Must an act of contrition be said in the confessional?


At one of the parishes where I go for confession, the priest does not allow us to say an act of contrition after giving us absolution and telling us our penance. He says that we can say our Act of Contrition afterwards but not in the confessional.

Does this make the confession invalid or illicit?


Jeff Schwehm

While saying an act of contrition during confession is not required for licit and valid absolution, contrition itself is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches, “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (CCC 1451).

If your confessor does not provide an opportunity to express contrition in the confessional, you should do so before confession, not after.

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