The perfect Act of Contrition prayer is from the 1885 Baltimore Catechism.
I treasure having learned it in grade school because it really seemed to "cover" everything: my love for God, my love for family, and my true sorrow for all my sins.
Usually we teach the Act of Contrition when we are preparing for Confession in the Sacrament of Penance.
Learning this prayer is easy when you have someone to help you, or when you have an audio recording like St. Anne's Helper Baltimore Catechism Downloads and CDs.
Be sure to teach this prayer to your little ones long before you teach the other Acts (Faith, Hope, and Charity), maybe years, as they are so similar that it can be confusing for little ones to learn the other prayers before their first confession.
Why? It has a phrase that is super similar to the Act of Charity, "Who art all-good and worthy of all my love".
Have your children wait to learn the Act of Charity until they learn the Act of Contrition well and maybe even after they are handy with going to confession.
This version is the same prayer that was published in the Baltimore Catechism in 1885 and covers the most intentions with the fewest words.
The Perfect Act of Contrition is the best prayer that Catholics use for the Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Reconciliation) and at night before retiring with Rosary with a brief examination of conscience.
It covers the contrition necessary to cover a mortal sin until the penitent can go to Sacramental Confession. In this way it is one of the most important Catholic prayers when one is in danger of death!
What makes it perfect?
Loving God makes the act perfect.
It's a perfect act because
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