Penitence in the 1962 Book of Common Prayer Canada


Today at Church our Rector used the BAS “Litany of Penitence” in place of the BCP general Confession in the Communion and based his sermon on this Ash Wednesday Litany. He seems to think it particularly well written and something we should all hear.  Personally I’m not too thrilled with mixing in the mediocre language of BAS with the beauty of the BCP language, the language the way  Shakespeare wrote it. Especially as the Rector had available a BCP service that fits much better with the language of the 1962 Canadian Book of Common Prayer.  See for yourself ( in the Prayer Book Society of Canada’s “The Prayer Book Online.”)  beginning on page 611:

A PENITENTIAL SERVICE

FOR USE ON ASH WEDNESDAY AND AT OTHER TIMES

This Office may be used as a separate service, or with Morning or Evening Prayer, Litany, or Holy Communion. When used with Morning or Evening Prayer, it may take the place of all that follows the Benedictus or Nunc Dimittis, beginning at Miserere Mei, Deus, Psalm 51.

When this Service is used alone, the Ministers and Clerks shall enter the Church in silence. and begin it with the Sentences following:

JESUS came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the Gospel.

St Mark 1. 14, 15.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

St John 6. 37.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

St Matthew 11. 28–30.

Then may be sung a penitential Hymn.

On Ash Wednesday or early in Lent, the Priest shall turn to the people and say the following Exhortation:

BRETHREN, in the primitive Church it was the custom to observe with great devotion the days of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, and to prepare for the same by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided also a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for holy Baptism. It was also a time when such persons as had, by reason of notorious sins, been separated from the body of the faithful, were reconciled and restored to the fellowship of the Church by penitence and forgiveness. Thereby the whole Congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution contained in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have, of a renewal of their repentance and faith. I therefore invite you, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance, by prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and by reading and meditation upon God’s holy Word.

Here shall be read the following LESSON: Joel 2. 12–18.

Then the Priest, in the place where he is accustomed to say the Litany, shall Say with the People, all kneeling, PSALM 51, Miserere Mei, Deus, page 394. After which he shall say:

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Minister. O Lord, save thy servants;

People. That put their trust in thee.

Minister.
Send unto them help from above;

People. And evermore mightily defend them.

Minister. Help us, O God our Saviour;

People. And for the glory of thy Name deliver us; be merciful unto us sinners, for thy Name’s sake.

Minister. O Lord, hear our prayer;

People.
And let our cry come unto thee.

Here the Collect of the day shall be said if it be not used elsewhere in the Service. Then the prayers flowing shall be said.

O LORD, we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O MOST mighty God, and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made; who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he should rather turn from his sin, and be saved: Mercifully forgive our trespasses; receive and comfort us, who are grieved and wearied with the burden of our sins. Thy property is always to have mercy; to thee only it appertaineth to forgive sins. Spare, O Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast deemed; enter not into judgement with thy servants, who truly repent us of our faults, but so make haste to help us in this world, that we may ever live with thee in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Priest and people say:

TURN thou us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned. Be favourable, O Lord, Be favourable to thy people, Who turn to thee in weeping, fasting, and praying. For thou art a merciful God, Full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. Thou sparest when we deserve punishment, And in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy. Spare thy people, good Lord, Spare them, and let not thine heritage be brought to confusion. Hear us, O Lord, for thy mercy is great, And according to the multitude of thy mercies took upon us; Through the merits and mediation of thy blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If there be a Communion, the Priest may then begin the Communion, rehearsing the Ten Commandments, with the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel provided for Ash Wednesday.

If there be no Communion, the Priest shall read St Matthew 5. 1–20, or some other portion of the Sermon on the Mount, after which an instruction may be given.

He shall then end the Service with the devotions following, or other prayers from this Book.

Priest and People. Lord, for thy tender mercies’ sake, lay not our sins to our charge; But forgive that is past, and give us grace to amend our sinful lives; To decline from sin, and incline to virtue, That we may walk with a perfect heart before thee, now and evermore.

Priest. Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

People.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Priest. Lord, hear our prayer.

People. And let our cry come unto thee.

Priest. Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who forgavest the people of Nineveh when they repented in sackcloth and ashes: Mercifully grant that we, truly repenting of our sins, may obtain of thee perfect pardon and release; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD our Father, who makest thy sun to rise upon the evil and upon the good, and sendest rain upon the just and upon the unjust: Help us to love our enemies, and to forgive those who trespass against us, that we may receive of thee the forgiveness of our sins, and be made thy children in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Anthem, which may he said or sung, all kneeling:

O KING all glorious amid thy saintly company, / who ever shalt be praised:

Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, / and we are called by thy holy Name.

Leave us not, O our God; / but grant us that with a pure conscience we may duly keep the Paschal Feast,

And at the day of judgement / be placed in the number of thy Saints and chosen ones, King most blessed.

Then the minister alone shall say:

THE LORD bless us, and keep us. The LORD make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, both now and evermore. Amen.

THE BCP Litany

If our rector wanted the responses,  he could have used the BCP Litany. I miss the BCP Litany; haven’t attended one since moving to Kitchener 18 years ago. Our Toronto church used schedule a choral BCP litany on the 5th Sunday of the month. Here it is thanks to the Prayer Book Society of Canada’s “The Prayer Book Online” beginning on page 30.

