U.S. Catholic Bishops Approved Change to Prayer of Absolution

There will be two small changes in the formulation of the prayer of absolution, that the priest prays to complete the sacrament, if you attend the sacrament of penance in 2023.

The new prayer is expected to be used in the United States beginning in 2023, though it won’t be official until released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The revised approved text, as reported by Aleteia, is below, with revisions highlighted in bold:

God, the Father of mercies,

through the death and resurrection of his Son

reconciled the world to itself

and widespread the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;

through the ministry of the Church, that God to agree you pardon and peace,

and I absolve you of your sins

in the name of the Father, [sign of the cross] and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

And this is what prayer was before:

God, the Father of mercies,

through the death and resurrection of his Son

reconciled the world to itself

and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;

through the ministry of the Church, may God grant you forgiveness and peace,

and I absolve you of your sins

in the name of the Father, [sign of the cross] and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

The new translation of the prayer was approved by the Catholic Bishops of the United States in 2021, with 182 votes in favor, 6 votes against and 2 abstentions. According to a USCCB bulletin posted online this week, the Vatican Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments authorized the translation in April 2022.

Penance, also called reconciliation or confession, is the mechanism by which God grants forgiveness of sins. The contrite penitent confesses his sins to a Catholic priest, who then grants sacramental forgiveness. The penitent swears never to sin again and performs an act of satisfaction, such as three Hail Marys.

God grants the penitent forgiveness and peace through the priest, and the penitent is reconciled to God.

Pope Francis has always emphasized the importance of receiving God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of penance during his pontificate.

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