Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sacrament of Penance: Prayer of Absolution

This is a bit out of order — I plan on doing a post (or series of posts) comparing the Extraordinary Form of the Sacrament of Penance with the Ordinary Form — but I thought I'd share this little tidbit with you ahead of time.

This is the prayer of absolution from the Sacrament of Penance (also called Confession and Reconciliation) in English and Latin (and my own attempt at a Latin translation), with Scriptural annotations.
(2 Cor. 1:3)God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of His Son
(2 Cor. 5:19; cf. Rom. 11:15; Col.1:20)has reconciled the world to Himself
(John 20:21-23)and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
(2 Cor. 5:18-20)through the ministry of the Church
(Luke 7:50; Col. 1:14)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
.

Deus, Pater misericordiárum,
qui per mortem et resurrectiónem Filii sui
mundum sibi reconciliávit
et Spiritum Sanctum effúdit in remissiónem peccatórum,
per ministérium Ecclésiæ
indulgéntiam tibi tribuat et pacem.
Et ego te absólvo a peccátis tuis
in nómine Patris, et Filii, +
et Spíritus Sancti
.
Here's my translation of the Latin, not so much to be compared and contrasted with the present English translation, but simply as an exercise in translation.
May God, the Father of mercies,
Who through the death and resurrection of His Son
has reconciled the world to Himself
and sent the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins,
through the ministry of Church
grant 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.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should change it to God absolves your sins, because last I checked only God can forgive your sins, not a priest.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

On the contrary, God has given the power to forgive sins to all of us, to some degree.

1. Do we not pray in the "Our Father" that God would forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors? (Mt 6:12)

2. Jesus appears to have appealed to His humanity in His exercising of the forgiving of sins, when He said "the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins." (Mk 2:10)

3. Jesus breathed on His apostles with the Holy Spirit and gave them power to forgive people of their sins, or to retain them. (Jn 20:23)

Anonymous said...

But as a devout Catholic myself, the truth of the matter is that before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the power to forgive sins to his diciples, the first priests. And that power and gift has been passed down to the current Catholic priests of today. The priest is not the one forgiving sins, the priest is acting in the place of Christ forgiving our sins and giving penance.

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

The prayer makes a distinction between the granting of pardon (God does that) and the absolving from sin (the priest does that).

The forgiveness that any of us grant to another person is due only to our participation in the "ministry of forgiveness" which is perfectly exercised by God. We are participating in God's work when we forgive one another.

Granting pardon (as the prayer says it) is forgiving a person.

Absolution, on the other hand, is a juridical act of the Church, a particular exercise by her ordained ministers by which reconciliation is attained.

This post does a good job explaining the difference. It also highlights differences between the older (Extraordinary Form) and newer (Ordinary Form) versions of the prayers of pardon and absolution; the older prayers seem to show more clearly that the priest is only granting absolution as an exercise of his authority as a ministerial priest.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous. Only God can forgive sin,the priest only acts in the person of Christ. The priest giving the absolution says "I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit." He never says I forgive in my name. The Trinitarian formular is seen also during baptism,if you never taught that the priest baptises in his name why the confusion now.The priest says during baptism I baptise you in "the name of the Father,+ and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit +"

Anonymous said...

The priests have been ordained with the faculties from the bishop, the apostolic successor, to absolve or pardon us of our sins here on earth. For those of you whom are practicing, devout, or remotley aware Catholics this does not remove the punishment we will recieve in the end upon our passing between worlds, also know as "temporal punishment ". Only God can forgive us of the punishment aquired by all sins. The only other worldly way to be pardoned of your temporal punishment is through devotion, fasting, and indulgences. Remember due to there position in the confessional there is now doubt with there orders and faculties of grace they are in "persona Christi" and able to absolve with God's mercy. These men have devoted there lives to Christ's pilgrim church on earth set forth by Jesus himself to Peter. I wouldn't worry about the validity of your absolution or where the grace comes from because your only going to cause yourself heresy thusly resulting in your return tho the confessional. Be holy as God is Holy.

Samuel Henry said...

Hello, I would want to ask question pertaining going to confession and absolution. Does it mean that the Pentecostals won't receive forgiveness bcos they don't confess to a priest?

Tyler J. W. Dickinson said...

In response to Anonymous @ Anonymous, I would add that the priest says, in the words of Consecration, "Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for THIS IS MY BODY which will be given up for you." And so forth with the Chalice. As Anonymous said, the priest stands "in persona Christi capitis", he is configured to Christ in that way by virtue of his ordination.

In response to Samuel Henry:
God binds Himself to the Sacraments, but He Himself is not bound by the Sacraments. The Sacrament of Penance is the only ordinary way mortal sins are forgiven. Because God binds Himself to the Sacraments, we know that when sins are confessed in the Sacrament, they are forgiven with the administration of absolution by a priest with faculties to hear confessions in that diocese. This doesn't mean that God can't forgive sins outside of the Sacrament...He can. However, we can never be sure that sins are forgiven outside of the Sacrament. The same is true for baptism: Baptism is necessary for salvation, in that it is necessary that baptism exist for any salvation to be conveyed to man. But it is still, theoretically, possible for one who has not been baptized to go to heaven--but this is entirely up to the mercy of God. God's mercy, though, cannot be separated from His justice; one who refuses the truth God has given in His Church (i.e. the Church He founded, namely, the Catholic Church), according to justice, has refuced the grace of God, and wouldn't likely be forgiven. However, we can't say that for sure. What we can say is that one who is baptized is brought into the Mystical Body of Christ, is cleansed of Original Sin, and is adopted as a child of God. (Now, of course, the grace of baptism can be lost when one commits a mortal sin, and separates himself from the God Who gives all grace; this is why we have the Sacrament of Penance.)

Njajal said...

what is the formula for receiving the people who are excomunicated? (e.g. because of abortion?)
Thanks.

Philip Djido said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Djido said...

It is always difficult to people who have a problem of distinction between the administrative privileges and the rest of the sheepfold to understand that though we are all chosen, there some who are chosen in a particular way for a particular task, thereby enjoy some privileges(as in sharing fully in the ministry of Christ). This does not mean that others are less important, the historical disciples of Jesus are well placed to understand what Jesus meant, in fact they were the ones who handed them down to us. they were confessing people according to the first historical liturgical book Didache. We can only read into their texts with our lack of spiritual humility, but that does not nullify the fact of the sacramentality of the Penitential service.

Anonymous said...

I am a priest. How to say the prayer of absolution in Italian language

Bonie Burlaza said...

I AM HAPPY OF THE TRANSLATION.

MAY I ASK A QUESTION: WHEN THE PENITENT APPROACHES THE PRIEST, WHAT WILL THE PRIEST DO: DOES HE MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON HIMSELF OR DOES HE GIVE THE BLESSING TO THE PENTENT, BECAUSE THE PENITENT SAYS BY SIGNING THE CROSS, BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED..... WHAT IS THE CORRECT PROCESS? TO BLESS HIMSELF OR TO BLESS THE PENITENT AT THE B EGINNING?

FR. BONIE duriancity42@aol.com