From the Jubilee

Jesus arms outstretchedJubilee act of contrition from Psalm 25:

Remember your compassion and your mercy, O Lord,
for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth;
remember me according to your mercy
because of your goodness, Lord. (6-7)


My psalm of choice for Penance form I is the 51st. Most people, I think, use a memorized non-Scriptural form. When did psalms begin to be suggested? I like the development as an addition. What do you readers think?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Jubilee of Mercy, Rite of Penance, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to From the Jubilee

  1. Liam says:

    I don’t have my ritual books handy, but I see in a 2014 PDF from the Office of Divine Worship for the Philadelphia archdiocese that Ps 25 is included in the regular full form of Form I:

    I think these are what is referenced in last sentence of the following part of the ritual:


    45. 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.

    Other prayers of the penitent may be chosen from nos. 85-92.

    * * *

    The Act of Contrition (non-Scriptural) obviously developed in the context of a juridical understanding of the sacramental ritual – it’s a form of putting oneself on trial, and the older forms of that prayer is design to formally evince attrition at the very least and contrition at best (not as clear in the version above), and a “firm purpose of amendment”. Check the boxes, right?

    For some reason, that hasn’t ruined it for me; over the years, I’ve found it moving (it’s what I use – it’s been many years since I last encountered a priest who uses the full form of Form I, and I don’t go around demanding it). Sometimes, one can go through the boxes being checked, rather than ditching them. (Which is a useful reminder to myself not to assume a old form that seems outdated to me is not necessarily so.)

    It’s a bit funny, because it’s one of the four classic “Act of” prayers Catholic children used to memorize for sacramental preparation – Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love (or Charity), and Act of Contrition. Of these, the two that have stuck with me in my sixth decade are the Act of Hope (which is lucid and beautiful – I highly recommend adding it to one’s daily prayers) and the Act of Contrition (in varying forms – it changed a bit). The Act of Faith does not feel like a prayer (rather more of a position paper) to me, and I have so many other ways of expressing an act of love than that prayer.

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