This time of year I hear many confessions and have the joy of pronouncing the holy absolution. Here is that simple, but beautiful liturgy.
Penitent: Pastor, please hear my confession and pronounce forgiveness in order to fulfill God's will.
Penitent: I, a poor sinner, plead guilty before God of all sins.
I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most.
My Lord's name I have not honored as I should;
my worship and prayers have faltered.
I have not let His love have its way with me, and so my love for others has failed.
There are those whom I have hurt, and those whom I have failed to help.
My thoughts and desires have been soiled with sin.
[What troubles me particularly is that...]
I am sorry for all of this and ask for grace.
I want to do better.
Pastor: God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith.
Pastor: Do you believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness?
Pastor: Let it be done for you as you believe [laying on hands]. In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor: [may offer additional words of comfort] Go in peace.