WDTPRS POLL: The 2nd Confiteor

Here is a WDTPRS POLL meant to compliment a post over at Rorate, where readers have been asked about the 2nd Confiteor during the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

This poll is not meant to elicit opinions about whether or not we should use the 2nd Confiteor. We are just trying to find out what actually goes on.

At the TLM I regularly attend, ...

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  1. revs96 says:

    There are three priests whose TLM’s I regularly hear. One uses the 2nd Confiteor, the other two don’t.

  2. NonSumDignus says:

    I voted no, it is not done. To be more specific though, at the one I regularly attend, it is not done. I have attended a few before which have done it.

  3. MJ says:

    It’s done at my FSSP parish.

  4. Centristian says:

    I abstained from voting as I do not regularly attend Mass in the extraordinary form. In the past, however, when I did, there was always a second confiteor, whether Mass was at an SSPX chapel or at a diocesan parish church. I believe I have yet to hear the old Mass celebrated without the 2nd confiteor.

    It was eliminated from the ’62 Missal, was it not? I will say, that when chanted (well) at a solemn Mass, it was lovely, even if it seemed out of place. When not sung, however, it just seemed out of place.

  5. DanW says:

    I have a question about this. What this “second Confiteor” done universally prior to 1962? I was an altar boy in grade school prior to 1962 (graduated from high school in 1965) in an Archdiocese in the Midwest and for the life of me cannot remember ever doing it. ( I can remember when St. Joseph was added to the canon in 1962.) Thanks.

  6. trad catholic mom says:

    I voted no, but only because for the last year I’ve been going to a diocesan EF and they do not do it there.

    At the FSSP and SSPX masses I’ve been to they do.

  7. WGS says:

    It seems to me that since these preparatory prayers of the priest were moved from the sacristy to the foot of the altar, the worshippers in the pew were able to share in the server’s recitation of the Confiteor. Three Confiteors in the Mass is more than I need.

  8. gloriainexcelsis says:

    At every FSSP parish I have ever attended, including SS Trinita dei Pelegrini in Rome, the second Confiteor is always done. I particularly love to hear it chanted at Solemn High Mass, and often sing it to myself during my private prayers. It’s beautiful.

  9. ppb says:

    Our current chaplain has us recite the Confiteor before Holy Communion, but I’ve seen it done both ways – priests have different opinions as to whether or not it should be done. I never make a fuss either way, as I understand the priest is either a) trying to preserve a tradition that is often desired by the faithful if they allow the second Confiteor, or b) trying to be completely faithful to the 1962 rubrics if they omit it.

    Does anyone know if the PCED has ever responded to a query about this issue?

  10. PatriciusOenus says:

    I wish it were prayed everywhere!

  11. Certainly, the chanting of the “2nd Confiteor” by the deacon is one of the lovelier moments in a solemn high Mass. I have heard the argument that it should be included in a solemn high Mass because it is still required at a solemn pontifical Mass.

    However, in a certain sense, it makes little difference personally, since I recite the traditional confiteor silently just before receiving Holy Communion, whether at an OF or EF Mass.

    If not the confiteor (or perhaps an act of contrition), I wonder what prayers the typical Catholic says in silent preparation for reception.

  12. lucy says:

    We go to a traditional Mass at our regular parish. When the Rogationist priest who serves us twice a month is here, there is a 2nd confiteor. When the FSSP priests come twice a month, there is a 2nd confiteor. And when the Carmelite priest comes on 5th Sundays only, there is a 2nd confiteor.

    I like it because if I miss the first one, I have another chance before Communion. I also try to remind my children to be thinking of their sins so they do not miss it either.

  13. PaterAugustinus says:

    I said “yes” … at least, I think so! In our Latin (Sarum) Mass, the first Confiteor is said discreetly amidst the ministers at the altar, while the choir is chanting the Introit. Then, there is a common Confiteor before communion. I’m not familiar with Tridentine usage.

  14. MichaelJ says:

    I’ve never been to an EF Mass where it was not done. As to whether it was actively suppressed, or simply made optional by its ommission, I would have to say the latter. When I was living in Alabama, and retired Bishop Foley (the one who forbade televised Ad Orientem Masses on EWTN) offered an EF Mass, the 2nd Confiteor was recited. My impression of Bishop Foley is that he is very much a “Say the Black and Do the Red” type of man.

  15. Lirioroja says:

    At every EF Mass I’ve been to the 2nd Confiteor is said. However, I own a 1960 Latin/Spanish hand missal and in the Ordinary it specifically states that the 2nd Confiteor is not said. If I’m following in my missal at that part I have to flip back to the prayers at the foot of the altar to follow along. Was the 2nd Confiteor not done in the 1960 Missal? Were they reinstated in 1962? The note in my missal seems to suggest that it was done prior to 1960. Was this so? Personally I do like the 2nd Confiteor – it helps to prepare me to receive the Eucharist. I’d miss it if I were at an EF Mass and it wasn’t said.

  16. Geoffrey says:

    The 2nd Confiteor is prayed at the EF Mass that I attend when I can. I find it annoying. So much for saying the black, doing the red!

