The Traditional Catholic And Novus Ordo Confession Rites

The traditional Catholic Confession begins with the Penitent kneeling down behind a screen and making a sign of the cross and then saying:

“Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been (week, month, years) since my last confession and these are my sins.”  States the sins and number of times.  Then says: “I am sorry for these sins and all the sins of my life and I ask for absolution and penance of thee my father.”

The priest then gives a penance and asks you to make an act of contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, amend my life. Amen.

Then the priest extends his right hand and says:

Misereatur tui ominipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis tuis, perducat te ad vitam aeternam. Amen.

English: May the almighty God have mercy on thee, forgive thee thy sins, and lead thee unto life everlasting. Amen.

Indulgentiam, absolutionem, et remissionem peccatorum tuorum tribuat tibi omnipotens, et misericors Dominus. Amen.

English: May the almighty and merciful Lord grant thee pardon, absolution, and remission of thy sins. Amen.

Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis (sespensionis) et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges.  Deinde ego te abslovo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, (+) et Filii, et Spiritus SanctiAmen.


English: May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve thee; and by His very authority do I absolve thee from every bond of excommunication, suspension and interdict, in so far as lies within my power and thou hast need of it.  Furthermore, I absolve thee from thy sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, (+) and of 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. Amen.


English: May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the good thou has done, and the ill thou has endured profit thee unto the remission of sin, increase in grace, and reward in eternity.  Amen.

Here is the New Confession Rite.

  1. Enter confessional and kneel behind a screen or sit down face-to-face.
  2. Make the sign of the cross.
  3. Say, “Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been (how long) since my last confession.”
  4. Tell your sins to the priest.
  5. When you are finished sharing your sins say, “ I am sorry for these and all my sins.”
  6. The priest will give you a penance; a prayer to say or something good to do.
  7. You say an Act of Contrition/Prayer of Sorrow.  (many forms)
  8. Then priest gives you absolution;  “God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, (+) and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit
  9. The priest then says, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.”
    You say, “His mercy endures forever.”

God Bless all you wonderful priests who spend hours and hours hearing confession.  It is wonderful that you take the time to do a complete confession.  Often people express sorrow over not having been listen to in confession because the priest was in a rush or told them what they considered sinful was not.  Inside, they did not feel clean when they left the confessional.   It all felt incomplete.


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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31 Responses to The Traditional Catholic And Novus Ordo Confession Rites

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    How hard it must be sometimes for priests to hear confessions. Most of the time, I suppose, the sins being confessed are banal to the confessor who’s heard them all many times and can put out of his mind very quickly after he’s been a priest for a year or two. But banal or not, I wonder if there is a special type of post traumatic stress disorder that priests are at risk of, epecially since they cannot talk to anyone about their experiences, except God.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    One thing suggested on an “Aid to Confession” sheet I saw a couple of years ago is to mention to the priest, at the start, your basic situation in life (age, marital status, occupation) as this helps him place your confession in some context. But this was in a Cathedral church. In one’s own parish, there’s probably no need to do so, if one goes to Confession regularly.


  3. toadspittle says:

    “Often people express sorrow over not having been listened to in confession because the priest was in a rush or told them what they considered sinful was not.”

    Well, yes – that must be sorrow-making.
    To confess what you thought was a nice, big, fat, juicy sin – only to be told it wasn’t at all.
    …It would take so much the fun out of life.


  4. Tom Fisher says:

    I see Toad has attracted yet another one of those inevitable “thumbs down” for his most recent comment. Poor Toad. 😦


  5. kathleen says:

    I have experienced surprising contrasts among priests in the confessional. It is not a foregone conclusión that all pro-Novus Ordo priests are laid back and take the sacrament lightly, whilst the more conservative priests are all attentive and serious, but personally speaking, I have found that priests of the traditional orders, who favour the EF of Mass, do tend to treat Confession with far more detail to form and greater piety.

    When you come out of the confessional to make your penance, knowing you have been cleansed of your sins and with a firm purpose of ammendment, the grace flowing from this beautiful sacrament is almost palpable… the heart sings with joy and gratitude to Our Blessed Lord for the forgiveness of so much messy sinfulness. But on the other hand, when you leave knowing that your confession has been brushed over or cut short, and sometimes even without being asked to pray the act of contrition, you are left with a sensation of frustration and distress.

    @ Toad

    When you know you have committed a sin – be it “juicy” or not – and the priest makes light of it, this is not comforting in the least. It is one thing to be encouraged to overcome a fault, shown ways to tackle sins, or consoled for admitted true remorse, but quite another to be told by the priest not to worry and that what you are confessing is just trivial… when you know jolly well it is not!


  6. Tom Fisher says:

    @ Kathleen
    Absolutely! I think it is absolutely appalling for a priest to trivialise a confessed sin in a confessional. I would guess — though I can’t be sure — that it is often a misguided attempt to give comfort, and relieve anxiety. But not only does that show poor formation, it also violates a basic principle of how to deal with people experiencing distress. You should never ever make someone feel ridiculous for summoning up the courage to share something that they themselves take very seriously.


