The Confiteor Prayer

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The Confiteor prayer is used in the Mass and it is often required in the studies while preparing for Confirmation and when altar boys are learning to serve Mass. The term is the first word in the Latin prayer, but also indicates the English that means "I confess".

It is also like an Act of Contrition before or during Confession in the Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Reconciliation) and in the sacrament of Extreme Unction. It calls on aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Michael, St. John the Baptist, and St. Michael. It is certainly a consolation to have these great members of the Communion of Saints praying for us!

It is a prayer that asks for forgiveness and when it is said during the Mass it is said in Latin. Altar boys need to learn it in order to serve. It is the longest altar boy response. Once a boy learns it in Latin the hardest prayer is finished. It can be tricky to get the endings right; beware the second half in Latin!

The Words To The Confiteor Prayer

In English:

I confess to Almighty God, 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, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.

Therefore, I beseech Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me. Amen.

In Latin:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatæ Mariæ semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Ioanni Baptistæ, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, et tibi, pater: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Archangelum, beatum Ioannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et te pater, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum. Amen.

When saying the triple mea culpa one strikes his bosom three times in sorrow for his own fault in his past sins. 

The "I confess" is easy to learn. Simply repeat it often.

St. Anne's Helper offers it in English in the  audio version of the Confirmation Catechism as well as in the Catholic Confirmation worksheets in the Catechism Copybook. See below.


Catholic Confirmation Audio Baltimore Catechism Downloads