Lenten Liturgies

Lent may be thought of as “Long Order for Confession” with Forgiveness and Absolution coming at the Maundy Thursday Liturgy. This is the season, then, to include a weekly Order for Confession, but to omit the words of Absolution. The first option in Sundays & Seasons provides a Brief Order without the words of absolution, but an announcement that God forgives sin through Jesus Christ.
As you plan for the order of Confession, you may consider adapting the Ash Wednesday Rite (ELW pp 252-254):

  • Use the invitation Confession:
  • Allow for a good period of silence.
  • Use the Confession of Sin on pp 252-253
  • Omit the Imposition of Ashes
  • Conclude with the Address: Almighty God, have mercy on us …


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Gathering Hymns might be Lenten hymns (ELW 319-343) or hymns of repentance (599-609).
Processions are generally omitted during Lent, as is the “Hymn of Praise”.  And, of course, the Alleluia.

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Since the Gospel readings for Lent 3, 4, and 5 in Year A are more lengthy than usual, you might divide it into parts, similar to the way the Passion Narratives are structured for congregational reading.  You may also consider inviting the Assembly to sit for most of the reading, standing for the final verses (Jn 4.31-42; 9.35-41; 11.38-45).

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An introduction to the Peace might be:
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The peace of Christ be with you always.
“Create in Me” (ELW 185-188) serves well as the Offertory  by continuing the Ash Wednesday image from Psalm 51.
Eucharistic Prayer I or IV are appropriate for Lent.


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It is appropriate to omit any final hymn and the postlude during Lent.

Possible dismissals for Year A. See also possible dismissal for Year B.
See also possible dismissal for Year C..

Lent 1
Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away.
Happy are they to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Be glad, you righteous.  Go in peace, serving the Lord your God.
Thanks be to God! 

Lent 2
Go forth from this place in peace.  In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 3
Look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.
You are sent forth now in peace to be reapers.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 4
God has made you lie down in the green pastures of the Word, and spread a table before you.
Go now in peace, to do the works of God.
Surely God’s goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Thanks be to God!

Lent 5
All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
When we cry, “Abba, Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
And if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
Go in peace to suffer with Christ so that you may also be glorfied with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory
about to be revealed.  Thanks be to God!

Possible dismissal for Lent Year B:

Lent 1    Today Jesus has proclaimed the good news of God.
Go in peace and believe in the good news.
                Thanks be to God!

Lent 2    What then shall we say to all these things?
                If God is for us, who can be against us?
Take up your cross, go in peace, follow Jesus.
                Thanks be to God!

Lent 3    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.
But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.
Go in peace. Remember the poor.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 4    You were dead through trespasses and sins in which you once lived.
But God made us alive together with Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not our own doing – it is a gift of God.
Go in peace. You have been created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 5    God has forgiven your iniquity and remembers your sin no more.
Go in peace.  Share the good news.
                Thanks be to God!

Possible dismissal for Lent Year C:

Lent 1    The word is near you —
On our lips and in our hearts.
Go in peace. God will give the angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.
Thanks be to God! 

Lent 2    Go in peace. Stand firm in the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 3   In this meal, the Lord has done great things for you.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed!
Go in peace, and come again in joy, shouldering your sheaves.
Thanks be to God!

Lent 4    If anyone is in Christ there is a new creation.
Everything old has passed away. See everything has been made new.
Go in peace. God has entrusted to you the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ. Thanks be to God!

Lent 5    God has formed you that you might declare God’s praise.
Go in peace. God is about to do a new thing!
Thanks be to God!