  7. toadspittle says:

    “Trivial,” is all relative, Kathleen.
    Ask The Black Knight:

    ….Only a flesh wound.
    I fainted recently when one of my dogs was getting a couple of stitches in her leg.
    …To the dog, it was trivial.
    Or is it that whatever anybody thinks a sin – is a sin – as far as they are concerned, at least?
    I think bullfighting, for example, is a sin. Many Catholic Spaniards clearly think not.
    I was once taken to a bullfight as the guest of a priest.
    Should Catholic aficionados confess it? Is it a trivial sin? Is sin geographical? Is the same thing a sin in Seville, but not in Surbiton?

    “…. it is often a misguided attempt to give comfort, and relieve anxiety.”
    Quite right, Tom. Why should anyone ever want to do that?


  8. toadspittle says:

    Nearly forgot – as we are such “traddies” on here, let’s not forget the traditional and time honoured Catholic Sunday : Mass in the morning, bullfight in the afternoon, brothel in the evening.


  9. Tom Fisher says:

    Surely a siesta would be advisable after the bullfight, all a bit exhausting otherwise


  10. toadspittle says:

    Yes, indeed, the siesta is a total given, Tom, in order to shape up for the bordel (Now known as a “Puti-Club,” and still an essential and integral part of Traditional life in this the most Catholic of all European nations) *
    After all, “Thees ees Espagne, Babee!” – as one of my colleagues on Hola!/Hello! Magazine used to tell me, years ago.
    And, to not take one (a siesta, that is, not necessarily a puti) still constitutes a gave sin of omission.

    *The thousands of brothels were – and still are, for all I know – traditionally thought to be owned, if not actually run, by the Society of Jesus.

    Might be true. I dunno. Good, scurrilous, story though, eh?


  11. toadspittle says:

    “I see Toad has attracted yet another one of those inevitable “thumbs down” for his most recent comment. Poor Toad. “
    Do not repine for “Poor Toad,” Tom. He’d like to see 5,000 thumbs down every time, which presumably would mean 5.000 people have read it.
    …And the less they liked it, the better.


  12. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad, your agitation appears to be even more pointless and bitter than usual — do you REALLY think the Lord to be no more than whichever silly political ideology ???!!!??!??


  13. kathleen says:

    @ Toad

    You are saying some really scandalous things on this post; are you trying to get yourself sent into “Moderation” again in disgrace? Your horrible comment about the Jesuits was an absolute lie. And everything else too.
    Besides, you are not the only one who knows what life in Spain is/was like… even if your memory does go back further than mine.

    Tom @ 9:15

    Thanks Tom. Yes, that could be a reason some priests seem to treat sins as though they were not sins, but I am talking more about the way a few priests, perhaps brain-washed with the post-VII feel-good mentality, treat sin – excepting the very gravest of sins – as no more than ills in society rather than willful. personal sins of which we are most definitely guilthy.


  14. toadspittle says:

    “Your horrible comment about the Jesuits was an absolute lie. “
    No it wasn’t Kathleen – because I didn’t say it was true in the first place. I have no idea if it’s true or not.
    Have you never heard that particular speculation before?

    “..If not, how can you dismiss it out of hand? do you REALLY think the Lord to be no more than whichever silly political ideology ???!!!??!??”
    I’m not a bit “agitated,” or bitter, Jabba – why on earth should I be? And I don’t think the Lord to be any silly political ideology whatsoever.
    Silly religious ideology, possibly – but I certainly don’t know.
    It is not knowable, I suggest.

    Anyway, Kathleen (or anyone with an opinion) – is bullfighting a sin? Or is it trivial? Or both?


  15. JabbaPapa says:

    you are not the only one who knows what life in Spain is/was like

    My own memories of Spain stretch back into the 60s, and I find toad’s views of the History to be somewhat biased.


  16. JabbaPapa says:

    Silly religious ideology, possibly

    Then you do in fact conceive of the Lord in ideological terms.

    Quod erat demonstrandum.


  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, Toad, if you have no idea if your libellous insinuation about the Jesuits is true, why repeat it? Sneering and jeering are part of your nature, you’ve made that clear; but do try to start 2015 off on the right foot. What are your resolutions? Maybe I shouldn’t ask. Mine concern poundage and verbiage, both to be reduced by more walking the walk, and not so much talking the talk.

    This is a few hours premature, but what the heck: here’s the best version I know of ‘Rabbie’ Burns’s hit Hogmanay favourite – Old Lang’s Sign 😉

    “I know a man, his name is Lang,
    He has a neon sign,
    And Mr Lang is very old
    So they call it Old Lang’s Sign.”

    “For Old Lang’s Sign my dear,
    For Old Lang’s Sign,
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
    For Old Lang’s Sign…”


  18. On Confession from a priest’s point of view – this is good:

    Click to access ReconciliationMakeupWork1.pdf


  19. The Raven says:

    Perhaps Toad can furnish us with sources to demonstrate how widespread this particular belief about Jesuits is?

    Or do I need to sharpen my blue pencil?


