18 November 2008

And just when I thought...

...I had dug up all the prayer gems in Treasury of Daily Prayer, along comes another:

A Prayer of One Preparing for Confession and Absolution

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner! Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light upon my path. It has laid bare my sin, for which I deserve nothing but punishment; yet, it has also declared to me Your grace and mercy and forgiveness.

As You have taught my heart to believe and to trust in You, so shall I also confess with my mouth. Grant me the honesty to examine my life according to Your holy Ten Commandments, especially as they address my vocations in life. Discipline me as Your beloved child. Enable me to recognize my sin, to know and feel it in my heart, and rightly to bemoan and lament my iniquity and offenses. Give me both humility and courage to confess my sins and to receive from my pastor Your Holy Absolution, according to Your good and gracious will. Invigorate my faith, through this same word of forgiveness, to have no doubt, but firmly to believe that by it all my sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

You have called and sent my pastor, in Your name and stead, to hear my confession with Your ears of mercy and to forgive me with Your own voice. Since You have chosen to deal with me in this way, allow me not to neglect Your gift but to lay hold of it with eager confidence. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and restore to me the joy of Your salvation; for Your name's sake. Amen. [page. 1462]

This beautiful prayer (which begins with the Jesus prayer) follows hard on the Preparation for Confession and Absolution According to the Ten Commandments.

Dr. Korby, I know you are celebrating this in heaven as you continue to pray for us here below!


Scott Larkins said...

If only. There's not a Parish within reasonable driving distance that offers private Confession and Absolution. There are six LCMS Parishs near. A few of them Confessional. Yet no private Absolution. What went wrong? And when?


edie+steve said...

We love our TDP book. We've only had it a week or so. And we took your advice and bought our pastor one. Thanks for the prompting.

William Weedon said...


If you end up in St. Louis, you should look up Asburry at Hope. He'll gladly hear your confession.


GREAT! I'm glad you're loving it!

Lutheran Lucciola said...

I just got mine, as it was delivered to my folks house. (Big items aren't safe here, they get stolen!) I love it.

My dad (not Christian, or not really as far as I know right now), was looking through it, and he said, "This stuff is so Catholic!" (Which is not a good sign from him.)

I told him Luther wasn't trying to throw everything out, just the stuff that was 'BS'.

I think it made a bit of sense to him. Which is a milestone in my mind.

We also bought one for our pastor, and might have to give it to him early before Christmas. I think the cat is out of the bag. ;-)

Chris Jones said...

Fr Weedon,

If one has to go all the way to St Louis to go to confession (quite a drive for me, as you know), then there is no unity of faith and practice in our Synod. I don't think you take that seriously enough.

Also, I have to ask you about the last sentence of your post: that wasn't an invocation, was it? If not it was perilously close to one.

Jon Townsend said...

Scott: Insist your pastor offer it.

He is bound by his office to provide it and with great joy.

Be so bold as to tell him he is sinning if he does not hear your confession.

Look up Luther's "Brief Admonition to Confession and Absolution", it appears in the Augsburg Fortress edition of Luther's Large Catechism - copy it and give it to him.

Again, he is bound by his office to offer you this comfort.

William Weedon said...

Amen, Jon. I think Scott, meant, though, that offers it at a scheduled time. Many pastors will gladly hear confession if YOU schedule a time with them to hear it; but they offer no set times. Our parish does offer set times, but MOST of the confessions I hear are at OTHER times - by individual appointments.

Chris, I mentioned St. Louis to Scott because I know he is frequently IN the city. I wasn't suggesting you make the journey! Although I'd love to see you and Iris again and would be happy to offer private absolution. As to the last sentence, let's call it an apostrophe!

William Weedon said...


LOVE your dad's reaction AND your response. Bingo! Enjoy the book - it sets a huge feast before you.

William Weedon said...

For Scott, I meant to add this to answer your question:

what went wrong was the loss of what was our regular practice for centuries of Vespers on the Eve of the Feast or Sunday after which private absolution was regularly offered. Under Pietism, private absolution was assailed (as a lie!) and people stopped coming in droves. The pastors at the time (also tainted by pietism) were reluctant to push it. It dried up. But there has been a wonderful revival of it in numerous places among us, and as Jon said: go to your pastor and MAKE him hear your confession. How to is right in the book, and he's got the Pastoral Care Companion with more helps than he could possibly ever want to help speak the word of absolution and apply the comfort of God's Word to any poor sinner. Pax!

Scott Larkins said...

Pietism! I suspected as much. I'm in St.Louis almost weekly. When I'm there overnight I've often thought about looking up Hope. Fitting name. Many of our Pastors in central Missouri would be happy to hear private confession. It would be nice if it were scheduled on a weekly basis. That's what I'm on about.

Past Elder said...

I quite agree. Luther wrote somewhere that if we really understood these things we would run a hundred miles to get them. I haven't noticed anyone showing up out of breath at my parish, so zu sagen.

Then too, I don't suppose we need to take the lack of confessionals, or if we are to follow Vatican II For Lutherans in this too, Reconciliation Rooms, as a sign of its absence, or start installing same in our churches.

Anonymous said...

Pr. Weedon,

As I was praying out of my TDP the other day---btw, you should really get one of these, I think you'd like it---the psalmody I was directed to pray went like this: "Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars...praise him you waters above the heavens."

That wasn't an invocation of the sun, moon, stars and water, was it? And don't get me started on the invocation of the loud boiling testubes that so many of our beloved parochial school children are engaging in. I thought we only prayed to God. Are we becoming pantheists?

Color me concerned.


The Reverend Fr. Michigan J. Frog

Chris said...

Fr. Weedon,

You did not answer and, frankly, avoided Chris Jones' question regarding doctrinal and practical unity in the synod when private confession and absolution are only available some places and not others. Though an outsider, but as a former LCMSer, the lack of any doctrinal and practical unity does no one any service. Confessionals like you cannot simply have the luxury of saying "well, everyone has a different point of view." Such is contrary to the Church.

William Weedon said...


Scott clarified that he meant SET TIMES for offering confession and absolution. I indicated that in my pastoral practice, MOST confessions take place at private appointments rather than during the posted times. To say that the parishes do not offer posted times is not at all to say that the pastors are unwilling to administer private absolution. I think Chris (Jones) misunderstood what Scott was saying; he wasn't saying that absolution wasn't available. I've never met a Missouri Synod pastor who would decline to hear a confession and grant absolution when asked. On that, I believe that there's a great deal of unity in our Synod. I wish that more parishes posted times, but whether posted or not, the gift is still available for the asking.

I NEVER said that everyone has a different point of view. I'd also remind you that since you are not a Lutheran, it ill becomes you to tell Lutherans what they can and cannot do. I do not meddle in Orthodox parishes with their practice - even the practices I believe to border on idolatry - and I expect the same behavior from those who visit here in regards to MY Church. It's only common courtesy and good will. Ex-Lutherans who seem to feel the need to run down Lutherans at every breath need to look to their own repentance and stop being busy-bodies about other's repentance.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Weedon,

Yeah, the LCMS doesn't manifest the unity we have in Christ all too perfectly, that's for sure. Then again, neither do I. Perhaps we should send our holy men out and beat these less than stellar congregaions and their pastors into the appropriate shape. I hear that's all the rage in certain quarters. You know, show a little "church militant" on these guys, all for the sake of properly manifesting the church triumphant.

Don't tell me I'm a close minded lcms pastor. I pay attention to the church at large. I even learn from it.

The Rev. Fr. Michigan J. Frog

Anonymous said...

For those of you who are more visually(!) oriented:


The Reverend Michigan J. Frog