The Heidelberg Liturgy (1563)

Greeting (1 Tim 1:2)
Psalm (95)

Pastoral Confession

Heavenly Father, eternal and merciful God; we acknowledge and confess before your divine Majesty that we are poor miserable sinners, conceived and born in sin and corruption, prone to all evil, and unfit for any good. By our sinful life, we have continually transgressed your holy commandments, provoked your wrath against us and incurred your just judgment to eternal death.

Sorrow for sin. But, 0 Lord, we repent in sorrow that we have thus offended you, we condemn our iniquities, and ourselves and implore you mercifully to help us in our wretchedness and misery.

Prayer for pardon. Have mercy upon us, therefore, 0 most gracious God and Father, and pardon all our sins, for the sake of the holy suffering of your dear Son; Jesus Christ our Lord.

For sanctification. And condescend to grant to us, henceforth, the grace of your Holy Spirit, that He may teach: us heartily to know our unrighteousness, and make us so to abhor ourselves, that sin may be slain in us, and we may arise to newness of life. Thus shall we produce the perfect fruits of holiness and righteousness with which, for Christ’s sake, You are well pleased.

Prayer for Illumination

For a saving apprehension of the Word. Grant also, that we may rightly understand your holy Word, according to your divine will, that we may learn from then on to withdraw our confidence entirely from the creature, and to put all our trust in you. And may our old man, with all its lusts, be daily crucified more and more, that we may present ourselves to you, as living sacrifices, to the honor of your holy name, the edification of each other, and the furtherance of our salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Scripture Reading (Rom 3,1-5,2)



Reading of the Law

Declaration of Pardon

Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe.

Declaration of Divine Grace to the penitent. Thus says our Lord Jesus Christ, – John 3: 16, For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that all who would believe in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. To as many of you therefore, Beloved Brothers, as abhor yourselves and your sins, and believe that you are fully pardoned through the merits of Jesus Christ, and resolve daily more to abstain from them and to serve the Lord in true holiness and righteousness, I declare, according to the command of God, that they are released in heaven from all their sins, (as He has promised in His gospel), through the perfect satisfaction of the most holy passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Declaration of Judgment on the Impenitent

The sins of the impenitent retained. But as there may be some among you, who continue to find pleasure in your sin and shame, or who persist in sin against their conscience, I declare to such, by the command of God, that the wrath and judgment of God abides upon them, and that all their sins are retained in heaven, and final that they can never be delivered from eternal damnation, unless they repent.

Intercessory Prayers and the Lord’s Prayer

Thanksgiving, for bodily mercies. Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, we give you most hearty thanks, that you have created us, and have preserved, fed and sustained us and our children thus far, and are still willing to keep and govern us. But especially we thank you, that you have given us to know your Son Jesus Christ, and pardon our sins for the sake of His bitter passion and death.

For spiritual mercies promised through the ministry of the Word. We plead with you to renew us in the image of your Son Jesus Christ, by the preaching of your Word, and the power of the Holy Ghost, that so we may, both in soul and body live with you, to praise you, for which we were originally created. Defend us against the malice of Satan, lest he pluck your Holy Word out of our hearts, as he did to our first parent Adam and Eve.

For the civil Authority. And whereas you have ordained civil authorities, by which You govern us, we pray, who have the hearts of rulers in your hands, for ….

Grant to our governors grace and peace, that they may direct their authority to that end, that our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom all power in heaven and earth is given, may reign over them and their subjects, so that the people, who are the creatures of your hands, and the sheep of your pasture, and for whom the Lord Jesus shed His blood, may be governed in holiness and righteousness; and that we may for your sake, show to them all becoming honor and faithfulness, and thus, under their protection, lead an honest, peaceable and Christian life.

For the fruits of the earth. Grant your blessing and favor also upon the fruits of the earth, that we may thus know you as our Father, and the fountain of all mercy and blessing. Preserve us also from war, famine and the swift-spreading pestilence.

For all men. Neither pray we for ourselves alone, but for all men in the whole world, that You would graciously have compassion upon them.

Especially for our persecuted Brothers. And especially for those who have fellowship with us in the Body of Jesus Christ, and who suffer for the truth’s sake. Be pleased, O Father of all Grace, to restrain the wrath of your enemies, who persecute your Son Jesus Christ, in His members, and strengthen the persecuted with victorious steadfastness, and the power of your Holy Spirit, that they may joyfully receive these sufferings from your hand, and in the midst of tribulations experience that peace which passes all understanding.

For all afflicted persons. Comfort and sustain the poor, the sick, widows and orphans, all prisoners, and such as are with child, with all troubled and tempted souls, and grant to them your peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His insured promise: Truly, truly I say to you, all things that you shall ask the Father in my name, will He give to you and who has farther instructed us to pray:

Hallowed be your name. Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who have promised certainly to grant to us those things which we ask for in the name of your beloved Son Jesus Christ: we beseech you to work in our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that we may rightly know you, to sanctify, adore and praise you in all your works, in which your Omnipotence; Wisdom, Goodness, Mercy, Justice; and Truth shine forth. Grant also that we may so order our whole life, all our thoughts, Words and works, that your name may not be profaned, but adored and praised through us.

Thy kingdom come. And so govern us, by the scepter of your Word, and the power of your Holy Spirit, that we and all men, may daily more subject and yield ourselves to your Divine Majesty.

Preserve and extend your Church, and confound all the works of the Devil, and all evil and malicious designs devised against your holy Word. Put your enemies to shame by the might of your truth and righteousness, that every power which exalts itself against your glory may from day to day be more completely rooted up and destroyed, until the perfection of your kingdom shall be consummated, when You shall manifest your glory in your people at the last day, and be forever all in all.

Your will be done. Grant also, that we and all men may renounce our own will, and all the lusts of the flesh, and obey, without contradiction, your good and perfect will, that each one may as faithfully and cheerfully fulfil his duty and calling, as it is done by the angels in heaven.

Our daily bread. Provide for us also, all things needful for our bodies; grant as peace and a wholesome government, that so we may learn to know you as the only fountain of all good, and our faithful Father, who cares for your children, without whose blessing neither anxiety nor labor, nor your mercies will avail, so that withdrawing all confidence from the creature, we may put our trust in you alone.

Forgive our debts. And we pray, for the sake of the shedding of Christ’s blood, reckon not against us poor sinners our iniquities and sins, neither the corruption that still clings to us, inasmuch as we have this evidence of your grace in our hearts, that we forgive those that trespass against us, and desire to promote their welfare.

Lead as not into temptation. In ourselves, O Lord, we are so weak that we cannot maintain our integrity for ‘ a moment, but are continually exposed to the temptations of our enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh. We entreat you therefore to preserve and strengthen us, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that we may steadfastly withstand these foes, and not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but remain firm, until we at length obtain the victory, and reign forever in your kingdom, with your Son, our Lord and Defender Jesus Christ.

For your is the kingdom. These things we humbly ask, that thereby not we, but you may receive eternal praise. Land all this we know You can do for us, since You are Almighty God, and are willing to do, for you are a faithful Father, as certainly as we sincerely desire them, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Psalm (100)