Prayer Service Wednesday 31st March at 7.30 pm Online only

Introductory Notes for the Prayer Service on Wednesday March 31st at 7.30 pm

This week’s Prayer Service is to take the form of a Penitential Service

Even though this service cannot include individual Confession it will still provide an opportunity to express our sorrow for our sins and to seek God’s forgiveness. 

• Pope Francis has spoken about this: he said “I know that many of you go to

Confession for Easter to renew your relationship with God. But some of you ask me: ‘Father, how can I go to Confession when I can’t leave the house”

You may be asking the same question.

  • The Pope’s answer is: “If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your Father, and tell him the truth. 
  • Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon with all your heart.
  •  Make an Act of Contrition and promise God, ‘I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.’ 
  • And immediately you will return to a state of grace with God.”
  • For now, when Confession is not possible because of the risk of infection, the Pope’s advice is good. 
  • Trust your Father. Let nothing get in the way of coming home. 

The Penance Service which is outlined below will be celebrated “online only” on Wednesday next, March 31st at 7.30 pm.

It will be celebrated within a time for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and will include personal prayer-space for you to offer your personal contrition to God.

The service will conclude with Benediction hymns and prayers.


Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

Opening Hymn: O Salutaris Hostia

Opening Prayer:

Lord our God, it is useless for us to hide anything of ourselves from you, since you know us deeper and better than we know ourselves. You call us out of darkness into your wonderful light, out of self-deception into truth. Send your Holy Spirit,
fill our hearts with courage in response to the call of your Son.
We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 


A reading from the book of Sirach 2: 7a 9-11, 17b-18

You who revere the Lord, wait for his mercy… You who revere the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. 

Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed? Or has anyone persevered in reverence of the Lord and been forsaken?
Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress. 

Those who revere the Lord prepare their hearts, and humble themselves before him.
Let us fall into the hands of the Lord… for equal to his majesty is his mercy. 

The word of the Lord.                Thanks be to God 

Responsorial Psalmfrom Psalm 103(102)  

Response: My soul, give thanks to the Lord 

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
all my being, bless God’s holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings. /R. 

It is God who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion. /R. 

God fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy. /R. 

For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is God’s love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west,
so far does God remove our sins. /R. 

Gospel: John 10:10,14. 

Jesus said: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full. 

I am the good shepherd;
I know my own and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; 

and I lay down my life for my sheep.” 

The Gospel of the Lord

Examination of Conscience based on The Our Father

  1. Our Father who art in heaven …

We’re all in this together. The Lord’s Prayer is a communal prayer. Jesus invites us to meet him not only as individuals but as members of a community of believers who have something in common.

Do we think of others when we pray, or are we selfishly focused on ourselves?

Do we recognise the responsibility we share for each other’s welfare?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • Hallowed be Thy name …

We were made ‘holy’ by our Baptism and our mission is to preserve that grace throughout our lives.

Do we live lives that are truly wholesome and good?

Do we make an effort to develop a sense of holiness and respect for life?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • Thy Kingdom come

We can create heaven on earth by living up to the example of Jesus who was just, merciful, and inclusive.

Do we build up the kingdom of justice and truth, or do we destroy it by our greed?

Do we create an atmosphere of forgiveness, or are hard and begrudging?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Jesus gives us the supreme example of obedience to the will of God by his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane – ‘let thy will not mine be done’.

Do we avoid the hard things in life and take the easy way out?

Do we adopt the motto ‘my way or the highway’ because of pride and lack of humility?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • Give us this day our daily bread

This prayer encourages us to live in the present praying for our present needs and nourishment. It also opens up the challenge of acknowledging the needs of the whole community for both spiritual nourishment and the vital sustenance in life.

Do we waste time and energy in worrying about the future and ignoring the present? Do we look beyond our own need for nourishment to the cause of victims of famine?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • And forgive us our trespasses

We need to know our weaknesses and failing before we can ask for forgiveness. This calls for a great deal of honesty, courage and humility.

