I apologize if this question has been discussed time and again, and as a cradle catholic I probably ought to know.
But I have to admit I’m a little confused at the moment. Here’s what happened to me today:
I went to confession, and after my confession of sins the priest started talking to me. He talked rather fast and with a slight accent which made it a little hard for me to follow, but OK. He gave me my penance and then said a few other words without expecting me to acknowledge the penance. Then all of a sudden he started to whisper. However, when he was whispering I thought I could make out the words " … mercies… Holy Spirit…" and wondered if he was praying the prayer for absolution. But then in the end all he said - at least that I could hear - was “God has forgiven you. You may now leave”. A little bit startled I asked if he had given me absolution and his response was “Yes, I did”. So I left, somewhat confused. All of this happened rather quickly.
Maybe I’m spoiled, but my usual experience is that the priest makes sure I understand and agree to my penance, recite an act of contrition, and actually hear the words “I absolve you …etc.”. This priest went from my confession of sins to my dismissal on a single breath without any of that.
I understand that priests may not have that much time to spend on each person but I’m not sure if proper form was maintained in this case.
Was this a valid confession? And how do I know if it was? I thought the crucial words of the absolution have to be said out loud, is that not correct?
I performed my penance and leave the rest to God’s mercy. If somebody has some guidance I’d appreciate it.