Benevolent and easy-going Father:
We have occasionally been guilty of errors of judgment.
We have lived under the deprivations of heredity and the disadvantages of environment.
We have sometimes failed to act in accordance with common sense.
We have done the best we could in the circumstances,
And have been careful not to ignore the common standards of decency;
And we are glad to think that we are fairly normal.
Do thou, O Lord, deal lightly with our infrequent lapses.
Be thy own sweet Self with those who admit they are not perfect;
According to the unlimited tolerances which we have a right to expect from thee.
And grant us as an indulgent Parent
That we may hereafter continue to live a harmless and happy life
And keep our self-respect.
The original prayer of general confession from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty and most merciful Father,
We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
We have offended against thy holy laws,
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done,
And there is no health in us:
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders;
Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, restore thou them that are penitent,
According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord:
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.