Mea culpa

Speaking of Catholicism, of all the elements in the Mass, I think the prayer of confession impresses me the most:

Confíteor Deo omnipoténti et vobis, fratres,
quia peccávi nimis
cogitatióne, verbo, ópere et omissióne:
mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.
Ideo precor beátam Maríam semper Vírginem,
omnes Angelos et Sanctos, et vos, fratres,
oráre pro me ad Dóminum Deum nostrum.

Saya mengaku, kepada Allah Yang Mahakuasa, dan kepada Saudara sekalian,
bahwa saya telah [sangat] berdosa,
dengan pikiran dan perkataan, dengan perbuatan dan kelalaian.
Saya berdosa, saya berdosa, saya sungguh berdosa.
Oleh sebab itu saya mohon, kepada Santa Perawan Maria,
kepada para malaikat dan orang kudus, dan kepada Saudara sekalian
supaya mendoakan saya pada Tuhan, Allah kita.

In GPBB, usually we will confess for our sins personally (i.e., Protestantism in action) before a deacon or elder, who serves as the worship leader, leads us to confess for our sins collectively. And I need to confess that usually my mind wanders around during this time. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My fault, my fault, it’s truly my fault.

(From the last paragraph you could get an idea how intercessory prayer works for the Catholics. They ask prayers not only from the living ones but also from the “dead” ones, or, I should say, the more-living ones.)

Somehow I think this liturgical confession is planted deep enough in my father such that he always includes confession of sin whenever he says grace before meal. He won’t necessarily recite the Mea Culpa prayer, but he will definitely confess for our sins before meal.

(Another thing that I like is the dismissal or commissioning of the congregation at the end of the Mass. After giving benediction, the priest will say: Ite, missa est! Go, you are sent forth! Pergilah, kalian diutus! That’s why the Mass is called the Mass or Misa, by the way.)


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