Hymn: 'Here I Am, Lord' by D. Schutte (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 285)

Greeting
PRIEST: Peace and joy to the friends of Jesus who gather together to ask forgiveness for their sins.
Peace be with you all.

ALL: And with your spirit.

Why we are here
PRIEST: Come Holy Spirit and renew in our hearts the desire to follow the Lord Jesus.

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit, come.

PRIEST: We have been called, all of us, to build up Christ's kingdom of love. Jesus our Lord said, "Love one another."

ALL: We have all been called to build up love. Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts that we may build up Christ's kingdom of love.

PRIEST: Jesus our Lord said, "Forgive one another".

ALL: We have been called to build up forgiveness.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts that we may build up God's kingdom of forgiveness.

PRIEST: Jesus our Lord said, "Be at peace".

ALL: We have been called to build up peace.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts that we may build up Christ's kingdom of peace".

PRIEST: We have been called to build up Christ's new kingdom.
May we answer that call generously and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.

Silent Prayer
Pray for a while in silence, thinking especially about God's love for us. His love for us is like that of a kind and merciful Father who is always ready to forgive us.

Opening Prayer
PRIEST: Brothers and sisters. God calls us to conversion.
Let us therefore ask him for the grace of sincere repentance.

Silent Prayer
Ask God, quietly to help you to be truly sorry for anything you have done wrong, any sins you have committed.
A sin is when we refuse to love and please God our Father and when we refuse to love our neighbour. If we are truly sorry. for our sins, God will forgive us. in the Sacrament of Penance. through the words and actions of the Priest - and then we can return to God and love him fully.

Opening Prayer continued
PRIEST: Lord, hear the prayers of those who call on you.
Forgive the sins of those who confess to you, and in your merciful love give us your pardon and your peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord...

ALL: Amen.

________

CELEBRATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

PRIEST: The first reading is from Luke 15: 11-32.
It is the story of the Prodigal Son. Many sinners came to listen to Jesus. He told them that there was a place for them all in his Kingdom. He told them that God the Father loved them and wanted to forgive them. He invited them to repent and to turn back to the love of the Father.

When the enemies of Jesus saw him talking to sinners they said, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them". So Jesus told them this parable.

"A man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me". So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son left for a distant country where he squandered all his money.

When he had spent it all, there was a severe famine in the country. The boy began to starve, so he hired himself out to one of the landowners, who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.

Then the boy realised how stupid he had been and he felt sad. He said to himself, "I will leave this place and go to my Father and say, "Father I have sinned against you and against heaven. I no longer deserve to be called your son: treat me as one of your paid servants". So he left the farm and set off for his home.

While he was still a long way off his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly."

This story shows that whatever our sinfulness, our sorrow wins immediate forgiveness from God.

ALL: Whatever my sinfulness, my sorrow wins immediate forgiveness from God.

CHILD: The second reading is from one of St. Paul's letters.
"Where there is peace, the Holy Spirit is present and at work there.
Where there is love, the Holy Spirit is present and at work there.
Where there is forgiveness, the Holy Spirit is present and at work there.
Where there is joy, the Holy Spirit is present and at work there."

ALL: Where there is forgiveness, the Holy Spirit is present and at work there.

Homily
There may now follow a homily which will encourage us to examine our consciences in order to return to God to love Him fully. If so, sit.

________

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
Sit

PRIEST: Sometimes we refuse to build up Christ's new kingdom.
We refuse the help of the Holy Spirit.
Instead of building up the new kingdom we tear it down, we sin.

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by refusing to forgive.
Did you fail, in your heart, to forgive someone who did you a wrong?
Maybe someone at home or at school was unpleasant to you - and you still bear a grudge.

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by refusing to be at peace. Have you failed to be at peace with your parents, with your brothers and sisters, with your friends at school?
Are you at peace with yourself?
Do you like to fight, or contradict, or quarrel?
Are you ready to accept law and authority?
Are you a good loser?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by refusing to help.
Have you refused to help at home, at school?
Have you failed to offer old people your help?
Have you failed to help your parents when they were tired?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by failing to pray at home, or perhaps at school or in church.
Did you decide not to say your prayers at home, because you were tired or wanted to do something else?
Did you allow yourself to be distracted during prayers at school?
Did you not concentrate during Mass?
Did you go to church. without thinking about what you were doing?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by refusing to spread joy.
Are you bad-tempered?
Do you complain a lot?
Do you make other people angry or unhappy by your attitude?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by being impatient.
Do you expect people to do a lot for you?
Do you always expect to get your own way?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by being dishonest.
Do you tell the truth?
Have you let your friends or family down, by your words or actions?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by failing to practise self-control.
Do you use bad language?
Do you daydream?
Do you use your gifts and talents properly?

(Silence)

Sometimes we tear down Christ's new kingdom by refusing to love.
Have you failed to show love to your family?
Have you been proud. or jealous, or mean, or selfish?
Have you been greedy?

