Confession question


After I said the act of contrition, my favorite priest said a prayer, but it did not include the phrase that he obsolved all my sins. Guess I’ll go back next week. My question is, has that part been changed?


PS: too late to edit my post absolve spelled wrong;)


This is what the priest is supposed to say (the bold part is the essential part for a valid 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.”

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.”

“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.”

‘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.”’


Thank you for your reply, I am just going to confession again before next Mass. I know Father didn’t say “absolve”. Maybe I’m supposed to sweat for awhile.


Maybe you just didn’t hear him.


Dearest Rebecca,

Peace to you.

I’m sure your priest did not intentionally leave out any important part of the Sacrament of Confession.

Please, when you go to confession again, tell Father "I have come back to confession because the priest (or you if the same priest) at my last confession did not say “I absolve you…”

The priest needs to know that you are back very specifically because you think the priest left out these words and you feel you are not absolved of your sins from the Confession you made.

Please be at peace while you wait for your next Confession. God is Merciful.

closed #7

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