Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The language of Lent is raw and honest:
We are mere dust, we make mistakes, we need help. In a culture where grievous ways can be posted publicly and circulated widely in mere seconds, garnering advice and vilification by throngs of strangers, we are asked to take 40 days … to begin again, to reconnect with God, and to be renewed and strengthened in a relationship of pure love and perfect forgiveness.
Lent calls us into a strange confluence of our contemporary lives with ancient customs. As we try to move forward in faith, in a rapidly changing world, we are called back, to stand before God and reconnect with practices that have nurtured believers for centuries – deep structures to guide us through the challenges of our modern day.
Recalling Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, the great fasts of Moses and Elijah, the desert time of the Israelites before reaching the Promised Land, and the fervent prayers of generations of believers, we are invited to enter Lent, Holy Time. May we be cleansed, renewed, and prepared to greet Christ on Easter morning, prepared to live on here, with faith.
To assist our observance of holy days, the commemoration of saints, and lesser feasts and fasts, Forward Movement offers three liturgical calendars, as well as daily meditations and a variety of devotional resources.