  20. toadspittle says:

    “Perhaps Toad can furnish us with sources to demonstrate how widespread this particular belief about Jesuits is?”
    I would if I could, Raven, but no. As far as I can recall, I might have read it in Gironella’s trilogy, or possibly in one of Blasco Ibanez, or Pio Baroja’s books. I have read it – and more than once, I believe.
    It may well be a scurrilous rumour, dreamed up by disaffected “Reds” and Catholic haters.
    I put it in as an amusing aside, really. Seems to have caught people’s imagination.
    , today I will ask the village historian Modesto, who is well over 85, if he has ever heard it.
    …And then report back.
    I’m much more interested in the concept of something being a sin for one person and not another. Bullfighting, for example, or “immodesty,” or drinking alcohol, or “blasphemy.” Do we have any views on that?

    My main resolution ought to be to get off, and stay off CP&S of course, JH. But I am weak, as you know. And I do enjoy it very much. Therapy,
    I could resole to keep out of pootee-cloobs (as they are pronounced) whoever owns them, but that is pointless – as I’ve never been in one.
    Not even the Volcán Rojo (Red Volcano) in Sahagun. Which I’m sure is a splendid as it sounds.

    And yes, Jabba, Toad’s views are biased.
    He’s in favour of this, and against that.
    As are your own, and everyone else’s on the planet.
    It can’t be otherwise, can it?


  21. kathleen says:

    Vilicus @ 23:49

    Thank you for that splendid link you gave us yesterday. A very moving personal account from a fine priest whose testimony clears up a lot of peoples’ doubts about the priest in Confession. Interesting to hear how priests themselves view the sacrament, and confirms what I have heard said before: (a) that priests do not remember the penitent’s sins once they leave the confessional… and (b) if pride is often the factor that prevents people from going to Confession, it follows that humility (and a strong yearning to receive God’s forgiveness and mercy) are what spark the penitent to seek the sacrament of Confession.

    I was touched by the emotional words of this young priest’s father at his ordination – how he remarked that his son would now save far more souls as a priest than he, an orthopedic surgeon, had ever been able to save their bodies! Profound and beautiful words that are worth meditating on.

    Like Gertrude says at the end of her article – and that I am sure most Catholics would endorse – how grateful we should be to good and holy priests who devote their lives to bringing souls back to Christ. We should pray daily for our beloved shepherds to be kept safe from the Devil, always out to attack holy priests that keep so many souls from his clutches.


  22. Brother Burrito says:

    Toad, let me help you:

    You are banned from commenting here for two months. I hope you recover.


  23. Brother Burrito says:

    In my very rural parish, due to priest shortage, there are only two 15 minute sessions set aside each week for Confession, though it is available also by appointment.

    However, to someone like me who sees the Confessional as a spiritual accident and emergency unit, I am less than gleeful.

    Until a resolving situation arises, I shall stick to a mixture of perfect Contrition and only Spiritual Communion.

    ie: I can act as if I was a soul in missionary territory.


  24. Tom Fisher says:

    You are banned from commenting here for two months. I hope you recover.

    What a cowardly and stupid decision Mr Burrito. You should be ashamed of yourself. Perhaps you should just ban everybody who comments here so you can listen to your own sonorous voice in an echo chamber of perfect amity.


  25. Brother Burrito says:

    I’ll ban myself for two months as well.

    Happy new year!


  26. Tom Fisher says:

    Don’t ban yourself, don’t ban anyone! Happy new year!


  27. Tom Fisher says:

    BB I apologise for the harsh tone of my comment, it was a sincere expression of anger at a decision I disagree with, but I was uncharitable.


  28. Brother Burrito says:


    Your apology is of course accepted, thank you. In mitigation, I offer my having read Toad’s unruly comments for the last 4 1/2 years. As our stats article showed, he is way out in front in the number of his comments, and few of them are helpful to the Faith, unless to show us what we are up against. He seems to enjoy being a controversialist, which is a bit asinine of him (Oh the irony!) I did tell my colleagues here what I had done, and asked them to undo it if they thought I was being too harsh to poor Toad.

    Anyhow, online commenting has become a bit of an occasion of sin for me, here and elsewhere. I think a two month break may do me some good, and I can keep Toad company in his excommunication. Thanks for your rebuke, which has helped me settle my mind in this.

    I will still post articles under my own name or as CP&S. I would be burdening my colleagues unduly if I failed in that.

    Now this really is my last word for a while. God be with us all!


  29. Hey Toad, come on mate you can do so much better. Lift your game, raise your sites, try a little harder son


  30. On another topic, can anyone do something about getting back on CPS mailing list. I haven’t received a post for several weeks now. I’ve have sent emails even signed up a couple of times… no result. I just hope no body has mistaken me for Mr Toadspit….. Pleased help me I’m trying…


  31. mathewsanithanam says:

    @toad come on man. Thinking the jesuits run brothels and other bad stuff. Be careful how you talk. These are some institutions and practices of the church. Slandering them or joking in a rude manner about them can be a sin and even a grave one.


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