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‘Miserable offenders’

16 May 2012


From the Revd Jonathan Frais

Sir, — The Revd Jonathan Clatworthy directs our attention to the Prayer Book confession in which we call ourselves “miserable offenders”, and argues that modern liturgies ought to “reaffirm what is most important about human life” (“God, am I really that bad?”, Church Times Guide to the BCP, 27 April).

But, in a gospel setting, “miser­able” means “in need of mercy”, and acknowledges our need for a sin-bearer to replace our guilt with peace. Could it be that modern liturgies have a diminished view of sin, and therefore a diminished appreciation of the joy of salvation?

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