Penitential Act

I have attended a small parish since February of this year. So far, I cannot recall one Sunday during which the priest has led the congregation in the full Penitential Act (“I confess . . .”). He only recites the shorter version. I’m considering asking him why, but before I do, is there anything I ought to know beforehand? For example, does the liturgical calendar have any impact on which version of the Penitential Act the congregation recites?

Of course, I have attended other parishes which do recite the full version on a more or less regular basis. I find the recitation of it very moving and consequently find it somewhat strange that my current parish priest tends to “skip” it.

Thank you for any light you can shed on this question!

There are three options for the Penitential Rite. All of them are “the full Penitential Act”. first option, the Confiteor (I confess…), second “Have mercy on us, O Lord” with the response “For we have sinned against you.” Almost no one knows this one and it is rarely used, at least in my diocese.

The form most often used is “form C”; "“You were sent to heal the contrite of heart…Lord Have Mercy.” “You came to call sinners, Christ have mercy”. “You are seated at the right hand of the Father, Lord have mercy.” The form c option has several approved lines that can be used in the Roman Missal.

The PR is the option of the celebrant priest and all are proper always when required. Of the three there are none which are fuller than the other, and none lacking compared to the other. Therefore, if you wish to approach the priest to request occasionally using the Confiteor please do so without the implying tone which you wrote this post. There is no abuse or error in a priest always using one form as opposed to another. Sorry if I misread your tone. To use an approved option which is not the Confiteor is not to “skip” anything.

There are three forms of the Penitential Rite, all of which are equally acceptable. Just because forms B and C are shorter doesn’t change that.

What I’m guessing you’ve heard is either:

(Form B)
Priest: Have mercy on us, O Lord.
People: For we have sinned against you.

Priest: Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
People: And grant us your salvation.

Or Form C where there is a trope/invocation as part of the Kyria (Lord, Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy, Lord, Have Mercy).

You could certainly ask your priest what motivates his choice, but as long has he’s choosing one of these three, there’s not really an issue.

I have noticed that since the new translation went into effect my parish has primarily used Form C with Form A only coming up once every two months or so. Parts of the new translation really tripped people up and still do from time to time. I think that Form C was a bit of a short cut for both the priest and the people, being easier to remember, but still equally valid. As time went on, the rest of the mass got easier because most of it had to be said every time, but Form A remained difficult because there wasn’t as much exposure to it, leading to the continued dependence on C.

Also, there is something to be said about how the Kyrie can be omitted if C is used. It’s possible that this might be seen as being a little more convenient.

While there are 3 acceptable versions of the Penitential Rite, I think it is entirely unacceptable to omit the Confiteor every Sunday. Our old pastor did that…I cannot think of a single time the Confiteor was said during Mass. It is a prayer that has been an important part of the Mass for well over a thousand years and there is no reason why it should not be said.

My main objective for posing the question was to improve my understanding of the Penitential Act before approaching my pastor about *his *choice. And based on the responses, it does seem to come down to a personal choice made by the priest. So I don’t think I’m out of line for asking him why he consistently opts for one form over another.

Thank you to those who enlightened me with gentleness and understanding.

Last night at the vigil mass, the Greeting was out of the ordinary mentioning Saints other than God. Then the Penitential Act lasted at least 20 minutes. Father said we can sit down after the Greeting and proceeded to guide the faithful in an examination of conscience. I know of three forms of the Penitential Act that are the priest’s option. Is this another option? The priests are OFCM (Capuchins). Thanks for your reply.

As noted above, the Church disagrees with what you consider “unacceptable.” I am aware of some parishes that use the Confetior during Lent, but this is at the celenrant’s option.

The local Benedictine abbey uses the Confiteor for weekday Mass except on solemnities like today.

On Sundays and solemnities, they use “Have mercy on us, O Lord” with the response “For we have sinned against you.” They chant it in French, which is very beautiful, and then afterwards they chant the Kyrie Eleison in Greek using one of the Mass settings from the Graduale Romanum, appropriate for the season.

Somehow, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by not having the Confiteor.

They do, incidentally, also recite the Confiteor at Compline every evening.

It drives me a bit nuts when people criticize a priest for using a licit option that may not be one’s own preference.

Option C, incidentally, is a troped Kyrie, which has very ancient roots. Tropes were banned at Trent but some very beautiful music for troped Kyries exists:

Orbis Factor

In fact the subtitles for the Kyries in the Graduale Romanum are the titles of the lost tropes. The one above is Kyrie XI, aka “Orbis factor”.

