The under-utilized, underrated Penitential Rite B

Have Mercy on us, O Lord.
For we have sinned against you.

Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
And Grant us your salvation.

Our late pastor used this option almost exclusively except in Advent and Lent (where he used the Confitieor). Our current pastor has been using it as part of the “rotation.” He uses the Confitieor during Advent and Lent, and alternates this and Option C during Ordinary Time.

Other than these two priests, I never saw Option B used. It is sad that it is so under-utilized because it is beautifully penitential when chanted. It sounds plaintive, contrite and sincere when chanted correctly.

We only use Form C at my parish. I’d prefer Form A. Form A really reminds us that we are sinners. :frowning:

There’s been a long and interesting discussion on this topic on PrayTellBlog. See

I belong to a Polish-American Parish in NYC. In all of the Polish Language Masses as well as the two English Language Masses each week the Confiteor is always said. It is the rare Mass where it isn’t recited.

The Roman Rite used to have the elements of Form A and Form B. I personally would be very happy to see a return to a form closer to the one now used in the EF, perhaps something like this:

All: I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in thought, word and need, in what I have done and what I have failed to do: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I ask Blessed Mary every Virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

P. Turn again, O Lord and bring us to life.
R. And your people will rejoice in you.
P. Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
R. And grant us your salvation.
P. O Lord, hear our prayers
R. And let our cries come to you.
P. May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
R. Amen.

Kyrie eleison.

But that’s just me.

Our parish is like bben15’s – we only use option C. Our pastor says that he’s “not much of a chest-thumper” (as if we’re too proud to ask for mercy? I hope that’s not his reasoning). I wish we’d use A or B once in a while.

I think it’s funny that, often, the more “left-of-center” parishes (for lack of a better term) are so allergic to the Confiteor, because it is the most communal and fraternal of all the forms, and these are qualities that they seemingly love.

We exclusively use the Penitential act, form A (Confiteor). The Kyrie Eleison is then chanted. The Gloria in Excelsis can vary in it either being chanted in either Latin or English depending on the time of the Mass. The 7:00am is not mostly dialogue and strictly in English (older folks have made it known they are drawn to this). The 9:30 and 12pm Masses have more younger families and college kids and they are drawn to chants and the Latin. The EF form was introduced as well due to requests. :shrug:

Penitential rite B is often used at week day masses. Often, a priest will opt to use rite C (which itself has about a dozen options) if a deacon is present because that rite is reserved for the deacon. Frankly, I prefer rite A, the confiteor, but our pastor reserves it for Advent, Lent and special occasions. He believes by doing so it has a greater pastoral effect.

All three remind us of our sinful nature and need for God’s mercy.

I’ve heard Penitential Rite B exactly once - at the Cathedral, by the Bishop. Very few knew the response.

In the parishes in which I sometimes attend daily Mass (usually the only time I visit Roman Rite parishes), Rite A is usually used.

No wonder. The Confiteor is a classic expression of orthodox Catholic faith – it offends modernists by admitting the existence of sins that require repentance, it offends many Protestants by invoking the intercession of saints, and by including “what I have failed to do” in the modes of sin it discomforts lukewarm Catholics that claim to be against sins like abortion but do nothing to stop it. In a paragraph, it alienates most of the silent dissenters against the Church still in the pews. So of course “left-of-center” parishes are repulsed by it.

Though seemingly not as repulsed as they are by having the Kyrie in Greek; because having even three words not in the vernacular is, according to them, intellectual ritualistic elitism being imposed upon the poor, ignorant masses.

Anyhow. In agreement with porthos11, I would say using all of the penitential forms would be optimal, since it more closely follows the usus antiquor. Before Liturgiam Authenticam came out, the USCCB was considering splitting up the different penitential forms by season: Confiteor to Advent, the Kyrie to Christmas, Miserere Nostri to Ordinary Time, Asperges Me to Lent, and Vidi Aquam to Easter. Thankfully the Holy See vetoed that novelty.

Our abbey uses form B at Sunday Mass, and the Confiteor at weekday Mass. In both cases chanted in French.

Form C is basically a troped Kyrie, which was common before Trent.

All forms of the penitential rite in the Ordinary Form Missal are valid and licit.

Enough said, no need for another liturgical cat fight. We all have our preferences, and it’s unfair to accuse people of modernism or liberalism if they prefer one of the newer rites.

I was under the impression that Pope St. Gregory I suppressed the Kyrie tropes?

I haven’t accused anybody of anything. Moreover, my comments had nothing to do with a preference for one of the forms over another, but rather people who have a specific distaste for the Confiteor.

Troped kyries were eliminated during the Gregorian reforms that began at Cluny circa 10th
century, to be later re-introduced before finally disappearing completely at the Council of Trent. The trope Orbis Factor which which is now only the title of Kyrie XI, was in the Gradual of Eleanor of Brittany, circa 13th century.

Well you did say

No wonder. The Confiteor is a classic expression of orthodox Catholic faith – it offends modernists by admitting the existence of sins that require repentance

There’s nothing inherently “modernist” about troped Kyries.

Nor does formula B which says

Have Mercy on us, O Lord.

For we have **sinned** against you.

Show us, O Lord, your mercy.

And Grant us your salvation. 

somehow show a lack of acknowledgement of the fact that we sin and need repentance. “We have sinned against you” seems as direct as it can get to me…

You are making inferences into my comments that aren’t there. For the Penitential Rite, Form A can be more offensive to dissenters for various reasons, so Form C is more common in “left-of-center” parishes. The fact that Form C is inoffensive does mean that it itself is modernist.

I’ve heard Form B once in my life. I have no statistics of course, but it would seem that it’s just very uncommonly used regardless of how traditional any particular parish, religious house, or cathedral happens to be.

There’s also the fact that Form C is malleable, so a dissenting celebrant can very easily insert heterodoxical attitudes to it and still be within the technical rubrics. I once heard something along the lines of, “You came to peacefully help us without recourse to law or judgement: Lord, have mercy.” Unsurprisingly the homily was focused on criticism of the pro-life movement.


The Our Father is also inoffensive. It’s modernist? Holding hands during the Our Father is offensive to traditionalists. It’s not modernist?

I think you’re looking for political conflicts that don’t really exist. Some priests prefer shorter penitential rites, nothing more. I’ve also heard priests use the Confiteor but omit the Kyrie. I’ve been to a very liberal parish that kneels during the Confiteor.

Typo. I was trying to say does not mean it is modernist. Form C is a perfectly valid form of the rite, I have nothing against it. If you see earlier in the thread, I commented that using all three forms consecutively would probably be optimal. (I don’t know if that’s allowable by the rubrics, though. It was just a hypothetical meandering.)

Really it depends on what you mean by “liberal”. My comments were directed specifically at dissenters; I have a hard time believing that a pro-choice pro-gay marriage priest would celebrate Form A while kneeling.

Why does everything have to be about modernists, Protestants, lukewarm Catholics and silent dissenters who should be removed from the pews?

Thank you John. I don’t see why everything has to turn into an us vs them war.


I don’t think I said they should be removed from the pews.

That’s what seems to happen on this forum whenever somebody makes an honest, even positive, comment on any sort of liturgy. :confused:

Yep, started here:

Then went downhill fast here:

And the final nail in the coffin:

I don’t see why nefarious motives have to be assigned to the use of licit and valid choices in the liturgy.

Nothing but innuendo, murmuring and veiled criticism of our clergy. I think this thread should be closed.

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