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Rite for the Reconciliation of Individual Penitents

In the light of verbal authorization given to several episcopal Conferences, texts in this rite affected by the new translation of the Roman Missal into English are appended and indicated by the abbreviation ‘NTRM’. Users are requested to consult their local Ordinary, or abide by guidelines issued by him, in determining which text to use.

1.    Reception of the Penitent and Invitation to trust in God
2.    Reading of the Word of God (optional)
3.    Confession
4.    Prayer of the Penitent
5.    Absolution
6.    Proclamation of Praise of God and Dismissal
7.    Alternative texts:
       a.    Invitation to Trust in God
       b.    Readings


When the penitent comes to confess his sins, the priest welcomes him warmly and greets him with kindness.

Then the penitent makes the sign of the cross which the priest may make also.

In the name of the Father, +
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The priest invites the penitent to have trust in God, in these or similar words:

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

[Deus, qui illúxit in córdibus nostris,
det tibi ut in veritáte agnóscas peccáta tua
et suam misericórdiam.]

The penitent answers: Amen.

Other forms of reception of the penitent may be chosen


Then the priest may read or say from memory a text of Scripture which proclaims God's mercy and calls man to conversion.

A reading may also be chosen from those given for the reconciliation of several penitents. The priest and penitent may choose other readings from scripture.

(Sample:) 1 John 1:6-7, 9

If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

Alternative Readings


Where it is the custom, the penitent says a general formula for confession (for example, I confess to almighty God) before he/she confesses his/her sins.

I confess to almighty God,
and to you, father
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, father
to pray for me to the Lord our God.


I confess to almighty God
and to you, father,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
Then they continue:
therefore 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.]

If necessary, the priest helps the penitent to make an integral confession and gives him suitable counsel. He urges him to be sorry for his faults, reminding him that through the sacrament of penance the Christian dies and rises with Christ and is thus renewed in the paschal mystery. The priest proposes an act of penance which the penitent accepts to make satisfaction for sin and to amend his life.

The priest should make sure that he adapts his counsel to the penitent's circumstances.


The priest then asks the penitent to express his sorrow, which the penitent may do in these or similar words:

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 Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.


Lord Jesus, Son of God
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Other prayers of the penitent may be chosen.


Then the priest extends his hands over the penitent’s head (or at least extends his right hand) and says:

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 the name of the Father, + and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

The penitent answers: Amen.


Deus, Pater misericordiárum,
qui per mortem et resurrectiónem Fílii sui
mundum sibi reconciliávit
et Spíritum Sanctum effúdit in remissiónem peccatórum,
per ministérium Ecclésiæ indulgéntiam tibi tríbuat et pacem.

Et ego te absólvo a peccátis tuis
in nómine Patris et Fílii + et Spíritus Sancti.

The penitent answers: Amen.]


After the absolution, the priest continues:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

The penitent concludes:

His mercy endures for ever.

Then the priest dismisses the penitent who has been reconciled, saying:

The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.


May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and of all the saints,
whatever good you do and suffering you endure,
heal your sins,
help you to grow in holiness,
and reward you with eternal life.
Go in peace.


The Lord has freed you from sin.
May he bring you safely to his kingdom in heaven.
Glory to him for ever.


Blessed are those whose sins have been forgiven,
whose evil deeds have been forgotten.
Rejoice in the Lord, and go in peace.


Go in peace,
and proclaim to the world the wonderful works of God
who has brought you salvation.



1. Ezekiel 33:11:
The Lord does not wish the sinner to die
but to turn back to him and live.
Come before him with trust in his mercy.

2. Luke 5:32:
May the Lord Jesus welcome you.
He came to call sinners, not the just.
Have confidence in him.

3. 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.

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

5. 1 John 2:1-2:
If you have sinned, do not lose heart.
We have Jesus Christ to plead for us with the Father:
he is the Holy One, the atonement for our sins
and for the sins of the whole world.


1.    Isaiah 53:4-6
2.    Ezekiel 11:19-20
3.    Matthew 6:14-15
4.    Mark 1:14-15
5.    Luke 6:31-38
6.    Luke 15:1-7
7.    John 10:19-23
8.    Romans 5:8-9
9.    Ephesians 5:1-2
10.  Colossians 1:12-14
11.  Colossians 3:8-10, 12-17
12.  1 John 1:6-7, 9

1.  Let us look on Jesus who suffered to save us and rose again for our justification.

Isaiah 53:4-6:

It was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.  We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.

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Let us listen to the Lord as he speaks to us:

2.    Ezekiel 11:19-20:

I will give them a new heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the stony heart from their bodies, and replace it with a natural heart, so that they will live according to my statutes, and observe and carry out my ordinances; thus they shall be my people and I will be their God.

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3.    Matthew 6:14-15:

If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

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4.    Mark 1:14-15

After John had been arrested, 8 Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

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5.    Luke 6:31-38

Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

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6.    Luke 15:1-7

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

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7.    John 10:19-23

8. Romans 5:8-9

But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.

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9. Ephesians 5:1-2

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

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10. Colossians 1:12-14

Give  thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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11. Colossians 3:8-10, 12-17

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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12. 1 John 1:6-7, 9:

If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.  But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

Return to the rite

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