In October, the USCCB announced that the new English translation of the Order of Penance for use in the United States may be used as of February 22 (Ash Wednesday), 2023, and its use will become obligatory on April 16 (Divine Mercy Sunday), 2023.
The new Order of Penance makes two minor changes to the longstanding English translation of the formula of absolution while keeping the essential words of the formula the same. The alterations are underlined below:
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 [Spíritum Sanctum effúdit] for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God grant [tribuat] 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.
In the new translation of the absolution formula, “poured out” can be taken as a more descriptive translation of effudit, which is also the same word used in the Vulgate to describe when Mary of Bethany “poured out” perfumed oil on the feet of Jesus. As the Gospels record, this was a gesture that went above and beyond the normal expectations of hospitality. In a similar way, the mercy of God given by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Penance is extravagant, a rich outpouring of the unmerited love of God for our sakes. Relatedly, the new translation of tribuat as “grant,” rather than “give,” also speaks to God’s generosity and ever-present willingness to share all good things with his people, including and especially his mercy.
Catholic Book Publishing, Liturgical Training Publications, Magnificat, and Midwest Theological Forum have announced their forthcoming publication of the new Order of Penance, and pre-sales have already begun. Parishes in the Archdiocese of New York may wish to take advantage of discount pricing on this ritual text through the ICS website.