Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

What is the prayer of absolution?

Mike Hayes Answers:

This is the prayer that is offered by the priest during confession also known as the sacrament of reconciliation or penance.

After one confesses their sins, the priest might give some advice to them and then give them a penance–an act of making amends, usually a few prayers offered to God. They then ask them to say the formal prayer the act of contrition. When that is done they then offer the prayer of absolution which formally forgives their sins ritualistically.

Here are the words, some of the most beautiful in all of Catholic tradition:

God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of your son, you have reconciled the world to yourself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church, may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

For more on confession see our two part how-to go to confession video.


The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
See more articles by (271).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Thomas Florence

    Hi! Thank you for all the answers you provide. However, the Absolution Prayer you have mentioned is not the exact wording as in the RITE of PENANCE book. Here is the Absolution Prayer, ver batum:
    “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit….”

  • francoise Hibbs

    I heard a joke about confession which made me question giving absolution to sinners. It was about Hitler being in paradise… he went to confession.
    I know of a liar who goes to confession but continues to lie… priests who go to confession and continue to abuse children. Confession should demand that these people go to those they injured, confess their sins to them, then try to make reparations. No forgiveness until then.

  • Debbie Polaski

    There is no forgiveness of sins outside of the belief and faith of Christ alone. He is the one who paid the price in full with His life’s blood. How can the church mislead its people with such a falsehood. God is a God of truth and His words speak quite clearly that there is no pardon of sin except through His son our Savior Jesus Christ.

    • Scott Brockson

      Jesus said to the apostles in his first appearance to them after his Resurrection and breathing the Holy Spirit on them: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:23).

  • I love the wisdom of the church. The prayer of absolution is convincing, and makes impact to the penitent. Rev. Lambert Nlemadim, C.S.Sp.

    Rev. Lambert Nlemadim, C.S.Sp. I come from Nigeria.

  • Father Hoisington

    The first part of the Prayer of Absolution is not correct: it is not addressed to God the Father, but speaks of Him, beginning: “God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself, and….”
    Thanks for your online ministry.

powered by the Paulists