I’m pretty sure that I was taught, in my Catholic grade school in Topeka, Kansas, to begin my Confession with the words: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”
For the past twenty years, though, all I seem to hear in dramas and people’s comments about Confession are the words: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” The difference only being “Bless” rather than “Forgive”.
Oddly-enough, just this past week, on two modern television dramas both of which included a Confession, I heard the word I was taught, and that is the first time for, as I indicated, twenty years, that I have heard it so-used.
It makes me wonder if there is a part of the U.S. that learned one word “Forgive” while another learned “Bless”, perhaps because of using different translations from the Latin. Or perhaps it is some religious orders of sisters who taught one word in preference to the other.