THE LITANY

Which may be sung or said before the Holy Communion; or after the Creed at Morning or Evening Prayer, instead of the remaining part of the Service; or as a separate service, with Hymns, a Psalm, a Lesson, the Creed, and a Sermon, at the discretion of the Minister.

The Litany should always be used at least once a month on a Sunday, and is commended for use on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Rogation Days.

O GOD the Father, Creator of heaven and earth : have mercy upon us.

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth : have mercy upon us.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world : have mercy upon us.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world : have mercy upon us

O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful: have mercy upon us.

O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful: have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God : have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God: have mercy upon us.

REMEMBER not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood.

Spare us, good Lord.

FROM all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting condemnation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all uncleanness in thought, word, and deed; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death,

Good Lord, deliver us.

From all sedition, conspiracy, and rebellion; from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By thine Agony and bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; by thy sending of the Holy Spirit; by thy heavenly Intercession; and by thy Coming again in glory,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of tribulation; in all times of prosperity; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgement,

Good Lord, deliver us.

WE sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God: and that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church universal in the right way.

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To keep and strengthen in the true worshipping of thee, in holiness of life, and in devotion to her people, thy servant ELIZABETH, our most gracious Queen and Governor,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To be her defender and keeper, giving her the victory over all her enemies,

 We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and preserve [*………] and all the Royal Family,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

* Here shall be named, as determined by authority from time to time, the several members of the Royal Family.

To give to all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living they may set it forth and show it accordingly,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

[To bless thy servants at this time to be admitted to the Order of Deacons or of Priests, and to pour thy grace upon them; that they may duly execute their office to the edifying of thy Church, and to the glory of thy holy Name,

We beseech thee, good Lord.]

To be used in the Ember Weeks, and on the day of an Ordination.

To send forth labourers into thy harvest; to prosper their work by thy Holy Spirit; to make thy saving health known unto all nations; and to hasten thy kingdom,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless the people of our Country and the Commonwealth, and to endue those set in authority with grace, wisdom, and understanding,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and guide the Judges and Magistrates, giving them grace to execute justice, and to maintain truth,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and keep the Queen’s forces by sea, and land, and air, and to shield them in all dangers and adversities,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To give to all nations unity, peace, and concord, that they may serve thee without fear,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and protect all who serve mankind by their labour and learning,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To preserve all that travel, all women labouring of child, all sick persons and young children; and to show thy pity upon all prisoners and captives,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To defend, and provide for, all widows and orphans, and all who are desolate and oppressed,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bless and keep all thy people,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To give to all thy people increase of grace, to hear meekly thy Word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To strengthen such as do stand; to encourage the faint-hearted; to raise up those who fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To succour, help, and comfort all that are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To have mercy upon all men,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so that in due time we may enjoy them,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

To give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to thy holy Word,

We beseech thee, good Lord.

SON of God, we beseech thee to hear us.

Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world;

Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world;

Grant us thy peace.

O Christ, hear us.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us. 

Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Then shall follow the Collect of the day.

A Prayer of Saint Chrysostom.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13. 14.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

When the Litany is read immediately before the Holy Communion, the Minister may proceed, after the Lord’s Prayer of the Litany, to the Communion Service, which may begin with the Mutual Salutation and the Collect of the day.

A SUPPLICATION

Which may be used before the Prayer of Saint Chrysostom in the Litany, or at other Services, especially in the Penitential Seasons and in times of trouble.

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

Minister. O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thine honour.

Minister. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

People. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Minister and People. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

From our enemies defend us, O Christ;

Graciously look upon our afflictions.

Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts;

Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people.

Favourably with mercy hear our prayers;

O Son of David, have mercy upon us.

Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ;

Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ.

Then shall be said one or both of these prayers, with the versicles preceding:

Minister. O Lord, let thy mercy be shown upon us;

People. As we do put our trust in thee.

Minister.

WE humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; and, for the glory of thy Name, turn from us all those evils that we most justly have deserved; and grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living, to thy honour and glory; through our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Minister. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins;

People. Neither reward us according to our iniquities.

Minister.

O GOD, merciful Father, that despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as be sorrowful: Mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and graciously hear us, that those evils, which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us, be brought to nought; and by the providence of thy goodness they may be dispersed; that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Other prayers from this Book may be added, concluding with the Prayer of Saint Chrysostom and the Grace.

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About thebows99krug

Hi, I am Eric, a retired librarian. I was born in St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto and raised in the downtown area north of the Art Gallery, south of the University of Toronto. I went to Orde Street Public School, Harbord C.I., University College at the UofT and the UofT's Faculty of Library and Information Science. I meet my wife Patricia at FLIS; our first date was on November 15, 1968. We were engaged February 14, 1969 and married on June 21, 1969. Our family includes son, James; daughter-in-law, Erin; (both writers), grand-daughters, Vivian and Eleanor; and Pooka, a small but fierce gray tabby. I would like to hear from any other class of '63 alumni of Harbord C.I. and class of '67 alumni of UofT's University College.
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