  17. Centristian says:

    @Henry Edwards:

    “If not the confiteor (or perhaps an act of contrition), I wonder what prayers the typical Catholic says in silent preparation for reception.”

    Does a Catholic need, really, to embellish upon the public prayer of the Church in the liturgy with a private prayer at all? “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed,” (soon to become, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”) seems sufficient.

  18. MichaelJ says:

    It has been said (saidly, I cannot remember by whom) that “A righteous man sins seven times a day”. Perhaps I am being overly scrupulous, but I do not think of myself as a righteous man.

    So yes, for me at least, there is a very reall possibility that I may commit a venial sin after the first confiteor but before I recieve Our Lord in Holy Communion.

    Has nobody else ever entertained an ill opinion about a fellow parishoner during Mass? Can everyone else always maintain full custody of the eyes when encountering someone inappropriately (e.g. scantily) dressed for Mass? Maybe I am in worse shape than I thought….

  19. jbas says:

    Centristian, I don’t know if this answers your question to Henry Edwards completely, but number 84 of the 2002 GIRM says: “The priest prepares himself by a prayer, said quietly, that he may fruitfully receive Christ’s Body and Blood. The faithful do the same, praying silently.”
    As someone who regularly celebrates the traditional form of the Roman Mass, I’m thankful to Father Z for trying to get to the bottom of this. I’m tired of researching it and think we all just need a clear answer: is it required, forbidden, subject to local custom, or simply optional?

  20. mark1970 says:

    At the Mass I attend regularly, it depends on who the priest is – we have a “rota” of 2 or 3 priests depending on who is available. If it’s a priest of the Institute of Christ the King we have the 2nd Confiteor, if not then the 2nd Confiteor is omitted.

  21. Ef-lover says:

    I attend 2 different EF masses in Sleepy Hollow, NY 2nd Confiteor is said at the EF mass in Norwalk CT, it is not said — I think the 2nd Confiteor should be retained

  22. chcrix says:

    Others have never been to an EF without it.

    I’m with DanW. I’ve never seen this done – not now and not before 1962.

  23. BobP says:

    Where I go the 2nd confiteor is skipped but the 2nd absolution is given anyway.

  24. wolfeken says:

    For those not familiar with the origin of the last Confiteor, it is from the Rituale when communion is distributed to the people. Therefore, when communion was given to the people at Mass (as compared to just the priest), the last Confiteor and its accompanying absolution were recited by the server and priest.

    It was indeed ommitted in the most recent missal (1962), but because it was a custom it was tolerated (and still is).

    My question, however, is why the final Confiteor is SUNG by the FSSP (deacons and subdeacons) at a Solemn High Mass. I thought the singing of it was reserved only for a pontifical High Mass. Anyone? (I am guessing it’s another adopted custom.)

  25. asophist says:

    I have never been to a TLM without it – both before, and after, 1962. I regularly attend the TLM at a couple of diocesan parishes in the Midwest and one SSPX chapel, occasionally. I grew up in the 1950’s in Minneapolis (I now live in St. Paul). It is interesting to note that most responders to your question, Father, indicate that they experience it at their masses.

  26. teaguytom says:

    FSSP chaplain in Harrisburg always does the 2nd confiteor as does any visiting fraternity priests. I’m guessing that the omitting of it in the 1962 missal was another precursor to the new mass just like the 1955 reforms.

  27. Athanasius says:

    Every FSSP priest I have known save one uses the 2nd confiteor. Something has to be understood however:
    By legalizing all the liturgical books of 1962, that legalizes two books, the one put out in the beginning of the year has the 2nd confiteor but not St. Joseph in the canon, the one at the later part of the year and there is no 2nd confiteor for low Mass or a Missa Cantata but St. Joseph is in the canon. A priest must use one or the other, except for the FSSP, since they have a general indult to use both the 2nd confiteor and St. Joseph in the canon.

  28. PaterAugustinus says:


    I know little specific about the Tridentine usage, but I do know that I saw a solemn high mass (not pontifical) celebrated with a sung, second Confiteor. The video is on Youtube, and the Mass is actually narrated by Bishop (Fulton) Sheen. I don’t know what the rubrics say, but that’s how they did it.

    Can list members fill me in, here: in our usage (Sarum), the first Confiteor is done at the altar by the priest and other servers, while the choir chants the Introit (Officium); the people would never hear it, so for the average man in the pew there seems to be only one Confiteor. Does the Tridentine usage have two prominent Confiteors, or is the first done privately by the priest and the ministers at the altar?

  29. Irene says:

    It is said at the FSSP TLM that I attend on Sundays. I use a 1950 St. Joseph Daily Missal, where it is indicated at the Communion of the Faithful: “Server and people say the “Confiteor””. During the week I attend an OF Mass and I say it silently while walking up to Communion.

  30. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Henry Edwards: “If not the confiteor (or perhaps an act of contrition), I wonder what prayers the typical Catholic says in silent preparation for reception.”

    Oh, Henry, you really want to open that up? how ‘typical’ Catholics prepare? I”m chuckling over all the possible answers, thinking of all the behavior I’ve witnessed over the years. bwahahaha

    Okay, now I”m composed, I’ll answer. I’m not typical, but I recite the Confiteor before Communion, either in Latin or English, while trying to recollect myself.

