Litany: Psalm 51 and Psalm 103

Here’s a responsive litany of confession and assurance, contrasting verses from Psalm 51 with verses from Psalm 103.  The congregation (or a second reader) is invited to read Psalm 51 (in bold print); the worship leader reads Psalm 103 (in regular print).

Litany of Confession
(Psalm 51 & Psalm 103)

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
            Our God is merciful and gracious,
            slow to get angry, and full of unfailing love.
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my shameful deeds—they haunt me day and night.
            God will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
            God has not punished us for all our sins,
            nor does he deal with us as we deserve.
            For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
            so great is his love for those who fear him;
            as far as the east is from the west,
            so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

I was born a sinner—from the moment my mother conceived me.
            God is like a father to his children,
            tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
            For he understands how weak we are;
            he remembers that we are only dust.

You desire honesty from the heart;
teach me to be wise in my inmost being.
            For our days on earth are like grass;
            like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
            The wind blows, and we are gone—
            as though we had never been here.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and make me willing to obey you.
            For the love of the Lord remains forever
            with those who fear him.
            His salvation extends to the children’s children
            of those who are faithful to his covenant;
            those who obey his commandments.

The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
            Our God is merciful and gracious.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship