The Mystery





After an examination of conscience, recalling the precepts of God and the Church

The one who wishes to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation enters the place where the sacrament is to be celebrated, (usually before the icon screen, before an analogion elsewhere in the church or in a separate room) and greets the priest  ("Glory to Jesus Christ!" -  "Slava Isusu Christu!"; or Christ is Risen! - Christos Voskres!).  

Then, making the sign of the cross, the penitent says:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Before the penitent confesses, the priest prays for the penitent:

May our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, be in your heart and on your lips that you may confess all your sins worthily in the name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


I confess to Almighty God, One in the Holy Trinity, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, to all the Saints, and to you, Father, all my sins.

The penitent usually mentions the time since the last confession and, sincerely and from the heart, confesses sins.

After confessing, the penitent prays:

For these and all my other sins which I remember or cannot call to mind I am very sorry. I have offended God and have angered Him against me. I am sincerely repentant and promise with the help of God to better my life. For this I humbly ask of you, Father, salutary penance and absolution.

The priest offers counsel -- comforts the penitent, offers spiritual advice -- and imposes a penance. Then the priest prays:

Lord, our God, since You are gracious, accept the confession of your servant N, and remit all (her) (his) sins committed deliberately or through human frailty, either by word, deed, or thought. You alone have the power to forgive sins; for You are the God of mercies and loving kindness, and we give glory to You, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever, Amen.

The priest places the epitrakhil [stole] on the penitent’s head, and laying on his hands, says the prayer of absolution:

May our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, by the grace and mercies of His love for mankind, forgive you all your transgressions. And I, a priest, although unworthy, by His power given me, forgive and absolve you from all your sins, in the name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Priest: Go in peace and sin no more.

Penitent: Thank you, Father.


Alternate (or additional) Prayer of Absolution

May God, who pardoned David through Nathan the prophet, when he confessed his sins, and Peter weeping bitterly for his denial, and the sinful woman weeping at his feet, and the publican and the prodigal son, may that same God forgive you everything through me, a sinner, both in this world and in the world to come, and set you uncondemned before his terrible judgment seat. Having no further care for the sins you have confessed, go in peace.