Lord have mercy
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Lord have mercy. I confess. Origins of this prayer. A general confession of sin Preparatory prayer used by the priest just before Mass 12 th Century – used by everyone at the beginning of Mass. Preparing ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

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Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy

I confess

Origins of this prayer
Origins of this prayer

  • A general confession of sin

  • Preparatory prayer used by the priest just before Mass

  • 12th Century – used by everyone at the beginning of Mass

Preparing ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries
Preparing ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries

  • When we come into the awesome presence of God we become aware of who we are

  • Sinners in need of God’s mercy

  • In the ‘I confess’ we publicly acknowledge this fact

Owning up
Owning up

  • In the ‘I confess’ we admit our own personal responsibility

  • We remind ourselves of the many ways that we sin

  • Thoughts that lead to

  • Words that lead to

  • Deeds

  • What we have done

  • We have failed to do

Closer to the latin
Closer to the Latin

  • through my fault

  • through my fault

  • through my most grievous fault

  • mea culpa

  • mea culpa

  • mea maxima culpa

This is a ritualised poetic way to emphasise our awareness of sinfulness

It expresses the sincerity of our contrition

Modern blame culture
Modern blame culture

  • When I say ‘I confess’ I take responsibility

  • Our modern culture looks for others to blame....

  • Think of examples of this

  • In owning up we realise and acknowledge that we need to change

  • This is the basis of conversion of heart or metanoia

Hardness of heart
Hardness of heart

  • When we refuse to look at ourselves

  • When we do not own up

  • When we think we have done no wrong

  • This is called hardness of heart

  • The opposite of hardness of heart

  • Is humility

  • A word which comes from the same root as humus –earthed

  • Humility is about standing in the truth of who I am

A request for prayer
A request for prayer

  • It is out of the awareness of our need that we ask

  • God

  • Mary

  • The Angels and Saints

    To pray for us to the Lord our God

Our sin affects everybody

Words of absolution
Words of absolution

  • May almighty God have mercy on us

  • forgive us our sins

  • and bring us to everlasting life.

  • The priest says these words for all of us and himself

  • These words impart the forgiveness of God

  • Just as when we pray any act of sorrow

Origins of lord have mercy
Origins of ‘Lord have mercy’

  • Began as a litany fifteen hundred years ago

  • Everyone would be invited to pray for an intention

  • This could be quite long

  • Developed into

  • 3 Kyrie eleisons

  • 3 Christe eleisons

  • 3 Kyrie eleisons

  • addressed to the Trinity


  • How does this prayer link into your pattern of daily prayer?

  • Why is this a prayer to be used regularly in the season of Lent?

  • How will you feel as you say the new phrases of the revised text?