Sunday, February 20, 2005

the confiteor

I confess a preference for the traditional Confiteor, at least to the BCP Rite II Confession, and especially for private recitations of Matins and Evensong. Not that my preference for one thing or another should make a difference, but the Confiteor moves the emphasis of the confession back upon its being a confession within the context of the Church. One confesses, not just to God, but to God, the saints, the holy angels, and, in its public form, to "you my brethren." The point is that one's sins offend God and also his holy Bride, the Church. One's sins offend the blood of the holy martyrs, and it is therefore appropriate that one should confess to them too, and to ask for their prayers. Here is a version of the traditional Confiteor from St. Augustine's Prayer Book:

"I confess to God Almighty, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed: by my fault, by my own fault, by my own most grievous fault. Therefore I beg blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray for me to the Lord our God."


Anonymous said...

Wonderful reflection. THank you. Where did this image come from?


The young fogey said...

Another good entry! The photo shows an example of the legitimate liturgical movement, simply Godward, not 'precious' at all. Beautiful.

father wb said...

I found the image somewhere on the 'net. I think I googled "confiteor" and clicked on "images."

I like it too. Its encouraging to know that liturgical innovation is possible without turning a sanctuary into a naval-gazing oak grove.

Another thing I like about the Confiteor: its emphasis (in the final sentence, above) on the fact that the Lord is *OUR* God. Thats a helpful guard against inellectual sin. You're not worshipping your own personal god: you're worshipping the God of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, the God of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, the God of St. Michael the Archangel, etc. etc.