Ash Wednesday Prayer of Contrition

Here’s a beautiful prayer of contrition for Ash Wednesday (and the Lenten season).  It was written by William Barclay.

Prayer of Contrition for Ash Wednesday

Save us, O God,
   From the blindness,
      which is not even aware that it is sinning;
   From the pride,
      which cannot admit that it is wrong;
   From the self-will,
      which can see nothing but its own way;
   From the self-righteousness,
      which can see no flaw within itself;
   From the callousness,
      which has sinned so often that it has ceased to care;
   From the defiance,
      which is not even sorry for its sins;
   From the evasion,
      which always puts the blame on someone or something else;
   From the heart so hardened,
      that it cannot repent.

Give us at all times,
   Eyes which are open to our faults;
   A conscience which is sensitive and quick to warn;
   A heart that cannot sin in peace,
      but is moved to regret and remorse.

So grant that being truly penitent we may be truly forgiven,
so that we may find that your love is great enough
to cover all of his sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

~ written by William Barclay in Prayers for the Christian Year (1965).