Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dominican Rite Sacramental Absolution Cards

A couple of weeks ago, a Dominican priest from another province who regularly hears confessions at a local Extraordinary Form parish told me that he did not now that there was a Dominican form for the absolution in the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation. I gave him one of the wallet cards that I made up for this a few years ago; I still have about a dozen of these available.

If you are a Dominican priest (or transitional deacon) and would like one of these cards, please mail a stamped self-addressed envelope to me at my address at: St Albert the Great Priory, 6170 Chabot Road, Oakland, California, 94618, and I will use it to send a plastic-laminated card to you in the mail. If you are a Dominican brother (or any other interested person) do the same, indicating you are not a priest or deacon, and I will mail you an un-laminated copy.

For those interested in the Dominican Rite absolution as it compares to the Roman Extraordinary Form, I have prepared a Latin and English parallel comparison below. There are some interesting differences. The Dominican form pronounces (if needed), the absolution from censures before hearing the confession. This reflects the logic that censures need to be removed before a sacrament can be received. The Roman simply combines this absolution with the absolution from sins. The Dominican absolution from sins places the rite in an ecclesiastical and sacramental context, restoring the penitent to the “communion and union” of the faithful. It also has an eschatological component, as it references not only this earthly existence, but also the soul’s presence before the divine throne in heaven. The Roman form, which omits the part on censures, is very concise.

The are also a couple of interesting, although less striking, differences. The Dominican absolution is given with a triple Sign of the Cross, something reserved to bishops in the Roman liturgy. And the closing prayer, optional in both, adds to the simpler Roman form references to the penitent’s future intentions and St Dominic. Finally, the optional prayers for Divine Mercy that come after an expression of sorrow, both taken from the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, each reflect the form of the these take in each respective rite.

Here is the Latin:

And here is the English version:

I hope that readers who do not hear confessions will still find this comparison of interest.

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