Act of Contrition

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BonnieBj

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When I was a Catholic, especially as a child, I prayed the aact of contrition in the confessional but was so afraid I’d forget it that I was concnetrating on that instead of what it was I was praying. Now that I have memory impairment due to non-traumatic brain injury, it seems as if one should either devise one’s own act of contrition or use one of the standard versions but write it down and read it when przaying. This would get my mind off of worrying about forgetting and let me really pray the act of contrition. Would any priest have a problem with this approach?
 
Our priest keeps a copy of the Act of Contrition in the confessional, I believe, to aid people. Sometimes people who know it perfectly forget it if they are nervous or emotional. I was always taught that it was not required that you say it word for word - it isn’t an incantation. Your prayer should have certain elements - that you are sorry and that you resolve with God’s grace to sin no more and avoid putting yourself in temptation. I also had a wonderful confessor who just prayed right along with me. I can’t imagine a priest having a problem with a heartfelt prayer of contrition. :gopray:

I was just reminded of my brother who wanted to know why we said “O my God, I am hardly sorry…” 😃 When I taught First Communion class, I let the kids use a slightly easier version if they wanted which didn’t use words like “heartily” because that was not a familiar word and I really wanted them to understand what they were saying. Some still opted for the older version but I made sure to thoroughly explain the word “heartily”.
 
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Beverly:
I was just reminded of my brother who wanted to know why we said “O my God, I am hardly sorry…” 😃
The version your brother recited seems to be the official version in some circles, which may explain why the confession lines are so short and the Communion lines so long. :tsktsk:
 
Speaking as a priest, I can say that more than once I’ve handed people cards with a version of the Act of Contrition on them or helped them say an act in thier own words while in the confessional. 🙂

I’ve been told that some priests no longer ask for an Act of Contrition, especially at communal penance services during Lent and Advent. I expect people to pray one, but am more than willing to help them through it. I hope we are past the stage when the confessor gets upset because the confessee does not have an Act of Contrition memorized.😦

I have mentioned the “Oh, my God, I am hardly sorry” in homilies from time to time to get people to think about what they are saying and to slow down.
 
I have my own favorite prayer of contrition which I found in the back of the St. Joseph Sunday missal and occasionally I find priests who don’t like it. In that case I pray the one on the copy in the confessional. If I am – occasionally – in an unlighted confessional, I give them the one I know best and let them guide me on anything they consider “missing.” Some guides say that even “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner!” suffices. I would just follow the guidance of the confessor.
 
After confessing your sins and the father gives his advice what happens if both of you forget the act of contrition. Are you still forgiven?
maggiec
 
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KateQ:
I have my own favorite prayer of contrition which I found in the back of the St. Joseph Sunday missal
Aren’t you going to share it? Please?

Betsy
 
From what I understand, so long as the penitent is truly sorry and has confessed all their mortal sins to the best of their ability and memory, and the priest has proclaimed the words of the Absolution, the sacrament is valid.
 
I once read that the reason it is called “An Act of Contrition” instead of “The Act . . .” is because there are so many possible ones. I also read that it may actually be better to make your own, since it will generally come from the heart instead of just being a memorized “prayer” that is said by rote. I don’t know how true these statements are (and I read them some 20 - 25 years ago).

My problem with the Act of Contrition is that I generally pray in English, but after confession, I am expected to make an Act of Contrition in Spanish. It is not written on a card in the confessional (in fact, we don’t really have any confessionals - I’ll explain later), so I can’t make use of that. Translating on the fly (as they say) isn’t that easy, so I generally make one up for the occassion.

As for the lack of confessionals. In my chapel (and in most other chapels in the parish), confession is held in the Sacristry before Mass. In the parish church, it is held outside, away from the people that are arriving. Or, if you go to confession during the week, (yes, we have confessions every day) it is generally in the priest’s office. So there are generally no confessionals here.

John
 
John, Thats interesting that you don’t have confessionals in your local parishes. There are no confessionals at my parish either. I was away for many years and when I was on the way home I almost didn’t go to confession because everything was face to face. But the Lord gave me His strength and grace to make the walk through the door to the “cry room/confessional” and back to the sacraments again.
Peace to you,
maggiec
 
Bonnie,

I usually pray an act of contrition in my own words, instead of using “the official prayer”, just because I would sometimes also get preoccupied and feel bad if I “messed it up” in the confessional.

Could you recommend to the priest to keep a card posted in the confessional, with the words of the act of contrition? That way everyone could use it if they forget.
 
Yesterday during confession I actually had my priest ask me to recite An Act of Contrition.

I say actually because I cannot, for the life of me, recall the last time I was asked to and trust me, I go about once a month! :ROFLMAO: … :ehh:
It took me a couple of seconds to remember but I did manage to get it out.

Is it a requirement to say it while in the confessional?
 
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Angelica:
Yesterday during confession I actually had my priest ask me to recite An Act of Contrition.

I say actually because I cannot, for the life of me, recall the last time I was asked to and trust me, I go about once a month! …
It took me a couple of seconds to remember but I did manage to get it out.

Is it a requirement to say it while in the confessional?
Angelica – I’ve been concerned for some years too. Too many priests today REFUSE to even allow you to say an Act of Contrition in the confessional. My wife today upon asking a priest to hear her Act of Contrition was told to pray it outside the confessional with her one ‘Our Father’ penance. A few years back when my parish priest kept pulling the same nonsense with me, I got hot under the collar and told him that I EXPECT him to ask me for one. I left the confessional without giving him one and embarrassed that I would get irate with my confessor. No wonder that the confession lines are so short today. :mad:

TonyG
 
I find it better to read it. i can say it more meaningfully when i read it.
 
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