Requirements for valid confession met?

I went to confession earlier today. After I had confessed my sins and the priest offered some words of advice/guidance, instead of giving me something to do as penance and asking me to make an act of contrition, he skipped straight to saying “I absolve you from your sins…” I was thrown off guard a bit by that jump and left the confessional feeling not entirely sure that the confession was valid, which leaves me with these questions:

  1. Did this meet the requirements for a valid confession?
  2. If it was valid, are there any regulations or conventions on what to do for one’s penance if the priest doesn’t assign one?

Thanks for your help.

  1. Yes
  2. No, but this happens to me fairly commonly and I usually do (if appropriate) what priests have asked me to do for penance other times. I go say many prayers in front of the Blessed Sacrament (Our Fathers, Aves, etc.).

I say count your blessings and don’t dwell on it too much. :smiley:

As long as the priest absolves you, it’s a valid confession and you’ve got nothing to worry about. I don’t think there are any requirements that you have to say the Act of Contrition or that the priest has to assign some form of penance. Maybe there is, but I am not aware of it.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is Liturgy and there are certain protocol for this rite. A penance is part of this liturgical celebration but not in regards to the validity of the sacrament. So, yes, your confession was valid and all of your sins absolved. The satisfaction, when not ordered by the priest, can be your own private prayer and/or a resolve to make some kind of restitution for your sins. The Act of Contrition may also be said outside of the confessional. It is amazing how different priests will celebrate this sacrament with nuances but ultimately you are absolved. It is my understanding that only the words of absolution must be accurate as the proper form for a valid confession…teachccd :slight_smile:

This has happened to me, and I suspect is not uncommon, especially by an elderly priest. The priest could also be distracted for some reason. I just ask “Father, what about my penance?” and let it go.

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