Doubts about confession

This has never happened to me before.

The other day, I went to confession. I proceeded as normally and listened to the priest’s advice after confession. I made an Act of Contrition and then the priest said something so quickly, which ended ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen’ and then asked me to say a prayer for my penance. I was so doubtful about what he had said – partly because it was so quick, partly because I didn’t understand it – that I followed Fr Z’s advice and asked him to repeat the absolution. Then, the priest said ‘I absolve all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’

I really wanted to ask again, since I know that the minimum correct form is ‘I absolve you of your sins etc.’, but I was actually so disorientated and confused by now –*and did not want to cause offence –*I just said thank you and left.

I would just throw in that the priest was not of my nationality and there were clearly some language issues.

I had really want to communicate at Mass, so after this confession I did so, but I had serious doubts about it.

Please could you answer, on balance, was my confession likely to have been valid? Did I do the right thing, with my doubts, in receiving holy communion? If I determine it probably was not valid, will I have to make the same confession again?

truth is, how can anyone else judge the validity of the confession as no one was there. you yourself is doubting it and everyone else here will only rely on your account of what happened to judge validity.

my advice is, trust your priest that he knows what he is doing.

I think you’re okay. The indicative form of Confession must include some form of “I absolve thee” or “I absolve you” from what I understand. That seems to have been done. Also, the priest must intend to confect the Sacrament, which again, seems to have happened.

I would go to Communion, but maybe venture to a nearby parish and go to my next Confession there and just mention it to soothe your mind. I don’t care where I go to Confession. :slight_smile: Wherever it’s most convenient is where I go.

You fulfilled your obligation and the priest said the words of absolution were said, so therefore your sins ARE forgiven. If it makes you feel better, go again, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, absolution happens regardless of whether the priest is actually thinking about or means what he is saying/says. Remember that he is there in the place of Jesus. Only God has the power to forgive sins. This is why during mass the bread and body become the body and blood of Christ… because it has nothing to do with the priest. Otherwise, think about it, every single priest who has ever celebrated mass (excluding the Great High Priest himself) has sinned… some of them very gravely. If it was by their virtue, the great miracle by which bread and wine become flesh and blood would never happen!!! Once again, as long as you made the confession with contrite heart and the words of absolution were said, ur all right! So to sum it up, don’t worry about it!!! All the sins of your life up to this point in life are now forgiven and believe it or not God has actually forgotten all of them (forget which saint said that…)!!! Believe that, and go with joy to love and serve the Lord!!!

As long as the priest said that he absolves your sins, or absolves you of your sins, that is enough :slight_smile: in the Eastern rites, the absolution formula is different, but this is how it is in the Latin rite. I don’t think the absolution was invalid…

Thank you for your responses.

I appreciate and understand what has been said, but it is more to do with the fact that priest did not say ‘I absolve you’ but ‘I absolve all your sins’, the meaning of which is different.

You were forgiven, so put your mind at ease.

I don’t understand your doubts. You know the correct formula is ‘I absolve you of all your sins’, you know the priest SAID ‘I absolve all your sins’, those are the words you heard.

How is ‘I absolve all your sins’ different in meaning to ‘I absolve YOU of your sins’?

Do you think a priest can’t absolve sins as well as people? Let’s look at the definition of the word

ab·solve (b-zlv, -slv)
tr.v. ab·solved, ab·solv·ing, ab·solves

  1. To pronounce clear of guilt or blame.
  2. To relieve of a requirement or obligation.

a. To grant a remission of sin to.
b. To pardon or remit (a sin).

Clearly the wording used was correct, and had the same meaning even.

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