Do we always blame others for our own mistakes ignoring the truth?

Do we take time to listen when others are trying to point out our faults?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • As we forgive those who trespass against us

These two phrases of the prayer go hand in hand. We don’t understand God’s forgiveness if we cannot forgive ourselves and others in turn?

Do we hold on to past hurts making our own lives and those of others a living hell?

Do we meet others half way or make it difficult to mend fences in relationships?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy

  • And lead us not into temptation

We all know the reality of the slippery slope of temptation – we think that we can be strong and full of resistance – the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Do we avoid situations, people and places which will lead us to fall into bad habits?

Do suffer from the pride of thinking that we can manage our addictions on our own?

If we have failed in this way we ask forgiveness:

Lord, have mercy – Lord, have mercy


Now we make the ACT OF CONTRITION

O my God, I thank You for loving me.
I am sorry for all my sins,
for not loving others and not loving You.
Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again. Amen 


Lord our God, you know all things. You know that we want to be more generous in serving you and our sisters and brothers. 

Look upon us with love and hear our prayer:    R: Lord hear our prayer. 

Give us the strength to turn away from sin. R: Lord hear our prayer

Help us to follow through on our good intentions. R: Lord hear our prayer
Grant us trust in your goodness and make us generous. R: Lord hear our prayer
Help us to be true followers of your Son, living members of his Body the Church.
R: Lord hear our prayer

The Lord delights when we turn to him and live.We pray in obedience to his Son: 




O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament 
have left us a memorial of your Passion, 
grant us, we pray, 
so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption, Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever, Amen.



(adapted from the Orthodox Prayer: Akathist to Our Sweetest Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ; Sweetest Lord, you have delivered us from eternal death) 

Response: Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.

Jesus, inextinguishable loving-kindness: Response

Jesus, most glorious, Jesus, most peaceful! Response
Jesus, most gracious, Jesus, most tender! Response
Jesus, lover of humankind: Response
Jesus, Eternal God! All-merciful Saviour! Response
Jesus, my Hope, Jesus, my Shepherd! Response
Jesus, radiant beauty! Jesus, indescribable love! Response
Jesus, comforter of my soul! My Light, enlighten me! Response
Jesus, constant in mercy! Jesus, calmer of storms! Response
Jesus, Shelter of joy, cover me, though I’m unworthy! Response
Jesus, Finder of those that seek, find my soul! Response
Jesus, Opener to those that knock, open my heart! Response
Jesus, clothe me with the warmth of your Holy Spirit! Response
Jesus, Redeemer of sinners, blot out my transgressions! Response

Jesus, Judge of the living and the dead. Response
Jesus, Hope of the hopeless! Comfort of those who mourn! Response

Jesus, Glory of the poor! Jesus, guide of pilgrims. Response
Jesus, do not condemn me because of my deeds! Response
Jesus, cleanse me according to Your mercy! Response
Jesus, drive from me despondency! Response
Jesus, from sickness of soul and body deliver me! Response
Jesus, God, raise me who am fallen! Response
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me! Response


Concluding Prayer

Lord our God, you created us in love and redeemed us in mercy.
Lord, your sons and daughters stand before you in humility and trust.
Look with compassion on us as we have confessed our sins. 

Heal our wounds; stretch out a hand of pity to save us and raise us up. 

Keep us free from harm as members of Christ’s body, as children of your family.
Do not allow the enemy to triumph over us, or death to claim us forever,
for you raised us to new life in baptism.
Hear Lord, the prayers we offer from contrite hearts. 

Have pity on us as we have acknowledged our sins. 

Lead us back to the way of holiness.
Protect us now and always from the wounds of sin. 

May we ever keep safe in all its fullness the gift your love once gave us,

and which your mercy now restores,

Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Final Blessing: 

May the deep peace of God, 

flowing from the forgiveness offered us in Christ Jesus, 

grow in you, anchor you, and sustain you now and always, 

and may almighty God bless and protect you, 

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Response:     Let us bless the Lord, Thanks be to God