Can absolution be given while the act of contrition is being said?

I went to confession yesterday. After confessing my sins, the priest asked me to say the Act of Contrition. While I was saying it, the priest prayed the absolution prayers over me out loud, so both of us were praying out loud at the same time! I am now worried my confession was not valid since I am not sure if he absolved me in the correct way, and I am not sure if he absolved me in the name of the Father, Son, etc., as I could not really hear everything he was saying. Do I need to go to confession again?

It’s probably safe to assume your confession was valid. Just because you could not make out the words of absolution does not mean the priest did not say them. But if you must go to this priest for confession in the future, and he does this again, I recommend stopping, then snagging his attention (“Father!”). When he stops talking, say politely and perhaps with a touch of humor: “Father, I am so sorry, but I am not used to the polyphony style of contrition and absolution. Would you please allow me to pray the Act of Contrition first, by myself? Thank you—O, my God. . . .” (The idea here is to make the request and then immediately launch back into the Act of Contrition without waiting for the priest to respond to this “request,” assuming by your act that the priest is not going to contradict your “request” by speaking over you again.)

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