A priest’s prayers before and after making his own confession

Firstly, animi caussa, 1st Vesper for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost from the Breviarium Romanum.  Try HERE

More for the brethren.

Here is something I haven’t posted for a while.  It’s from an old prayerbook for priests which I’ve had since before my ordination.  These old books are dense with wisdom.

Here are two prayers, in Latin and English, for priests, for before and after they make confession their own confession.

I’ve added accent marks.  In the translations I used an archaic style.  The content might seem a little flowery in our age of tweets and dumbed-down prose, but… there’s nothing wrong with that!  There are a couple tricky bits in the Latin, but I believe I’ve found the right solutions.

In this these troubling times, I suspect many priests, discerning the particular need and/or in good discipline, will seek to make their own confessions soon.  I hope these prayers could be of use.


Súscipe Confessiónem meam, piísime ac clementíssime Dómine Iesu Christe, única spes salútis ánimae méae, et da mihi, óbsecro, contritiónem cordis, et lácrimas óculis meis, ut dé?eam diébus ac nóctibus omnes neglegéntias meas cum humilitáte et puritáte cordis.  Dómine, Deus meus, súscipe preces meas.  Salvátor mundi, Iesu bone, qui te crucis morti dedísti, ut peccatóres salvos fáceres, réspice me míserum peccatórem invocántem nomen tuum, et noli sic atténdere malum meum, ut obliviscáris bonum tuum; et si commísi unde me damnáre potes, tu non amisísti, unde salváre soles.  Parce ergo mihi, qui es Salvátor meus, et miserére peccatríci ánimae meae.  Solve víncula eius, sana vúlnera.  Emítte ígitur, piíssime Dómine, méritis puríssimae et immaculátae semper Víriginis Genitrícis tuae Maríae, et Sánctorum tuórum, lucem tuam, veritátem tuam in ánimam meam, quae omnes deféctus meos in veritáte mihi osténdat, quos confitéri me opórtet, atque iuvet et dóceat ipsos plene et contríto corde explicáre. Qui vivis et regnas Deus per ómnia saécula saeculórum.  Amen.

Accept my confession, O most merciful and most gentle Lord Jesus Christ, sole hope of the salvation of my soul, and grant to me, Thy priest, I beg, contrition of heart and tears for my eyes, that day and night I might beweep all my failures with humility and purity of heart.  O Lord, my God, accept my prayers.  Savior of the world, good Jesus, who gave Thyself to the death of the Cross so that Thou mightst make sinners to be saved, look upon me, a miserable sinner invoking Thy Name, and heed not my evil in such a way that Thou shouldst forget Thy goodness. And if I have committed that by which Thou canst condemn me, Thou hast not lost that by which Thou art accustomed to save me.  Spare me, therefore, Thou who art my Savior, and be merciful to my sinful soul.  Free its bonds, heal its wounds.  Hence, most merciful Lord, by the merits of Thy Mother, the most pure and immaculate ever-Virgin Mary, whom Thou didst entrust as a Mother especially to priests, and by the merits of Thy Saints, into my soul send forth Thy light, Thy truth which all my defects require, and assist and teach me to unfold them fully and with a contrite heart. Who livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.


Sit tibi, Dómine, óbsecro, méritis beatae semper Vírginis Genetrícis tuae Maríae et ómnium Sanctórum, grata et accépta ista conféssio mea, et quidquid mihi défuit nunc, et de suf?ciéntia contritiónis, de puritáte et integritáte confessiónis, súppleat píetas et misericórdia tua et secúndum illam dignéris me habére plénius et perféctius absolútum in caelo. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia saécula saeculórum. Amen.

O Lord, I beseech Thee, by the merits of Thy Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints, let this my confession to have been pleasing and acceptable to Thee, and whatsoever was now lacking in me and in the sufficiency of my contrition, and in the purity and completeness of my confession, may Thy mercy and compassion make whole and, thereafter, deign to hold me fully and perfectly absolved in Heaven.  Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.  Amen.

This post is intended for bishops and priests and perhaps seminarians, for now to ponder.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: A priest’s prayers before and after making his own confession | Fr. Z’s Blog – The Old Roman

  2. Gab says:

    Just glorious. Can these prayers be adapted for use by the laity?

  3. Philliesgirl says:

    I agree with Gab they are really beautiful. A version for the laity would be very helpful

  4. JonPatrick says:

    I find I prefer the “flowery language” in the older prayers such as I find in my Angelus missal. I have prayers I use after the TLM and I ended up copying and pasting them into the back of the St. Joseph missal I use at the NO.

  5. Philmont237 says:

    The iPieta app has versions of these prayers that removes any references to the penitent being a priest. It is a fantastic app, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

    Prayer Before Confession
    Receive my confession, o most compassionate and clement Lord Jesus Christ, my soul’s only hope of salvation. Grant me, I beseech Thee, contrition of heart and tears for my eyes, so that I may weep day and night with humility and purity of heart for all my shortcomings.
    Let my prayer come before Thee, O Lord. If Thy anger hast turned against me, whom shall I seek to help me? Who will have mercy on my iniquities? Remember me, O Lord, Thou who calledst the Canaanite woman and the Publican to repentance, and accepted Peter’s tears. O Lord, my God, accept my prayers.
    Savior of the world, good Jesus, who gavest Thyself over to death on the Cross to save sinners, look upon me, a wretched sinner invoking Thy Name, and do not regard my wickedness such wise as to forget Thy goodness; and thus if I have done that which deserves condemnation, Thou hast not lost that whereby Thou art wont to save.
    Spare me, therefore, Thou who art my Savior, and have mercy upon my sinful soul. Loose its bonds and heal its wounds. O Lord Jesus, I desire Thee, I seek Thee, I want Thee, show me Thy face and I shall be saved.
    Therefore, o most gracious Lord, by the merits of Thy most pure, immaculate, and ever-virgin mother Mary and all Thy Saints, send forth Thy light and Thy truth into my soul. May it show me all my shortcomings in truth which I am bound to confess, and also may it aid and teach me to reveal them fully with a contrite heart. Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

    Prayer After Confession
    I beseech Thee, O Lord, that my confession may be made acceptable and pleasing to Thee by the merits of Thy blessed and ever Virgin Mother and all the Saints. May Thy compassion and mercy fulfill whatever may be lacking in me in contrition, purity, or completeness of confession. Mercifully pardon all my deficiencies that according to this greatness of mercy, I may be fully and perfectly absolved in heaven. Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I adopted these prayers for lay use many years ago.

    In the first prayer, a layperson would omit the words “Thy priest” and “especially to priests”.

    Nothing needs to be changed in the second prayer.

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