Question about the Kyrie Prayer


I have noticed in some more “progressive” churches that they like to omit from the Liturgy of the Word the prayer that starts with, “I confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters…” and they move right along to the “Kyrie” or “Lord have mercy” response. I happen to like the “I confess” prayer and it disappoints me to see it omitted. Is it optional? Obviously the “Kyrie” is mandatory because I always hear that one, but I just figured I’d ask about the other prayer.




The Confiteor is one of three options.

The other two are a set formula which end with the priest saying “Lord have Mercy” and the congregation responding "Lord Have Mercy’, “Christ have Mercy”, “Christ Have Mercy” etc.

It is sadly quite common to have only one option (usually the third, which allows for the priest to use any words of his own choosing, before the “Kyrie”) said at all Masses. You could ask Father, saying that you really love the Confiteor, if he would say it at the next Sunday Mass. He might really not realize that anybody would ‘want’ that option and be glad to oblige.



I dont know about “mandatory,” but if its not on paper that it is, it needs to be. In the Traditional Latin Mass, the prayer is said at least 3 times (cannot remember if Priest prays it once or twice), at the start of the Mass and before the taking of the Blessed Sacrament.



The Confetior (I confess to Almighty God…) prayer is optional in the Roman Missal. If the Confetior is said it has to be led by the priest. After the Confetior the priest or deacon can lead the Kyrie (without invocations).
If it is not said the priest or deacon can lead the optional Penitential Rite. Usually this is begun with an invocation like 'Lord Jesus, You were sent to heal the contrite - Lord have Mercy, etc.'
Following the Confetior or the optional Kyrie the priest must pray the prayer of absolution (May Almighty God have mercy on us …).
I am a deacon in a parish with two priests - one always uses the Confetior - the other always has me lead the optional Penitential Rite.



At St Patricks Catholic Church in North Little Rock AR, the Confetior is always used.



Thank you all very much for your answers. I notice the change in options more when I go to parishes out of town. Fortunately, our parish priest at Immaculate Conception in Forest City uses the Confiteor prayer, and that makes me happy. I grew up hearing it in my home parish, St. Mary’s in Wilmington, NC, and it’s funny how any deviation from what you’re used to causes you to take notice. It is a beautiful prayer, too.




I have noticed that contemporary composers have written a number of musical settings for option 3, (You were sent to heal the contrite. Lord have mercy.)

I wonder if that has contributed to the popularity of that particular option.



I doubt it matters what music is available because at least at my parish, it is the priest who chooses the option not the musicians.

We have to be ready with whatever the celebrant chooses to do at any given liturgy. It is always lovely when we get the “guest priests” while our pastor is gone. No one knows what is going to happen, so we have to be ready with every option whether sung or spoken at each point in the liturgy. One visiting priest indicated that we were to sing the Our Father by the language he used leading into it and we never sing it normally. Talk about a long pause before an a cappella Our Father started.

We have noticed that our pastor likes to give the deacons something to do when there is one available for mass, so he chooses the option that allows the deacon to do the penitential rite rather than the Confiteor on those occasions. Someone visiting my parish on those occasions might assume that we don’t do the Confiteor and they would be wrong.

Another side note, even though we use modern arrangements of mass parts most often, we never sing the penitential rite.



Just curious…What liturgical document states that the deacon can lead the Kyrie or optional Penitential Rite?




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