Well, it was a first. I went to confession during the lunch hour here in DC and a young priest I had not seen before was hearing them. After the usual greeting, confession, spiritual direction, Act of Contrition, he proceeded to give Absolution in Latin. It was lovely. Of course, I didn’t have a clue what was being said (of course, I had a CLUE, just as I would had he responded in Polish :-), but recognized the final blessing and said Amen. Next time, I would like to be prepared. Can someone direct me to the approved text of a confession in Latin? I would like to understand and respond to what Father is saying – and maybe have my Act of Contrition in Latin as well.
Before the Second Vatican Council, and still practiced in traditionalist parishes, absolution was given in Latin, followed by another Latin prayer by the priest:
Absolution: “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.”
Translation: “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 Ghost. Amen.”
Post-absolution prayer: “Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, merita Beatae Mariae Virginis et omnium sanctorum, quidquid boni feceris vel mali sustinueris sint tibi in remissionem peccatorum, augmentum gratiae et praemium vitae aeternae. Amen.”
Translation: “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.”
The Act of Contrition was never recited by the penitant in Latin. The only difference is the Absolution and prayer afterwards in Latin. Everything else (confession, Act of Contrition, penance) were always in English.
I have never heard of anybody saying the Act of Contrition in Latin. My parents knew the Pater Noster and Ave Maria in Latin, but they always said the Act of Contrition in English in the traditional confession.
Deus, Pater misericordiarum, qui per mortem et resurrectionem Fílii sui mundum sibi reconciliavit et Spiritum Sanctum effudit in remissionem peccatorum, per ministerium Ecclesiae indulgentiam tibi tribuat et pacem. Et ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
The approved English translation is
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and the 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.
I am pretty sure you are wrong. I’m not fluent in Latin, but I am very familiar with the Misereature and Undulgentiam, and I have never heard these in confession. I hear them twice at Mass, but not before in confession. Granted, I am usually saying my act of contrition, but I still don’t think you’re right. I’m too familiar with those prayers not to have noticed them.
That might exlain it, but I don’t think I have ever heard those prayers at any confession I’ve been to - and, due to my travles, I’ve been to a lot of different Churches.
Do you have a link so I can verify that you are correct? I usually assume that you are right on these things, but would like to check in this case. If it turns out you are wrong, I’ll stop assuming that you are right on liturgical matters.
As a priest is about to absolve a penitent (after having enjoined a salutary penance on him and the latter accepting it) he begins by saying:
May almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and lead you to everlasting life. R.: Amen.
Next he raises the right hand toward the penitent and says: May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, absolution, + and remission of your sins. R.: Amen.
[This is incorrect: the Rituale calls for only one cross, which is later]
Form for Absolution
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you. And I by His authority release you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, in so far as I am empowered and you have need. And now I absolve you from your sins; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. R.: Amen.
If the penitent is a layman the word suspension is omitted. A
bishop in absolving makes the threefold sign of the cross.
Prayer of Indulgence
May the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, and all the good you do and the suffering you endure, gain for you the remission of your sins, increase of grace, and the reward of everlasting life. R.: Amen.
For a good reason it suffices to say the form “May our Lord,” etc., and the other prayers given above may be omitted.
In case of urgent necessity such as danger of death, the priest may use the short form:
I absolve you from all censures and from your sins; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. R.: Amen.
The form in use in the Roman Church today …is divided into four parts as follows: —
(1) Deprecatory prayer. “May the Almighty God have mercy on you, and forgiving your sins, bring you to life everlasting. Amen.” Then, lifting his right hand towards the penitent, the priest continues: “May the Almighty and Merciful God grant you pardon, absolution, and remission of your sins”.
(2) “May Our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you, and I, by His authority, absolve you from every bond of excommunication [suspension, in the case of a cleric only] and interdict as far as I can and you may need.”
(3) “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” (While repeating the names of the Trinity, the priest makes the sign of the cross over the penitent.)
(4) “May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints, what good you have done or what evil you have suffered be to you for the remission of (your) sins, growth in grace and the reward of everlasting life. Amen.”
In the decree “Pro Armenis”, 1439, Eugene IV teaches that the “form” of the Sacrament is really in those words of the priest: “Ego absolvo te a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris” etc., and theologians teach that absolution would be valid should the priest use, “Absolvo te”, “Absolvo te a peccatis tuis”, or words that are the exact equivalent (Suarez, Disp., XIX, i, n. 24; Lugo, Disp., XIII, i, nn. 17, 18; Lehmkuhl, de Pœnit., 9th ed., 199).