Monday, March 7, 2011

Question about the Penitential Rite

I am beginning to realize where the bags under my eyes have come from the last few days.  I thought I was just unaccountably tired, but I think I am facing yet another winter illness.  I will pray that I can nip this one in the bud...  I might be a tad cranky.  I am not sure.  But I have a question that has been nagging at me for years and this just might be the time to ask.

So, at mass, we have the penitential rite.  The priest asks us to call to mind our sins, acknowledge our failures, etc.  Then, if it is a daily mass and there is no deacon present, we get to pray:
I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.  
That is one of my favorite prayers.

But if there is a deacon present, or sometimes even if not, the Kyrie is immediately launched into.  No moment to "call to mind our sins," no anything other than the deacon singing "Lord have mercy."

To me, that doesn't feel like the same thing at all.

I really feel the need to call to mind my failings and ask for the prayers of the Virgin Mary, all the angels and saints, and my brothers and sisters too.

That's my question... are these really the same thing?  Technically I know they are, but they feel so different.


  1. One is a confession, the other is a plea for God's mercy. I like when both are said, not one or the other.

  2. I agree it not feeling right when we don't say the pennetential rite. It was like that for us three Sunday's ago. They also skip it during Lent I think. Is that correct or is it Advent? I can't remember.

    I came down with something myself yesterday. I had chills now for over 24 hours. A couple of hours ago I had a 103 fever. Down to roughly normal right now with a couple of advil. Is it starve a cold feed a fever or the opposite? I can't remember that Feel better.

  3. Seems like we are sick! yuk. I think it is--Eat and drink what you feel like. If you want it, chances are it will go down. I know this may not be the most medical of opinions, but it has always worked for me :) Do drink, whatever it is. Water, tea.
    Hope you both feel better! Prayers!

    I also prefer the confession. I think they both accomplish the same thing. But don't quote me.

  4. meant to say *all* are sick. Watch out, Joyce!

  5. Actually, I've been battling a sinus thing off and on for a few weeks now, though I actually had a pretty good weekend. I keep offering God other body parts to cause me to suffer, but He seems to prefer my sinuses. What can I do except "OFFER IT UP" lol.

  6. Even the Confiteor has been watered down here.
    The original Latin to the Confession in the BlogPost is:

    Text in Latin
    Confiteor Deo omnipotenti beatae Mariae Semper Virgini, beatae Michaeli Archangeli, Beatae Joanne Baptistae, sanctis apostolist, Petro et Paulo
    quia peccavi nimis
    cogitatione, verbo, opere, et omissióne:
    mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
    Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Vírginem,
    omnes Angelos et Sanctos,
    et vos, fratres, orare pro me
    ad Dominum Deum nostrum.

    Watch these two lines, indeed, one of which discuss sins of ommission:
    cogitatione, verbo, opere, et omissióne:
    mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa....

    They are saying "through my thoughts (cogitatione), words (verbo), actions (opere), and what I have failed to do (omissionne).

    The mea culpa's are dropped entirely.
    It means the above listed sins being confessed were done "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievious fault".

    Imagine grieving God and confessing that to Him.
    Further, the Confiteor was to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist,theHoly Apostles, Peter and Paul;

    all of them but Mary were wiped out.

    I would suggest in the time before Mass, come early and simply say this aloud softly to God.
    If it reoccurs during Mass, so much the better.

    Biblically, we are to confess our sins to one another as in the Confiteor.

    "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
    ~~~James 5:16

    This is an excellent question, an excellent observation, and a practice called for in the Bible.

  7. 'I really feel the need to call to mind my failings and ask for the prayers of the Virgin Mary, all the angels and saints, and my brothers and sisters too.'

    ditto! love you, by the way! Happy shrove tuesday. ros.