From a reader….
At my last Confession, during the absolution, the priest said: “I absolve you from your sins, in the name, etc.” Note that he did not say “from ALL your sins”. Does this mean the absolution is invalid? Any information you can offer me on this topic is greatly appreciated. Thank You.
It is a pleasure to be able to answer this question. Usually when I get questions about the form of absolution it has to do with Fr. Jackass who screwed around with the form, thus sewing doubt in the minds of penitents about whether or not their sins were forgiven.
Fathers! DON’T SCREW AROUND WITH THE FORMS OF SACRAMENTS.
If you heard the priest say “I absolve you from your sins, in the name, etc.”, that’s the proper and valid form. The proper form does not include “all”.
The post-Conciliar, Novus Ordo form:
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 absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii,+ et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
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. Amen.
The traditional form, also used today freely by any Latin Church priest confessor:
Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis (suspensionis) et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges. Deinde, ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, + et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and I, by His authority, absolve you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, in as much as I am able and you require. + Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In both cases, no “omnibus/cunctis… all”.
Also, there were a couple of additional, and beautiful, prayers in the traditional form which could for a good reason be omitted.
If the priest were to say “all”, that would not invalidate the absolution. But the priest should not say “all” because “all” is NOT part of the form.
So, friend, your priest seems to have stuck to the form…. though you didn’t include the first part. One assumes that he stuck to the form. Provided that you did your best to confess in kind and number all your mortal sins, were sincerely sorry, and had a firm purpose of amendment, you are good to go. The sins you forgot are also wiped away in that confession.
There is nothing so bad that one of us little mortals can do that the infinite power of our loving God can’t remedy, provided we ask for forgiveness. And the way God wanted us to receive forgiveness and restoration for post-baptismal sins is precisely through the Sacrament of Penance which He instituted.
On that note… everyone…
GO TO CONFESSION!
ADDENDUM: 28 May 2021:
From a reader…
Two days ago, I went to confession. The confessor, however, changed the wording of the new rite form to say “I absolve you from your GUILT”, not “sins”. Was this invalid?
That was INVALID.
This priest should be given a copy of the true form of absolution. If he persists in using the wrong form, invalid form, he should be reported to the local bishop, in writing, and with a view to informing the Congregation.