If you think back to the beginning of Advent in 2011, the Latin/Roman Church implemented an updated English translation of the official Latin Prayers of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal of the reformed Mass of the Second Vatican Vatican Council. Since then, other liturgical rites and books have slowly and carefully been retranslated for English speaking parts of the world to more formally reflect the underlying Latin prayers of our Roman Rite. The U.S Bishops with the approval of the Apostolic See have recently issued the new Order of Penance, the fruit of this retranslation in English of the instruction, rituals, and prayers for the sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation.

Although this change concerns only the priest’s prayer, we wanted to make you aware that between Ash Wednesday and the 2nd Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday, priests will begin using a slightly different formula for the Prayer of Absolution. Again, the prayer changes for the priest to pray, the person celebrating the sacrament of mercy doesn’t have to say or do anything different. Those who frequent confession may notice the subtle change, and so we want to make all aware so no one is concerned or alarmed if they notice these very minor translation improvements.

Okay, what is different?
While now the priest says: “and sent forth the Holy Spirit” and “may God give you pardon and peace,” the new formula of absolution is (changes in BOLD):

Priest: God, the Father of mercies, through the Death and Resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and poured out the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God grant 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.