Saturday, September 22, 2012

2: How to Confess Your Sins - Traditional Latin Rite

Confessionals for pilgrims at the Shrine of St. James in Compostela, Spain

To read an overview of the differences between the form of the traditional Latin sacrament of penance and the Novus Ordo form, see my previous blog 1: How to Confess Your Sins - Traditional Latin Rite See also How to Go to Confession and Manners for Penitentsfor more details, including how to prepare for confession other things you must do, and some etiquette suggestions.

If you haven't been to confession for  along time, remember this, the priest is going to be happy for you.  He may not say it, but he knows that heaven rejoices whenever a sinner turns to God and asks forgiveness.  Remember the image of Christ the Good Shepherd who went out to seek the lost sheep and returned rejoicing to the other sheep carrying the sheep over His shoulders.
Earliest image of Christ the Good Shepherd (200-300 AD), Catacomb of Domitilla
If you can't remember what to do or you get upset or flustered, tell the priest!  He'll be glad to guide you.

NOTE: Make the sign of the Cross while the priest says the blessing.
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Penitent: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It is (X days, weeks, months, years) since my last Confession. And these are my sins.
Tell the priest the number and kind of your sins, then say: For these and all the sins of my past life, I ask pardon of God, penance, and absolution from you, Father.
NOTE: The priest may give you some spiritual advice before he gives you a penance. The penance is usually in the form of a certain number of prayers or other pious actions.
Priest: Now say a good Act of Contrition.
English: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because they offend Thee, who art all Good and worthy of all my love. And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
NOTE: Make the Sign of the Cross when the priest says the words, "ego te absolvo ...."
Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis (suspensionis) et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges. [making the Sign of the Cross:] Deinde, ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and by His authority I absolve you from every bond of excommunication and interdict, so far as my power allows and your needs require. [making the Sign of the Cross:] Thereupon, I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, merita Beatae Mariae Virginis et omnium sanctorum, quidquid boni feceris vel mail sustinueris sint tibi in remissionem peccatorum, augmentum gratiae et praemium vitae aeternae.
May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints and also whatever good you do or evil you endure merit for you the remission of your sins, the increase of grace and the reward of everlasting life. Amen.
Penitent: "Thank you, Father"
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