breast beating

Hi all,
I have heard that some churches have their faithful beat their breast 3 times at a certain point in the Mass. The church that I go to does not do that. Does anyone do this, and why/when is it done? Also, why does every church not do it?

Thanks in advance,
Sheri

It’s in the Confiteor. I posted a question about it in AA. My church does the Confiteor only during Lent, I think, and I recently read that you are supposed to strike your chest 3 times in it but I never noticed anyone here doing that. I think I saw people in the EWTN Mass doing it…

The words, “Through my own fault” in the “Confiteor” are annotated in the reformed Roman Missal with the rubric: “They strike their breast” (“Ordo Missae” no. 3). We are supposed to do it there.

Sometimes you may see people strike their breast three times during the “Lamb of God”. This is not prescribed. It is a gesture that has come from the former Missal. It is always the minority of people who do it.

The old Missal at the “Agnus Dei” had the directive “striking his breast three times” and the same for the “Domine, non sum dignus.” But because the new Missal says nothing on this point (“Ordo Missae,” nos. 131 and 133), there is no reason for requiring any gesture to be added to these invocations: Not 14 (1978) 534-535, no. 10.

You strike your chest (over the heart) 3 times as you say the Confiteor.** Do this as you say,"I have sinned exceedingly in thought ,word and deed**. through my fault…

This practice goes back centuries.

See Luke 18:13

*But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but *beat his breast ** and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

God Bless…

So, I guess my next question is since I don’t hold hands during the Our Father and I don’t walk clear across the room during the sign of peace, if I don’t want to strike my breast, should the situation arise, is that OK?

Dear Sherilo,
You asked “if I don’t want to strike my breast, should the situation arise, is that OK?”

Well actually no. It is in the rubrics that you are required to strike your breast once in the Mass and that is at the words “through my own fault” in the Confiteor.

There are no other times when it is required. Any other strikes are personal inclusions which really are not encourages for this very reason. People question “should or should I not be doing that???” Personal inclusions on behalf of the laity do nothing but confuse the others attending Holy Mass.

Holding hands during the Our Father walking clear across the Church to offer Peace are not requested at all. In fact they are prohibited in Redemptionis Sacramentum. The sign of Peace is only optional for the Priest. If he feels it is not to be included he has the right to leave it out. If he requests it be included then out of obedience and unity it is expected that you offer the sign of Peace to those nearest you. If noone is near you then fine remain in prayer.

In the Novous Ordus Mass the words are.

I confess to Almight God To you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinneed through my own Faults. ***** In my thoughts and in my words, in what have I have done and What I have failed to do… I ask you my brothers and sisters, the belssed Virgin Mary, all the angels and saints. (I add in Heaven) and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the lord Our God…

But I dont not Beat My chest 3 times but I am very penitent. I want everyone to pray for me because I am human and the nature of HUmans is to sin.

[quote=Bill_A]In the Novous Ordus Mass the words are.

I confess to Almight God To you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinneed through my own Faults. ***** In my thoughts and in my words, in what have I have done and What I have failed to do… I ask you my brothers and sisters, the belssed Virgin Mary, all the angels and saints. (I add in Heaven) and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the lord Our God…

But I dont not Beat My chest 3 times but I am very penitent. I want everyone to pray for me because I am human and the nature of HUmans is to sin.
[/quote]

Interesting,

Is this actually considered “the Confiteor”? I know this as one of the 3 forms of the Penitential Rite in the current Missal (and my copy says “they strike their breast” (I assumed this meant once, as opposed to the 3 times during the Confiteor in the 1962 Missal). For what it’s worth, this is what I have as the current translation of the Confiteor (which I have yet to see used in the current Missal):

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints to pray to the Lord our God for me.

May Almighty God have mercy on me, forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen.

Is the previously posted version considered the “new” Confiteor? or is it just a rite based on the Confiteor?

I strike my breast at the elevation of the bread and say “My Lord and My God” three times. With the elevation of the wine, I say “Oh, Ressurection”; “Oh, Ressurection”; “Oh, Wonderful Ressurection”. But thats just me!

I am in RCIA.

Yes, at “Through my own fault” when we confess our sins in the Mass. However, I think it is just a light tap with only a slightly closed hand. Not nearly hard enough to hurt.

To me this adds emphasis to myself that it is my own fault.
I don’t see any other purpose behind it.
It isn’t hard enough to be a penance.

I strike my breast once at the words, “through my own fault”. My missalette has the instructions “the people strike their breasts” at that point. It does not say three times, and I notice that our priest does it just once as well. It is a symbolic gesture: I don’t whack myself, but like jmm use a light tap with a closed hand—it’s a small gesture, not an exaggerated one. Not all of the parishioners do this.

This is not in the same category of not holding hands at the Our Father or zipping around the church at the Sign of Peace: in those cases, refraining from that action is actually in keeping with the rubrics. The striking of the breast IS in keeping with the rubrics. But, as you have no doubt discovered, many Catholics are poorly catechized. If more people would do the little breast-strike, it would encourage others to do so. A lot of people are simply unaware that they are to make that gesture at that point, and so you might be instructing them in their own faith if you were to set an example.

[quote=mtr01]Interesting,

Is this actually considered “the Confiteor”? I know this as one of the 3 forms of the Penitential Rite in the current Missal (and my copy says “they strike their breast” (I assumed this meant once, as opposed to the 3 times during the Confiteor in the 1962 Missal). For what it’s worth, this is what I have as the current translation of the Confiteor (which I have yet to see used in the current Missal):

Is the previously posted version considered the “new” Confiteor? or is it just a rite based on the Confiteor?
[/quote]

Yes it is the Confiteor and in every mass, be the vernacular changes. Each part of the mass, whether it be Byzantine, Eastern Orthosox, Tridentine or Nouvous Ordous Mass. Should Take place in order for a Valid Mass to take place. Accept for the Kiss of Peace, Which I think is a valid part of communion. I would explain this all in greater detail but My Catholic Education in the Diocese of Baltimore was greatly lacking.

You should be able to sit down and looking at the translations from each mass, pick out each part of the mass and the vernacular translation for that part.

In Latin is is:
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatae Mariae semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistae, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres, quia peccavi nimis cogitatione verbo, et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Joannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et vos fratres, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum Nostrum.

Which translates to.
I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, to Blessed Michael the Archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the angels and saints, and to you, brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, deed: (here he strikes his breast three times) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault, and I ask Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Angels and you, brethren, to pray to the Lord our God for me

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