Prayer of Confession: The Anointing of Jesus

Here’s an act of confession inspired by John 12:1-8 (also Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50), where Jesus is anointed with perfume.  It comes from the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways archive.


Call to Confession

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to the home of Lazarus

and received hospitality like no one had seen before –

generous, loving, whole-hearted, and even a little bit undignified. 

His disciple Judas could only see the inefficiency of the gift,

not the spirit of loving-kindness with which it was offered. 

We, like Judas, often want to expedite our giving

without really engaging with those we are called to serve. 

Let us consider the depth of our relationships with those we encounter

and with the One who calls us to faith,

as we confess our sin in silence.


[pause for silence]


Prayer of Confession (unison)


We confess, Anointed One, that we excuse ourselves

from reaching out to those who need your care. 

We take your words – that there will always be unmet needs –

as a reason not to try to meet the needs we can. 

Forgive us, and help us to change. 

Renew our determination to live

as faithful followers, faithful disciples, faithful Christians.           

Help us to work with you for the well-being of your creation,

that the fortunes of all your peoples may be restored.         Amen.


Assurance of God’s Love

We, too, are a part of the Way-Maker’s will for restoration. 

We are called, through Christ Jesus, to strive for restoration,

but we are not called to do this work alone. 

The One who has made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert,

will surely equip us for all we are asked to do in Christ’s name. 

God will empower us to attain all the potential God has placed within us. 

Thanks be to God!


~ posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive.