Random Musings: The Confiteor

One of the things that intrigue me the most are translation changes and just flat out prayer changes. For example, the Confiteor said at the Penitential Rite of the Ordinary Form goes like this:

Latin

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, et vobis fratres, quia peccavi nimiscogitatione, verbo, opere et omissione: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, omnes Angelos et Sanctos, et vos, fratres, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.

English

I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters,that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters,to pray for me to the Lord our God.

‘Tis a beautiful prayer. But now, here is the Confiteor of the Extraordinary Form:

Latin

Confíteor Deo omnipoténti, beátæ Maríæ semper vírgini, beáto Michaéli archángelo, beáto Joánni Baptistæ, sanctis apóstolis Petro et Paulo, ómnibus sanctis, et tibi pater: quia peccávi nimis cogitatióne, verbo, et ópere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa. Ídeo precor beátam Maríam semper vírginem, beátum Michaélem archángelum, beátum Joánnem Baptístam, sanctos apóstolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes sanctos, et te Pater, oráre pro me ad Dóminum Deum nostrum.

English

I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you father: that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I pray blessed Mary ever virgin, blessed Michael the archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Now I love the Confiteor. The public confession of the people is one the things that prepare us for the Mass. It unites us in admitting that we are sinners.

But yo, the old version is so cool! Padre Pio is said to have taken the Confiteor so seriously that when he struck his breast, it seemed as if he were repenting for the greatest sins imaginable. The Extraordinary Form has the Confiteor appear twice. That just makes the public confession and the Sacrament of Confession even more important. We must never unworthily take the Eucharist.

Trivia: Hellfire from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame actually features the original Confiteor throughout the song. It’s actually pretty cool .

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