I just got back from receiving the Sacrament of the Reconciliation and i fear that my confession was invalid. I went in as usual, confessed my sins, the priest imposed my penance, i said the act of contrition and then all he said was "i absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Is this a valid absolution?
As long as the priest said, “I absolve you from your sins”, it is valid. It is wrong of the priest to shorten the absolution unless it is an emergency, but it is still valid.
“I absolve you from your sins” is generally considered the necessary part of the form of absolution (in the Latin Church) to be validly absolved. Though the Council of Trent (and St Thomas Aquinas) seem to suggest that “I absolve you” is all that is actually necessary for correct form:
“The holy synod doth furthermore teach, that the form of the sacrament of penance, wherein its force principally consists, is placed in those words of the minister, I absolve thee, &c: to which words indeed certain prayers are, according to the custom of holy Church, laudably joined, which nevertheless by no means regard the essence of that form, neither are they necessary for the administration of the sacrament itself.”
- The Council of Trent, Session XIV, Ch 3
“Pastors should not neglect to explain the form of the Sacrament of Penance. A knowledge of it will excite the faithful to receive the grace of this Sacrament with the greatest possible devotion. Now the form is: I absolve thee, as may be inferred not only from the words, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven, but also from the teaching of Christ our Lord, handed down to us by the Apostles.”
- Catechism of the Council of Trent, The Sacrament of Penance
‘Now this sacrament, namely the sacrament of Penance, consists not in the consecration of a matter, nor in the use of a hallowed matter, but rather in the removal of a certain matter, viz. sin, in so far as sins are said to be the matter of Penance, as explained above (Article 2). This removal is expressed by the priest saying: “I absolve thee”: because sins are fetters, according to Proverbs 5:22. “His own iniquities catch the wicked, and he is fast bound with the ropes of his own sins.” Wherefore it is evident that this is the most fitting form of this sacrament: “I absolve thee.”’
- St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Q84 Article 3
The current usage of the Roman Rite uses this form of absolution:
“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
There are two possibilities here:
He said the beginning of the formula of absolution either silently or in an undertone while you were saying the Act of Contrition. Then he said the rest of it so you could hear it. He said the essential words of the sacrament, “I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Thus, you were validly absolved.
He skipped the first part of the formula altogether, but still said the essential words of the sacrament as above. Thus, you were validly absolved.
In either case, you were validly absolved. Be at peace.
Yes. The words “I absolve you” or “ego te absolvo” are the minimum necessary words for the validity of the sacrament.
I was recently concerned that I was not asked for an act of contrition. However, I had said, at the end of my sins, how sorry I was, and it was very clear I was VERY sorry. The priest and I talked about some things, and then he absolved me. I was taken aback since I didn’t get to say my ‘act of contrition’, but upon further review later, my declaration of sorrow and contrition didn’t need to be the formulaic prayers if the priest chooses not to ask for one.
God bless you! Keep going to confession!