The absolution at Mass


What is the sifference between the absolution at Mass versus and the Sacrament of Penance.
The venial sins are forgiven just by prayer eg reciting psalm 50 (51).
Why do we then have a Priest giving absolution for venial sins at Mass? And are venial sins forgiven even if I am not in a state of Grace?



The absolution at mass is for everyone (especially the priest) to be in a state of grace, so that as many Catholics as possible will have the option of going to communion, and so the priest can offer the Mass validly and licitly. How many people do you know who knows about psalm 50? Or the purpose of the holy water at the entrance of the Church? I’d say a lot of people, even those who would go to confession for grave sins, would not be in a state of grace for Mass or simply wouldn’t know how to get to a state of grace.
The last question of grace I do not have an answer for. I’d venture and say yes, you’re absolved, but you’d still have to take it all into confession anyway. So I don’t it making much of a difference anyway.



The word absolution relating to the prayer in the Penitential Act at Mass needs to be changed .

Some incorrectly think that they are receiving the same absolution at Mass as they receive in the Sacrament of reconciliation .



Pope Francis has said : " To prepare ourselves to celebrate worthily the sacred mysteries, we acknowledge, before God and our brothers and sisters, that we have sinned. Significantly, we make this confession as a community, yet in the Confiteor each of us speaks personally: “I confess… that I have sinned.” Like the humble publican in Jesus’ parable, we strike our breast and recognize that we are unworthy of the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness. We then beg the intercession of OurLady and all the angels and saints to sustain us on the path of holiness and conversion. The priest then pronounces the absolution – “May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life”. Unlike the absolution granted in confession, this does not remit mortal sin, yet it expresses our trust in God’s promise of forgiveness and reconciliation. "



The absolution given in Mass is only for venial sins. This kind of absolution are also in the Liturgy of the Hours and is to be said by any Christian and is only for the forgiveness of venial sins.
Confession is for grave sins and the absolution is only given through a priest.

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No, this is wrong.
Being in “a state of grace” means free of mortal sin, which can only be removed by going to Confession and receiving the absolution from a priest after confessing all mortal sins.
By contrast, you can have venial sins on your soul and still be in a state of grace.

If you are NOT in a state of grace, then going through the penitential rite at Mass is not going to remove your mortal sin and put you in a state of grace. It would not do that for the priest either. You would need to repent and make a proper confession to a priest before you could receive Holy Communion. Otherwise you’d be receiving an unworthy communion.

The penitential rite at Mass simply removes venial sins. Receiving the Eucharist itself also removes venial sins. Neither event puts us into a “state of grace”.



I stand corrected.



If venials sins are removed by prayer then why do the priest absolve us from venial sins? Or is the absolution only the EF?
It does not make sense.



Where does the Church day this?



Check the difference between mortal and venial sins. When you commit venial sins you remain in a state of grace. When you commit mortal sins you do not.

From the Catechism:

[1855] Mortal Sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God… by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, though it offends and wounds it.
[1861] Mortal sin… results in… the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell…
[1862] One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or complete consent.
[1863] Venial sin weakens charity… and… merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However, venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace, it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently, eternal happiness.”

I quoted the most significant parts of these paragraphs relative to your question. See the Catechism for the complete paragraphs.

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The absolution for venial sins is given so we can receive communion. The sacrament of penance is used so mortal sins can be forgiven. The church requires you confess mortal sins to be in a state of grace for receiving communion. As for the last question, I’m gonna say you are forgiven but I’m not sure.



You’re correct that the Penitential Rite at Mass is to prepare us for Communion, but if we are in a state of grace, we can still receive Communion if we happen to come in just after the Penitential Rite. Assuming we have repented of the venial sin, then crossing ourselves with holy water is also a way to remove venial sin, and receiving the Eucharist itself is another way to remove venial sin.



I read paragraph 1393 of the CCC as saying that Holy Communion absolves us of venial sins.

The Eucharist cannot unite us with Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins



Yes, that’s right. Receiving the Eucharist itself absolves us from venial sins.
The Penitential Rite also forgives venial sins.
If you cross yourself with holy water as you enter the church, it also forgives venial sins.
I understand there are other intercessory prayers during Mass that forgive venial sins.

I made my comment because we had someone on here a year or two ago who thought that if he got to Mass late and missed the Penitential Rite, he wasn’t allowed to receive Communion even if he had no mortal sin on his soul.

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