Part two of form II’s Rite of Reconciliation is the actual confession and absolution:
55. Then the penitents go to the priests designated for individual confession, and confess their sins. Each one receives and accepts a fitting act of satisfaction and is absolved. After hearing the confession and offering suitable counsel, the priest extends his hands over the penitent’s head (or at least extends his right hand) and gives him absolution. Everything else which is customary in individual confession is omitted.
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.
Note many things:
The direction given the confessor and penitent. In form III a general act of satisfaction (colloquially, a “penance”) is given. Here in form II, the confessor is to take the time to give that “penance” to the penitent.
The rite seems to suggest there is (or should be) ample time to give counsel. The only time I experienced such counsel was when I celebrated form II at a monastery. It was brief, appropriate, and appreciated. But it was there.
The rite also dictates the extension of hands over the penitent’s head (not the laying on of hands). What do you make of this? Is laying on of hands inappropriate? What sort of gestures do you see in form II in your parishes? Is form I missing something when there is none of this type of gesture?