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No. 03 Lord Have Mercy

An introspective and honest journey of repentance – both personally and corporately. Carried by a sparse piano and string quartet, this dark journey invites us into the depth of our sin…and the nearness of God’s mercy and forgiveness. In the spirit of a moveable Ash Wednesday experience.

Although dark and heavy, and beckoning us into some difficult places, this journey keeps bumping into grace and beauty along the way. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and there is a palpable HOPE bubbling up throughout.

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Lord Have Mercy


Opening Reading

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get’.

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner’.

Lord Have Mercy

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted”. (Luke 18:10-14, NIV)


Emmanuel Aaron Niequist

Can we just admit together we’re not fine?
Cause I’m not fine, and you’re not fine.

Can we just admit together we’re afraid?
Cause I’m afraid, and you’re afraid.

Can we just admit together we have doubts?
Cause I have doubts, and you have doubts.

Can we just admit together we’re not free?
Cause I’m not free, and I want to be.
If you’re not free, then sing with me

God with us today
We humbly call out to Your name
As near as our need
As close as the air that we breathe

Lord have Mercy

Let us pray.
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.


Prayers of openness (space)


Can we just admit together we have failed?
Cause I have failed, and you have failed?

Can we just admit that our hands aren’t clean?
And our hearts aren’t clean, and they’ll never be.
Until we’re freed, and mercy sings

God with us today
We desperately cling to Your name
As near as our need
As close as the air that we breathe

Lord have Mercy


Psalm 51

“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit,
to sustain me.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”


Litany of Penitence

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind, and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Lord have Mercy

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ.
We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Lord have Mercy

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness:
the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

Lord have Mercy

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways,
and our exploitation of other people,

Lord have Mercy

Our anger at our own frustration,
and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

Lord have Mercy

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

Lord have Mercy

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.


How Long?

How long will we fight to stay alone?
How long?

We will do what we can do but we can’t do a lot.

Lord, Lord have mercy, Lord

As near as our need
As close as the air that we breathe


Come Thou Fount Robert Robinson

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Oh here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above



Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who desires not the death
of sinners, but rather that they may turn
from their wickedness and live.
You pardon and absolve all those who truly repent,
and with sincere hearts believe Your holy Gospel.

Therefore we beseech You to grant us true repentance
and Your Holy Spirit, that those things may please You
which we do on this day,
and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy,
so that at the last we may come to Your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.