This prayer service makes a nice accompaniment to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It could also be used for a youth ministry meeting about forgiveness or baptism. The water and the washing are tangible reminders of how Jesus Christ has washed away our sins through his sacrifice on the cross.
If the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not a part of this service, remind the participants to go at the next opportunity to receive the grace of the sacrament.
Washed Away Prayer Service
- washable markers
- basin of water
- Give each person a washable marker.
- Have them write a sin they want washed away on the palm of their hand.
- If the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available, they should go at this point. Otherwise, they can just spend some time in quiet prayer.
- Then they can go to the basin and wash off the sin written on their hand. (Alternatively, a youth minister or core team member can wash their hand for them. In this case, they should be instructed to keep their palm down if they don't want the person washing their hand to see what was written.)
- Close by reading the excerpt below from Psalm 51 together:
Psalm 51: 3-4, 7, 12, 17-19
Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.
Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.
Behold, you desire true sincerity;
and secretly you teach me wisdom.
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.
Lord, you will open my lips;
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;
a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.
This reflection will help youth understand that only Jesus can make us clean. And he wants to do it. All we need to do is ask.