Man in deep thought

Act of Contrition

We are nearing the end of Lent. I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation earlier this month at a CRHP retreat.  But if I hadn’t I’d be preparing to go now, before the Triduum.

One thing people get nervous about sometimes is remembering the prayers for confession. Although, really the priest will give you a hand if you get flustered and forget. The only really long prayer to say is the Act of Contrition. And even it isn’t really that long.

There are many different versions of the Act of Contrition. A priest once told me there are only really three elements and if you just said those straight out, you were set.

  1. Say you are sorry for your sins
  2. Say you are going to try not to sin
  3. Say you are going to avoid sin
But most people don’t seem to like winging it, so I’ve put four common variations of the Act of Contrition below.

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended thee.
I detest all my sins because of thy just punishment
but most of all because they offend thee my God
who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace to sin no more
and to avoid near occasion of sin again.

O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet.
From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for all my sins,
because by them I have offended Thee, Who art infinitely good.
I will die rather than offend thee again.

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 are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His Name, my God, have mercy.

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