VNO 16: For Reconciliation

It is impermissible to celebrate sacramental confession as part of Mass. But there are aspects of the Rite of Penance that do not involve a sacramental form. It might be a curious occasion if a priest is available for Mass, but for some reason, the possibility of hearing confessions is not advised–and form III isn’t an option in many dioceses. And so we have this Mass “for  Reconciliation.”

In the Lectionary, it is placed under the category “For Public Needs,” but in the latest edition of the Roman Missal, it has been moved to the section “For Holy Church.” I can imagine circumstances when reconciliation may be needed within the Church, but also more or less exclusively outside of it. In any event, there are options.

One of the two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation may be used, according to the rubric. Two collects are given, one especially during Easter time. This latter one does well to contrast slavery and freedom, but otherwise seems a bit confused in how it presents the notion:

O God, author of true freedom,
whose will it is to shape all men and women
into a single people released from slavery,
grant to your Church, we pray,
that, as she receives new growth in freedom,
she may appear more clearly to the world
as the universal sacrament of salvation,
manifesting and making present
the mystery of your love for all.

The options for the Liturgy of the Word are these:

Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-9 (come to the water; seek the Lord)
*Jeremiah 31:31-34 (new covenant)
*Amos 5:4, 14-15, 21-24 (seek good, not evil)

Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4ab, 4c-6, 7-8

*Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 (Peter preaches repentance)
2 Corinthians 5:17—6:2 (ambassadors for Christ)
1 John 2:1-5 (Christ as sinner’s advocate)

Matthew 5:1-12a (Beatitudes)
Luke 3:17-18 (John the Baptist preaches)
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (the two sons)

The starred selections above do not appear as suggestions for the Rite of Penance, as we discussed here. But they would be good ones.

As for the propers, we have one unattributed text:

Entrance Antiphon

I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. Should they cry to me in any distress, I will hear them, and I will be their Lord for ever.

It has a vague familiarity, wouldn’t you say?

Two options for Communion:

Communion Antiphon Mt 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you, says the Lord.

Or: Jn 16:24

Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete, says the Lord.

Any of these three antiphons could be yoked to any of the Psalms or more lyrical passages from the Rite of Penance readings. 

Some years ago, we blogged on Masses And Prayers For Various Needs And Occasions. In the GIRM, sections 368-378 cover the universal regulations on their use. You can check our brief comments here and here and here. The USCCB’s unannotated text on the matter is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to VNO 16: For Reconciliation

  1. Liam says:

    The Latin handle for that introit is “Salus populi ego sum” and it goes back to the First Millennium. It was introit in Lent (hence its use for this VNO) and for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost (hence its current use for the Sunday of the 25th week of Ordinary Time.

  2. Todd says:

    Lent makes sense. This antiphon suggests the “voice of God” section at the end of Psalm 91: He will call upon me and I will answer; I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him and give him honor. (15)

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