Sunday, December 7, 2014


Being advent it is confession season again.  Lot's O' school confessions, long lines at regular confession times, and extra confessions such as this coming Sunday when St. Sebastian, St. Vincent and St. Bernard will have a night of confessions at each of our places from 6:30 to 8:30.
That also means listening to the Act of Contrition a lot . . .
It is more difficult than you might imagine helping someone "finish" any particular Act of Contrition.  It depends how old they are, where they went to school, and what was in fashion at the time.  If they employ "Thee"s or "You"s is only a minor consideration.  Sadly, the grand, awe inspired, pleasings sounding "O" seems to be passing away.  When someone is stuck, it was easy to say, "O" and they would run on with, "my God I am heartily sorry . . ."  Oh "O", I am afraid that you have gone out of fashion.  But I shall keep you in my trunk of "old fashioned" things (such as vinyl records) until such day we discover we have no idea how we lived without you.
Trying to figure out from where some of these Acts of Contrition are coming, I (actually) looked on Wickipedia to find out.  (Not a place I would normally go for such things.)  But lo!  There they were!  They were titled:
"Popular American English Version"
"Popular Catholic American English Version"
"Another Popular American English Version"
"Popular Canadian English Version" (Which seems to be the one making the rounds now.)
"Modern Version Taught in Religious Education"
Most of them are SO close.  And often people mix them up anyway half way between the one they learned in grade school and what they are currently teaching their children.  So when they get stuck in the middle and say, "Ugh!  What's the next line Father?" I don't know.  The chart below shows why.  It is all the possible directions it might go.
Sometimes I try.  Sometimes I say, "You know, you can make it up."  Sometimes I say, "Just repeat after me."  But here is a sure winner from the Rites book:


Poor Stephen said...

Dear Poor Father Valencheck,
Your comments in OMG are funny because they are true!

I have always wondered what a priest does more of in the confessional; laughing or crying.
I hope its laughing.

Anyway, its no pic-nix on our side the confessional either. Take my Pastor. Please. He is the greatest priest/confessor Jesus ever Ordained. However, with him its like a trip down the rabbit hole. He loves me so much he takes a wire brush to me. Its like running thru a car wash. I come out of the box all squeaky clean, forgiven and exhausted.

Do you ever assign homework as penance? Is that allowed? Well, my pastor does. Before December 17th, I have to know all about the "O' Antiphones" What the What? Wikipedia here I come.

Anonymous said...

*** The painfully slow process of uncovering the child abuse that happened within the Catholic Church continues. The members of the church continue to try and protect the wrong people, at the expense of victims, their families and the welfare of the general public. ***

The Archdiocese of Chicago has voluntarily released documents related to 36 Archdiocesan priests who have at least one substantiated allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor. These documents are in addition to those released in January on 30 other priests. This release, together with the January release, covers priests who have substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors identified on the Archdiocese's website as of November 2014. Documents pertaining to two priests, former Rev. Daniel J. McCormack and Rev. Edward J. Maloney, are not included, due to ongoing processes that do not permit release.

Inquiries may be directed to the Office of the Protection of Children and Youth, Archdiocese of Chicago, PO Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690.

web addy for the documents:

Anonymous said...

this is the way that I learned a long long time ago . . . . . . "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned . . . . . etc etc etc

MaryofSharon said...

O Lord, please don't let "O" fade away! It's good for us!

Why just in the past couple of days I read something about the power of the word, "O" (perhaps by Romano Guardini with reference to the prayers of the Mass?), that led me to become newly enamored with it, and wanting to use it more. So now I am saddened to hear it's falling out of use.

Here are a couple of definitions:

"used before a name in direct address, especially in solemn or poetic language, to lend earnestness to an appeal"

"used when addressing someone or something, or when expressing strong emotion"

We need to keep the earnestness and emotion in our appeals to God, especially in our repentance.

Why even in the secular world, what would the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada," be without the "O"?

Terry T said...

I'm glad you said that you can make it up, because that is what I do. I hope that will encourage more people to receive the sacrament, having been released of the worry of knowing the words.

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