A Guide to Reconciliation

The Rite of Reconciliation

The penitent may choose to being the confession by crossing himself and gretting the priest saying:

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (specify the period of time) since my last confession; these are my sins.

Or, after a customary greeting, the priest may choose to invite thepenitent to have trust in God, using these or similiar words:

May the Lord be in your heart and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow.


May the grace of the Holy Spirit fill your heart with light, that you may confess your sins with loving trust and come to know that God is merciful.


May God who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in His mercy.

The penitent accuses himself of the sins and confesses them. If necessary, the priest helps the penitent to make an integral confession. The priest gives opportune advice and suitable counsel, imposes the penance, and invites the penitent to manifest his contrition through a prayer of sorrow.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, 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 sin no more and to avoid the near occassion of sin. Amen.

Then, extending his hands over the penitent’s head (or at least his right hand), the priest gives the penitent the absolution.

English: “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 teh name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Latin: DEUS meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a Te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi Te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia Tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen.

The penitent answers: “Amen”

The priest dismisses the penitent. The penitent must then satisfy the penance as soon as possible.