    I voted NO, not done – typically the Diocesan Masses around here do not say that 2nd Confiteor. Over the years I’ve seen it said many times, depending on where I’ve gone and who is saying it.

    Somewhere I got the impression that some of the old Missals don’t mention reciting the people’s Confiteor as it was commonly understood you did it, unless directed NOT to, before Communion. And yea, if Communion isn’t being distributed, there is no need for it.

  31. Mike Morrow says:

    I believe that no *altar* missal includes *any* part of the Communion of the Faithful between the Sanguis Domini and the Quod ore sumpsimus, so perhaps this opens the door for customs and variations to be inserted at this point. To clarify to anyone not familiar with this custom in detail, one inserts the Misereatur tui, Confiteor, Miseratur vestri, and Indulgentiam from the prayers at the foot of the altar between the Sanguis Domini and the Ecce Agnus Dei at communion time. I call this the second server’s confiteor, in order to not confuse things by adding the priest’s confiteor to the total.

    This second server’s confiteor is in the St. Andrew Missal that I used in parochial school, copyright 1956. I was an altar server when it was eliminated without contention at my parish, but I believe that took place sometime *before* 1962. It is not found in any recent 1962 MR hand missals. Not being in the Angelus Press missal indicates that even the most faithful guardians of tradition at the FSSPX do not consider it essential.

    I don’t find the second server’s confiteor to be objectionable, but it is surprising to find it performed in most current EF Masses. In the sense of not reflecting the Mass that existed before Vatican II disruption, it seems mildly “non-traditional” to me.

  32. MrMC says:

    Indianapolis – not said. It wasn’t said when it was done by a FSSP priest, and still not done when said by a diocesan priest. It was removed in 1962 and I see no reason for it to be included. I never understood why it was said – if you said it at the beginning, and you are sitting there at Mass, what sort of sin would you commit that would require you to say it again just before Communion. I understand that it is allowed to continue in 1962 for those parishes with a long-standing tradition. However, with so many “new” EF masses, I can’t tie the custom to the continuation. I see it as used by some who don’t like the changes to the liturgy that occurred even in 1962.

  33. hungry_papist says:

    Ha, SanctaMissa.com’s instructions and video for serving the mass include the option of saying the second confitior, so the first time I served for my local priest, I said it (having studied at that website and practicing the Latin by myself). It caught him a bit off guard, and he later explained that that was optional, and that he didn’t do it. Good thing it was a private mass…too bad I distracted his prayer, though.

  34. lombizani says:

    I regularly attend the Tridentine Mass said by a priest of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney at a close chapel (I’m in São Paulo) and the 2nd Confiteor is always said.

  35. Mike Morrow says:


    I wrote: “…one inserts the Misereatur tui, Confiteor, Miseratur vestri, and Indulgentiam from the prayers at the foot of the altar between the Sanguis Domini and the Ecce Agnus Dei…”

    That should have been “…one inserts the Confiteor, Misereatur vestri, and Indulgentiam from the prayers at the foot of the altar between the Sanguis Domini and the Ecce Agnus Dei…”

    I also believe, based on a thread on this topic at this blog in 2008,


    that I was incorrect thinking that the server’s second confiteor was removed before 1962. The General Rubrics published on 23 June 1962, quoted in the 2008 thread, appear to have removed the server’s second confiteor.

    Rev. J. B. O’Connell’s authoritative fourth and final revision (1964) of “The Celebration of the Mass” also states “…Confiteor – which used to be the signal to the celebrant that there were persons for Communion – is no longer said…”

  36. Mike Morrow says:

    I’m not having a good night. My last paragraph above should have stated: “Rev. J. B. O’Connell’s authoritative fourth and final edition (1964)…”

  37. Gaz says:

    I’m not really keen on the 2nd Confiteor so I don’t say it and Father doesn’t insist on it. When my mate serves Father’s Mass’ I’m surprised when they stop at two!

  38. gloriainexcelsis says:

    The second Confiteor is said for the people for the reception of Holy Communion, not for the priest and servers as at the beginning of Mass, asking forgiveness and praying to be worthyof celebrating the Mass. The second Confiteor is specifically for the people, and the people should be reciting it silently at the same time as the servers, who are acting on their behalf.

  39. Imrahil says:

    I’ve read in a somewhat official document of FSSP or Una Voce or someone else, sorry can’t remember, that the second Confiteor is retained for Germany as a local custom. However, I remember that initially (around 2007), it was not said and some time later it was – seen from the surface – reintroduced. In seems to me that some time the idea circled around that it wasn’t, after all, forbidden to do so, and then it was gladly started to be prayed.

  40. Paul says:

    At our weekly Low Masses we do not pray the 2nd Confiteor, but when our priest celebrates a Missa Cantata (beginning in August the 1st Sunday of every month), we, the servers, pray the 2nd Confiteor. Our community is soon going to celebrate its first anniversary of its establishment by Bishop Boyea of Lansing, MI this coming October.

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