Act of Contrition OUTSIDE the Confessional?

Hello! I have a friend whose Priest insists that those who want to go to him for Confession say their Act of Contrition outside the Confessional, while they are waiting to go to the Sacrament. Is this licit? I said I would find out and get back to her. Can you help?

Glenda

The Rite for Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution does not require the Act of Contrition since confession is preceded by prayers and readings. However in the normal course of events of usual confession times we follow the Rite for Reconciliation of Individual Penitents which states:

**PRAYER OF THE PENITENT AND ABSOLUTION
**
45. The priest then asks the penitent to express his sorrow, which the penitent may do in these or similar words:

It then follows with the Act of Contrition and several other shorter prayers and Scripture quotes that may be chosen from. However, note that it doesn’t say that the expression of sorrow even has to be from that list. So as long as the priest receives *some *kind of expression of sorrow from the penitent after the confession of sins it appears to be perfectly licit.

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