August 11, 2010

Firmiter Propono

Late last night a visitor arrived at this blog via searching for "how to say the act of contrition in latin." It's a rather curious question; acts of contrition are not liturgical prayers, properly speaking, and are not even necessary in the celebration of the sacrament of Penance. A confessor must ascertain that a penitent is contrite before giving absolution, and asking for an act of contrition is a simple way of doing this. At the same time, the prayer allows the penitent to be reminded of his contrition and to exercise it on the occasion of absolution.

Nevertheless, it's an interesting question. I don't think there is any need or real purpose to praying one's acts of contrition in Latin. Doing so would probably come as a great shock to many priests, and not a few would surely find it very annoying. (Perhaps, however, in some cases, these might not be bad things.)

But if anyone feels called to pray an act of contrition in Latin, navigate over to one of the great Catholic treasures of the web, the Thesaurus Precum Latinarum, where you can find all of your preces latinae, and an Act of Contrition in particular.

3 comments:

Tina aka Snupnjake said...

Fr. Z is looking for a smart Franciscan who knows Latin. You came to mind ;)
He's looking for you....

Rachel Gray said...

I know a few short Latin prayers well enough that I feel their meaning without having to translate them to English in my mind. I'm sure a person could do the same with the Act of Contrition, so that it would be just as devotional in Latin as in English-- or even more so, because some people feel more focused and more like they're praying if they're using Latin. I'm that way myself before receiving Holy Communion; I say "Lord, I am not worthy..." with the rest of the congregation, and then I often pray silently, "Domine, non sum dignus...", and the second way feels more like I mean it. I wouldn't try a Latin Act of Contrition in Confession, though, unless I knew the priest wouldn't mind. :) But some people pray an Act of Contrition during Compline or before bed each night; maybe the person wanted it for that purpose.

ben in denver said...

Just wanted to wish you a Happy St. Clare's Day.

We will be visiting your Capuchin sisters for mass and a reception this evening at Our Lady of Light Monastery.