Thank you all for your contributions. I just happened to carry an itouch with me yesterday. Here is a translation from Spanish to English of last night’s PENITENTIAL ACT (roughly, the first 5 minutes are missing. That’s when the light bulb went off).

“you may be seated”
Let us ask pardon for not loving, not caring, not protecting our family
Let us ask pardon for lack of attention to our parents
Let us ask pardon for the lack of attention to our children
Let us ask pardon for fault against the family unity
Let us ask pardon ask pardon for our egoism that does not allow one to be free to love one another
if at any time in the family there have been signs of death, let’s ask our Lord pardon for that because He is the God of life.
Let us ask pardon for the commodity that enslaves us keeps us from being free
Let us ask pardon because a lot of times instead of being with the family we want to dedicate our time other interests.
now … Let us ask pardon for our faults against our parish community…
For the faults against our brothers.
For the lack of witnessing that we have not known how to give
For the scandals that we have generated in our parish
For the lack of unity and communion among the parish members
For the gossiping against our parish community
For the lack of love to our parish community
For the lack of interest and Christian compromise for our parish community
Let us ask pardon for all the times that we’ve not reflected the love of God
Let us ask pardon for our disinterest and lack of Christian compromise in service to the most needy
Let us ask pardon for hatred, resentments, the lack of communion within our parish community
Let us ask pardon for our fears,
Let us ask pardon for our silence, cowardice
Finally, let us ask pardon for our faults against the universal church
For the criticisms against our holy father.
For the criticisms against the priests.
For not following the magisterium of the church
For not knowing the magisterium of the church
For not knowing how to love holy mother church
For not being faithful to the mandate that we have been entrusted to announce to all the people the good news of the kingdom
For not worrying in a practical way for the sufferings of the church
“AFTER HAVING ASKED GOD FOR PARDON FOR ALL OF THIS IT IS ALSO A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE ALL THAT HE HAS GIVEN TO US AND IT IS A MOMENT TO BE THANKFUL BECAUSE DESPITE THAT MANY OF THE TIMES WE’RE UNGRATEFUL CHILDREN HIS LOVE MERCY AND FIDELITY ARE ETERNAL”
First of all we thank God for being our father.
For loving us.
For sending his son to save us and because he has called us to live the true church
We want to give thanks to God for the gift of life, because at this moment we’re here
We want to give thanks to God for the gift of faith, hope, of charity
We want to give thanks to God for health
We want to give thanks to God for our jobs/work
We want to give thanks to God for having a home, that despite the humble home that it may be, it will be better than the one that Jesus, Mary and Joseph had
We want to give thanks to God for forming part of a family, a family of faith, of a family that wants to be each and every time more akin to the Holy Family of Nazareth
We want to give thanks to God because the family is the first place where the love of God has to be made known, where the faith has to be promoted and where hope and charity are to be affirmed
We want to give thanks to God because in the family we can find the refuge, the love, the happiness, the breath, and the hope to continue to move forward
We want to give thanks to God for our parish community, family of faith, family of encounter, family of sanctification, family that wants to share and to give to everyone the love of God
We want to give thanks to God because in our parish community, in our parish family, we attain all the graces and blessings that God can give us.
We want to give thanks to God because our parish family we find the nourishment that gives us eternal live and we’re members of that body, members of Christ who is the head.
We want to give thanks to God because in the church we reach salvation and because through the church and its ministers as faithful servants and humble servants of God and of each and every one of you, can minster the sacraments of eternal life.
We want to give thanks to God for all we have in our hearts, that our gratitude be today’s prayer and
that our gratitude we may unite to the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving which is our Eucharist.
and we also ask that He grant us the blessing to always and eternally follow Him sharing with Him the blessings of eternity.
let us stand…
Son of God born of Mary that you became our brother Lord have mercy….LORD HAVE MERCY
Son of man that you know our weakness Christ have mercy….CHRIST HAVE MERCY
Firstborn of the Father make of us one family Lord have mercy…LORD HAVE MERCY
May the almighty and ever-living God forgive us our sins…etc…
End of PENITENTIAL ACT.
Note : there were pauses ranging from a couple of seconds to maybe 30-40 seconds between lines that were read. This seemed to last approximately 20 minutes total.

This thread is two years old.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.