Last weekend I went to confession and the priest was new to our parish. After I said the Act of Contrition the priest began the words of absolution and unfortunately I wasn’t paying critical attention to him until I heard “… I forgive you…” I was startled and asked him, when he finished, “Excuse me, Father, but did you absolve me?” He said he did but I can’t imagine him using the words “absolve” and “forgive” in the same formula.
I had no mortal sins to confess so I’m not worried at this point about the validity of the Sacrament, which is in doubt. The next time I meet this priest in the confessional I will be listening very carefully not only to his advice but also to his formula for absolution. If he does not use the words “I absolve you,” how would you advise I handle it?