Penitential Act

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Sorry a quick question (hopefully). I have so many questions, and hey, you are just a great resource!

I pasted the Penitential Act below- are those words in bold a suggestion or are they open to modification? Another priest constantly says something to the effect of: Brothers and Sisters, let us acknowledge our sins so we can worthily celebrate these sacred mysteries.

To be honest- I take issue with the use of “worthily”- are we ever really worthy? Especially when later at Mass we say, “Lord, I am not worthy….”. Anyway, I think it has less to do about worthiness. But, an easy way to fix the issue would simply be “Father, just introduce the penitential act as it is provided in the Roman Missal.” 

Haha…I love liturgy. Thanks, Paul, many blessings to you.

Penitential Act

4. Then follows the Penitential Act, to which the Priest invites the faithful, saying:

Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins,and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.


A: I treat those as words that may be modified, based on the 1973 instruction Eucharistiæ participationem. I explained my argument in the opening pages of my book In These or Similar Words. In Latin, the missal never said, “in these or similar words” here, but the instruction clarified that that permission was implied in this and other cases.

I usually modify the intro this way: “Let us acknowledge our sins.” That’s all. I figure people know what to do and why.