(Silence)

________

RITE OF RECONCILIATION
Kneel

PRIEST: We confess that we have refused the help of the Holy Spirit, that we have refused his good ideas, that we have refused his inspiration, that we have refused his guidance, we confess that we have worked at tearing down Christ's new kingdom many times and we are sorry.

ALL: I
I confess to almighty God,
and to you my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.


PRIEST: The Lord is merciful. He makes us clean of heart and leads us out into his freedom when we acknowledge our guilt. Let us ask him to forgive us and bind up the wounds inflicted by our sins.
For the times we tore down the new kingdom by refusing to forgive someone who did us wrong, we are sorry.

ALL: We are sorry, for Christ calls us to be his builders.

PRIEST: For the times we tore down the new kingdom by refusing to be at peace in our homes and with our friends, we are sorry.

ALL: We are sorry, for Christ calls us to be his builders.

PRIEST: For the times we tore down the new kingdom by refusing to help others, we are sorry.

ALL: We are sorry, for Christ calls us to be his builders.

PRIEST: For the times we tore down the new kingdom by not caring enough about others, we are sorry.

ALL: We are sorry, for Christ calls us to be his builders.

PRIEST: For the times we tore down the new kingdom by being selfish in any way, we are sorry.

ALL: We are sorry, for Christ calls us to be his builders.

PRIEST: Jesus Christ has called us to be his builders.
We have failed to answer his call many times. We are sorry.
Let us now pray to God our Father, in the words Christ gave us - and ask him for his forgiveness and protection from all evil.

ALL: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

PRIEST: Lord, draw near to your servants who in the presence of your Church confess that they are sinners.
Through the ministry of the Church free them from all sin, so that, renewed in spirit, they may give you thankful praise.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

ALL: Amen.

________

PROCLAMATION OF PRAISE
Stand

It is usual for this section to follow confession, but it is inserted here, so you can return to class after you have made your confession.

ALL: Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness, his mercy is eternal.
Give thanks to the God of Gods, his mercy is eternal.
Give thanks to the Lord of Lords. his mercy is eternal
Eternal his mercy, who does great deeds as none else can.
Eternal his mercy, whose wisdom made the heavens.
Eternal his mercy, who poised earth upon the floods.
Eternal his mercy, who made the stars. the sun and the moon.
Eternal the mercy that divided the Red Sea in two.
Eternal the mercy that led Israel through its waters.
Eternal the mercy that rescues us from our enemies.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, his mercy is eternal.

Concluding Prayer of Thanksgiving
PRIEST: All-holy Father, you have shown us your mercy and made us a new creation in the likeness of your Son.
Make us living signs of your love for the whole world to see.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

ALL: Amen.

________

CONCLUDING RITE

Blessing
PRIEST: May the Father bless us, for we are his children, born to eternal life.

ALL: Amen.

PRIEST: May the Son show us his saving power, for he died and rose for us.

ALL: Amen.

PRIEST: May the Spirit give us his gift of holiness and lead us by the right path to build up Christ's new kingdom, for he dwells in our hearts.

ALL: Amen.

Hymn: 'Freely, Freely' by C. Owens (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 209)

________

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION
Sit

Remain quietly in your place until it is your turn to talk to the Priest.
While you are waiting, you can re-read the section called Examination of Conscience.
You should also read and think about the following:-

"A humbled heart is pleasing to God". The road to freedom is a long and hard one. I become more and more free, as I learn to overcome my weaknesses.

I have a duty to help and forgive others, just as they have a duty to help and forgive me.

God loves me and accepts me just as I am. I need never be afraid that he will reject me.

I cannot overcome sin on my own. I need the help and support of my fellow-men and of God, who is my Father.

Prayers to say before confession
Sit or kneel

1. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God.
Yes, I turned away, but I have repented.

2. Come Holy Spirit help me! Help me to remember my sins, to find out what I did wrong, to be sorry and start again.

3. 0 God, you search me and you know me. You know me through and through. You know my weaknesses and my difficulties, my failures and my struggles.
Send me Your Spirit, so that I may have the strength to follow where you call and to be obedient to your will.
Make me a true disciple of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Words for Confession
Kneel

When you talk to the Priest, you may use your own words or you may use these:

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
It is... (say how long) ... since my last confession.
Here are my sins. .. (Tell the Priest Your sins and ask him for any help or advice you need.
The Priest will give you a penance and will then ask you to pray for God's forgiveness. You can use one of these prayers.)....

1. 0 my God, I thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for not loving others and not loving you. Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again,
Amen.

2. Oh my God, because you are so good, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you - and by the help of your grace I will not sin again.

3. Lord, I am sorry and ask for forgiveness for my sins.
With your help, I will try not to sin again.

The Priest will say the words of absolution and you answer Amen.

Your sins are now forgiven. Return quietly to your place, to say your Penance.

Prayers after Confession
Kneel

1. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother Of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

2. Our Father...

3. God our Father, you have forgiven my sins.
You have given me your love and peace.
Help me to forgive others.
Help me to bring love and peace everywhere I go.




S. Daly 2000


Last updated 25-7-12.


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