The new liturgical book for the Sacrament of Penance is coming out soon.
Its first use date is Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Its mandatory use date is the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16, 2023, after this date no other English translation may be used.
There are no bombshells, but the one that came out in the 1970’s was horrible and no one used what was printed for private confession (individual) and most stayed with the pre-Vatican II format.
The status quo is basically the same, but the full words of absolution have been somewhat revised.
Here’s the new and glorious English translation of the Absolution:
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. Amen.
Here’s the old and inglorious English translation of the Absolution:
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. Amen.
There are still a variety of Acts of Contrition that the penitent can pray but a version of the traditional Act of Contrition is now included which was omitted in the 1970’s liturgical book. This prayer, even in Vatican II times, had a variety of improvisations and the penitent can still use those along with the archaic “Thee and art”.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
Of course, penitents are not limited to the options provided in the Order of Penance, and are free to express their sorrow with other prayers or even in their own words.
In terms of the liturgical celebration of the Sacrament of Penance, usually celebrated during Lent and Advent, the order is simplified and only one reading need to be read rather than the full panoply of readings you would have at a Sunday Mass.
The basic structure of each Order is presented here, in parallel columns for the sake of comparison:
Order for Reconciling Individual Penitents
I. Reception of the Penitent
II. Reading of the Word of God (optional)
III. Confession of Sins and Acceptance of Satisfaction
IV. Prayer of the Penitent (Act of Contrition) and Absolution
V. Proclamation of Praise of God and Dismissal of the Penitent
Order for Reconciling Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution
I. The Introductory Rites • Liturgical Song • Greeting
II. The Celebration of the Word of God • Reading(s)
• Examination of Conscience
III. The Rite of Reconciliation
• General Confession of Sins
• Individual Confession and Absolution
• Proclamation of Praise for God’s Mercy • Concluding Prayer of Thanksgiving
IV. The Concluding Rites
• Blessing and Dismissal