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How to invite us to confess our sins

Thursday, February 3, 2022 (17:01)

The traditional formulation of the invitation to confess our sins during the mass is “agnoscamus peccata nostra, ut apti simus ad sacra mysteria celebranda” (“let us acknowledge our sins so that we may be able to celebrate the sacred mysteries”). A variant “Let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.”

In Estonia the official translation of this is sentence is “so that we may be considered worthy of bringing this holy sacrifice” (“tunnistagem oma patud, et meid arvataks väärilisteks seda püha ohvrit tooma”)

My favourite formulation is “Väga õnnis on inimene, kelle üleastumiune on andesks antud ja kelle patt on kinni kaetud. Sellepärast tunnistagem issandale oma patud üles, südames nõnda üteldes.” (which is from the so-called “uus jumalateenistuse kord”)

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

Is God faithful and just to forgive us our sins only if we confess them?

To do justice requires an honest acknowledgment of our failures and the restoring of right relationships between us. “If we acknowledge our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing” (1 Jn 1:9). To love goodness demands pursuing “what leads to peace and to building up one another” (Rom 14:19). It requires a determined effort, but even more so, it requires humility; it requires each of us to ask for the grace needed to overcome this sin and get rid of this scourge.