Traditional Confession

Okay, I spent an hour searching for a post we had some months ago about how to go to Confession in a traditional parish, i.e. an indult parish, but I can’t find it anywhere.

Can anyone give an explanation on what to expect and what is expected. I can’t seem to find any help in this anywhere in the web or in my missals. I know that there were some changes to the Rite somewhere around 1973 so I am going to assume that the way I attend the Sacrament may be somewhat different than a traditional priest may be prepared for and I am loath to surprise him.


That will help you. I don’t think it is all that different. But I’ve confessed how I was orginally taught anyway. Tell the Priest this is your first time at a Traditional Parish, He will be patient and help you. If you don’t answer, he will answer for you. LOL Don’t let that be a concern. He cares more about the state of your soul. The only thing I truly find different is what the Priest says to you after you have confessed your sins. He will spiritually guide you and makes things clear to you gently. Like a Father/daughter or Father/son relationship. He will spend time for you and not rush you out the door. It will be like you are the only person in line that is attending confession. Hope this helps.

the change in the rite for confession added the option for a communal penance service followed by individual confessions, and a rite for general absolution in emergencies. The first form of the rite remains almost the same, with the exception of course of the option of face to face confession. there is some optional dialogue such as a greeting, and dismissal, but in general it is the same. I assume that in a Church that has permission to celebrate the Tridentine Mass they also have retained old style confessional boxes and that option would not be offered, but I don’t know that for a fact.

The way you attend the Sacrament of Penance in an indult parish is mostly the same as in a normative parish, however you will hear the priest greet you in Latin, “In Nomine Patris, et Filli, et Spiritui Sancti”. You then go though the same as you do now- “Bless me father”… tell the priest your sins.

The priest will then ask you to pray an act of contrition, just pray the one you know, it doesn’t mater.

The priest will then give you absolution- however it will be in Latin. He will say,
Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges. [making the Sign of the Cross:] Deinde, ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

*English translation:
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and by His authority I absolve you from every bond of excommunication and interdict, so far as my power allows and your needs require. [making the Sign of the Cross:] Thereupon, I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
He will pray a prayer for you:
*Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, merita Beatae Mariae Virginis et omnium sanctorum, quidquid boni feceris vel mail sustinueris sint tibi in remissionem peccatorum, augmentum gratiae et praemium vitae aeternae.
*English translation:
May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints obtain for you that whatever good you do or whatever evil you bear might merit for you the remission of your sins, the increase of grace and the reward of everlasting lifeKen

I really like that last prayer. I will have to go to confession at the indult parish in my town some time.

I haven’t noticed anything different in the individual rite - except that where I go
*]There are the old style confessionals (I’ve preferred the screen for years now anyway).
*]Jesus is looking at me from a crucifix about two inches away :slight_smile:
*]Much more availability - always prior to mass…
*]And oh yeah - I can hear the soothing Gregorian chant in the background at the Oratory…helps me to pour my heart out :-)[/LIST]Peace in Christ,


I’d like to go to a traditional confession, but at the TLM here the line before Mass is composed of old ladies who spend ages in the confessional. And they to the chapel before anyone else so you can never get a place in line.

Since you are a server at the TLM in your parish and know your priest well, maybe you could make an appointment for a traditional confession.

The old Code required confessional boxes in churches for women to confess, in the interests of propriety. For men, the confession could be held face to face and anywhere.

I go to confession at both and the only difference is that the words of absolution are in Latin at the Traditional Mass, and in English at a Novus Ordo Church.

Aside from that there is no difference.

Thank you everyone.

Annie, the parish that is the current host for the TLM has only had a few slight modifications in its structure since it was built in the 1920’s; Pauline altar, a couple statues moved when the Franciscans left and the Redemptorists took over. It is one of the more beautiful parish’s in the city. Old St. Pat’s Oratory, the true home of the TLM community, is under an extensive restoration.

I might add that quite often if not usually, the Priest will be saying the absolution at the same time you are praying the act of contrition. He will also often ask you to pray for him saying he is a sinner also.

Hey palmas85—good to see you post. Hadn’t seen you post for a while (may have missed it).

I might also add that, without my knowing whether it is licit or not, a Holy Cross priest granted my absolution, presumably in the new rite, in that very manner. I could hear him grumbling (you could tell he was very old) during my act of contrition, and when I was done, he was obviously done as well. So I thanked him and went my way assuming the grumbling included my absolution.

Here’s a scary and shameful thought - the priest recited those prayers in latin during my first confession. My last confession the priest said those prayers in English. I haven’t been to confession since then because I couldn’t/didn’t know how to find a church with the confessional “boxes” (they ripped them out of my church and the churches I’ve belonged to since then don’t have them either). I’m way overdue and am sure I’m in a dangerous state as a result but refuse to have a face-to-face “meeting” with a priest. So one of these days I’ll track down a church that still has the boxes (and uses them which is also rare).

There should be a curtain in the confessional to separate you from the priest if you don’t want to go face to face. Although, I like the “boxes” better too. :wink:

We are doing away with the “Reconciliation Room” at my parish and having 2 traditional boxes put in.

Face to face confession is a rare example of a leniency being removed by the Second Vatican Council. In Britain you can normally find traditional confessionals in cathedrals. Since cathedrals have several clergy they also tend to be manned at convenient times. Sadly we’ve had to have the wooden boxes replaced by frosted glass ones due to concerns over accusations against priests.

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