When I have fallen out of a state of grace, I tend to listen to two songs in particular. One is “God of Mercy and Compassion” and “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.” The latter I also listen to when meditating upon the Passion of our Lord. I received once a flyer that had several different acts of contrition on it (I’ve lost it in the two moves since). My question is: would it be acceptable to use a few verses or more from the hymn “God of Mercy and Compassion” as an adapted act of contrition, as it speaks most fully my sorrow for the sins I have committed, or would a more basic form of an act of contrition be more appropriate? Thank you.
Your Act of Contrition must contain at least two elements: 1) Sorrow for sins; and 2) A firm purpose of amendment.
A traditional Act of Contrition goes like this:
My God, I am sorry for my sins with my whole heart. In choosing to do wrong and in failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s a good idea to have something memorized, and to use it frequently, since, yes, pieces of paper and even prayer books have a way of getting lost.
Thank you. The hymn has both requisite elements, and then some. If that is the case, am I to assume I can legally use it? I typically have used the traditional form of the Act of Contrition, but it seems flat and does not express the sorrow I feel for my sins. It has its benefits, sure, but it feels flat to me. Thank you.
I can’t see how it could possibly be a problem. Even if the priest thinks you’re eccentric, he wouldn’t be allowed to tell anyone, anyway - and it’s just as likely that he’ll only assume there’s another Act of Contrition that he simply hasn’t heard yet - the Church has dozens of them. I’d say, go for it.
You can even make up an act of contrition.
As for these…perhaps use them prior to the confession and in confession…have a shortened thing…