One of the beautiful things about the Pastoral Care Companion is the section it provides at the beginning for pastoral prayer under a variety of situations. I've recently been blessed to use it prior to hearing confessions. What better words could the pastor have on his lips than these before hearing the confession of sin and shame and confessing the absolution of mercy and grace?
Father of mercies and God of all consolation, before You all hearts are laid bare and no secrets are concealed. Open the lips of Your children that they may not hide their iniquity and so waste away in deceit, but in truth acknowledge their sin and receive Your Word of absolution. Guide me, Your servant, by Your Word and Spirit, that I may rightly discharge this holy office with faithfulness and mercy, wisdom and compassion. Guard the door of my lips that I never utter what is divulged in confession and, by the word of pardon that You have placed on my lips, grant that those whose bones have been crushed by the weight of Your wrath might be restored with the forgiveness purchased with the blood of Your Son. Protect them from the accusations of the evil one as he strives to rob them of Your peace. Save them from temptation and keep them in the company of Your holy Church to sing of Your saving righteousness forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
I honestly wonder where this book has been all my ministry. I've needed it for years and years. It helps, brothers. If you don't have it, order it today!