Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Words of Absolution

Compare three different versions:

Byzantine (Melkite)
Roman (traditional)
Roman (modern)
Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, Who gave this command to His divine and holy disciples and apostles; to loose and to bind the sins of people, forgives you from on high, all your sins and offenses. I, His unworthy servant, who have received from these Apostles the power to do the same, absolve you from all censures, in as much as I can and am able, according to your need of it. Moreover, I absolve you from all your sins which you have confessed before God and my unworthiness. In the name + of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God, through Nathan the prophet, forgave David his sins; and Peter shedding bitter tears over his denial; and the adulteress weeping at his feet; and the publican and the prodigal son. May this same God, through me, a sinner, forgive + you everything in this life and in the life to come. And may you stand uncondemned before His awesome judgment-seat, for His Name is blessed forever and ever. Amen.
May Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sin, and bring you to life everlasting. Amen. May Almighty and Merciful God grant you forgiveness, absolution, and remission of your sins. Amen. May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and by His authority I absolve you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, so far as my power allows and your needs require. + Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
May the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, and all the good you do and the suffering you endure, gain for you the remission of your sins, increase of grace, and the reward of everlasting life. Amen.
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. Amen.


  1. I thought the Eastern Rites did this in the passive: "You are absolved" ... "You are baptised"

    1. I know they do for Baptism, but I suspect that, given there are so many Eastern churches, some variation has appeared over the years. I believe the Ukrainians, and probably the Russian Orthodox, use a passive absolution. I am personally familiar with the Melkite formula, so I posted it.

  2. Aren't there multiple options in the modern Roman Rite? To the point that "the priest can select a suitable formula of absolution....etc, etc? I swear I've heard variants of above modern absolution formula over the years.

  3. John,

    Yes, you have heard variants, as have we all, but none of them are sanctioned.

    There's only one formula for the Novus Ordo absolution.

  4. I myself have heard "May Jesus Christ absolve you and by His authority I absolve you...." from two different priests but I do not know whether this is a legal option or a case of common abuse.

  5. wow...when you read this you then understand what utter nonsense is the pretext "getting closer to the East" that some cite for the liturgical reform...