Memorizing Act of Contrition


#1

My daughter is so nervous about memorizing the Act of Contrition. We have all the prayers memorized, except this one & we have practiced it a lot.

We attended a reconciliation workshop yesterday that included a craft, activity, video and time in the sanctuary. We had so much fun, however when we got home, my daughter started worrying about this prayer & concerned about following the order of confession. She is a bit of a worrier :slight_smile:

Since I have not received my first penance yet- I am not certain if you can read the Prayer from a card or does it have to be memorized?

Thank you!


#2

In my experience, there is always something printed available in the confessional. If this is her first penance, I would practically guarantee it! :D

While it is admirable to memorize the AofC, I personally, have never seen the reason.:shrug:
I have always felt that a heart-felt, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my a humble & contrite sinner" or something to that effect, simple & to the point, is better expression of my contrition that just some words I have memorized.

Just my :twocents: :)


#3

[quote="katesmom, post:1, topic:311963"]
My daughter is so nervous about memorizing the Act of Contrition. We have all the prayers memorized, except this one & we have practiced it a lot.

We attended a reconciliation workshop yesterday that included a craft, activity, video and time in the sanctuary. We had so much fun, however when we got home, my daughter started worrying about this prayer & concerned about following the order of confession. She is a bit of a worrier :)

Since I have not received my first penance yet- I am not certain if you can read the Prayer from a card or does it have to be memorized?

Thank you!

[/quote]


#4

You can bring a card in, but is it coming from her heart?

In essence, you can make up your own act of contrition. I am sory for hese sines and will try nog to them again.

\Anything that expresses sodrrow is lefitimate.

Don’t worry, it the priest doesn’t like it, he will tell you.

God loves you


#5

St. Hilary, I notice that your routinely double post with one post being the quote and one being the response. The response should go in the same message. Perhaps it would be best to skip the quote and simply post a response.

Katesmom, if you Google "act of contrition" you'll find dozens of variations. There's no one prayer that we must say in confession, though most people memorize one and say it all the time. If your daughter is having trouble memorizing one, she can also make one up in the confessional. She just needs to express her sorrow for her sins.

I remember once in confession I had a brain freeze and forgot the words. "Oh my God...um...Oh my God...um..." The priest could have prompted me and I would have been fine, but instead he said to say what was in my heart, so that's what I did.

I hope her first experience with this sacrament is one of God's love for her.


#6

I have. I confess to traditional priests (ie: FSSP), thus they always ask for the A of C, and not something the penitent makes up, but the “O my God …]” one. My roommate went to confession to my confessor without knowing this, and when she said something to the effect of the aforementioned, he asked her to “just read what was written on the wall.”

I have a horrible memory (I can only remember phone numbers by the different tones when dialing), and an irrational fear of making mistakes in confession. The A of C was something I chronically worried about because I couldn’t seem to memorize it. I always kept a copy with me when I went to Confession because I had been to confessionals that didn’t have anything posted. I eventually memorized it once I started going to confession more often, so I no longer take anything with me “just in case”.

It really just comes down to rote memorization and repetition. It might help to break it down into three parts (Attrition, Contrition, and Purpose of Amendment) to memorize (that’s how I do it).

Part 1

“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and fear the pains of Hell.”

Part 2
"But most of all because they offend thee my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love."

Part 3
"I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life, Amen."

She’s perfectly fine to read it off a card or something if she needs to. I have a nasty case of mind going blank every time I walk into the confessional, so I literally have to write out my entire Confession word-for-word.


#7

In the “guide to confession” booklets they hand out at my parish, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” is one of the options for the Act of Contrition.
It’s a lot easier to remember :slight_smile:

If you prefer the longer one you could print it off and read it. That is what I usually do, because even though I have it memorized… I always blank out during confession!


#8

Thanks for writing this :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

To the OP:
I go to confession weekly and still read my A of C almost every time from my book. The priest will almost certainly understand if either you or your little one bring a card in to guide you in the formula for that final prayer or even for the whole rite…

   Bless me Father for I have sinned, 
   It has been ___ weeks/months/years since my last confession
   --- OR --- This is my first confession....

:wink:



#9

I’ve blanked out too sometimes, and Father gently guided me through it, but now I write down everything I’m going to say, from A to Z. I even leave space to write down what Father gives me as penance. I keep it tucked in my little prayer book. Once I complete the penance, I destroy the paper. Father never knows since we can’t see each other through the grill; frankly I don’t see why he’d care.

However I have seen some churches with the Act printed out, on the kneeler or on the wall.

Your little girl reminds me of me when I was younger. I cried big-time before my first confession b/c for some reason I thought they might ask me to recite the Credo and that was so long it still hadn’t sunk in yet.

take care!
amsjj :slight_smile:

+++
Jesus, God and man,
imprisoned by love in Thy most holy Sacrament,
have mercy upon us.

  • Blessed John Henry Newman, December 22, 1851

Tú y yo sabemos por la fe que oculto en las especies sacramentales está Cristo,
ese Cristo con su Cuerpo, con su Sangre, con su Alma, y con su Divinidad,
prisonero de amor.

  • San Josemaría Escrivá, 1 junio 1974

… Our Lord Himself frequently said; and it is recorded as an Apostolic tradition from Him by St. Justin the Martyr. He says ‘Jesus often said, “They who are near Me are near a fire”’.

  • Abp. W. B. Ullathorne, August 1st 1886

#10

I have the standard Act of Contrition memorized (apart from Confession, I recite it nightly as part of Compline), and I have a couple other prayers I like to use as well. There is one in the back of my Coptic Horologion that’s beautiful, and that makes a good Act of Contrition. You may express your contrition, however, in whatever words you desire–it doesn’t have to be a set formula. The standard one we typically recite in the Latin Church contains a sort of outline of what we need to remember, what attitude we need to pray for and begin to form so that we can be truly contrite–we express sorrow for having offended God, not simply out of fear of hell and loss of heaven, we express our resolve to do penance, and we finally express our desire to amend our lives. It’s sort of what the Our Father is more broadly to all of our prayer lives–it is both a prayer and a sort of capsule outline of what our prayer life should strive for.

-ACEGC


#11

My priest still has to walk me through it every time. I feel bad, but I think that confession is the worthier part. As long as you have made good confession and really mean it, you’re good to go.


#12

is one of the options for the Act of Contrition.
It’s a lot easier to remember :slight_smile:

I have no idea what is in the books, but the Jesus Prayer is my favorite act of contrition. It says everything that’s in my heart.


#13

Note too that one is not obliged to use a particular act of contrition.

She can understand what is meant by contrition and use a short form --even one that is personal.


#14

I have the short version memorized - "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" - but if the longer version is printed and available in the confessional, and it usually is, then I say that one, reading off of the card.


#15

Priests will normally make it as easy as possible. It's not a pass/fail exam on the Act of Contrition. it's about God's mercy.

I had a friend who returned to the sacrament after more than 30 years. She was stressed about the whole thing, but particularly that she couldn't remember her AoC. Our priest had her covered, though. He told her that he often gets children that can't remember, and he justs asks them a question....Probably along the lines of "are you sorry and do you resolve to sin no more?"

My husband went a few years ago, and he couldn't remember his, either. That priest did a "repeat after me" version of the AoC.

When my kids made their First Confessions, the parents were supposed to go first. Many of the parents didn't remember. The advice then was just to express your sorrow in your own words...

Keep working on the memory, but she'll be OK in any case.


#16

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