What is the proper form of confession?


What is the proper form of confession in the Melkite Church?

Bishop John’s Answer

Here is the entire text of “the Sacrament of Holy Penance” as translated from the Arabic Euchologion (Sacramental Prayer Book) approved by the Holy Synod of the Melkite Church on May 3, 1968:

The Sacrament of Holy Penance

Penitent: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned

Priest: Blessed is our God, at all times, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

The penitent having briefly exposed his sins, now listens attentively to whatever the confessor has to say, taking particular note of the penance imposed on him. Then the priest raises his right hand over the head of the penitent and pronounces the absolution.

Priest: Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, who gave this command to His divine and holy disciples and apostles; to loose and to bind the sins of people, forgives you from on high, all your sins and offenses. I, his unworthy servant, who have received from these Apostles the power to do the same, absolve you from all censures, in as much as I can and am able, according to your need of it. Moreover, I absolve you from all your sins which you have confessed before God and my unworthiness. In the name + of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

And the priest may add the following:

God through Nathan the prophet forgave David his sins; and Peter shedding bitter tears over his denial; and the Adulteress weeping at his feet; and the Publican and the Prodigal Son. May this same God, through me, a sinner, forgive + your everything in this life and in the life to come. And may he make you stand uncondemned before his awesome judgment-seat, for his blessed forever and ever. Amen. (Byzantine Melkite Euchologion – St. Paul Printing Press, Jounieh, Lebanon, 1977, pp.47-48.