The Rite of Private Confession and Absolution
Adapted from the Missal of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America.
L: Dear pastor, please hear my confession, and forgive my sins, for the sake of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
L: I confess before you, and before Almighty God, that I have greatly sinned against His holy commandments, in thoughts, words and deeds, and that I am by nature sinful and unclean, and deserve everlasting condemnation. On this account my heart is troubled. I sincerely lament that I have offended the Lord my God, and earnestly pray Him for Christ’s sake graciously to forgive me, and by Holy Spirit to create in me a pure heart, according I believe and trust in His Word.
[In particular it troubles me that …]
And inasmuch as you, dear pastor, have command from the Lord Jesus, as a Minister of the Church, to absolve all those who are truly penitent, I entreat you to instruct and comfort me out of God’s Word, to declare unto me in the Name of Jesus Christ the forgiveness of my sins, and to admit me to the Sacrament of His Body and Blood for the strengthening of my faith, as I purpose with the help of God, to amend my sinful life.
The pastor shall offer counsel and comfort from God’s Word, according to the circumstances and needs of the penitent.
P: Do you believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness?
L: Yes, dear pastor.
P: Let it be done to you as you believe. In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all of your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
P: Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.
L: Thanks be to God!